Pumpkin Cranberry Bran Muffins

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It’s a super rainy/snowy day in Michigan, one of those days when the only way you can describe your feeling about the weather is, “yuck.” Something about this weather makes me crave cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger… all those homey baking spices that fill your home with delicious smells.

These healthy-ish muffins are perfect for this weather. I added streusel for the added cinnamon (and because I had some already made in my fridge), but if you leave it off these could be some of the healthiest muffins around.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t know anything about bran until I started researching for this post. So maybe it’s common knowledge that bran is the husk of grains like wheat, oats, rice etc… but I didn’t study grain anatomy, so I thought that was pretty awesome. Bran is technically a byproduct in grain production, and it was discarded for many years until the early 1970’s when it’s health benefits were discovered.

Bran is most well known for its fiber. Even beans (the magical fruit) can’t beat bran – one cup of navy beans provides 76% of daily fiber, one cup of wheat bran provides 99%. It’s also super filling, I think this is the first time I’ve had one muffin for breakfast and lasted all the way to lunch without even thinking about a snack. So make some muffins and get your fiber!

Pumpkin Cranberry Bran Muffins

Makes 12 standard size muffins

3/4 cup wheat bran

2/3 cup wheat flour

2/3 cup AP flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2/3 cup pumpkin puree

1 egg

1 1/4 cup milk (any kind you choose) + 1 tsp vinegar, or 1 1/4 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 Tbsp molasses

1/2 cup dried cranberries

Topping of your choice (or not): streusel, walnuts, almonds, turbinado sugar

 

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Combine dry ingredients (flours, bran, salt, powder, soda and spices) and set aside, then whisk together wet ingredients (brown sugar, vanilla, pumpkin, egg, milk, oil and molasses).

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Combine the wet and dry and add the cranberries. I know, it doesn’t exactly look appetizing at this stage… just try to forget about that.

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Spray a standard muffin tin and equally distribute the batter in all 12 wells (I used a 2″ ice cream scoop). Top with whatever you choose.

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Bake 20-23 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack.

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Eat these for breakfast, snacks, dessert…. bran is awesome.

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Leroy thinks so too.

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