I loved raisin bran as a teenager; I’d graduated from the sugary stuff and felt quite healthy and mature eating a cereal that touted nutrition. While meandering the organic aisle one day at the grocery store I saw a Bob’s Red Mill bag of “wheat bran”, which is the outer shell of the wheat kernel, removed during processing to make “white flour”. The bran holds most of the fiber and a lot of minerals; a whole bag of the stuff? Nice. You can cook it up like oatmeal but it’s fairly gritty – I like it best added to yogurt and cereal the same way I add ground flax, wheat germ or chia seeds. Needless to say I usually have a bag on hand, and you can’t make bran muffins without it so I suggest you get some!
I saw this muffin recipe in my King Arthur Cookbook and as I scanned the ingredients, I realized I didn’t have to swap much to make them family-ready. Though I kept the amount of sugar the same as printed, next time I make them I will reduce it to 1/3 cup as they were nice and sweet (if you’re new to healthy baking, keep the sugar the same). My husband ate 5 and my daughter one before I hid them; we were having friends over the next morning and as it turned out, we ran out anyways.
Some swaps – you can use all buttermilk or milk in place of the sour cream, and though they might not be as moist you can swap butter or coconut oil for the vegetable oil. Only have regular whole wheat flour? Fine, they just might be a bit denser. Ok so want to know the deal with white whole wheat? It’s AS HEALTHY as the regular kind. It’s made from a different wheat variety but since they use the whole wheat kernel, it’s WHOLE WHEAT nonetheless. The resulting baked goods are a bit lighter in color and texture, which is a total win! It’s all I buy now for my whole wheat flour. Ok, that’s all, bake on!
Raisin Bran Muffins
Adapted from the King Arthur Cookbook
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. reduced fat or lowfat milk
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. molasses
1/2 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. wheat bran
1/2 c. old fashioned oats
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/4 c. white whole wheat flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 c. raisins
1. In a large or medium mixing bowl, whisk sour cream, milk, oil, eggs, molasses and brown sugar until blended. Stir in wheat bran and oats and set aside for fifteen minutes.
2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees and line muffin pan with liners.
3. Whisk cinnamon, salt, flour, baking powder and raisins in a smaller mixing bowl. Add to milk mixture and fold gently until just combined. Transfer to muffin pan, filling each hole almost to the top.
4. Bake for 14-18 minutes (mine took 16) or until set. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.