Most days, I like my breakfast to be fairly healthy, since well-balanced breakfasts encourage me to be more productive and in a better mood than if I indulge in something really sugary or buttery first thing in the morning (though of course, I still like to have pancakes or coffee cake on the weekends from time to time). I typically have cereal or oatmeal on the weekdays, but at times I find myself wanting something a little more special.
Enter blackberry bran muffins.
These muffins are awesome(ly guilt-free). I even found my 8-month old puppy tip-toeing on her hind legs in the hope of snagging one from the counter, and she usually only checks out the counter when there’s turkey bacon sitting on it. That’s how good these muffins are—they’re in the same league as bacon.
- 1/2 cup unprocessed wheat bran
- 1 scant cup skim milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup oat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 ounces fresh blackberries, halved
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Wash whole blackberries and place on a baking sheet in freezer at least 30 minutes before beginning to mix other ingredients.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin pan with butter and set aside.
- Put one tablespoon of lemon juice in a one-cup measuring cup and fill remainder with milk. Let sit 5 minutes, then mix in wheat bran.
- In a medium bowl, mix together oat flour, all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add applesauce and mix until combined. Add eggs and vanilla.
- Stir milk/wheat bran mixture and dry ingredients into mixer bowl in two additions each, alternating wet and dry ingredients. Once combined, fold in chopped walnuts.
- Fill muffin cups half full.
- Remove blackberries from freezer and chop in half with a chef’s knife. Place blackberry halves on top of batter in muffin cups. Top with remaining half of batter.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 20 minutes, then remove muffins and place on a wire rack.
- Do not skip the step of freezing the blackberries. This helps to reduce the amount of juice spilled while halving the berries. Doing this, plus filling the muffin cups in layers, prevents the juice from turning the muffins a strange bluish-purplish color. You can also start with frozen blackberries if fresh ones aren’t in season.