Monday, June 25, 2012

Health-Packed Pumpkin Bran Muffins

Before I get going with my recipe, I wanted to quickly share this week's favourite moments with the kids:

- Logan came up with the nickname "babykins" for Chloé, a mixture of "Chloékins", which we call her, and "baby", which he almost always calls her.  I LOVE her new nickname!!

- ever since we finally got around to opening up our pool, Logan has been running around the house shrieking "Logan in a pool" non-stop.

- when I had to brake quickly the other day, Logan told me "whoa! careful car".  God that kid makes me laugh.  When he isn't making me pull my hair out.

Now onto the good stuff.

Today's recipe comes from the amazing cookbook Simply Great Food.  In my quest to empty my freezer as quickly as possible, I whipped up these muffins this weekend with some leftover canned pumpkin I had frozen awhile back.  The thing with this freezer challenge is that you take out a small bag of pumpkin, only to transform it into a mountain of muffins, which can't possibly be eaten before they go bad.  And back in the freezer these bad boys go, only now, taking up 20 times more space than the pumpkin originally did.  I don't think I'll ever see the end of it!

I made half of these into mini-muffins and the other half into regular sized ones.  Logan liked them almost as much as he liked these muffins here and scarfed down 4 of the mini muffins as soon as they came out of the oven.  Guess I could have made them all just regular sized and saved myself the headache of washing those tricky mini-muffin pans!

I made my muffins with 3/4 C of pumpkin and 1/4 C of unsweetened applesauce, only because I didn't have quite enough pumpkin (just an idea, for when you get to the bottom of your canned pumpkin).  I also made them entirely with whole-wheat flour instead of a mixture and they turned out fine.

I like these muffins because they're full of all things healthy: whole-wheat flour, flax seed, sesame seeds, wheat germ... and even some sneaky vegetables!

2 C bran cereal (I used All-Bran) or 1 C natural bran
1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
1 1/4 C whole-wheat flour
1 C raisins
1/2 C sesame seeds
1/2 C ground flaxseed
1/4 C wheat germ
2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 C buttermilk or sour milk (1 tbsp. lemon juice/vinegar added to each cup of milk)
1 1/2 C lightly packed brown sugar
1 C mashed cooked pumpkin or canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
1/2 C vegetable oil

1.  In a large bowl, combine bran cereal, all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, raisins, sesame seeds, flaxseed, wheat germ, baking soda and salt.

As you can see, I cheated, and mixed the wet ingredients in first

2.  In a very large bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk, brown sugar, pumpkin and oil.  Gradually fold in bran mixture until well combined.  Bake immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.

3.  Scoop about 1/3 C batter per muffin into prepared muffin cups.

4.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until tops are firm to the touch and a tester inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean.  Let cool in tins for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 24 muffins.

Difficulty level: easy to moderate

1 comment:

Kris said...

love Chloe's new nickname! Also, I would love to take Logan swimming! Please send him my way!