As I've mentioned in previous posts, Octavian doesn't really like to eat carbs. He loves all meat and fruit, but, bread? no way! He's also prone to constipation and on days that he does not drink enough fluids, I know we may be in for tummy trouble. While I can bribe him to drink more water with a couple ounces of added prune juice or a new sippy cup, getting him to eat healthy fibrous grains is virtually impossible (he won't eat the bad carbs either). And even though he eats tons of fruit, sometimes that isn't enough. So, a few months ago I set out to make the perfect healthy and delicious bran muffin. And, since Octavian can never seem to get enough blueberries, I thought I would make them (very) blueberry bran muffins.
I would love to say that he just gobbled them right up, but my kid does not fall prey to food trickery. All he could see were the juicy blueberries begging to be picked out of the muffin and I immediately knew that he would not eat any of the muffin part. Thankfully, my efforts were not a complete waste. In walks my husband and it was love at first sight. No, seriously, my husband is in love with these muffins! I wanted to make a nice breakfast for him on Father's Day (waffles, hash-browns, all that good stuff), but instead he requested bran muffins. I've made some adjustments each time I bake them, and we unanimously agree that this has been the best batch. And if you have a toddler at home, don't lose all hope- I have offered them at play dates to other little kids without a complete carbohydrate aversion and they were a hit.
After weeks of begging, I finally made him his muffins again this weekend. This time, I decided to write down the recipe and stash it away for safe keeping. Since they turned out so well, I thought I would share the recipe with you! My apologies for the less than amazing photos- I never set up a work space in the new house and my sweet obedient child kept trying to grab the muffins and the "ba-ba's" off the table.
These muffins are packed full of bran, yogurt, buttermilk, bananas and all sorts of other yummy goodies. The key is soaking the bran mix with the yogurt, buttermilk and vanilla extract and allowing it to sit while you prepare the remaining ingredients. This helps prevent the muffins from turning out too dry (I've made them both ways. soaked is definitely better). They are sweetened with bananas, molasses and honey, ensuring just the right amount of sweetness. My favorite added ingredient is a blend of flax and chia seeds- I put the stuff in just about everything and baked goods are no exception.
Blueberry Buttermilk Bran Muffins:
Yields: 18 muffins
1.5 cups oat bran
1/5 cup wheat bran
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup plain yogurt of choice
3 large very ripe bananas, mashed
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup flax and chia seed blend
2 tsp. coconut oil (melted and cooled slightly)
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup honey
2.5 cups frozen blueberries
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and coat 18 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray (since this recipe makes 18 muffins, you will need to bake in two batches or have two trays).
2. In a medium bowl, stir together the oat bran, wheat bran, yogurt, buttermilk and vanilla. In a separate, smaller bowl, mash the bananas and add them to the bran mixture. Set aside and allow to soak while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
3. Reserving 1 tbsp. of whole wheat flour, whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and flax/chia seed blend in a separate bowl. In a third larger bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, eggs, honey and molasses. Mix in the bran mixture. Add the flour mixture and stir until just incorporated (no need to over stir here).
4. With the remaining 1 tbsp of flour, toss in the blueberries so they are covered completely. Gently fold blueberries into the batter.
5. Divide the batter into the prepared muffin cups and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (Keep in mind all oven times vary) Allow to cool in the pan before transferring muffins to a wire rack.
Notes: If you don't have any buttermilk on hand, simply add 1 tsp. vinegar or lemon juice to 1/3 cup filled with milk of choice.
Recipe adapted from this recipe.