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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Recipe: Carrot-Maple Bran Muffins

I'm a random baker. I can browse the internet, foodbuzz, tastespotting, read blog, etc. for hours every night and see & save tons of recipes that I decide I WILL, soon, make.
But then when it comes time to bake...I can't pick out a recipe to save my soul, and feel like all the ones I've saved just aren't what I feel like making! So then I go on hour-long hunts to find just the right recipe before giving up and combining favorites with some flavors I'm craving.
I blame part of this on my terrible recipe-organizing skills, but mostly I blame it on being quirky.

So, this brings us to today. I've finally almost eaten through all of my Christmas baked goodies. And by finally I mean there's still three mini-loafs of Banana Oat Bran Bread in the freezer, rather than 10. Luckily, I love oat bran bread...and was sort of what I wanted to make again!
...except different. 
But what was it I wanted?
Cinnamon Buns? mmm...tasty, but not enough nutritional value.
Supercharge Me Cookies? nutritious, but I prefer breads or muffins.
Pumpkin Spelt Scones? ooh, getting warmer!
But what about Bran? Oh, yes! Bran!
Carrot Bran? 
Carrot Oat Bran?
So the search began for recipes. I came up unsuccessful for a Carrot Bran Muffin recipe that met my "requirements" and finally decided to take my beloved oat-bran bread recipe and a generic bran muffin recipe, and combine them and modify it to my liking.
When I say requirements, I mean tasty and nutritious. I'm not really one for just munching away on sugar-laden cookies all day...Ideally, I'd like to be getting some form of nutrition. And when it comes to muffins and breads, bran is by far my favorite, be it oat or wheat. 

Let's see what I came up with, shall we? I feel it was a large success, and I hope you do too!

Carrot-Maple Bran Muffins 
yields approx. 12 muffins
See notes after recipe.



Ingredients:
-1.5 c. Wheat Bran
-1/2 c. Oat Bran
-1/4 c. Rolled Oats
-1/4 c. Spelt Flour
-2 T. A.P. Flour
-1.5 t. Baking Powder
-1 t. Baking Soda
-1/4 t. salt
-1/3 c. Stevia [or sweetener of your choice]
-cinnamon, ground ginger, and nutmeg [i didn't measure. heh...]
-vanilla extract [i was pretty liberal with it.]
-1 c. soy milk
-1/2 T. vinegar
-1/3 c. unsweetened apple sauce
-1/3 c. maple syrup
-1/4 c. egg substitute
-1/2 - 3/4 c. grated carrots
-crystalized ginger, dates, raisins, additional oats [optional - for mix-ins or topping]

Notes on Ingredients:
1. Ratio of brans & oats not exact - I am fairly confident this is close to what I used, but may be a hair off. Additionally, you could use more wheat bran and less oat, and vice versa. The oat bran gives it a great texture, however.
2. WW Flour could likely be used in place of A.P, as well as the Spelt. I wanted to incorporate Spelt flour, and added in some A.P. just because I wasn't sure if WW would encourage it to be too dense. Baby steps!
3. If you don't have/dislike maple syrup, I am sure these would rock just as hard with molasses or honey - especially molasses. But, I'm from Vermont. You know how we do.
4. I used between 1/2 c. and 3/4 c. grated carrots...but I think next time I'll up the ante and use a whole cup.
5. Next time, I think I'll try to "soup them up" a bit more and play with the ratios of brans - taking some out and adding flax or wheat germ. I was hoping I could experiment with Chia seeds this weekend as well, but I have not received my delivery...

Lets start baking, shall we?
1. Preheat oven to 375*. In a liquid measuring cup, add vinegar to milk. Let sit 5 minutes while measuring and combining wheat bran, oat bran, and oats.

2. Add milk & vinegar mixture to bran and oat mixture. Let sit while mixing together applesauce, stevia, egg, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Pour this mixture into bran & milk mixture.


3. Combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in seperate bowl. Then add this and grated carrots to the master bowl.



4. Mix just until moistened. Do not overmix! You can also add in raisins or dates at this point.


5. Think to self "well dang, at least this smells delicious...will it taste this delicious?"
Spoon into greased [okay, sprayed] tins of choice.

I happen to have the cutest little mini loaf pan...I made 8 mini-loafs (which probably equate to a very large muffin?) and had batter remaining for 2 average-sized muffins.

5. Pray to the baking gods that you crafted something successful.
Bake for about 20m. It is very easy to underbake these, so be careful and cut one in half before taking them out. I find that the with the oat bran, it actually get s a really nice "crust" when done for a couple minutes longer than completely necessary, anyways!

6. Remove and Cool!


(...but, you should probably enjoy one while they're warm! or, maybe more than one...)



So, yeah. Really happy  with how these came out! Give them a shot!

12 comments:

  1. Ok seriously now... I just sat here for like 30 minutes browsing through all your pictures. You are an amazing photographer :)

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  2. I'm exactly the same! I have a million recipes bookmarked but when I want to make something (like today) I have no idea what to make!
    Today I'm making something for a group but I have no idea what to make! Yours muffins look fabulous!!
    Lovely photos as usual! I especially love that they're little loaves :)

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  3. Thank you both! It is very much appreciated :)
    And I'm glad I'm glad I'm not alone in bookmarking TONS of recipes and not being able to settle on one, haha. Maybe there's just too many choices that I have to do something new? :P

    And aren't the mini loaves adorable?! I love making mini loaves, muffins, cookies, etc. A. Because they're adorable, and B. Because then you can say you had like, twice as many than "just one." :P

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  4. Those muffins look DELISH, like mini carrot cakes ;) By looking at the photo I could probably eat the entire batch of batter with a spoon :X

    Not only does your food look delicious, but I absolutely adore your photography. I'll be following, for sure! =)

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  5. Hey Jess, thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog!

    I'm the EXACT same way; literally, I've millions of bookmarked recipes, many of which I've forgotten, but I don't want to delete them until I make sure I still want to make it. And then I'm always asking myself what I should bake!

    Really lovely pictures! Your photography is incredibly. I like the idea of mini loaves instead of regular muffins, a little twist on the same old. =)

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  6. Wow lady!! These look AWESOME! I'll definitely be trying them once I have more time on my hands :)

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  7. Those muffins look delish!! Great with coffee!!

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  8. I LOVE carrot cake and have been looking for something of that nature that is more conducive to every day eating. I've been wanting to bake with oat bran too--perfect! These remind me of the Trader Joe's Carrot Ginger Oat Bran Muffins which I am obsessed with. I'll have to try these soon.

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  9. Those look good! I wish I could get all the ingredients!

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  10. Hi Jennifer -
    It's definitely open to interpretation! haha. What would you need to sub?

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  11. I LOVE BRAN!!!! Thanks for sharing :)

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