Gingerbread’s in the House

Oh how I love the flavors of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Oatmeal cookies made with molasses. Morning hot farina with cinnamon and nutmeg added. Rum raisin cakes and ice cream, OMG, that’s me. I am not a chocolate must-have person, I cannot even relate.

The winter season calls for the warmth of these hearty ingredients in a savory or sweet creation.  I am maintaining a conscious effort to bake and eat healthier treats and this recipe reflects that with the main ingredient being wheat bran.

It’s great fiber with great flavor!  Easy to make too, no need for a mixer.  Enjoy!

Gingerbread Wheat Bran Muffins

Dry Ingredients

1 1/2 cup wheat bran
3/4 whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Wet Ingredients

1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup apple sauce
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup plain yogurt/milk mixture
3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

Process: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the wheat bran evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until fragrant and toasted, about 8 minutes. Remove and cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the toasted bran, whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and cloves.

In a large bowl, whisk together the molasses, vegetable oil, dark brown sugar and eggs. Stir in the yogurt, milk and ginger.
Gently stir the dry ingredients into the wet. Fill muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Makes 9 large or 12 regular sized muffins.


Carrot Crumble

Carrot Muffin with Toasted Oat & Almond Crumble Top

Carrot cake?  Well, close.  This is a carrot muffin with a toasted oat & almond crumble top!  And while I used my healthy carrot “cake” recipe, I’ve decided to call this a muffin.  It’s less sweet than cake — has no sugary frosting — and can be a nice option for breakfast with coffee.

I got the inspiration from a similar “muffin” I had from a wonderful grocery store called Wegman’s in NJ.

I was on an exploration in Woodbridge where I visited a friend who owns a store called Unique Collection.  I spent quite some time browsing the wide selection of Buddha wooden statutes, natural stones, home fragrances and jewelry all while Indian chant music played in the background. Sweet!

I highly recommend my friend’s shop if you’re looking for a unique gift for a special person.

Check here for more: Unique Collection FaceBook page

While the Wegman muffin was good, I like knowing what’s in my baked goods and since I get so much satisfaction from baking, well, that was enough reason to make these.

Here’s the recipe.

Carrot Muffin with Toasted Oat & Almond Crumble Top

Yield:  9-10 large muffins

Carrot Cake Recipe (Note:  Omit coconut)

Crumble Top Recipe

1/2 C. Home made toasted oat granola or any granola you like
2 T. butter, slightly chilled
2 T. sugar
1 T. flour
1/4 C. almonds

Process:  add all ingredients to a processor and pulse about 5 times until ingredients are combined.  Should resemble a moist yet crumbly texture.  Add to the top of each muffin and bake at 350F for about 30 minutes.  Test with a toothpick for complete doneness.