Friday, September 4, 2009

Ginger Pear Bran Muffins

Since we visited Alaska and ate at the Muffin Man in Anchorage I've seriously considered writing them a letter and begging for their mango bran muffin recipe. It was hands down the best muffin I've ever eaten in my life. I don't know how to describe it. It was a nice dense, but not heavy, and not overly sweet piece of goodness. Almost had a sourdough quality to it. I searched in vain for a recipe that might get me close to the same texture and qualities online.

This recipe was made out of desperation about a week ago...had to at least dampen the MM cravings to a dull roar. It's lighter in texture than the ones we had at the MM, but I can see definite possibilities in it. Think I'll be trying out changes by making half recipes. Might try adding buttermilk and cutting back on the oil a bit. Will surely use mango the next time, we just had a Costco flat of Bartlett's to use up. I really liked my addition of molasses to Farmgirl's original recipe...bumped up the ginger flavor by adding powdered ginger too.
I do want to mention that I weighed the brans and the flour instead of using measuring cups. The amount of each by weight ended up being more than the listed cup measure, just so's you know.

Best way to start this recipe is by shopping the bulk section of your favorite market for nice fresh ingredients. Will cost you less than 2 bucks for the brans, flour, gingers and most of the stuff I got was organic to boot.

The lower fat, just as delish mango version will follow tomorrow!

Ginger Pear Bran Muffins:
(Adapted from Farmgirl Fare)

2 cups (3oz/86g) wheat bran
1 cup (5oz/141g) oat bran
1 cup (6oz/170g) whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons (12g) baking soda
1 teaspoon (6g) baking powder
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon (4g) salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup (5-1/2oz/156g) plain yogurt (I used fat-free Bulgarian...nice and sour)
1/3 cup (2-1/4oz/65g) canola oil
2/3 cup (7-1/2 oz/216g) honey (I used 1/3 light flavored molasses, 1/3 honey)
1 teaspoon (6g) vanilla extract
2 cups peeled & mostly mashed ripe (Bartlett) pears (about 3 pears or 17 oz) or 2 15-oz cans of pears, drained and mashed + 1/3 cup of the pear syrup
1/2 cup finely chopped candied ginger (I think I only used about 1/3 this time...also maybe sub cranberries)

Place oven rack in middle of oven and heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a standard size muffin pan.
Combine wheat bran, oat bran, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, powdered ginger and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
Combine eggs, yogurt, canola oil, honey/molasses, and vanilla in a small bowl and mix well. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula just until combined.
Gently stir in the pears and candied ginger.
Generously fill all 12 muffin cups with batter, using all the batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 to 28 minutes (I went about 28). Cool muffins in pan for 15 minutes, then carefully remove from pan and serve warm, or let cool on a wire rack.
(I figured these at ~265 cals per muffin)

My favorite way to eat these is crumbled up in a bowl of plain fat-free yogurt, sometimes tossing a few walnut pieces in too. YUM!

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