Whole-Grain Bran Muffins

whole grain bran muffins

My current morning routine includes a cup of my absolutely-necessary-and-don’t-even-try-to-reason-with-me-until-I’ve-had-it coffee. And one of these Whole Grain Bran Muffins. I’ll savor one while I linger over “quiet time” to start the day – or eat one en route to an early morning meeting.

Prior to these, I haven’t met a lot of bran muffins that I like, let alone love. Either they were so loaded with sugar and other ingredients that they negated the health benefits of the fiber… Or, they were a tasteless {if not awful} reinforcement of the myth that eating healthy can’t possibly taste good.

The recipe for these appeared recently in Cooking Light. I would have just passed them by, except that the magazine did a great job of making them sound really good. And they were right.

In fact, these are so good, that as we “speak” there are the remnants of one batch in my refrigerator, and another dozen waiting in my freezer. They won’t be there long.

First, instead of sugar, the sweetness comes from {wait for it} dates and ripe bananas. The dates are simmered in fresh orange juice before they’re pureed with the other ingredients. There’s no white flour either – just wheat bran {toasted – to bring out the nutty flavor} and whole-grain pastry flour.

For the latest batch I substituted figs for the dates. {Well, the blog is called Raisin & Fig, afterall!} Wow! Delicious.

These muffins are big, and they’re filling – without being heavy. And they’re only 168 calories each {compare that to your average Starbucks muffins, which are 300-400 calories}.

While I’ve stuck to the recipe as-is so far – except for substituting the figs, you could certainly add blueberries or grated carrots, maybe toss in some nuts or raisins…

Whatever you do, make an extra batch to keep in the freezer. One minute in the microwave, and you have a great breakfast treat to go with your morning coffee.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Whole-Grain Bran Muffins
  • 1¾ cups wheat bran (about 4¼ ounces)
  • 1 cup whole pitted dates (about 6 ounces) or figs
  • ¾ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 cup fat-free buttermilk
  • ½ cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 medium)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4.5 ounces whole-grain pastry flour (about 1 cup)
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Spread bran on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring once.
  3. Combine dates and juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat; uncover and let stand 5 minutes. Place date mixture in a food processor or blender; process until smooth. Add buttermilk and next 4 ingredients (through vanilla); process until smooth.
  4. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, bran, baking powder, and next 3 ingredients (through salt) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add date mixture to bran mixture, stirring just until moist. Add eggs, stirring just until combined. Place 12 muffin cup liners in muffin cups; coat liners with cooking spray. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake at 350° for 28 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of muffins comes out clean. Remove muffins from pan; cool on a wire rack.




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