Goodness, Inside and Out: Gingerbread Bran Muffins

Packed with healthy wheat bran, plus plenty of warming spices and molasses, these little muffins have a lot going on.

Bran muffin = healthy, right? But what makes a muffin a bran muffin? The bran, of course. But what exactly is bran — and why is it so good for you?

A whole grain of wheat is made up of three parts. Starting from the inside, there is the germ. The germ is the embryo of the seed. This is the part of the seed where new plants sprout. It’s also rich in vitamins and minerals. Wheat germ makes a tasty addition to pancakes and granola.

Next, there is the endosperm. This is the largest part of the wheat kernel. It’s mostly made up of starchy carbohydrates and proteins. Its job is to supply newly sprouted plants with food. This is the part of the wheat that is ground to make white flour.

Lastly, there is the wheat bran. The bran is the protective outer skin of the wheat kernel. It’s a good source of fiber and is full of antioxidants, B vitamins and phytochemicals.

What makes these bran muffins special? First off, they start with a hefty cup of toasted bran. Let’s get all the phytochemicals that we can get, right?

They also have some whole-wheat flour, which means that they have even more bran and some of that super-healthy wheat germ. And they’re extra-tasty, with plenty of cozy spices, fragrant fresh ginger and rich, sweet molasses. There is a lot going on in that little muffin!

Get the Recipe: Gingerbread Bran Muffins

To amp up the flavor even more, try adding some other tasty flavorings, like orange zest, dried cranberries, raisins or nuts.

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Samantha Seneviratne is a New York-based writer, recipe developer and food stylist. She is the author of The New Sugar and Spice (Ten Speed Press), a baking cookbook combining family stories and food history with recipes that reimagine dessert as a more balanced mix of sugar and spice. She blogs about dessert at Love, Cake.

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