I don’t cook Ina Garten‘s recipes that often because they tend to be way too rich (says she who recently baked a cake with a few hundred calories per bite.. ;-)). But these muffins have just the right amount of indulgence, well balanced by all their healthy components: unprocessed bran, fruits, and nuts. I am always happy when I find a good recipe for bran muffins, Phil’s favorite ways to start the day: one of these babies, warmed up slightly in the oven, next to a steaming cup of cappuccino.
CHUNKY BANANA BRAN MUFFINS
(adapted from Ina Garten, FoodTV Network)
1 cup unprocessed wheat bran
1 cup buttermilk (shaken)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 + 1/2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 + 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup mixed dried raisins, blueberries, cranberries
1 cup large-diced bananas
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place paper liners into a muffin tin.
Combine the bran and buttermilk and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time. Scrape the bowl and then add the molasses, agave nectar, orange zest, and vanilla. (The mixture will look curdled.) Add the bran/buttermilk mixture and combine.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the batter just until combined. Fold in the dried fruits, bananas and walnuts with a rubber spatula.
Fill the muffin cups to the top and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: Most recipes of this type call for over-ripe bananas, all brown and mushy. In this recipe, Ina used bananas that were good enough to eat as a fruit, ripe, but not falling apart at all. I was a bit intrigued, but followed her lead. Verdict: not only it works, but it’s probably what makes these muffins quite special, the little morsels of concentrated banana flavor.
Phil gave his seal of approval to the recipe, so all you bran muffin lovers can go ahead and give it a shot. 😉
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