This is one of my favorite bran muffin recipes. It’s so easy to make and delicious! Full confession. I found it on another website a few years ago and made a couple of tweaks.
It has lots of good stuff, specifically prebiotic fibers. When it comes to promoting and maintaining the good bacteria in your digestive tract, getting enough prebiotics into your diet is one of the most important things you can do.
Increasing fiber intake
A high-fiber diet appears to reduce the risk of developing various chronic diseases seen with aging including heart disease, diabetes, diverticular disease, constipation, and colon cancer. There are many suspected reasons including the fact that fiber positively influences your gut bacteria. A diverse and robust digestive tract microbiota confer health benefits such as reduced disease risk.
Also, foods rich in fiber have health-promoting properties so higher intakes of fiber, from whole foods, are likely an indicator of a healthier diet. Most don’t get the recommended daily intake of 25 g of fiber per day for women and 38 g for men. Muffins like these Orange Bran Flax Muffins can help.
Oat bran is the outer layer of the oat groat, the edible grain that’s leftover after oat grains are processed to remove the out hull. When oats are processed to make steel-cut oats, they contain the oat bran, unlike instant oats. Oat bran can be sold separately and used to make a hot cereal, or in this case, as an ingredient in baking.
Like all brans, oat bran has more fiber than its refined sibling rolled oats. The bran also contains a bunch of nutrients like vitamins B1 and B6, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and potassium.
Wheat bran is the out layer of the wheat kernel; covering the germ and endosperm of the intact grain. During the milling process, the bran is stripped away from the kernel and considered a byproduct of wheat processing.
Wheat bran is familiar to most people who’ve eaten a bran muffin at one point in their life or had bran cereal. Like oat bran, wheat bran is a source of nutrients including prebiotic fiber, vitamin B3, potassium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. One-half cup provides about 13 g of fiber.
Flaxmeal, a.k.a. as ground flaxseed is a fantastic product. It’s an underappreciated source of nutrition and fiber. Ground flaxseed can be used to increase fiber intake as easily as wheat bran. It can be easily stirred into hot cereals, added to smoothies and protein shakes, on top of yogurt. Flax meal can be used as a gluten-free and/or low carb binding ingredient in meatloaf or hamburgers instead of breadcrumbs. Flaxseed-based quick breads are a great way to include more of these nutritious seeds.
Sunny oranges need no introduction. They are one of the world’s most popular fruits. Of course, they’re loaded with vitamin C but oranges, and the white stuff that no one likes is where all the health-promoting bioflavonoids are, specifically hesperidin and anthocyanins. What’s great about this recipe is, two whole oranges, pith and all, are used. Let’s hear it for all those bioflavonoids!
Use some orange rind to give these muffins some extra citrus intensity.
Orange Bran Flax Muffins
- 1 cups oat bran
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup ground flax seed flax meal
- 1 cup wheat bran
- 1/2 to 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 whole oranges peeled
- 1 cup buttermilk can use regular milk, milk alternative, kefir, or yogurt
- 1/2 avocado or light olive oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup of dried fruit chocolate chips or chopped nuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F or 177C
Line 12 muffin tins with paper inserts or use non-stick spray (there will be extra batter so consider using some ramekins for extra muffins)
Place dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir to mix
Place wet ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just until combined (add extras if using)
Divide batter into muffin cups
Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean
Doug Cook RDN is a Toronto based integrative and functional nutritionist and dietitian with a focus on digestive, gut, mental health. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.