Saturday, 8 September 2012
You just can't beat having a delicious homebaked muffin for a great "Breakfast on the Go!" Now that the school year has begun once more in earnest . . . those morning moments are all the more precious. Breakfast being the most important meal of the day . . . it's also really important that you eat something which is substantial, fairly healthy and that will help to keep you going until at least coffee break time!
Children have early morning sports and club activities to dash off to, early morning buses to catch . . . mom and dad are trying to get everything sorted, showered and fed before they have to dash off to work . . . and the list goes on and on. It soon becomes far much easier to pick up a donut at the coffee shop on the way in, or feed the hungry babes with a pop tart or other equally as chemical and additive filled portable "breakfast" goodie. Not good . . . they might taste good . . . but they are just not good for you.
Wholesome and hearty muffins, baked with natural ingredients are a delicious and healthier alternative to a fast food breakfast sandwich or other "quick" choice. Taste tempting muffins such as these fabulous ones shown here today . . .
Muffins made with whole grains . . . fruit, not a lot of fat, not a lot of sweetening . . . filling and tasty nonetheless . . . and reasonably sized, not gargantuan. A muffin is supposed to be a muffin . . . not a cake baked in a muffin tin.
Breakfast on the go. Portable goodness. Very easy to bake ahead and freeze, and then just take out as and when you are wanting something quick, and wholesome . . . and filling. This will put some lead in your pencil and help to get you and your family through the morning without finding yourself hungry again half an hour down the road, and so starving by elevensies that you grab something very bad for you like a candy bar or a bag of crisps . . .
I used to have my own coffee shop years ago . . . and these tasty little babies were one of the most popular muffins on the menu. You can substitute mild molasses for the maple syrup if you wish, and other dried fruits for the sultanas . . . if sultanas are not to your taste.
The low fat buttermilk makes them moist . . . sweetened naturally with some maple syrup and muscovado sugar . . . whole bran cereal and unbleached plain flour . . . naturally sweet sultanas, high in fibre and low in fat. These are my breakfast winners! (Sans the butter, of course!! What can I say . . . I felt like indulging myself this morning . . . I can sometimes be quite naughty.)
*Everyday Maple, Bran and Sultana Muffins*
Makes 12 medium muffins
I like my Bran Muffins chock full of raisins, but feel free to subsitute other dried fruits such as blueberries, cranberries or chopped apricots or dates.
Moist and delicious muffins! Not too sweet. I bake these and then store them in the freezer. Then I take them out, one or two at a time and just reheat them for a few seconds in the microwave.
375ml of low fat buttermilk (1 1/2 cups)
2 large free range eggs
4 TBS unsalted butter, melted
60ml of sunflower oil (1/4 cup)
60ml of pure maple syrup (1/4 cup)
50g of all bran cereal (about 1 1/2 cups)
225g of raisins (1 1/2 cups)
100g of plain flour (1 cup)
30g of wheat or oat bran (1/2 cup)
50g of soft light brown muscovado sugar (1/4 cup packed)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
50g of toasted chopped walnuts, or pecans (1/2 cup) (optional)
Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6. Butter a standard sized 12 cup metal muffin tin(2 1/2 inch diameter cups) really well, including the top of the pan. Set aside.
Combine the buttermilk, butter, eggs, oil, maple syrup, bran cereal and raisins in a large bowl. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes to soften the bran and plump the raisins.
Whisk the nuts (if using), flour, wheat bran, sugar, baking powder, soda and sea salt together in another bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the liquid mixture. Fold together just to moisten. Divide the batter between the muffin cups, filling them just level with the edge of the pan. Bake in the centre of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are golden brown, well risen and spring back when lightly touched. A toothpick should also come out of the centre clean. Don't overbake. Allow to sit in the pans for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool. Serve on the day, or freeze in air tight containers for up to 3 months. (Reheat for about 30 seconds in the microwave when you are ready to eat.)