Saturday, February 11, 2012

Best Bran Muffins

bran muffins, fresh out of the oven

I am generally very suspicious of recipes that claim to be the "best" anything, since taste is so subjective and there are invariably going to be several hundred other "best" recipes of the same thing out there. Yet here I am, claiming to have found the "best" bran muffins. And they are. In my own humble opinion.

When I took my first bite of one of these - warm and steaming, fresh out of the oven - it was...almost religious. I might have seen Jesus. But I don't remember - the deliciousness of the muffin eclipsed all else that was going on in that moment. The muffin tasted so amazing that, almost immediately after finishing the first, I inhaled another one, then began to frantically text my friend about the muffins, multiple times. And then I may have danced.

It was a beautiful moment.

So now I wish to share this recipe with you, that it may bring beautiful moments, moments of foodgasmic quality, into your life. Make these muffins. I'm telling you - foodgasmic. Real words don't suffice.

Bran Muffins
Adapted from David Lebovitz.
These muffins are so moist and delicious - plain or with a dab of butter, they make a wonderful mid morning or afternoon snack!

2 cups Wheat or Spelt Bran
1 cup Chopped Dates
1/2 cup Water
2 cups Buttermilk or Plain Low- or Non-fat Yogurt
1 tsp Orange Zest
1/4 - 1/2 cup Packed Brown Sugar (depending on how sweet you like your muffins)
1/2 cup Coconut Oil (or other vegetable oil)
2 Eggs
3/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt

Optional: 1/2 cup raisins, cranberries, toasted nuts, shredded coconut (or anything else you fancy)

Makes 12 - 16.

spelt bran, b&wmuffins in progress

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners, or grease each muffin indentation with butter or oil.

2. Spread bran on a baking sheet and toast for 6 - 10 minutes, stirring at least once. Once toasted, let cool.

3. While bran is toasting, heat chopped dates with the water in a pot over medium-high heat, bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer until all the water has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. If using coconut oil, stir in to melt, then puree the entire mixture in the blender or food processor until smooth.

4. In a large bowl, mix together the toasted bran, buttermilk or yogurt, then mix in the date puree, orange zest, and brown sugar. Beat in the eggs.

5. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the wet mixture and stir until just combined. If using add-ins, stir in.

6. Spoon batter into muffin tins generously and bake for 25 - 30 minutes, until muffins are set in the middle. Store, covered, for up to 5 days. Extras can be stored in the freezer for up to two months.

buttered up


  1. You could also try substituting sugars with agave syrup, that is good as sweetener. In that case, don´t forget to add some more flour, to balance dry and wet ingredients. Another option is adding some honey too.

    1. Thanks! I like both honey and agave, but as they're both relatively pricey, I try to avoid using them up in baking and save them for dressings and oatmeal. I'm thinking that next time, I'll increase the amount of dates I use and decrease the amount of sugar either completely or to about a tablespoon or two.

  2. Can i make these with oat bran?

  3. I love that this recipe looks really healthy! Have to try whipping up a batch soonest...Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you! I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. :)

  4. duuuuuude. these look perfect and i want bran muffins so terribly now

  5. I came across your blog while searching for bran muffin recipes. Definitely, going to try this recipe. One comment though, I found the font size so tiny! Perhaps you could consider increasing that a bit.

  6. Hi Liz! Seriously love your blog! I tried these on the weekend and they were amazing. They had a hard time holding together with the addition of blueberries though. I'm thinking I should really have used coconut oil instead of vegetable. Ah well. Definitely a keeper!