I love muffins the way most people love cupcakes. I'll take a streusel topping over frosting any day. They're wonderful fresh out of the oven, perfect reheated on day two, fabulous when toasted on day three or grilled up as tiny French toast rounds on day four. Though often, they do not make it to day four in our household....skipping of steps may be required.
Probably my favorite type of basic muffin is the bran muffin. They have sort of a bad rap, with many people I know thinking of them as hockey pucks that promote regularity. However, when properly prepared, bran muffins are wholesome, moist, fluffy and light. They have a strong enough flavor to support many types of mix-ins and toppings. My personal favorite is plump mixed berries...who doesn't love a little sweet berry juice in the morning?
There are two ingredients that delight me to no end about this recipe. The first is bran flakes. Yes, you read that right....bran flakes. Those boxes of branny goodness that you buy and enjoy for two of three bowls before you've had your fill and are left with a half-full box cluttering up your pantry until they go stale enough to toss (personal kitchen experience). I hate wasting food, and have been playing around with bran muffin recipes to try and find a really great one. This recipe is fabulous because it does not ask for any soaking or mashing of the bran flakes, no heating and cooling and other time-consuming steps. Instead, you make an overly wet muffin mix and simply stir in the bran flakes at the end. I love easy recipes.
My other favorite hidden treat in this muffin is the coconut oil. Have you experimented with this yet? If not, I recommend you do so IMMEDIATELY! It is currently my favorite cooking fat. This heart-healthy oil has a slightly nutty and sweet flavor. It can be used as a substitute for butter or shortening in its solid form or oil in the liquid form. Coconut oil increases your metabolism and promotes healthy weight loss. Plus, it's flipping delicious. It brings a subtle flavor to the muffins that leaves you asking, "why the heck was that so good?!" Not so big that it dominates, but a wonderful addition to the overall flavor.
Delicious savory bran. Juicy bright berries. Sweet and nutty coconut. All in one quick and healthy recipe that can be mixed up while the coffee brews. Now that's a good morning.
Inspired by this Kraft Recipe
Bran Flake Mixed Berry Muffins (16-18 muffins)
- 1 1/4 c whole wheat flour
- 1/3 c white flour
- 1/2 c brown sugar
- 2 add'l tbs brown sugar (for a sweeter muffin)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/3 c fat free milk
- 2 tbs coconut oil
- 1 egg
- 3 c bran flakes
- 1 1/2 c mixed berries, fresh or frozen
- 1/4 c sweetened coconut flakes
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup of the white flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir together and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the milk, coconut oil and egg and whisk together well. In a third small bowl, toss the berries with the remaining flour until well coated.
Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir together until just moistened. Add the bran flakes and berries and gently stir together until berries and flakes are evenly distributed.
Spray muffin tins with non-stick. Fill each tin about 3/4 full of batter, about a 1/3 measuring cup scoop. Sprinkle with coconut flakes. Bake for 16-20 minutes until coconut is slightly toasted and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of a muffin. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from muffin tin. Enjoy plain or with a pat of Smart Balance (hubs preference).