If you’ve read my past articles, you might have noticed that I like to share recipes that are very easy to make at home. This one is no exception. I’ve been making it for almost 25 years. Remember the oat bran craze back in the late 1980s? I was hooked on everything oat bran then, hearing that it was a superfood. Fast-forward 25 years, and the oat bran craze has waned somewhat, maybe because it’s not technically a whole grain (though it is still a great source of fiber). I still love making these muffins. I don’t remember ever hearing the term “gluten-free” back then, but these muffins do qualify. Not only are they gluten-free, they are also dairy-free, wheat-free, corn-free, soy-free (unless you use corn or soybean oil) and even nut-free if you don’t add nuts. Oat bran is available in the cereal aisle, bulk foods section, and the gluten-free section in most grocery stores. It looks a little different from wheat bran in that it is lighter in color and the flakes are usually smaller. I’ve always used plain oat bran, not oat flour, in this recipe. Oat bran is still a good way to add extra protein and fiber to your diet, even if you’re not trying to cut down on gluten. Not to mention, these muffins are quite tasty!
2 cups oat bran
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup low-fat milk
2 Tbsp. light olive or vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Line 12 standard size muffin cups with paper liners.
In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In another smaller bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and oil. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients. Stir to combine well. Spoon about 1/4 cup (2 ounces) into each muffin cup.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until light brown or when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool. Remove from pan. These freeze well wrapped in plastic wrap.
There are several variations you can try with these muffins, and I encourage you to use your imagination and experiment. Here are a few ideas:
1) Raisin Nut – add 1/4 cup raisins and 1/4 cup nuts of your choice
2) Banana Nut – add 1/2 cup smashed very ripe banana and 1/4 cup nuts
3) Apple Cinnamon – add 1/2 cup diced fresh apple and 1 teaspoon cinnamon
4) Blueberry – add 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
Chef Tracy Darue is the Instructional Coordinator of Baking and Pastry at The Culinary Institute of Montana at Flathead Valley Community College. She is a graduate of California Culinary Academy, former Chef/Owner of a bakery and restaurant, and former school district food service director. For more information about the Culinary Institute of Montana at FVCC, visit www.culinaryinstituteofmt.com.
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