Bran muffins pretend to be healthy: While filled with fiber, they're also usually filled with fat. In this updated version, our Test Kitchen trimmed the fat by making a velvety base of Greek yogurt, skim milk, maple syrup and a smidgen of grapeseed oil. Sweetness and texture come from antioxidant-rich goji berries and crunchy poppy seeds, while ginger, cinnamon and lemon zest make the muffins holiday-season appropriate. They're worth waking up for.
Goji-Poppy Bran Muffins
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 12 muffins
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup goji berries
¾ cup water
3½ tablespoons poppy seeds, divided
1 cup wheat bran
1 cup whole-wheat flour
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons skim milk
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 large egg
2 teaspoons turbinado sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray a 12-cup standard muffin tin with nonstick spray.
2. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, combine the goji berries and water. Bring to a simmer, then remove the pan from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes. Transfer the berries to a blender and purée until completely smooth.
3. While the goji berries soak, toast 3 tablespoons poppy seeds in a small skillet set over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the poppy seeds are toasted, 4 to 5 minutes.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the wheat bran, whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, toasted poppy seeds, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the goji purée, yogurt, milk, maple syrup, grapeseed oil, lemon zest and egg. Gently fold the dry mixture into the wet until just combined. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups, mounding each slightly in the center.
5. In a small bowl, combine the turbinado sugar with the remaining ½ tablespoon untoasted poppy seeds. Sprinkle the muffins with the turbinado-poppy mixture and place in the oven. Bake until the muffins are browned and resist light pressure, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside to cool slightly. Remove the muffins from the pan and serve warm or at room temperature. Calories per Serving: 190; Sodium: 175mg; Total Carbohydrate: 34g; Fiber: 4g; Fat: 5g