Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Raisin Bran Muffins

Cleansing. It's how I would describe the Spring. I find that the spring opens up this huge vacuum and I find myself itching to eat fresh bright fruits and veggies. It's as if whole foods suddenly cleans the system and the palate. It's as if all of the creamy comfort foods are suddenly no longer appealing and the body craves sunshine produced goodness. 

That is probably the best definition of spring cleaning I have heard (yes, it is my own) -- cleaning out the comfort foods (temporarily) and adding in the crunch of the fresh and the raw. Ahhhh freshness!

The recipe for Bran Muffins can be seen both ways. They can be seen as a comfort food, eaten with a nice cup of tea on a lazy cold Sunday morning. Or, they can be seen as a great cleanser, wiping clean the system of any build up from the winter and jump-starting the fresh plan.

Your call which team you decide to play on, but in my opinion these healthy bran muffins just kick me into spring time skirts and sleeveless tops. There is definitely something to say about wanting to be outside and the feeling you get from the outside air. Another cleansing thing about spring -- the air is still a bit crispy, so it definitely wakes up the senses.

Ah, waking up after the winter hibernation.

And why not remind yourself of the hibernation with some festive muffin cups? Yes, mine have Santa's on them...

Bran Muffins (adapted from the Joy of Baking), makes 12 muffins

1 cup kamut flour (or whole wheat)
1 cup wheat bran
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup low fat buttermilk
1/2 cup raisins

1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners or spray with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl combine flour, bran, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
3. In another bowl whisk together the lightly beaten egg, oil, molasses, vanilla and buttermilk. Note: if you use the tablespoon to measure the oil first and then use the same tablespoon to measure out the molasses, the molasses will not stick to the measuring spoon!
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until moistened. Gently fold in the raisins.
5. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes prior to serving.


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