Everything I eat is evaluated based on its ratio of nutrition to flavor. That sounds tedious but it isn’t. It’s really just answering one simple question that I think most of us ask before we dig in: Is it worth it?
For example, macaroni and cheese: very indulgent, but also very delicious. Definitely worth it, at least once in a while.
Raw carrots? Very healthy, but, eh, not my favorite thing to eat. I tend to ignore them unless there’s nothing else. But add some hummus, and you’ve increased the flavor significantly without decreasing the nutrition drastically, and hey, I’ll eat that.
Sometimes I forget that something can be both ridiculously good for you and ridiculously good. And something like these muffins comes along, perfect in every way, both taste and health, and I’m oh-so-pleasantly reminded. Nutrition to flavor ratio? Off the charts.
One year ago: Pain Ordinaire
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Moist Bran Muffins (from the King Arthur Flour’s Whole Grain Baking)
Makes about 18
Note that this is a two-day process, as the dough needs to set overnight before baking. Fortunately, at that point it can actually wait in the refrigerator for several days.
I’ve used both raisins and dried cranberries in these, and both are good. Of course most any dried fruit would work. I’ve also used clementine juice instead of orange juice, and that worked just fine.
¾ cup boiling water
1¼ cups unprocessed wheat bran, divided
¾ cup dried fruit, chopped if large raisins
¾ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
¼ cup vegetable oil
2½ cups whole wheat flour, traditional or white whole wheat
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
¾ cup buttermilk
½ cup orange juice
1. Pour boiling water over ¾ cup of the bran cereal in a small mixing bowl. Add the raisins, brown sugar and oil. While the bran mixture cools, blend together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
2. Beat the egg with the buttermilk and orange juice in a large measuring cup. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients. Stir in remaining ½ cup bran cereal, and then the bran-raisin mixture. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.
3. The next day, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a muffin tin. Fill each cup two-thirds full. Bake the muffin until a tester comes out clean, about 23 to 26 minutes.
4. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling, or serve warm.