I am not much of a sit-down-and-eat-breakfast type person. I love sit-down-breakfasts, but in the real world I just don't plan out enough time. I want as much sleep as I can get before leaving the house for the day. I usually grab something on the run and eat it as I head out or after I get to work with my hot green tea. The past few weeks I have been perfecting a recipe for healthy muffins. This recipe actually came about by combining the better parts of three different recipes. I finally have the consistency, sweetness, and taste down to where I really like them. Since these muffins have bran in them, they are not light and fluffy, but they aren't too heavy either. The sweetness is light, but you can always make them sweeter if you like.
Nutritious Oatmeal Bran Muffins
Whisk together the following dry ingredients:
3/4 cup Oat Bran
3/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup Rolled Oats
1/2 cup Brown Sugar, packed
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
In a separate bowl, whisk together the following wet ingredients:
1/2 cup Plain Yogurt
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 cup Milk
1/2 tsp Vanilla
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just moistened.
Fold in the following add-ins:
1/3 cup Dried Sour Cherries
1/3 cup Toasted Walnuts
1/3 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
Fill muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Makes 10-12 muffins.
I know, I know! Chocolate Chips aren't healthy!! My excuse is that Dark Chocolate has antioxidants that your body needs and is really good for you in moderation. This is your moderation for the day.
Seriously, you can change the three add-ins to whatever you would like: Raisins, Dried Cranberries, Fresh Blueberries, or Banana for the fruits. Any type of nuts you choose...or no nuts if that's not your thing. Coconut might be nice. You could try white chocolate, peanut butter, or milk chocolate chips.
These are some notes about some of the ingredients:
Oat Bran - You can find this on the cereal aisle where the hot cereal is located. Sometimes it is called Oat Bran Cereal. You can substitute wheat bran if you like. I like the milder flavor of the oat bran. Be sure to freeze this ingredient if you aren't going to use it in a few weeks. It will go rank and spoil if you don't.
Rolled Oats - I wanted oatmeal in these muffins besides the oat bran. I used the old-fashioned rolled oats instead of the quick-cooking oats. It takes your body longer to digest the rolled oats since they have not yet been processed. The harder something is to digest, the better it is for your digestive system and the slower the sugar gets into your system (glycemic index). Feel free to use quick cooking oats if that is all you have.
Plain Yogurt - You could substitute sour cream, but then it wouldn't be as nutritious! Plain Yogurt is a great substitute for sour cream in most recipes and can also take the place of buttermilk. I buy a large tub and cook with it often. It doesn't spoil too easily and will last for a few weeks.
Toasted Walnuts - I do toast my nuts before putting them into the recipe. It really brings out the flavor. I chop the nuts and throw them in a dry skillet over medium heat for just a few minutes. Shake the pan occasionally to keep them from burning on one side. When you start smelling them, they are done. Hint: I buy a huge bag of walnuts at Sam's and keep them in the freezer. I take out a frozen handful, chop them, and then toast them.