Oat Bran Muffins:
1 cup (130 grams) whole wheat flour
1 cup (150 grams) oat bran
1/3 cup (75 grams) light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated orange zest (outer skin of orange)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup (60 ml) unsulphured molasses or mild flavored honey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/4 cup (300 ml) milk
1/2 cup (70 grams) raisins or currants
Oat Bran Muffins: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners or else spray with a nonstick vegetable spray.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, oat bran, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, and orange zest.
In another bowl whisk together the lightly beaten egg, molasses (or honey), vanilla extract, oil, and milk.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir just until moistened. Gently stir in the raisins. (The batter will be quite thin.)
Pour or ladle the batter to fill the muffin cups, and bake about 16 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.
Makes about 12 standard-sized muffins.
Oat Bran Muffins have the nutty flavors of oat bran and whole wheat flour, enhanced by brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, molasses, orange zest and raisins. This is the muffin I make when I have a real hunger that only a food rich in fiber will satisfy. Oat Bran Muffins contain both an insoluble fiber (whole wheat flour) and a soluble fiber (oat bran) which gives you that wonderful full feeling. And yet, these muffins are low in fat, just two tablespoons of canola oil for 12 muffins, so you can eat more than one and not feel guilty.
As I am sure you know, there are two types of bran muffins, wheat and oat. Both types of bran are high in fiber and minerals and both come from the outer casing of a grain, only wheat bran comes from the wheat berry, and oat bran is from the oat. In the past wheat bran muffins were the most popular, that was until the health benefits of oat bran (said to reduce blood cholesterol) started being talked about more and more. I like both wheat and oat bran muffins, and often have both on hand. You may want to try these low fat Blueberry Wheat Bran Muffins, or these Wheat Bran Muffins, that allow you to store the batter in the refrigerator for a few days so you can make muffins on demand.
Oat Bran Muffins are simple to make. It will only take about ten minutes to get the muffins into the oven. The wet ingredients are placed in one bowl, the dry ingredients in another. The wet ingredients include the choice of using either molasses or honey. Both have a soft and sticky texture which makes the muffins moist and tender, but molasses has a more robust flavor than the mild flavor of honey. Don't be surprised that when you mix the wet and dry ingredients together the batter is very thin which will cause the raisins to sink to the bottom of the muffins when baked.
A few notes on ingredients. If you are unfamiliar with whole wheat flour it is flour that is milled from the entire whole wheat berry, so it still contains its bran (fiber) and its germ (rich in oil, protein, iron and vitamins). This makes it rich in fiber and it also has a nutty toasted flavor. Oat Bran is the outer casing of the oat and, as I said above, is high in soluble fiber. When buying oat bran, make sure it is labeled "100% oat bran" with no other ingredients added. It is now readily available in most grocery stores, often located either on the cereal isle, along with the rolled oats, or in the organic food section. Another place you can find it is in health food stores.