Are there any foods that make you think of your childhood? In terms of purchased foods, for me, its bran muffins. My parents weren't strict about junk food, but they didn't buy us Hostess Twinkies or that kind of thing. They did, however, buy us Sunmaid raisin bran muffins from the locally grocery store in Kingston. Oddly, I never saw them sold elsewhere, and I haven't seen them sold in many years. Nevertheless, they were a family favorite.
They came in packs of 4, and even though we were a family of 4, we always fought over them. Despite the name, like most muffins you buy, they weren't remotely healthy. Sure the bran and raisins gave them fibre, but they were full of white flour, sugar and trans fat. We just weren't aware, at that time, how bad they were for us. If they were in the house, you can be certain I was grabbing one for breakfast. I remember them being very moist and sweet, with a hint of cinnamon. Mmm!
I thought about those muffins as I baked these, much healthier ones, for Adam to take to work. I wasn't sure he'd love a raisin bran muffin, but I know he loves apple/cinnamon treats, so that is why I chose this combo. Apparently its a favorite with the girls too, as before I could put them in the freezer, they gobbled down as many as I would let them.
These too are moist, tender and sweet, but without all the sugar, white flour and saturated fat of those Sunmaid ones.
Apple Cinnamon Bran Muffins
2 cups bran
3 cups buttermilk (or non-dairy milk + 2 tbls vinegar or lemon juice)
2 eggs (or flax eggs)
2 cups granulated stevia (or xylitol or erythritol)
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Yellow Delicious apple, chopped
2 cups whole spelt (or other whole grain) flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Place bran in a medium sized bowl and pour buttermilk over top. Stir and let sit for 30+ minutes.
Whisk together remaining wet ingredients in a large bowl. Add bran and mix together. Combine dry ingredients, mix well and then add to wet. Stir, just until combined.
Scrape batter into greased muffin cups. Bake at 350F for 18-22 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely and then remove from pan. Makes 18 muffins. Keep in air tight container for up to 4 days or freeze.