Saturday, September 1, 2012

Great Lower Sugar Bran Muffins

This recipe was adapted from Better Bran Muffins in Cook's Country.

  • In the last few years, I became diabetic.  I have reduced my sugar intake and increased exercise so that my A1C levels are more than acceptable.  I have experimented with recipes to reduce the sugar content by using Splenda and Stevia in the Raw.  Sugar can not be completely eliminated in baking because sugar is needed for tenderness, moisture, browning and sweetness. Without the sugar, cooked batters will have a dry, tough texture and will not brown evenly or may not brown at all. In experimenting, I have learned that using sugar substitutes for part of the sugar in a recipe usually works fine.  When Stevia in the Raw appeared in the grocery stores, my daughter suggested that I try it. The results were great and the Stevia does not seem to have the slight bitter taste that Splenda has. 

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 2 ¼ cups All-Bran Original cereal 
  • 1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour 
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup Stevia in the Raw or Splenda 
  • 3 tablespoons mild molasses (or light)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick), melted and cooled
  • 1 ¾ cups plain whole-milk yogurt

  • Driections:

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400℉.  Spray cupcake liners with nonstick cooking spray.  Place the cupcake liners in a cupcake pan.
  2. Process bran cereal in food processor until most of it is finely ground, about 1 minute.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk eggs together until light-colored, about 20-30 seconds.  Whisk in sugar, molasses, and vanilla until mixture is thick, about 20-30 seconds.  Then whisk in butter and yogurt.
  4. With a spatula, stir in processed cereal;  let mixture sit to moisten (there will still be some small lumps).
  5. Meanwhile, whisk together flours, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
  6. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and gently mix with spatula until batter is combined and evenly moistened.  Do not over mix.  Gently fold raisins and any other added fruit into batter.
  7. Using an ice cream scoop, divide batter evenly among muffins cups.  Do not level or flatten the mounds of batter.  If adding extra fruit, there will be more than 12 muffins.
  8. Bake until muffins are dark golden and toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out with a few crumbs attached, 16-20 minutes.  Rotate pan during baking if the muffins are not baking evenly. 
  9. Cool muffins in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack.  Serve warm or cool.
  • Note: (The following changes can be made to the recipe.)
  • *  Mash 2 bananas and mixed with the yogurt. The muffins are wonderful with bananas. 
  • *  Shredded carrots (1/2 cup), mash bananas and mix with the yogurt. Wonderful muffins.
  • *  Mash bananas and mix with yogurt.  Fold raisins and blueberries in the batter. Wonderful!
  • *  Cream softened cream cheese and add sour cream to consistency of yogurt. (Total 1 1/2 cups) Wonderful flavor
  • *  Substituting 1/2 the butter for cooking oil works great!
  • *  Substituting applesauce for 1/2 the oil also is great.
  • *  Shredded apples with cinnamon should be great also.
  • *  This Substitution for sugar also works great:  1/3 cup of Splenda brown sugar + 1/2 cup Stevia in the Raw
  • *  Greek yogurt gives the muffins great flavor and texture.
  • *  Making a large batch of these muffins is suggested because they freeze well.

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