I’m not a huge fan of blogs that are only about cooking. Don’t get me wrong. I love to bake, and there’s nothing quite so enchanting as seeing a Nikon zoom into a bowl of flour and watching frame-by-frame as the butter is mixed in. There goes the sugar. Is that unbaked dough? Are those hands molding it into the shape of bread? Riveting. But sometimes food is just so important that you need to talk about it. Like bran muffins. Let’s discuss.
Bran muffins are usually reserved for the advanced-in-age-crowd with intestinal blockages. That little raisin-dotted hockey puck acts like a snowplow, dragging its cardboard-tasting self through your colon for a thorough Spring cleaning. It’s the muffin that’s left at Starbucks after the others have gone. It’s the muffin at a conference room breakfast buffet that you pass up for the crappy plain bagel. It’s unloved.
But fiber is good for all ages, and I just knew there was a bran muffin recipe out there that didn’t taste like wood shavings. So I searched online and baked and adapted, and came up with the following. I decided to rename these muffins “really tasty blueberry banana muffins,” considering the negative PR associated with bran. It’s our little secret.
So in essence, you mix the ingredients below in a large bowl in no specific order, in between warming up your lukewarm coffee and changing diapers, and then spoon the chunky mess into muffin tins and bake at 375 degrees until they seem done. I promise – no pictures of my grungy hands dripping the batter into my beat-up muffin pans. You can imagine.
Really Tasty Blueberry Banana Muffins
(Not bran. Don’t call them bran or your family will rush out for donuts. Stress the really tasty part. Enunciate blueberry)
1 1/2 cups All-Bran buds (it looks like dog food, but it’s actually not)
1 cup buttermilk (this gives it a wonderful flavor)
1/3 cup vegetable oil (please don’t sub in applesauce. You’re making healthy bran muffins for crying out loud. Live a little)
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (I just pour a splash in. Use your judgment)
A few shakes of cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 banana – all mashed up with a fork
1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
You will be surprised at the looks on your family’s face when they eat them. No one throws up. No one says “I’ll have that cheese danish instead, thanks.” There actually is no cheese danish offered, which makes that last part work out so well.
Finally – a bran muffin that’s worthy of love. You might eat so many you’ll send your husband to the grocery store for more toilet paper. But whatever you do, don’t give up on healthy food. Just tweak it and re-make it and rediscover ways to make boring things taste wonderful. Even if that means changing the name. Even if it means an extra tablespoon of sugar or nuts or berries. Even if it means telling your kids it’s really tasty. Because it is. Trust me on this. Even your colon will thank you.