Monday, 14 June 2010
Sweet Freedom Raisin Bran Muffins
I wrote about Sweet Freedom, a totally natural alternative to sugar, not long ago. (To see the article, please click here.) It's a product I am really enthusiastic about and recently I've started using it in some of my baking. Here I've incorporated it into my signature bran muffin recipe. Served with a glass of low-fat milk or orange juice they are a quick and delicious breakfast, and bear no relation whatsoever to the cupcakes masquerading as muffins you often find in stores.
You need to be sure to use natural bran in this recipe (not bran cereal) which is available in the cereal aisle of most grocery stores near the oatmeal. I use Jordan's natural wheat bran. Bran is a nutritional powerhouse containing lots of fibre, omegas, protein, vitamins and minerals and along with Sweet Freedom it helps make these muffins healthier than ever.
I use large North American style muffin pans for this recipe and it makes about 15 muffins. If you want to use smaller pans with smaller muffin cups that is absolutely fine, just remember they will take less time to bake.
2 large free range or organic eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup mild olive oil (not extra virgin)
¾ cup Sweet Freedom (the Rich Sweet Freedom works best)
2 cups bran
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1¼ cups plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon salt (feel free to use less if you are on a salt restricted diet)
1 eating apple, peeled and cored
1½ cups sultanas or raisins
1 cup buttermilk
(You can use ordinary milk if you don't have buttermilk on hand, but do use buttermilk if you can.)
Preheat the oven to 170℃ (160℃ fan oven). Line muffin pans with paper cases (available in various sizes in the baking aisle of most grocery stores).
In a large bowl combine the eggs, olive oil, Sweet Freedom, bran and cinnamon. Stir to mix and then set aside.
Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar and salt together into a medium bowl. Grate the apple into the flour mixture. Add the raisins and and stir lightly with a wooden spoon to mix. Add this mixture all at once to the eggy bran mixture in the large bowl. Don't worry if it doesn't all combine straight away, but stir through lightly. Now add the buttermilk and stir until the mixture is thoroughly blended.
Divide the mixture between the muffin cups - I use a quick release ice cream scoop for this which works a treat - and place the pans in the preheated oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until a skewer (or piece of dried spaghetti) inserted in the centre of the muffins comes out clean. Cool on wire racks.
Once cool, store in a sealed container. Muffins will keep for about three days at room temperature, longer if stored in the fridge. They also freeze very well and you can thaw them overnight in the fridge. Re-warm fridge cold muffins on high in the microwave for ten to twenty seconds.