Thank you all for being you. I didn’t mean to stir up concern with my last post. I appreciate your reassurances, though. I’m still dusting myself off, but lots of real time with friends last weekend helped. We spent not one but two afternoons at the pool, feasted on chips and guacamole for dinner and celebrated a good man’s birthday on his front porch.
I don’t have a lot of grand ideas about my future life, but I know I want a big front porch. A screened-in back patio would be nice, too. And a deck, while we’re at it. I wouldn’t mind a balcony. I can’t speak for you, but something magical happens when I cross the threshold to an outdoor space. In the absence of blinking screens and mechanical distractions, my shoulders relax, my work disappears and I feel present.
I’m making a purposeful effort this summer to slow down. The season demands it. Long days are for evening walks and wine with friends. I don’t have any colorful Instagrams to show for last weekend’s fun times because I wanted to be in the moment. I understand that every aspect of my life could be leveraged for content, but sometimes I resent that concept. Framing events for social consumption is distracting. It’s, like, so meta and I just want to be. You know what I mean, man?
I could go on about all the “shoulds” that supposedly lead to blog success, but I’d rather tell you about these bran muffins. They are so good. I didn’t know that hearty bran muffins (100 percent whole grain, no less!) could be so fluffy and delicately sweet.
Deb’s blue sky bran muffins were already on my must make list when my friend hand delivered some. One taste of the homemade muffins was motivation to adapt them for my blog. I replaced the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour. I decreased the buttermilk and baking temperature so I could sweeten the muffins with honey instead of brown sugar. The flavor of honey is lovely here. I couldn’t resist sprinkling the tops with raw sugar for a sparkly, lightly crunchy top.
These muffins are a breakfast treat that you can feel good about (that is, if you don’t think that gluten is the devil). Wheat bran is the nutritious, fibrous, protective outer layer of wheat berries that is removed when wheat berries are processed into all-purpose flour. One of the greatest benefits of a whole foods-based diet is getting plenty of fiber without even trying.
I’ve been enjoying these muffins with plain yogurt for breakfast. They make good snacks, too! I can’t say they’re the prettiest muffins around, but bran muffins are never going to win a beauty contest. Fortunately, their taste and texture make up for their modest, lopsided looks.
- 1 cup buttermilk*
- ⅓ cup olive oil or melted coconut oil
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1 large egg
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1½ cups wheat bran
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour
- 1½ teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 6 ounces fresh or frozen blueberries
- 2 teaspoons turbinado sugar, AKA raw sugar
- Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and coat a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, honey, egg and zest. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the bran, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix until just combined (a few remaining streaks of flour are fine). Gently fold in the berries.
- Working quickly, divide the batter between the 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle each muffin top with turbinado sugar.
- Bake muffins for about 20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking for even browning, until a toothpick inserted into the center of muffins comes out with just a few crumbs attached. Let muffins cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from tin.
*Make your own buttermilk (with dairy free option): Pour 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice into a liquid measuring cup. Pour in your milk of choice (nut milk or low fat coconut milk should be fine) until you hit the 1-cup line. Let the "buttermilk" rest for 5 to 10 minutes and then use as directed.
Why buy organic? Berries are generally sprayed pretty heavily with pesticides. The outsides of citrus fruits are also sprayed with pesticides, which is why it's best to buy organic citrus when you're using the zest.
Storage suggestions: These muffins should keep well for two to three days at room temperature. Store in a freezer-safe bag in the freezer for longer keeping.
Change it up: Deb says you can use any type of fruit in this muffins, other than pineapple or citrus chunks. She used the fruit as a filling rather than folding it in. Check her post for details. Feel free to substitute orange or lime zest for the lemon zest and/or omit the zest and add complementary spices instead.
If you love this recipe: You'll also love my blueberry maple tea cake, blueberry lemon muffins, blueberry scones, lemon poppyseed muffins and blueberry frozen yogurt.