Bran Muffins – Part 2 Blueberry

Blueberry bran muffin

Low Caloire Blueberry Bran Muffin

The bran muffin challenge continues with the requirement to improve upon the original cookbook recipe while maintaining a healthy and low calorie version. The original cookbook version had sour milk but I decided we would dispense with that and use non fat milk. Next I chose to use applesauce for additional moisture. This and yogurt have become common ingredients in healthier muffins today. Next I needed to add a bit more flavor than the original. The plain bran and raisins were practical but a bit boring. We would use blueberries for the fruit and some vanilla and orange extract to add some notes to the muffin aroma and taste. Next, I remember I once read to soak the bran for a bit and elected to do just that. This would improve the overall moisture of the muffin. Lastly, we would also add some milled flax seed to boost some of the nutritional value.

The outcome was a very moist medium density muffin with excellent flavor. These could be eaten without butter and a glass of milk would not be required to wash it down. The scent of the vanilla and orange are present in the final baked product. If my pantry had an orange available, I may have used orange peel in the batter instead of the extract but either is fine. I also checked on the calorie count and we kept the muffin to within the 150 calorie target.

Blueberry bran muffin

The remake clearly won over the original but in fairness we need to remember that many of the ingredients listed below were probably not easily available during the late depression and World War II era. We will clearly be making these muffins again. Enjoy!


1 1/2 cups wheat bran
1 cup nonfat milk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 egg (beaten)
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup milled flax seed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup blueberries

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease the muffin tray cups with butter or cooking spray. Mix the wheat bran and milk, and let stand for 12 minutes.

In a mixer bowl, blend together the applesauce, egg, brown sugar, vanilla and orange extracts. Using a low speed on your mixer beat in bran mixture until well blended. IN a separate bowl sift and blend the flours. Add the baking soda, baking powder, and salt and whisk thoroughly. Pour the bran mixture into the mixer bowl and blend. Fold in fresh or frozen blueberries. Spoon mix evenly into 12 muffin cups.

Bake in oven for 15 to 18 minutes.

Yield 12 standard muffins.

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Comment (1)

  1. posted by Jay on November 27, 2010

    Since you went through the effort to make these so calorie conscientious I thought I would add a comment to kick the count up again, lol. In addition to blueberries, I have found the pre frozen mixed berry packages a nice touch to muffins. I have also added a package or two of oatmeal (if you used the flavored ones they come out amazing but it adds lots of sugar). Finally, I have also added a few tablespoons of maple sugar occasionally, again not thinking of calories but flavor. If you do use the strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, blueberry frozen fruit mixture, decrease the milk or water in the recipe and I recommend the large muffin tins, cook longer and let them set longer.


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