These applesauce bran muffins are a favorite in our family for a number of reasons. One of them is they are delicious. Another is that the recipe comes from a dear friend.
It's always fun when a recipe isn't just delicious, but it carries some memories or special meaning with it.
It could be a family heirloom recipe, or your favorite recipe from when you were a child (I still need to see if I can get my favorite childhood Irish Stew and Pasta Sauce and Meatball recipes somehow…..), or it could be something you had at a friend's house.
For example, this recipe for Chocolate Avocado Pudding has its roots in a lovely visit with one of my college housemates.
Margaret's Applesauce Bran Muffins
Margaret is a wonderful hostess who likes to cook simply and have people over often.
She will have you into her house even though it isn't perfect –and she doesn't expect yours to be either :).
In fact, Margaret and her husband, David, have been known to phone us while driving though our neck of the woods just to tell us that they are in town in the hopes that they can drop by. Sometimes they have even called us from our driveway!
Now that's my kind of friend! Well, unless I have plans. Then I really want advanced notice…..only because we love them so much and can't turn them down and then things get a little too chaotic for us.
Anyhow, Margaret is, like a lot of us, very busy–she has five children and she is very active in ministry. She doesn't like to cook much and so her recipes tend to be simple. And she doesn't make a fuss like cleaning her place like crazy when friends come over……like I said…my kind of friend!
She likes one pan meals like this Pakistani Kima (my recipe is based off of hers). These applesauce bran muffins are no exception to her simple cooking rules.
You will probably have much of what you need in your pantry to make these so you can whip up a batch at a moment's notice anytime. And enjoy these gluten-free bran muffins with company, which is one of Margaret's favorite things to do.
I remember having these with Margaret in her family's apartment when my husband and I were newly married. I still remember staying up too late, walking a lot (Margaret loves to walk and swim), and just enjoying simple whole food–and company.
Besides whipping up a batch on the fly, you could also choose to bake multiple batches because they freeze well, though muffin baking experts say that mixing more than 1-2 batches at a time will result in an inferior product because their texture depends upon not too much stirring of the batter.
I don't think I care. I care more about saving time than having the perfect muffin :).
They work great as regular or mini muffins, or you can try my favorite time saving method by baking them on a baking stone as muffin tops! That saves the time-intensive cleaning of muffin tins.
Side benefit – these muffins are loaded with healthy bran.
Regardless of what kind of bran you use, each has a benefit. For example, here are the benefits of eating oat bran.
- If using gluten-free flour, increase baking powder and baking soda by 25%.
- See this great homemade version of baking powder.
- An egg substitute like this homemade one will work instead of an egg. Other alternatives are a flax egg or chia egg.
- A healthy sweetener like organic sucanat or coconut sugar can be substituted for the xylitol in the muffins. 4 scoops stevia (see this post for helpful info on how to use it) can be used but add an additional 1/2 cup applesauce.
- If you would like to make your own dairy-free milk, here are homemade versions for almond milk, coconut milk, or rice milk.
Applesauce Bran Muffins
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (or whole grain gluten-free blend of your choice. Use almond flour for low carb)
- 1 cup rice bran (toasted)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 egg (large--or substitute--see notes)
- 1/2 cup xylitol (or substitute--see notes)
- 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
- 1 cup applesauce (unsweetened; use coconut oil or butter for a lower-carb version)
- 1/2 cup milk (or milk substitute)
- Mix first set of ingredients (flour through raisins) together. Mix second set of ingredients (egg through milk). Add dry ingredients to wet. Drop into 12 greased muffin cups. Sprinkle topping evenly over all.
- Bake in 350-degree preheated oven for 20 minutes or until centers test dry with a knife or cake tester.
Enjoy these gluten-free bran muffins with a cup of tea, your family members or a friend or two, and make sure that you don't clean up too much before you invite a friend over to enjoy them!
What is your favorite kind of muffin?
What is a recipe you have that carries special memories with it?