Looking for a healthy bran muffin recipe? Thanks to a little bran cereal and whole wheat flour, these healthy high fiber muffins boost the nutrition of your morning meal.
~by Regan Jones, RD
(Disclosure: The post is sponsored by FiberFacts.org)
Fiber and I go way back. In fact, my very first published article (circa 1997) was a piece in Weight Watchers Magazine about — you guessed it — fiber. It’s not uncommon to find me traveling with a bag of prunes and reaching for a bowl of something bran-filled on the morning breakfast bar. It’s not that I have any “issues” in the way you might think of someone reaching for extra fiber. On the contrary — I’m just a regular girl who believes the road to good health runs right through my gut.
I’ve shared with you my thoughts on why probiotics are important. It’s a hot topic that’s getting tons of press. But what you can’t overlook is that feeding your G.I. system with all those healthy bugs is a little bit of a waste if you’re not giving them something to feed on… and that something is fiber. Fiber, which is by nature indigestible by humans, is the perfect food for healthy gut bacteria who can digest it. Give your gut more fiber, and the more those healthy buggers thrive.
But fiber benefits don’t end there. I’d venture to say there are very few food components that offer as many wide-spread benefits as fiber, including improvements in blood sugar, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, and reduced risk for some cancers. You already know that dietary fibers are beneficial for bowel function, but they also lead to an increased feeling of being satisfied after a meal, and in some case may lead to weight loss.
You may be thinking “But Regan, can’t you just eat whole grains and get enough fiber?”
And my answer is, "Yes, but it’s hard."
Whole grains (like oats, wheat, barley, rice, etc.), beans, fruits and vegetables are all good sources of fiber. They absolutely should form the basis of a fiber-rich diet. But given the fact that the recommended daily serving of fiber is 25 - 35 grams and most Americans only consume 16 grams of fiber a day, I often rely on fiber-enriched products as well.
If you find yourself wanting to increase your fiber intake (and I hope you do!), keep in mind that it’s best to start slow… especially if you’re eating a fiber-poor diet now. Fiber overload gives all those gut bacteria a whole lot to digest. If you’re not careful, that can lead to some bloating and other unpleasant symptoms. Suffice to say that while they’re having their party, you might not be invited back to any parties around you … if you know what I mean. But don’t let that stop you from adding fiber in and working your way up, gradually beginning to add in more naturally fiber-rich foods and fiber-enriched foods to your diet. Over time, you shouldn’t notice the same effects.
One of the best ways to start is by changing up the recipes you already know and love. Take these muffins for example:
These Healthy Bran Muffins are a basic muffin recipe that use a combo of whole wheat flour, bran, cinnamon and a pinch of allspice. I made mine with a stevia-erythritol sugar blend, but if you prefer sugar, you could use that too. Low in sugar and rich in fiber, they’re the perfect package of sweet cinnamon goodness to open your day. I hope you’ll make them and enjoy them as much as I do!
AD: Get a good daily dose of #fiber with these Healthy Bran Muffins via @ReganJonesRD. @healthyaperture Tweet this
Healthy Bran Muffins
Makes 10 muffins
- 60g (about 1 cup) high-fiber bran cereal (I used Fiber One)
- 1 1/2 cups kefir, divided
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2/3 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons erythritol-stevia baking blend (I used Truvia) or sugar, if preferred
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Pinch of allspice
- Pinch of salt
- Combine cereal, 1/2 cup kefir and milk in a large bowl; cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat 10 muffin tins with cooking spray.
- Combine remaining 1 cup kefir, egg and canola oil in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together flours, baking blend, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and salt. Add liquid kefir mixture and soaked cereal; stir until combined.
- Spoon batter evenly among prepared muffin tins. Bake for 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean.