The whole family will love these deliciously healthy bran muffins! They are a fabulous way to sneak some goodness into your kids – and any adults who might need a little encouragement to eat a healthy breakfast.
And this, my friends, is a healthy breakfast with a history!
The Story Behind The Recipe
When I was a little girl in Canada, there was a restaurant in Preston, Ontario (now part of the Tri-cities known as Cambridge) called The Knotty Pine. They had a lunch counter and restaurant upstairs, and later they added a fairly formal steak house downstairs.
I still remember the first time my parents took me there. I must have been about nine, and I felt so grown up! They had a fish pond, a totem pole, and even a big statue of a bull. The kitchen had large windows and you could watch the chefs cooking while you sat at candlelit tables.
Do you love muffins as much as I do? Check out these yummy recipes!
My Dad preferred the more relaxed atmosphere upstairs, and he used to stop at the lunch counter at least once a week for a midmorning coffee and one of the Knotty Pine’s famous bran muffins. Once in a while, he’d bring a half a dozen of the muffins home for a treat. We all loved them. They were seriously, seriously yummy, and full to the brim with sweet raisins.
My Dad was friendly with the owner, and one day he came home with the secret recipe for our very favourite Bran Muffins. My Mom and I were delighted and I’ve been making them every since. The original Knotty Pine closed over 25 years ago, but these muffins always bring back wonderful memories of my late parents and my first ‘fancy’ restaurant.
One of the Classics from The Blog
The photograph above is from when this particular blog post was published in 2013. I first shared this recipe in 2005 on an older incarnation of the blog, and then back in 2009 I made a You Tube video demonstrating the recipe. It’s amazing how far video, the blog and I have come since then! Hence the update with new photographs – this is too good a recipe to leave tucked away at the ‘back’ of the blog!
Seriously, you need to make these. My Bran Muffins are so good you won’t even notice they are healthy!
Just How Healthy Are Bran Muffins?
Bran is high in fibre, protein, iron, vitamins and minerals. It’s also low in fat. Be sure to use pure wheat bran in this recipe, not bran cereal.
The Knotty Pine’s bran muffin recipe called for ‘vegetable oil’ but I use mild olive oil. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids – or good fats.
I use raisins or sultanas in this recipe. They are a source of iron, fibre, vitamins and minerals. If you want to you can always soak the raisins in a bit of hot water while you make the muffins. The original recipe recommended you do that, but I find most raisins are quite juicy these days so I usually skip that step.
There’s also quite a lot of cinnamon in these yummy muffins. Spices are good for you, and cinnamon is no exception. It’s full of antioxidants, it’s anti-inflammatory, and is even reputed to boost immunity.
Can I Reduce the Sugar In This Recipe?
Originally this recipe had a whole cup of packed brown sugar but I’ve cut that back to three quarters of a cup, loosely packed. I’ve tested this new version of the recipe widely amongst family and friends, and no one has noticed the missing quarter cup of sugar. (That’s 16 teaspoons of sugar by the way!)
If you have an exceptionally sweet tooth please feel free to use a full cup; conversely, if like me you have found you prefer a lot less sugar these days, you can reduce the sugar down to a half a cup.
So, I’m happy to report that on the whole, bran muffins really are pretty good for you!! But it’s the part about how good they taste that I like best!
Can you Freeze Bran Muffins?
Bran muffins will keep in a covered container at room temperature for 3 to 4 days, but you can definitely freeze them. When our son was still at home I used to make a double batch and freeze them so I could have them on hand. I’d even tuck them in lunch boxes to keep things cold and thaw throughout the morning – although I do prefer to warm the muffins if they have been frozen. I put them in a warm oven for about 5 minutes but 20 seconds in a microwave works too.
Old Fashioned Bran Muffins Printable Recipe
- ¾ cup loosely packed brown sugar (reduce to ½ cup if you prefer)
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup vegetable oil (sunflower and mild olive oil work well)
- 2 cups bran
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup of raisins or sultanas
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C or 180°C for a fan oven)
- Grease or put paper liners in muffin pans.
- Beat eggs in a large bowl.
- Add brown sugar and oil. Mix well.
- Sir in bran and cinnamon.
- Let the mixture stand for ten minutes.
- Meanwhile, sift together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the bran mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Do this in four additions - two of the flour mixture and two of the buttermilk, ending with the buttermilk.
- Fold in the raisins.
- Fill muffin cups half full with batter.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.