Grandma’s Healthy Bran Muffins
Wholesome, healthy bran muffins inspired by my Grandma! These muffins are made with whole grains, blackstrap molasses and applesauce; they’re the perfect on-the-go breakfast or snack and are freezer friendly.
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Welcome to #AKMuffinWeek! As most of you know, I’ve been busting out healthy muffin recipes on the internets since 2011. Call me a muffin addict, the muffin queen or just the muffin woman. Whatever the name, there’s no such thing as too many muffins.
While muffins are my specialty, they also so happen to be my Grandma Gloria’s favorite thing to bake. Before my Grandfather passed away a few years ago, she used to always bake him batches of muffins for snacking. They were two peas in a pod. We still miss Grandpa to this day but remember his through little things and by keeping his memory alive.
My Grandfather’s absolute favorite muffins were banana nut, but he also LOVED my Grandma’s famous healthy bran muffins. I asked her for the recipe a few months ago and finally she gave it to me. They’re tall, hearty, full of flavor and the ultimate muffin to spread with whatever topping you like. Grandpa loved honey and butter, but I adore peanut butter and jam.
For those of you who don’t know the infamous Gloria, she’s my wonderful spirited, sassy grandmother. She’s Puerto Rican, so much of the food she cooks tends to be Spanish inspired. My Nana (Great Grandmother) taught her how to cook everything from scratch when she was a young girl. Ever since then, it’s been one of her favorite things to do.
When my Grandma isn’t making homemade pozole, empanadas, and arroz con pollo, she is usually baking muffins the size of my face. Seriously give her a half hour and she’ll make you an incredible meal, but provide her with a couple of hours and you’ll have a masterpiece to eat. She treats every meal she makes with affection, putting the utmost love into her creations — it’s an extraordinary quality. She pours her soul into stews and she throws her spice for life into spanish rice. Cooking is like an expression to her, and everything is always made with love.
These muffins are made with super wholesome ingredients so let’s chat about the ones I’d like to highlight:
Whole wheat pastry flour is used. My favorite kind is from Bob’s Red Mill. You could also use white whole wheat flour with great results.
Wheat bran provides a good amount of fiber, but I’m certain you could also use oat bran if that’s what you have available. You can purchase wheat bran here, as sometimes it can be tricky to find.
Applesauce: This helps to add moisture to the muffins. I think using mashed banana would also work well.
Blackstrap molasses: I didn’t realize how nutritious blackstrap molasses was until I started using it a few years ago. In fact, it’s healthiest form of molasses and contains the most vitamins and nutrients. Plus, the blackstrap molasses adds so much delicious flavor to these muffins — they almost taste like gingerbread muffins. Also, did you know that 1 tablespoon of molasses provides nearly 20% of your daily iron needs + a good amount of potassium and magnesium? I’m NOW obsessed.
Virgin coconut oil: I love using virgin coconut oil for flavor and to keep this recipe dairy free. However, you can also use melted butter or vegan butter.
MORE NUTRITION ON THESE HEALTHY BRAN MUFFINS: They provide 5g of fiber, nearly 5g of protein and 10% of your daily iron needs! Add a little nut butter on top for a super healthy filling snack.
I hope you love these muffins and bake them for someone you care for. They won’t last long! If you make this recipe, be sure to rate the recipe below and leave a comment below! You can also upload a photo to Instagram and use the hashtag #ambitiouskitchen.
Excited to see what you create – xo!
More healthy muffin recipes to try:
Grandma's Healthy Bran Muffins
- Dry Ingredients
- 1 cup wheat bran
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Wet ingredients
- ¼ cup brown sugar (or sub coconut sugar)
- ¼ cup blackstrap molasses
- ⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ⅓ cup melted and cooled coconut oil (or melted butter)
- Optional add ins if you like:
- ½ cup raisins
- ¾ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with only 10 liners and spray the inside of them with nonstick cooking spray -- DO NOT SKIP THIS.
In a large bowl mix together brown sugar, molasses, applesauce, eggs, almond milk, apple cider vinegar until well combined, smooth and creamy.
In a separate large bowl mix together dry ingredients: wheat bran, whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix with a spatula until just combined. Stir in melted and cooled coconut oil, mixing again until just combined.
Divide batter evenly into 10 muffin liners and bake for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Cool muffins for 5 minutes then remove and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Muffins are best served warm with a little butter on top.
TO MAKE VEGAN: Use two flax eggs instead of regular eggs (2 tablespoons flaxseed meal mixed with 6 tablespoons cold water).
TO MAKE GLUTEN FREE: I have not tried to make these muffins gluten free. It kind of defeats the point of a bran muffin. However, I do think you could sub all purpose flour or chickpea flour for the whole wheat pastry flour if you are looking for a flour alternative.
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