Blueberry Banana Bran Muffins…Finally

A promise to you.  i will not pretend to be a chef.  These people are highly skilled at most aspects of food preparation.  Most of the ones i know need to be business managers, as well.  Not to mention being able to accurately prepare dishes under enormous pressure.  I am no chef.

i am a home cook.  We raised eight children and they were ravenous little buggers.  My first post in food fills things in, i think.  And i think we also learn from our failures, so in keeping with my principles, i will not lie to you.  If a recipe does not turn out, due to my fault or the recipe, i will share my experiences.  Others benefit that way…i will be honest.  There you go.

i ate lots of fibre for most of my life.  Prevention magazine and other publications i read extolled the benefits of fibre.  i would eat raw oatmeal with milk and brown sugar before school as a teenager.  i know.  it kept me full until lunch and i don’t think we had a microwave.  You’ve probably eaten ramen noodles without cooking.  It’s supposed to be bad for you.  i lived through it, like many other things.

i moved out just before my 18th birthday.  Still, with all the partying and poor food choices i was making at other times (hoagies from 7-11 and, of course, McD), i ate Raisin Bran every morning for breakfast.  Gotta have healthy bowels.

I eat fibre still, but anyone who knows me will tell you i love my meat and potatoes.  i have a smoker that runs pretty much all summer long.  i bbq.  i cook meat.  i should be, well, full of shit resist).  Fibre fixes things so they run smoothly, right?

Well….it turns out, as with many things nutritional, that it may not be healthy to cram your bowels full of fibre.  Here is a source…guy who butts heads with the medical establishment all the time, writes books, and makes a lot more money than i do.  That said, i do not think he is correct nor do i support his views.  But in the interest of science, here is his link:   http://www.drbriffa.com/2010/12/28/think-bran-is-good-for-the-bowels-think-again/

and, if you like Atkins, you may want to think again:   http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-22145709

My philosophy?  Moderation in all things.  Eat fibre, of course.  Most of the medical establishment supports that, so, yeah…ok.  And if you want to carry around a colon full of fibre all day, by all means, go ahead.  i’m not a doctor.  Always remember that.

Regardless, these are kick-ass muffins!  People really love them and they provide a lot of fibre and nutrition.  Trust me.  Lots of fibre.  If you do not eat a lot of fibre, it is usually not advisable to break in the system with four or five muffins.  Especially at my age.  No one listens, but you have been warned.

And read the recipe BEFORE you begin.  The french term, i believe is “mise en place”, which loosely translated means, “get your shit together before you start.”  I need to do this for memory reasons, but it is a good habit to adopt.  The ess you need to run around looking for things, the better your end product, i think.   This is a cool article on the term:   https://skillet.lifehacker.com/how-and-when-to-use-mise-en-place-1819188676

INGREDIENTS

2 large eggs

2/3 cup packed Demerara sugar (or use light brown sugar and add a tablespoon of molasses)

1 cup mashed ripe bananas, (2 medium)

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup unprocessed wheat bran (or other type of bran, such as oat)

1/4 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 3/4 cup  of flour…I use about half all-purpose and and then add a few ground almonds or another kind of flour like oat or quinoa)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or whatever other spices you like, such as a 1/4 teaspoon cloves, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, etc…warm spices are nicer…you can add less or more according to your tastes, but remember the flavours will increase as the muffins cook  (i buy most of my spices whole and grind them, and then measure them…the remainder can be stored in a container in a cool place try it…it is aromatherapy at its best)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup frozen blueberries (buy them in frozen food…the big ones are too big, especially since you will not likely make huge muffins… lol) tossed in 2 tbsp all-purpose flour (toss them right before you mix them in…the flour stops the blueberries from “bleeding out” into the muffins.

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 6 large muffin cups (or 12 smaller ones) with cooking spray…mine are non-stick which is easier…that spray…i do not like that spray)

2. Whisk eggs and brown sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Whisk in bananas, buttermilk, wheat bran, oil and vanilla. (this adds air, so make sure you mix it thoroughly, scraping the sides and bottom)

3. Whisk flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.

Make a well in the dry ingredients; add the wet ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. DO NOT OVERMIX!  (or your muffins will have no tunnels and will be mushy…the ingredients should be barely mixed, visible flour is fine…add your floured blueberries and mix in (not too much…just until mixed.  (i confess i add a few too many blueberries)

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups (they’ll be quite full…mine are. at least).  Notice if any of the cups are empty, fill to about 2/3 full…this gives even heat.  i pop the door once in a while to let some steam out, as i find it can interfere with browning.

4. Bake the muffins until the tops are golden brown and spring back when touched lightly, 35-40 minutes. If the tops start browning too soon place a piece of foil on top and lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees.  They are best when they are a nice, deep brown.

 

5. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Loosen edges and turnmuffins out onto a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.  If you freeze them, freeze them on a tray overnight and then put them in baggies.  This will help solve frost problems in the bags.

A nice breakfast with butter or jam.

Happy baking!

Fibrous John

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