Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Carrot Coconut Bran Muffins

The muffin pan has been out recently to make Breakfast Egg Cups for the weekdays.  The weekend is calling out a different tune: bran muffins with carrot cake overtones.  I extracted from a few favorite bran muffin recipes to make this low fat version and then added my favorite extras- grated carrot, coconut, raisins and walnuts.  For you, these can be plain bran muffins or add blueberries or dried cranberries and almonds, or even some banana  chunks (1 small banana) and chopped peanuts.

Carrot Coconut Bran Muffins with Walnuts and Raisins

Makes 12 regular muffins
1 cup unprocessed (miller's) wheat bran
1 1/3 cup white whole wheat four (or half all purpose, half whole wheat flour)
2/3 cup whole wheat flour (spoon into a measuring cup and level top)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/4 cups low-fat or skim milk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 large egg
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat to 350°.  Lightly spray twelve regular size muffin cups with oil. 
  2. In a medium bowl, combine bran, flours, baking soda, and salt.  
  3. In a small bowl combine grated carrots, raisins, coconut and walnuts.
  4. In another medium bowl, whisk together the milk, vinegar, sugar, applesauce, egg, oil and vanilla. 
  5. Add the carrot mixture to the dry ingredients and combine thoroughly with a spoon or your (very clean) hands.  Make a well in the center of this dry mixture, and pour in the liquid mixture. Using a spoon, stir just until combined. Spoon the batter equally among the prepared muffin cups. Bake until the tops spring back when pressed gently in the center, about 18-20 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes before removing from the cups. Enjoy immediately or cool completely on the rack.  Cooled muffins can be stored in an airtight container 2 days or placed in plastic bags and frozen for up to 2 months.
These are moist so yo can enjoy them plain or, to bring our the carrot cake lurking inside, dab yours with a little softened cream cheese.