Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Apple Bran Muffins

I was in the mood for baking this week. Even though at the end of the day, my students' homework was still ungraded and I was complaining that my day got sidetracked, I had a batch of fresh muffins to show for it. The recipe is from "Cookwise" by Shirley O. Corriher which I was given by my friend Erika recently. While I'm just starting to read this book, I'm really enjoying her explanations of the science behind cooking and her clearly written recipes. I mostly followed the recipe but I adjusted the baking time (my muffins were done way earlier than she suggested at an even lower oven temperature) and I left out the 1 cup of chopped, toasted walnuts (I was sharing muffins with friends who are nut averse and wanted to make them toddler-friendly).

Apple Bran Muffins (makes more than 1 dozen)

1 1/2 c. oat bran (not wheat bran - bought it in the bulk section at Whole Foods)
3/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 c. nonfat dry milk (in the baking section - adds calcium to the muffins)
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
1 T ground cinnamon
2 tsp. salt
1 T baking powder
1 medium to large carrot grated (about 1 cup)
1 apple, peeled, cored & coarsely chopped (I used a Granny Smith)
Finely grated zest of 2 oranges
1 large egg
2 egg whites
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 c. canola oil
3 T canned crushed pineapple, drained

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and prepare a muffin tin with non-stick spray, butter, or muffin liners. Combine oat bran, flour, dry milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Work out any lumps (due to brown sugar) if necessary. Add the carrot, apple, orange zest and stir to combine.

Beat the egg, whites, buttermilk, oil, and pineapple in a medium mixing bowl. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir to combine.

Spoon 1/3 c. muffin batter into each cup (just about to the brim). If you have extra batter, you can bake more muffins in a regular tin or make mini-muffins (like I did - my daughter loved these). The regular muffins will take 15-20 minutes and the mini-muffins will take 9-12 minutes to bake. Check them and take them out when the top springs back to your touch and looks golden brown.

What to do with your leftover canned crushed pineapple:
Pineapple Rice
Make white rice and when it's done, fluff it and stir in some crushed pineapple and chopped italian parsley. Good with teriyaki chicken, stir fry, steaks . . . just about anything.


  1. I thought I was adventurous in the kitchen, but I have to admit I tend to stay away from recipes with so many ingredients--especially ones I don't typically have in the kitchen (pineapple, oat bran, buttermilk--what do you do with extra buttermilk??). What motivates you to try certain recipes?

  2. Grandma Vi taught me that baking at a lower temperature was always better. She recommended 325 and then adjust time. It works for me - the higher temperatures that recipes call for tend to give me too crisp outsides and undone insides. The lower temperature makes for more even baking and tender insides. - Mom

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  4. Nicole - yeah, usually I wouldn't make something like this because of the dried nonfat milk. I have a few baking recipes that call for buttermilk so I'll usually try to make a few things before it goes bad. Why don't they sell buttermilk in smaller containers?? I'm making a potato side dish with buttermilk tomorrow night at my mom's - will let you know how it turns out. For oat bran and the like, the bulk section at WF is usually great. I get tired of making the same things (I have an old standby recipe for apple oatmeal muffins that this is similar to) and when I have a new cookbook or there's a pretty picture in a magazine it motivates me to try certain recipes.

  5. I wish they sold buttermilk in smaller containers as well! But instead, I make my own. I read somewhere that all buttermilk is, is fat-free or low-fat milk with added bacteria. You can actually do this yourself without having to purchase buttermilk. For every 1/2c of milk, add a teaspoon of vinegar. I've been doing this for years and it's always worked! And it saves money since I always have milk & vinegar on hand. Just thought I'd share!
    ~Steph : )