Apple Pie Bran Muffins

A few months ago, we decided to stop eating (and buying) cereal. I’m working on a post with lots of healthier alternatives (that are still fast!) but for now, I’ll give you another muffin recipe. A lot of muffins are basically just cake that we’ve convinced ourselves is ok to eat for breakfast. Not these babies!

apple pie bran muffins

its good for youThese are full of whole-grain goodness, protein, and no sugar or oil! (Well, no processed sugar – there is natural sugar in the apples and honey) Oh, and honey is basically a super food.

We make a batch of muffins almost every week, and it lasts about a week for breakfasts or snacks since we don’t eat them every day. They’re quick to make, really tasty, healthy, and filling. And one of the reasons I love to make muffins is that my little boy loves to help me make them!

making apple pie bran muffins

He’s such a good little helper in the kitchen! (When he’s not trying to snitch bites of dough or spilling things… Also, I don’t know what’s up with the tongue sticking out.) He stirs up all the dry ingredients for me while I mix the wet, and he puts the muffin liners in the pan, and he puts the ingredients away when we’re done with them. And he also sings the “Muffin Man” song while we make them. He’s pretty adorable sometimes.

This recipe is adapted from my Honey Orange Bran Muffins recipe, but I made enough changes that I decided to give these their own post.

Start by mixing up all the dry ingredients – the oat bran, whole wheat flour, baking soda and powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt – in a large bowl.

Peel and chop the apple into small pieces.

apple cinnamon bran muffins recipe

Mix the wet ingredients – the yogurt, applesauce, eggs, honey, vanilla – in a smaller bowl. Fold in the apple chunks. Then pour the yogurt mixture in with the flour mixture, folding together until everything is moist.

honey orange bran muffins recipe 1

 

Spoon into muffin pan (I use paper liners) and bake at 350 for about 12 minutes.

apple pie bran muffins recipe

They should be turning golden on the top. Let them cool on a wire rack, and enjoy! These muffins tend to look a bit lumpier on top than the other ones, but they’re still delicious! (And healthier since I subbed out the sugar for applesauce!)

no sugar apple cinnamon bran muffins

Apple Pie Bran Muffins

1 cup oat bran (wheat works too)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
pinch salt
1 cup Greek yogurt
2 eggs
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 small apple

1. Preheat oven to 350. Mix all dry ingredients – bran, flour, baking soda and powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt – in a large bowl.

2. Peel and chop the apple into small pieces.

3. Mix all wet ingredients – yogurt, eggs, applesauce, honey, and vanilla – in smaller bowl. Fold in apple pieces. Pour into the large bowl with the dry ingredients, and stir until combined, and all ingredients are moist.

4. Spoon batter into greased muffin pan (or with paper liners). Fill each muffin about 3/4 full. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until tops begin to turn golden brown. Let cool on wire rack.

Makes about 18 muffins

 

Oatmeal Cottage Cheese Banana Pancakes

If I had to pick between breakfast, lunch, and dinner food to eat for the rest of my life, I would absolutely and unquestionably choose breakfast. There are just so many delicious options! There’s just something about a lot of breakfast foods that feels like comfort food to me. So yes, I’m one of those people that frequently makes pancakes and eggs for dinner.

In keeping with my attempts to make meals that are actually full of good foods and not processed junk, I’ve been experimenting with several different pancake recipes lately. This one came from a recipe my sister introduced me to, but I added a few more ingredients and changed things up a bit. And the end result is a rather delicious incredibly moist pancake!

cottage cheese oatmeal banana pancakes

Honestly, these pancakes are so moist and flavorful, that I don’t even use syrup on them. I just butter them and dig in! I’m sure they’d be delicious smothered in maple syrup (or fruit syrup!), but they don’t need it. They’d also be tasty with a pile of fresh fruit on top!

Because they have cottage cheese in them, which melts when they cook, they stay pretty moist in the middle. My husband doesn’t like this – he says they’re gooey. I love it! A lot of pancakes are too dry for my taste, and you have to bathe them in syrup for them to be edible. Don’t get me wrong, syrup is delicious, but probably not the healthiest thing for you. So the fact that these are moist and sweet all on their own is a major win for me!

Oh, and they kind of taste like banana bread. Which I love.

its good for you Oats have soooo many health benefits – starting with lots of fiber! The cottage cheese and eggs give you a nice amount of protein (so important for starting your day!) And there’s no added sugar!!

These pancakes are also quick and easy to mix up. Just throw all the ingredients in the blender!

oatmeal cottage cheese banana pancakes

oat cottage cheese banana pancakes

You may need to stop and scrape down the sides to make sure everything gets blended evenly.

cottage cheese oat banana pancakes

Then cook them on the stove or a griddle.

all natural oat pancakes

Serve hot with some butter and enjoy!

Oatmeal Cottage Cheese Banana Pancakes

2 cups oats
1 cup cottage cheese
2 eggs
1 banana
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
milk (if needed to thin batter)

1. Place all ingredients (except milk) in the blender and blend until smooth, scraping down sides as needed. If the batter seems to thick, add a little milk and blend again.

2. Pour batter onto heated griddle or frying pan. I do about 1/4 cup per pancake, but you can make them as big or small as you like.

3. When the bottom is cooked and begins to brown, flip the pancakes over and continue cooking until that side is cooked and golden. The insides will stay a little moist from the cottage cheese melting.

Makes about a dozen pancakes.

banana oat cottage cheese pancakes

change it upAfter blending, mix in some fresh fruit such as blueberries, chopped strawberries, raspberries, etc.

Honey Nut Oatmeal

This is another recipe that came from our dairy-free trial with our two-year-old. Oh man was it hard! Just coming up with things for him to eat (without just feeding him the same thing every meal) was difficult, but trying to actually keep a balanced diet was even harder!

We bought some almond milk to try out. We got plain almond milk so as to minimize sugar intake (he’s already got enough energy!), which, in my opinion, doesn’t taste too great. I guess maybe some people like it, but I’m not a huge fan. But turns out if you use it to cook oatmeal, it gives it a nice nutty flavor and creamier consistency than just cooking it in water.

Instead of just adding sugar, we added some peanut butter, which made it creamier, nuttier, and added protein. And then we drizzled a little honey on top for extra deliciousness.

honey nut oatmeal 1

its good for youOats are full of whole-grainy goodness, and when combined with almond milk and peanut butter you get a nice balance of protein and carbohydrates. And honey is kind of a super food – full of vitamins, minerals, and anti-bacterial properties. Great way to start your day!

To make this, you basically make it the same way you would “regular” oatmeal – just substitute the water or milk for almond milk, bring it to a boil, and stir in the oats. Cook for about 5 minutes, then stir in the peanut butter.

honey nut oatmeal 2

Dish into bowls and drizzle a little honey on top. Enjoy!

Honey Nut Oatmeal

2 1/2 cups almond milk
1 1/2 cups oats
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 Tbsp + honey

1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring almond milk to a bowl. Pour in oats and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.

2. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter.

3. Dish into 4 bowls and drizzle a little honey on top of each.

Makes about 4 servings.

Honey Orange Bran Muffins

A bran muffin that doesn’t taste like cardboard? Yes, it’s possible. And delicious. And healthy.

honey orange blackberry bran muffins 1

A few things I love about these muffins:

1. They’re delicious! Seriously, I want to eat them all the time.

2. My little boy loves to help me make them. He stirs up all the dry ingredients, and usually doesn’t even spill much because we use a giant bowl!

3. its good for youThey’re actually pretty good for you! They have a fair amount of protein from the Greek yogurt and the eggs, plus the whole grains which have some protein. And they’re made with whole grains! Lots of fiber and other goodness! There’s very little processed sugar because the honey and orange zest give them flavor and sweetness. Oh, and honey is also super good for you!

4. They’re pretty quick to make, and then you have breakfast/snacks for several days. They also freeze pretty well, so you could make a big batch and freeze them, and then just pop them a few in the toaster oven as needed.

orange honey blackberry whole wheat bran muffins

Okay, done with my rant about why these muffins are great. On to how to make them:

The first thing you’ll want to do is zest an orange. You can use a box grater, a citrus zester, or this awesome grater I got from Ikea. (sorry for the random product shout out, but seriously, it’s grate. I mean great.)

honey orange bran muffins recipe 2

A little tip for zesting: Try not to push too hard. You don’t want to get too much of the lighter pulpy part under the peel because it tends to be more bitter.

Next you’ll mix all the dry ingredients – oat bran, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt – in a large bowl. Mix the wet ingredients – yogurt, eggs, vanilla, oil, honey, and orange zest – in a smaller bowl.

honey orange bran muffins recipe 1

Pour the wet ingredients into the larger bowl with the dry ingredients, and mix together with a wooden spoon. Just mix until all the dry ingredients are wet – don’t over mix or mix too vigorously. (I don’t let my two-year-old do this part.)

honey orange bran muffins recipe 3

(Not quite mixed enough yet)

If you’re adding any fruit, gently fold it in. Then spoon the batter into a muffin pan lined with paper liners. Fill each one about 2/3 full.

honey orange bran muffins recipe 4

Bake in the oven at 375 for 12-15 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes in the muffin pan, then move to a cooling rack.

honey orange bran muffins 1

Honey Orange Bran Muffins

Ingredients:

1 cup oat bran
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 cup honey
zest of 1 orange (1-2 Tbsp)

1. Preheat oven to 375. Mix bran, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large bowl.

2. Mix yogurt, oil, vanilla, eggs, honey, and orange zest in a smaller bowl.

3. Gently fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon until just combined, and all dry ingredients are wet. (If you’re adding any fruit, add it now.)

4. Spoon batter into a muffin pan with paper liners, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Remove from oven, and let cool a few minutes before moving to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Yield: About 1 dozen muffins.

honey orange blackberry bran muffins

change it upMix in 1 cup of blackberries or blueberries, 1/2 cup craisins, or 1 tsp cloves for variety! (If you add 1 cup of fruit, you will get about 18 muffins instead of 12.)