I don’t often have nothing to offer photo-wise for the introducting to today’s recipe. But today I actually have nothing. Save for this:
It’s been a crazy couple of weeks with weddings, new businesses, a house hunt, researching new cars, day to day life, etc. It’s hard to find time to do anything.
What I did manage to make time for was baking. I needed something to offer both my oldest boy (the picky eater) and my youngest daughter (the voracious foodie), but I also wanted it to be healthy for me. I’ve been doing the Insanity workout for about five months now. Results are amazing, but it’s a lot of upkeep. Food is fuel yes, but to me it better be damn good if it’s going in my mouth. There’s no sense in eating it if it ain’t good, right?
So I had to come up with a healthy muffin, because that’s what I really wanted to make. Easy handheld food even a three year old can work with. Immediately my mind went to bran muffins. Too bad I didn’t have any bran in the house. What I did have was wheat germ, a much healthier alternative to bran. Bran may have fiber going for it, but the germ has protein, potassium, iron, vitamin E, folate, phosphorus, riboflavin, calcium, thiamin, zinc, magnesium, essential atty acids AND it’s great source of fiber. Take that bran.
So what’s the difference between the bran and the germ? The bran is merely the outer casing of the wheat grain which is removed in most processing procedures. Wheat germ is the heart of the wheat kernel, the part that will “germ”inate and turn into wheat grass. So there you go.
Wheat germ is a much healthier alternative to bran in my opinion, especially for children. You can add it to soups, breads, muffins, smoothies, pancakes, or use it instead of bread crumbs in burgers and meatballs. It also works well as a coating for fried or baked foods.
So if you are craving a muffin, but feel like something a tad healthier, try these on for size. A perfect morning snack!
And here, just for you:
What? It’s still a muffin…I said they were healthier.
Raisin “Bran” Muffins
Yield: one dozen muffins
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
1 cup wheat germ
2 tbsp ground flax seeds
1 1/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of one lemon
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup raisins
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
2. Mix wheat germ, flax and buttermilk in a large bowl and set aside for five minutes.
3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg with the oil, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest. Add to the wheat germ mixture.
4. In another separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gently stir into wet, but do not mix completely.
5. Fold raisins into mixture and be careful not to over mix. Lumps are a-okay.
6. Pour evenly into tins and bake 12-17 minutes.
Similarly delicious recipe from other fabulous food blogs:
Gluten Free Bran Muffins on Elena’s Pantry
Skinny Wheat Germ Oatmeal on The Novice Chef Blog
Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies on 101 Cookbooks
Orange Wheat Germ Muffins on the Taste Traveller
Sour Cream Bran Muffins on Smitten Kitchen