Blueberry-Bran Muffins

Breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day, at least that is what some nutritionists and novelists would have us believe anyway. I grew up in a family that ate breakfast together almost every day. During the week it was usually cereal, oatmeal, or something else that was relatively quick. Weekend breakfasts were a lengthy affair–french toast, pancakes, scrambled eggs–cooked by dad.

As a result of this upbringing, I love breakfast foods and I always start my day by eating something. This is usually a bowl of cereal–boring, I know. But it’s quick, it gets the job done, and I can get on with the rest of my morning. I still cook my favorite elaborate breakfast foods–at dinner time. The great thing about making breakfast for dinner is that it is way faster to make than more traditional dinners, and my kids love it.

These muffins are my answer to what to have for breakfast when I get tired of cereal. I like to make them the night before so that I have something to eat right away when I wake up. As my husband will tell you, I’m a grump if I go too long without food in the morning. I like how these muffins are filling and not too sweet. You can eat one quickly and stay full until lunch time.

Blueberry-Bran Muffins (adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook)

  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup unprocessed wheat bran
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup blueberries (see Notes below)
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted & cooled
  • 1/4 cup light molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • vegetable oil spray
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan with the vegetable oil spray.
  2. In a large bowl stir together the buttermilk and bran. Set aside to let the bran soften while you do the next step.
  3. In another large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Toss the blueberries in this flour mixture until they are well coated.
  4. Add the applesauce, brown sugar, egg, melted butter, molasses, and vanilla to the buttermilk/bran mixture. Gently stir until combined.
  5. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients & blueberries. Do not overmix–stop stirring as soon as they are no more chunks of flour visible.
  6. Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups.  Bake for 22 minutes.
  7. Cool the muffins in the pan for 5 minutes, then cool for 10 minutes out of the pan on a wire rack.

Makes 12 muffins

Time: 40 minutes

Notes: If you are using frozen blueberries, thaw them first (put them in a colander and run cold water over them for 10 minutes or so). Don’t use paper muffin liners for this recipe, the muffins are so moist that they stick to the paper.


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