I think you either love the texture of a bran muffin or you hate it. I, personally, LOVE it!!! When I saw this recipe in Cooking Light I knew I had to make it. The dates simmered in fresh squeezed orange juice, as well as the mashed banana, in place of any sugar really intrigued me. Cooking Light said they are 170 calories each and pack nearly 30% of your daily fiber. Hey, that's not too bad. These muffins are very delicious (I already ate two and I'm jonesin' for another right now). Next time I make them I will try one of the add-in ideas to spice them even further.
If you are a fan of bran, give these a try! Enjoy!
1 3/4 cups wheat bran
1 cup whole pitted dates
3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mashed banana, about one medium
2 Tbl butter, melted
2 Tbl canola oil <I used coconut oil>
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
Other add-in ideas (or leave them as is):
- 1 cup grated carrots & 1/2 cup chopped walnuts OR
- 1 grated zucchini OR
- 1/2 blueberries & 1/2 cup sunflower seeds OR
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F
Spread bran on a baking sheet. Bake at 350F for 8 to 10 minutes <I only did 7 minutes> or until lightly browned, stirring once.
Combine dates and orange juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 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.
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 lingers in muffin cups; coat liners with cooking spray. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake at 350F 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.