Apple Cinnamon Bran Muffins

You know that cereal that looks like rabbit food? The one that old people eat when they struggle with staying regular? Unfortunately I’m not talking about Cracklin’ Oat Bran today (although that cereal is 100% the best thing ever produced by Kelloggs).

Today I’m sharing one of my favorite muffin flavors, BRAN. I don’t know if bran is actually considered a “flavor” of muffin… but either way, it’s the star in today’s recipe.

Growing up All-Bran was always in our household pantry. Over time I actually grew to love this high-fiber cereal. Although I’d get the occasional question about why I was putting rabbit food on top of my yogurt in high school… this didn’t stop me from enjoying my rabbit food from time to time.

In case you’re curious about what bran actually is… It’s one of the three components that make up a whole grain. A whole grain has all three parts of a grain – the bran, germ and endosperm

Photo credit – Harvard Chan School of Public Health

The bran is the outer layer of the grain while the germ and endosperm are located in the interior. Wheat bran, which is what All-Bran, Cracklin Oat Bran and Raisin Bran, are all derived from is just the outer layer of the grains of wheat. In addition to having B Vitamins, this part of the grain is also high in fiber. Fiber is that wonderful component in food that helps keep us regular by adding bulk to our BM’s (which is code for bowel movements friends) and allowing things to move more easily through our digestive system. Fiber can also help lower the bad cholesterol in our body and that’s why it’s considered heart healthy. Other high fiber foods besides bran include –

  • Oatmeal
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains like whole wheat bread, quinoa, popcorn and brown rice
  • Lentils
  • Beans

Adding more of these foods is a great way to increase your fiber intake, support a healthy digestive system and promote heart health. Especially if you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol in your family or a history of heart attack or stroke, eating foods high in fiber can help to lower your risk in addition to regular exercise, stress reduction and drinking alcohol in moderation.

What’s great about this muffin recipe is that it’s not loaded with sugar like those you might grab at the gas station or Starbucks. The recipe calls for a little granulated sugar but relies on cinnamon to bring out the natural sweetness of the apples!

Snacks that are loaded with sugar and low in things like fiber or protein are easily digested in our bodies. That means after eating them we can either feel hungry in under an hour or sense that our energy is starting to take a dive off the deep end. To keep our energy up and prevent that afternoon crash, fiber, protein and even fats paired with small amounts of sugar (or other carbs) can help!

This recipe is a fiber-filled breakfast or snack that will help carry you through the morning or afternoon. Pair it with some butter, peanut butter, nuts or a cheese stick and you’ll be ready to take on your day with energy that will last!

Apple Cinnamon Bran Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups All-Bran cereal (not raisin bran)
  • 1/2 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups 1% milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup chopped apple, 1/4″ pieces
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl combine All-Bran, milk and vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes until cereal is softened.
  3. Chop apple into 1/4″ pieces (they should be very small and easy to fold into the batter. If you cut them too large they will be crunchy and not soften in the oven).
  4. When cereal is soft, add egg and mix to combine.
  5. Add sugar, cinnamon, canola oil and baking powder. Mix to combine
  6. Finally add flour and mix until just combined. Fold apple pieces into the batter at this point.
  7. Using a 1/4 cup portion batter evenly into all 12 spots in the muffin tin.
  8. Bake muffins in oven for 17-20 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.
  9. Cool in tin for 10 minutes and either serve right away or continue cooling on a baking rack.
  10. To freeze – Place muffins (when fully cool) in a freezer-safe bag, removing all air and zipping it close. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  11. To store on the counter – Place muffins in an air-tight container. I’ve found that after the first day zapping these in the microwave for ~15 seconds helps to zap some life back into them (especially on day 4 or 5 on the counter)