Low Fat Bran Muffins

low fat recipe for low fat bran muffinsWhat better way to start off the new year than with a healthy and comforting boost of energy. These low fat bran muffins are my “healthified” version of a long-time family favorite recipe. Despite the removal of nearly all oils and fats, they have a super dense and moist consistency, much like a brownie, and they taste of a sweet/savory pumpkin spice. They are chalked full of vegetables, fruit and whole grains, yet it feels like you’re eating something devilishly indulgent from a pastry shop.  I feel like I’ve duped the system being able to eat them guilt-free.

These low fat bran muffins not only have two types of bran, they also have  zucchini, pumpkin, carrots and applesauce among other healthy ingredients. At 190 calories per muffin, they make for a very satisfying breakfast or morning snack paired with a piece of fruit and a nice hot cup of coffee.

A Few Baking Tips
The recipe makes 24 regular cupcake-sized bran muffins. I like to separate my batter out into 6 storage containers with enough to bake up 4 at a time and keep them in the freezer. Because these muffins are so full of fresh ingredients, the batter will spoil and deteriorate in a matter of days. Just move the container out of the freezer and over to your fridge the night before you want to bake a fresh batch.

Do not be tempted to pull these guys out of the oven too quickly. Because of the vegetables, the batter carries a LOT of moisture that has to be cooked out. I use the toothpick method to test for doneness. When it comes out clean from the center, I bake them another 5 minutes. I assure you, these muffins always manage to come out very moist and rich.

The Recipe

Makes 24 servings. 190 calories per serving.
This makes a LOT of batter and will nearly fill the bowl of an electric mixer.

1 1/2 cups All-Bran Cereal Buds
2 cups Fiber One Cereal
1 cup whole grain oatmeal
1 cup boiling water
1 cup finely shredded zucchini
1/2 cup finely shredded carrot
1/2 cup apple sauce
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 can pumpkin
3 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
3 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
2 tablespoons molasses
3 cups flour
2 cups low-fat buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix bran cereals in a large bowl with the boiling water and let sit (it should turn thick and mushy after a few minutes). Meanwhile beat the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Except for the bran mixture, carrots and zucchini, beat in all other ingredients. Next add the bran mixture. Incorporate the shredded carrots and zucchini until just mixed in evenly.  Divide evenly into 24 muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin center comes out clean. Bake an additional 2-5 minutes to make sure muffin centers are not too moist.  Enjoy!

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