Tuesday, September 09, 2008



break fast ....

i've never been one of those people who wakes up hungry. even after a full night's sleep, food isn't the first thing on my mind. no, my number one priority, after battling with the "snooze button" on my alarm clock for 20 to 30 minutes every morning, has always been caffeine — and lots of it. i need to work for my appetite to be awoken in the mornings. to this day, it amazes me how people wake up ravenously hungry .... some of them ready to bite your head off until they've sated their appetites. maybe i'm strange but the sight and smell of food in the early morning even makes me feel nauseated :o

in my feeble attempts to mend my ways (ahem....i mean become more health conscious) and eat breakfast every morning, i've been on my bran muffin "kick" — a mouth full of bran cereal is enough to choke anyone to death, so one might as well get it in a more palatable form :)


ok, muffins and i have never had a great love affair ..... especially healthy ones. one day, a while back, i came across a recipe which looked decent. i was leary of the results the first time i tried this recipe; low-fat stuff usually tastes like crap. these, however, are pretty damned good for what they are in terms of ingredients. they make anywhere from 8 to 12 and freeze great in ziploc sandwich bags to grab for the those busy mornings when you're on the run. give 'em a try to see for yourself — and remember: these ones won't leave that big stain of grease on your napkin!

walnut & date bran muffins

makes 8 to 12, depending on size of muffin tins

wet ingredients:

1 c applesauce
1 egg
2/3 c {clabbered} soymilk or milk*, or buttermilk
1/3 c brown sugar, packed
1/4 c molasses or sorghum or brown rice syrup
1/4 c oil
1 tsp vanilla

*if clabbering the soymilk or milk, you will need 3 tsp of white vinegar. if using buttermilk then you don't need to do this.

dry ingredients:

1 c all purpose flour + 1 c whole wheat flour
1 c all bran (cereal)**
1 tsp baking soda (not baking powder)
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger powder

1/2 - 2/3 c chopped walnuts
1/2 - 2/3 c chopped dates (i use ~10 to 12 dates)

**you can use any bran cereal, as long as it's 100% bran


preheat oven to 375F and grease or line muffin tins.

if you are not using buttermilk, then you need to clabber your soymilk or regular milk. this means you are adding an acid to it (vinegar) which will thicken the milk and make it react with the baking soda to make the muffins rise during baking. note that when you clabber soymilk, it does not thicken as much as regular milk; it still works fine however.

place the soymilk or milk in a bowl and add 3 tsp of white vinegar. let it sit while you measure the dry & wet ingredients.

after you have measured all the ingredients, the mixture will have thickened and will appear curdled. this is what you are looking for.

mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and set aside.

mix all the wet ingredients and stir to combine. add the buttermilk or the clabbered (soy) milk and stir again.

add the wet mixture to the dry and stir to combine. make sure to stir it well but do not overmix.

add the walnuts and chopped dates and let the mixture sit for a minimum of 5 minutes. this is important: you need the bran cereal to absorb some of the liquid.

after 5 minutes, measure out equally into muffin tins and bake for 30 to 35. turn down the oven to 350 during the last 10 minutes.

let cool or eat warm. these can be frozen for later use.



Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Neither am I a breakfast person! Generally, I only drink coffee till 12PM. On weekends, though I'll brunch around lunchtime...

Those muffins look fantastic and I love their healthiness! Great!



sari said...

hehe, you made me smile : we're two of a kind, i can't eat in the mornings only drink three expressos, one after the other. but i guess this is very a european thing while having eggs and muffins for breakfast is something you can only see here in NA movies! anyway, these muffins must taste great if you say it, i'm sure, but...bran??? i thought that was food for horses :O
all other ingredients sound attractive, especially dates : have never baked with them only eat them right away.

burekaboy — said...

rosa - funny, i thought you'd be one of those breakfast-eaters! ;p weekends are the best days for late breakfasts or brunches - easier to enjoy when you're not stressed out about getting to work :))

sari - LOL, it "ain't" just in the movies! you should see what people eat here for breakfasts! ;p as for the bran - you can feel like a horse eating it; i'm sure there's other stuff mixed in with it to make it more palatable. it's very popular here in morning cereals - check out the link i put. i don't think you're thinking about the same kind of bran - it's not like the texture of wheat germ. anyway, try them out if you can get the cereal. the dates are very good in these muffins; usually people add raisins (yuck).

yaelian said...

I am not so hungry either in the morning, in the past I forced myself to eat some oatmeal porridge in the mornings (in the cold climate of Finland,,,,)which had a nice warming effect on the tummy. These muffins seem to be worth a try!

Susan G said...

What do you think of meshing this with your banana bread? Bananas for applesauce, honey for the sweetener? Both look appealing to me.
I'm a weekend breakfast person. Just vitamins and a big nutrition drink during the week, stimulants later.

burekaboy — said...

yael - hi ;) people here eat porridge a lot in the winter also. you know how it is -- freezing cold in the winter! i used to HATE it so much. the texture of it was totally gross - too slimy. these days i can tolerate it more than i could as a kid. now you don't have to worry about the cold weather b'aretz!

hi susan - thanks for your comment and welcome to my blog. i'm sure the mixture you suggest would work great, actually ;)) i didn't even think about combining the two. good for future experiments. i, too, am the weekend breakfast type but as i said, stimulants first! LOL.

Lilandra said...

why don't you make a cappuccino or coffee bran muffin?
get the food and caffeine fix in one go...

burekaboy — said...

lilandra - hey, you know what?! you gave me a great idea ... i have a recipe for a cappucino type muffin (no bran involved!) LOL. completely forgot about them....

hope the fasting is going well and you're enjoying breaking fast each night with good things! :))

Lilandra said...


i used to have this cappuccino chocolate chip muffin from stop & shop (huge yeah but i loved the crust and flavour)


the thing is, i'm fine with mini muffins...

burekaboy — said...

lilandra - LOL, now i gotta find that d*mn recipe!! mini muffins, yum :))