Sunday, April 7, 2013

Minnie's Bran Muffins

Bran muffin ingredients
I've always known that bran muffins were good for you, but I didn't know until recently, when browsing through Grandma Minnie's handwritten notebook of recipes, that she was probably baking them almost a hundred years ago.

Bran is the hard outer layer of a grain such as wheat or oats, and it is good for you because it contains lots of fiber, as well as protein, vitamins, and minerals. For those of us trying to control our weight or blood pressure, it is low in fat, contains no cholesterol, no sugar, and no sodium.*

Minnie's recipe (below) is quite simple:

Like most of her recipes, it is merely a list of ingredients, with no information about what steps to follow, or how long and at what temperature to bake the muffins. Notice also that there are no eggs or oil. The only moisture comes from the milk and molasses. In trying it out, I cut the recipe in half, which made a dozen muffins, and the only other item I added that was not on Minnie's list was a third of a cup of raisins.

Minnie's Bran Muffins

- 2 cups wheat bran
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- a pinch of salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1/3 cup raisins

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, stir the flour mixture into the bran until well mixed.
Add alternately the milk and molasses; stir in the raisins.
Pour into greased or lined muffin tins.
Bake at 350 F. for 15 to 18 minutes. 

Although the muffins were a bit denser than muffins from the bakery, they were healthy and tasty, and they disappeared quickly from the Sunday brunch table. Enjoy!

Minnie's Bran Muffins

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*Note:  Although bran is usually thought of as a healthy food, people who are sensitive or allergic to gluten should avoid wheat bran or other foods which contain gluten.

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