Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Chocolate Oat Bran Muffins


Muffins that claim to be low in fat and sugar, for the most part, tend to be bland and unpleasant tasting.  Not being one to buy muffins from the supermarket or bakery, I like to bake my own from scratch whenever I want a fresh batch right out of the oven.  Bran muffins, oat bran muffins, morning glory muffins, oatmeal muffins, just to name a few, are up there in terms of healthy breakfast quick breads.  Just because muffins are labeled as such, doesn’t always mean that they are healthy.  If they’re packed with sugar or lots of fat then it defeats the purpose of including high fiber into our diets, but one doesn’t want to be eating a hockey puck either, because that can also be unpleasant all around.

Muffins right out of the oven.


My Chocolate Oat Bran Muffins were made on a cold Saturday morning after a brisk hike around some snowy trails.  I was hankering for a bit of whole grain in my diet that day, so I gathered my ingredients and got to work.  Delicious cocoa powder was included into the muffin just to give it a bit of kick, along with some whole wheat flour, dried cranberries (you can use whatever dried fruit you like), a bit of wholesome milk, some dark brown sugar and a little canola oil.

 
Chocolate Oat Bran Muffins

Wonderful with a cup of tea or coffee in the wee hours of the morning, the muffins are also superb as an afternoon snack.  There is no guilt whatsoever when devouring one of these tasty muffins.  Make some today and get that much needed high fiber into your daily diet.  Chocolate Oat Bran Muffins are best fresh out of the oven, but since they freeze extremely well, you can reheat them whenever you want.  I like to warm them up until nice and toasty the following day and then have them either plain or with just a kiss of butter.  



The Ingredients
  • 1 cup {155 g.} whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 cups {155 g.} oat bran
  • 3 teaspoons {15 ml.} baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons {30 g.} dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon {.625 ml.} fine sea salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, raisins or other dried fruit {115 g.}
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk {240 ml.}, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon {2.5 ml.} pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup packed {125 g.} dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup {120 ml.} canola oil
Yield: 6 jumbo (Texas sized) muffins
Equipment: jumbo muffin pan with 6 wells.


Center racks and preheat oven to
400° F (204°C)

In a large bowl, add the whole wheat flour, oat bran, baking powder, dutch-process cocoa powder and fine sea salt.  Whisk to combine the ingredients.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl or large measuring pitcher, whisk the egg, milk, pure vanilla extract, packed dark brown sugar and canola oil to combine until smooth.  Break up any brown sugar lumps.

Pour the wet ingredients into the center of the bowl.  With a large spatula, combine the wet and dry ingredients.


Add the dried fruit (if using large pieces such as apricots, figs or dates, chop them into small pieces) just before the batter is completely mixed.  Stir in the fruit until combined well.  Don't over mix the batter.

This is what the batter should look like.

To prepare the jumbo muffin pan you can either butter & flour the pan or you can cover it with nonstick cooking spray.  Divide the batter evenly among the 6 muffin wells.

Pop them into the preheated oven and bake for:
18-20 minutes


The tops should feel springy and a toothpick inserted into each muffin should come out clean.  Don't over bake them or they will dry out.

Let the muffins cool in the pan for about 5 minutes.  Turn them out onto a cooling rack and serve warm or at room temperature.

These muffins are best the same day they are baked, but can be frozen if sealed in airtight freezer bags.  Reheat them in a warm oven straight from the freezer.

Delicious with a cup of green tea.  


Make these muffins soon if you want a bit of wholesome goodness for breakfast.  Slather them with a bit of cream cheese if you want, but in my opinion, they do fine on their own.  If you want to make smaller muffins, you can certainly use a standard-sized muffin pan.  I didn't test the recipe using that type of pan, but if you do, check them earlier than indicated in my recipe.  Smaller muffins will take less time to bake.  Cranberries are a good choice in the batter, but so are golden raisins, chopped apricots, blueberries or even sultanas (if you can find them!).  If you don't consume regular milk, go ahead and substitute soy, almond or rice milk.  They should still be delicious.  Have fun baking them. 

6 comments:

  1. Delicious! I substituted chocolate chips for the dried fruit because I was out and it worked out fantastically.

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  2. Sounds fantastic, Erica! I'm going to have to try that next time I make these....which will probably be next week.

    :)

    Happy Baking!!

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  3. Sounds great, do you have the calorie count for these? Thanks.....

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  4. I don't have a calorie count for these muffins. Sorry!

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  5. can I make this is smaller muffin pan? I don't have jumbo muffin pans. Also it's for small kids.:)

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    Replies
    1. You can make these in smaller muffin pans, but you have to reduce the amount of time in the oven. Minis might be done in 10 minutes, and regular ones in about 14-16 minutes. Always insert a toothpick into a muffin to check if there is any batter clinging to it to make sure they are fully baked.

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