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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21 thoughts on “INA GARTEN’S BANANA BRAN MUFFINS”
Mmm… these muffins sound so yummy and hearty Sally. I like the addition of wheat bran to the AP flour and the molasses is a very interesting touch – do you use blackstrap? The buttermilk also sounds delicious… so many great things going on here! I’m with Phil – enjoy warmed up with a steaming cappuccino!!
Kelly, I did not use blackstrap, they only had one kind at the grocery store, and was unsulphured, Grandma’s molasses brand. I had blackstrap in L.A. but left it behind, too messy to risk bringing it all the way here 😉
Smart move. I moved a jar of molasses once. It was a disaster! 😉
I love the use of molasses and orange. I bet these taste wonderful. I don’t like overly sweet muffins.
Same here… I think including the cranberries also made them better, they help cut the sweetness
These muffins look tasty – and I like the use of fresher bananas. Yum!
I am thinking that next time I make a banana bread, I’ll include chunks of fresher bananas together with the mushy ones. Might work well…
I have a banana bran muffin recipe but I think it’s going out the window as this one has more exciting stuff in it. Is it alomst a bit hummingbird cake like to eat?
Hope you try them, Aimee… love the “clevermuffin” 😉
This is a healthy recipe for Ina! I like the idea of the not too mushy bananas too. Now, I wish I had some of these sitting here for breakfast this morning!
Isn’t that so? Only 4 tablespoons of butter! Usually her recipes start with two sticks inside a Kitchen Aid bowl… and next comes sour cream, heavy cream… 🙂
I smiled to read that Phil approved of these! I too shy away from Ina’s baking, but love that lady and her recipes! This sounds like a wonderful, healthy breakfast treat and also something I could take on a bike ride. Thanks for stopping by my blog; I’m looking forward to visiting you often!
perfect for bike rides indeed – bran muffins seem to hold their shape and take a lot more abuse than the regular, sweeter ones.
The muffins look handsome, wholesome, and awsome.
They are probably not going to please people into real sweet stuff, but even bran-haters might enjoy them. Lots of flavor, and moisture in these.
This really was a healthy recipe for Ina. I’m always on the search for something to serve my health conscious guests in the morning. I think that they would really enjoy these and bran muffins have always been one of my favorites. Can’t wait to give this recipe a try.
Healthy for Ina! That is so true…. she is a wonderful cook, but sometimes I think she should set an example and streamline her recipes a little.
love a more substantial muffin..the fluffy light ones often don’t hit the spot..jane
Nice! I like the orange and molasses as extra flavor components. The banana chunks are a great idea.
Hi Sally! Made these yesterday, and I loved them! Best bran muffin I’ve had in ages, and, to me, it ranks right up there with the best muffins I’ve had with or without bran. Thanks for posting this.
I used a combo of raisins and dried cranberries. Didn’t have any blueberries on hand. Left out the walnuts, as I have a picky, anti-nutter in the house.
Funny thing is, I’m the only one in the house who liked them. The other three disliked exactly what I loved about them. Go figure! They didn’t like the chunky banana and the taste of the bran. I loved the chunky texture and can’t wait to add nuts and blueberries next time, since I’m the only one enjoying these babies. I think I’ll try a tropical mix of dried fruit next time.
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