Happy Hump Day friends.
Today I offer you the Super Simon's Super Berry Bran Muffin recipe. Say that ten times fast.
These muffins are dairy, oil and egg-free so they are an excellent breakfast option or healthy snack for anyone with dairy allergies, high cholesterol or who is watching their fat intake. They are also extremely high in fiber (note the many types of wheat and bran used) so they are great for those times when you are feeling a little bound up, if you know what I mean.
I make a big batch and freeze them so they stay fresh; that way I have a quick breakfast option on days when I'm too frazzled to figure out what to eat. The twins love them as an afternoon snack and I'm pretty sure the Simon boys actually think they are cupcakes. Please don't tell them otherwise or you will have to incur the wrath of an angry 5-foot-nothing Melanie. She may be little folks, but she packs a mean punch. Consider yourself warned.
The muffins acquired their snazzy name from the Simon boys who were each allowed to pick their favorite fruit to include in the muffin batter. Jackson and Harrison were responsible for the antioxidant-rich blueberries and strawberries and Harper thought a little orange zest would perk up the overall flavor.
The result is a super tasty, super healthy muffin, courtesy of the Super Simon boys. Thanks Super Simons!
Super Berry Bran Muffins
2 cups wheat bran
1 cup boiling water
3/4 cup applesauce
2 teaspoons baking soda
¼ cup applesauce
1 cup wheat germ
1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
1 cup oat bran (regular oats works fine here too)
1 cup sucanat**
2 cups plant milk
1 cup blueberries
½ cup strawberries diced
1 Tablespoon orange or lemon zest
Preheat oven to 400
Combine 1 cup wheat bran with 1 cup boiling water, stirring until water is absorbed. Add 1/2 cup applesauce.
In a separate bowl, combine sucanat with 1/4 cup applesauce.
Add 1 cup dry wheat bran, wheat germ, baking soda, oat bran (or oats) and whole wheat flour to above 2 mixtures. Add plant milk. Fold in berries and zest.
Spoon into prepared muffin pans, sprayed or lined with paper cups.
Bake 15-18 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
Experiment with raisins, dates or your favorite dried fruit.
** Sucanat is an all-natural sugar substitute.
Sucanat and refined white sugar start as the same product, sugar cane, which is high in many vitamins and minerals. The refining process removes all measurable traces of those vitamins and minerals from white sugar, leaving us with a nutritionally devoid product whose sole purpose is to be sweet.
Sucanat, on the other hand, is not refined. Sugar cane juice is dried until it crystallizes so sucanat retains the vitamins and minerals of the original sugar cane, and is in a far more natural form than refined sugar.
Sucanat looks and smells a bit like brown sugar. However, to the taste it's a great substitute for refined white sugar. It is sweeter than refined white sugar, though, so cut the amount down by about one-third in your recipes. For example, if a recipe calls for a cup of sugar, only use two-thirds cup of sucanat.
You can find Sucanat in some regular grocery stores but you may have to visit Whole Foods or your local health food store to find it.
Also, we’ve been pronouncing it “suck-ah-nut” since we discovered it. This is, in fact, not the correct pronunciation (but a lot of fun to say). We’ve been informed that it is actually pronounced “sook-a-nat.” Good to know I think in case you have to ask someone where it is located.