My Best Healthy Bran Muffin Recipe With 100% Whole Grains, No Refined Sugar, and No Cereal (2024)

My Best Healthy Bran Muffin Recipe With 100% Whole Grains, No Refined Sugar, and No Cereal (2)
Moist and delicious, fiber-filled blueberry wheat and oat bran muffins made without bran cereal—healthy never tasted so good.

Update: The flavor possibilities are endless! See the comments section for all sorts of tasty variations. You may also enjoy my 100% Whole Grain Ginger Pear Bran Muffin Recipe or my 100% Whole Grain Carrot, Raisin, and Zucchini Bran Muffins.

You might think that someone who once packed up all of her belongings and moved, sight unseen, a couple of thousand miles away to a place where she had no job, no family, and no real idea of what she was doing would be quite an adventurous eater—always anxious to try something new, never ordering the same thing twice.

And while I'm sure people like this do exist, I am definitely not one of them. The pursuit of good, honest food may be the central theme around our farm and in my life, but the truth is that I'm the type of person who will happily fall into a very deep food rut.

I don't find it tiresome to eat the same dinner four or five nights in a row, and I happen to believe that one of the tastiest things in the entire world is

homemade leftover anything.

These are handy qualities to have if much of your food comes from the farmers' market or the kitchen garden, as I've come to realize that the true definition of eating seasonally means you devour something for so many meals on end that you don't even want to think about it until next year.

At breakfast time my routine pattern of eating is more like a bottomless pit. It's a good thing I don't live anywhere near a Chinese bakery, since I could probably eat a warm baked pork bun every morning for the next 20 or 30 years.

Because life on a farm is defined by a never ending series of surprises, you really can't plan ahead or count on much of anything. This, of course, is what makes it so interesting. It also means that I find a great deal of comfort in something as simple as knowing exactly what my morning meal will be for the next several months.

For a while I was stuck on oatmeal with wild blackberries from the freezer. Then I latched onto a tasty banana bran muffin recipe, but it took me longer to wash the muffin tin than it did to make the muffins. Using paper liners didn't help, as ridiculous amounts of muffin stuck to them. Of course none of this kept me from consuming a couple hundred of them—or motivated me to come up with a non-stick version.

After the bran muffins came whole grain cold cereal with milk. But not long after buying 11 boxes of cereal on sale, I got a hankering for bran muffins. I refused to go back to those annoying pan stickers, so I set out to create an entirely new recipe. Thankfully it didn't take long to come up with a winner.

My long held pet peeve regarding bran muffin recipes is that they almost always include bran cereal. Why make muffins from scratch using overpriced (and often over-processed) cereal when pure organic bran is available for a few cents per serving? I recently came across a recipe that had the nerve to call for two different kinds of cereal.

My bran muffins are made without cereal. They are made with 100% whole grains, including plenty of both oat bran and wheat bran (giving you soluble and insoluble fiber at once), yet they don't taste like sawdust or have the consistency of little bricks.

I baked up a batch of the blueberry bran version during my foodie mother's most recent visit

, and she declared them the best muffins—not just the best bran muffins—she'd ever tasted. The honey and molasses add moisture and flavor and are better for you than refined sugar. (Update: my mother has since become the Queen of Bran Muffins, baking them for everyone from the staff at her dentist's office to visiting houseguests. Her current favorite flavor is mixed berry.)

You can start with the basic plain version or go straight to one of the variations listed at the end of the recipe. The blueberries will deliver copious amounts of antioxidants along with bursts of juicy flavor. Adding mashed bananas to the batter will give you a very moist muffin. I think they all taste better the next day.

My favorite way to eat these muffins is cut in half and spread with peanut butter and jam. Add a glass of milk, and I'm good to go for four or five hours. They make an excellent breakfast on the run or afternoon pick-me-up snack for both kids and adults.

The best thing about them is that they freeze beautifully.

This is health food of the highest order, disguised as simply good tasting food. When you serve these muffins there's no need for justification or explanation. No one has to know that you're packing them with nutrients and possibly increasing their life span—only that you baked them with love.

I have some ideas for other muffin flavor variations, but for now I'm more than set. Check back with me in a couple of years.

Update: Thanks so much to all of you who have left comments below, letting me know how much you enjoyed this recipe—and, more importantly, for sharing all the wonderful different variations you've made!

My Best Healthy Bran Muffin Recipe With 100% Whole Grains, No Refined Sugar, and No Cereal (3)

Cranberry Orange Bran Muffins—say goodbye to store bought

Farmgirl Susan's Basic Bran Muffin Recipe
Makes about 9 large muffins

** Click here to print this recipe **

It doesn't take long to whip up a batch of these delicious, healthy muffins. This is not a temperamental batter, so feel free to experiment by stirring in whatever fruits or nuts or other things you like into the basic recipe—or try one of my other versions listed after the recipe. You can also check the comments section below for more tasty variations from Farmgirl Fare readers.

I've included the weights of each of the ingredients, so if you have a digital kitchen scale (I love my

Oxo Good Grips 11-pound scale) you can simply place your bowl on the scale and pour stuff in without having to mess with measuring cups. Just be sure to zero out the scale after adding each ingredient.

Update: Over the past few years I've noticed that the texture and weight of wheat brans can vary considerably, and some are much heavier than others. This can also happen with oat bran. If you're weighing your brans, you might want to also portion them out in measuring cups the first time, (which is how I measured them when I first created the recipe) and if you've weighed out significantly more or less bran than the recipe calls for, consider altering the amounts.

Liquid ingredients are listed by weight—not fluid ounces—so you can pour them straight into the bowl on the scale, too. When adding the baking soda, baking powder, and salt, I recommend weighing in grams or using measuring spoons, as most home kitchen scales are not precise enough to accurately weigh such tiny amounts in ounces.

As always, I urge you to seek out

organic and local ingredients whenever possible. Organic wheat bran, oat bran, and whole wheat flour are often bargain priced when purchased from the bulk bins at natural food stores.

Organic milk and yogurt are available nearly everywhere (you might even try making homemade yogurt, which tastes wonderful and is really easy to do

). Look for interesting flavors of local honey at farmers' markets.

Every summer I buy

5 gallons of fresh blueberries from a nearby organic grower and freeze them in one-gallon zipper bags to be enjoyed all year long. An outing to a pick-your-own farm is a wonderful way to spend the day with kids and take home some delicious bounty. Click here to locate one in your area (includes listings in several countries).

2 cups (5¾oz / 164g) organic wheat bran
1 cup (5oz / 141g) organic oat bran
1 cup (6oz / 170g) organic whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons (12g) baking soda
1 teaspoon (6g) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (4g) salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup (5oz by weight / 156g) milk
2/3 cup (5½oz / 156g) yogurt
1/3 cup (2¼oz / 65g) safflower oil
(or other neutral oil or coconut oil or melted organic butter)
1/3 cup (3¾oz / 108g) molasses (not blackstrap) or cane syrup
1/3 cup (3¾oz / 108g) honey
1 teaspoon (6g) pure vanilla extract

Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 375°. Grease a standard size muffin pan or line the cups with unbleached baking cups. I love my Chicago Metallic commercial muffin pans—I spray them with coconut oil spray and the muffins come right out of the pan, leaving hardly any mess.

Combine the wheat bran, oat bran, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and set aside. Combine the eggs, milk, yogurt, canola oil, molasses, and honey in a small bowl and mix well. (Note: you can use all honey or all molasses instead if desired.)

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula just until combined.

Generously fill the muffin cups with batter. I use a large stainless steel scoop, which is also great for portioning out cookie dough. I have several sizes and have been using some of them for 25 years.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool the muffins in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then carefully remove them and serve warm, or let them cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy your muffins plain, drizzled with a little honey, or spread with peanut butter and a slather of your favorite jam (apricot is very nice, as is strawberry; I love Trader Joe's Organic Reduced Sugar Preserves).

Store muffins in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze. (I think they taste even better the second day.) Defrost muffins at room temperature, or in the microwave if you're in a hurry.

Blueberry Bran Muffins
Makes about 10 large muffins. Follow Basic Bran Muffin recipe, but gently fold 1½ cups (7½ oz/214g) fresh or frozen blueberries into the batter. There is no need to defrost frozen berries, but do quickly rinse off any ice with cold water. Note to blueberry lovers: I made a batch of these yesterday and, using my MoreMoreMore philosophy, crammed 2 cups of big fat blueberries into the batter—yum.

Blueberry Banana Bran Muffins
Makes 12-14 large and very moist muffins. Follow Basic Bran Muffin recipe, but stir mashed very ripe banana (2 small bananas, about 9 oz/255g including the peel) into wet ingredients. Then gently fold 1½ cups (7½ oz/214g) fresh or frozen blueberries into the finished batter. Baking time may need to be increased to 25 to 28 minutes.

Cranberry Orange Bran Muffins
Makes about 10 large muffins. Follow Basic Bran Muffin recipe, but replace the 2/3 cup milk with 2/3 cup orange juice and omit the vanilla extract. Stir 1 cup (4½ oz/127g) orange-flavored dried cranberries (I recently discovered these at Trader Joe's and think they're wonderful) or regular dried cranberries to finished batter. For muffins with more orange flavor, stir 1 teaspoon finely chopped or grated orange zest into the wet ingredients.

Still hungry? You'll find links to all my sweet and savory Less Fuss, More Flavor recipes in the Farmgirl Fare Recipe Index. Enjoy!

©, the fiber-filled foodie farm blog where Farmgirl Susan shares recipes, stories and photos of her crazy country life on 240 remote Missouri acres—and sometimes we throw breakfast caution to the wind and start our day with a hunk of chocolate cake and a large glass of ice-cold milk instead of healthy muffins. It's good to live dangerously sometimes.

My Best Healthy Bran Muffin Recipe With 100% Whole Grains, No Refined Sugar, and No Cereal (2024)


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