Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Not Too Sexy But Still Good All-Bran Muffins

Everyone needs a friend who makes their grandma look chic and hip and trendy. They need this friend because on so many levels a friend like this can make you feel better about yourself. First off, you feel cool next to this person because even if you are not that cool, you appear cool beside this person. Secondly, on the days when you are really not cool--like maybe wearing your fat pants with a non-matching top around the house as you scrub the goober puddle that has built up under the refrigerator--that friend will somehow one up you. Say, by wearing fat pants that she accidentally shrunk so they are now high waters and tight in the wrong places as she putters about wiping pee off the countertops in the bathroom (because as we all know, that is a perfectly logical place to find pee in a bathroom) and then goes (after washing her hands quite thoroughly) shopping in just that same outfit without once thinking to change into a pair of jeans. Such a person uses weird cliches, does not understand technology, and probably eats bran of some variety. It's just the type of person your kids do not go to bed praying to have as their mother. What more could you ask for in a friend? I, dear followers, am that friend. You're welcome.

Now, let's eat some bran muffins. Why, you ask? Well, duh. Because it's January and you, like every other self-respecting American, made a goal to lose 10 pounds. But it's the end of January and the box of All-Bran in your pantry is really starting to languish. But also because it actually makes some pretty good muffins. My favorite are the Original All-Bran Muffins. I buy All-Bran when I see it on sale just to make those. Though this month I was wooed (remember, I make your grandma look cool) by the new recipe on the side of the box, which pulled out all the hip, sexy, foodie stops and used the words 'almond butter' and 'dark chocolate' in its name. I have to tell you this recipe didn't come out hip, sexy, or foodie (though admittedly I just used peanut butter instead of its cooler almond brother), but it was good and pretty healthy too--using not too much sugar, a variety of grains, and some banana. Plus, it'll give your stale All-Bran a boost. 

Not Too Sexy But Still Good All-Bran Muffins
adapted from All-Bran
Makes 12-14
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes
Cost: $1.60
(flour: .15, sugar: .08, milk: .20, oats: .10, banana: .12, peanut butter: .40, egg: .10, chocolate chips: .45-.90)

1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/3 C milk
1 C All Bran cereal (I expect that other varieties of twiggy looking bran cereals would work as well, but can't promise that)
1 C rolled oats (I used quick)
1/3 C peanut butter
1 medium banana, mashed (about 1/3-1/2 C)
1 egg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 C dark chocolate (or, heck, regular chocolate) chips--I only used about 1/2 C (it is still prime resolution month, my friends)

Preheat oven to 375. 

In a large bowl, combine milk, All-Bran, and oats. Let this stand 2 minutes so it's nice and soggy. Mix in peanut butter, mashed banana, egg, cinnamon, an d nutmeg. 

Add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add chocolate chips. Stir until just combined (You never want to over-mix muffins as it makes the cooked muffin tougher.)

Spoon batter into muffin tin. 

Bake 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool a bit and eat. 

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