These were a lovely surprise.
I hadn’t done a banana-bran combination before. Well, sort of. I’d tried these Banana-Nut Oat Bran Muffins but that was oat bran instead of wheat bran and they didn’t have real flour in them and while some people liked them, I wouldn’t make them again. So they don’t count.
But I had some brown bananas sitting around, even after making my Chai Spiced Banana Muffins, and I had a hankering for something new. I also had some buttermilk to use up, and liked that this recipe looked pretty healthy but still adaptable, plus it looked like I’d get some mini muffins out of the deal as well, which are always fun. I had a new 12-cup mini muffin pan I hadn’t used yet, so that was another reason to give it a shot. And finally, the recipe came from a site called The Baker’s Nuts. And yes, the Baker is a dude. And he’s Canadian, like me! And he made these for his mom. What more could I ask for in a banana bran muffin, but a funny Canadian baker who adapted a recipe on Mother’s Day? I donned my apron, rolled up my sleeves, and dug in.
Dry ingredients first. wheat bran, whole wheat white flour, wheat germ, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. I increased the cinnamon and nutmeg and then added a quarter teaspoon of allspice, for fun.
Next up, the mashing of the bananas. It’s sort of like the running of the bulls, without the bulls or the running.
And then, the beating of the eggs. Also like the running of the bulls without the bulls in the exact same way.
Beaten eggs were added to mashed bananas. No bulls were involved.
Finally, I added yogurt (instead of applesauce), and vanilla. I whisked.
The next three photos illustrate the obvious next steps: the pouring of the dry ingredients, and the gentle stirring that led to proper incorporation…and delicious batter.
But there was one thing missing. Mini chocolate chips.
I scooped the batter into muffin tins, getting 12 full size muffins plus 9 of the mini muffins. I think this mini muffin tin is a little deeper than my other one, and I like it better that way. I also took the opportunity to try out my new coconut oil spray, substituting for my tried & true Baker’s Joy.
The big ones took a while to bake through. I started checking them at 15 minutes, but they weren’t done until a full 22 minutes had gone by. The mini muffins took 12 minutes, being mini and all.
They looked and smelled great when they were done. Nice rounded tops, too.
Bottom line: delicious. Substantial, flavorful, sweet without being over-the-top, and ideal to wake up to. The bananas softened the bran, in a way, taking away the grainy texture (which isn’t unpleasant, just bran-specific) and giving it more substance. The spices blended in nicely, the chocolate chips added a sweetness that were a good match for the banana, combining beautifully.
Another win for the breakfast team, clocking in at 4 P+ on Weight Watchers, too.
LOW FAT BANANA BRAN MUFFINS RECIPE (original)
My version of Banana Bran Muffins with Mini Chocolate Chips (adapted from The Baker’s Nuts)
1 1/2 cups wheat bran
2/3 cup whole wheat white flour
1/3 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed bananas (2 large or 3 medium)2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup 1% buttermilk
1/2 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
Heat oven to 425 and spray or line a 12-cup muffin tin and a mini muffin tin. (You could also make a few more full size muffins, or a mini loaf, if you prefer.)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the wheat bran, flour, wheat germ, sugar, baking soda, spices, and salt.
In a large bowl, mash up the bananas. Add the eggs, buttermilk, yogurt, and vanilla and whisk vigorously until thoroughly mixed.
Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and stir just until combined, then fold in the mini chocolate chips.
Scoop into muffin tins and reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees, then bake the large muffins for 18-20 minutes and the smaller ones for 10-13 minutes.
Let sit in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Share with friends. They will thank you. (Mine did.)