In our home, I like to maintain at least one homemade, from scratch, baked good to have on hand for quick breakfasts and snacks at all times. When I run out, or don’t have any frozen to pull out of the freezer, I get all panicked. I know there are more pressing issues in life, but my 3 year old son likes a good snack, as do I, and I like to make sure it’s a really yummy one that he’s going to be excited to have, without realizing it’s also healthy for him at the same time.
A long time ago I set out to find, and master the perfect bran muffin. I don’t know why, but I crave them. It’s a muffin I could never grow tired of. I tried a few different recipes and I ended up combining different ingredients from a few, to make what was perfect for our little family.
So this is my version of a simple bran muffin that is a staple in our home. Incredibly easy to make, and you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry. And it’s a bit healthier than a few others I’ve made and tried. Just a small warning however! This is not a sweet muffin. It has just enough brown sugar to taste sweet-ish, but it doesn’t really have a very sweet taste. It’s just a hint. But that’s the way we like it over yonder. You can always add more brown sugar if you’d like, or even a little white sugar. Whatever floats your boat.
1 1/2 cups wheat bran
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup Avocado oil (You could sub vegetable oil or olive oil)
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Optional – blueberries, or other berry for top
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
2. Line your muffin pan with paper liners.
3. Pour buttermilk into a bowl and mix together with wheat bran. Let stand 10 minutes.
4. Mix together avocado oil, egg, brown sugar and vanilla. Set aside.
5. Stir together your flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
6. Pour buttermilk/bran mixture into wet mixture bowl until combined.
7. Add dry ingredients into the wet ingredients bowl and mix gently, until just combined.
8. Spoon batter into muffin liners – about ¾ full each. This should be exactly enough batter for 12 muffins. You can leave them like this, or add a few berries on top. I usually go for blueberries.
9. Bake in your preheated oven for 20 minutes +/- until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
10. Cool on a baking rack. Eat.
Here’s an easy step by step:
Preheat your oven and line your muffin tin with paper liners. If you’re lucky, you have a tiny little sous chef helping you out. And a blue lizard. Can’t forget him.
I never buy buttermilk. If you do, then just pour it in your measuring cup and run to the next step like a mad woman running the ‘Amazing Race’. You just beat me and almost every other person alive. But seriously, if you are like me, just make it yourself. Pour your cup of milk into a measuring cup and add about ¾ of a tablespoon of white vinegar. Or if you’re really like me, you just quickly splash a little in. I’m wild like that. But either way, it’s instant buttermilk. You probably already knew that quick, golden oldie from your Grandma’s kitchen (I actually did learn that from my Omi!), but if not, there’s your “you learned something new” for today.
Measure out your wheat bran. This is the brand I use and I have found it to be very good with everything I’ve made.
Add it to your milk, stir it up so it’s all saturated with the milk, and set it aside for about 10 minutes.
Run out to your chicken coop and grab an egg from a nest. Or your fridge. Mine is fresh from the coop, hence the orange yolk. Yum!
Add your brown sugar.
Then your pure vanilla extract.
And your avocado oil (Or vegetable oil, or even olive oil – either will also work).
Whisk your wet ingredients together. Or in my case, I watch my son do it for me. He’s just so good at it! Then set it aside and grab your dry ingredients.
Flour into the bowl.
A little salt.
A little baking powder.
And a little baking soda. Stir those 4 ingredients together.
Grab your wet ingredient bowl and pour out the buttermilk and bran mixture into it. Stir until just combined.
Then grab your dry ingredients and slowly pour that in, stirring gently, until just combined.
If you are worried about quality control here, I might be able to lend you our blue lizard. He was within inches of each step. Just watching. And waiting.
It should come together like this.
Spoon your batter into each muffin liner about ¾ full, or so. This is exactly enough batter for 12 muffins.
You could go ahead and bake them just like that, but we like blueberries on top of our muffins. They look a little prettier somehow. So Judah got to work and I gave him the green light to make them look exactly how he wanted.
The blue lizard watched in awe.
My boy is amazing. I love how they look. Into the oven these went. In my oven, they bake exactly 20 minutes, on 375 degrees.
I swear though, this lizard just didn’t quit. I’m all about teaching, but this is just creepy.
They came out great. The blueberries move around a bit as they rise and space out beautifully, without sinking.
Good job Judah. Mama is always so proud of you.
Let them cool on a baking rack.
Or if you’re like me, I wait about 5 minutes, if that, before cutting one in half and putting salted butter on it. I’m sure the butter makes it a little less heart healthy, but it’s so good.
These are Judah’s favorite baked good, and it makes me happy that it’s not full of sugar, not processed, and we know the simple ingredients inside of it. Like anything made at home, it takes a little time, but the effort is always worth it.
– The Homesteaders Wife