Healthy high fiber apple walnut bran muffins are easy to throw together and make such a satisfying breakfast for back to school season!
apple bran muffins are a healthy grab and go breakfast
Throw one in the kiddo’s lunch box, stash one in your backpack or tote bag, or just set one down next to your laptop and cup of coffee, these apple bran muffins are the best.
When was the last time you had a bran muffin? They’ve been off the radar for a while now, but I’m declaring them the comeback story for 2022. Fiber’s the forgotten health food that’s so important for everything from weight control to cancer prevention. I’ve been making bran muffins like these, with little variations, for years now. We love them!
what is wheat bran?
A kernel of wheat is made up of 3 layers: the germ, the bran and the endosperm. Wheat bran, the outer shell of the wheat kernel, is usually stripped away during the processing of milling wheat to make flour, so unless you regularly consume whole wheat bread, you probably aren’t getting this super healthy food in your diet. Wheat bran is a great source of insoluble fiber which helps keep you feeling full longer, maintain digestive regularity, and protects against certain cancers. It’s got a sweet, nutty flavor, too, so why wouldn’t we want to get more bran into our diet?
apple walnut bran muffin ingredients
- wheat bran
- wheat bran is usually found in the health food section of your supermarket, or sometimes in the flour and baking section. Mine is from Bob’s Red Mill. Health food stores often sell it in the bulk foods section so you can buy just what you need.
- thick rich cultured buttermilk (it’s low fat!) makes these muffins fabulous, so don’t skip it. Buttermilk keeps well and you can use it in so many of my baking recipes.
- vegetable oil
- brown sugar
- I chose to shred rather than chop my apples, but you can chop them if you like. I used a Granny Smith apple and I peeled it.
- baking powder, baking soda, and salt
- vanilla extract
- cinnamon or apple pie spice
let’s make apple bran muffins!
- Whisk together the bran and the buttermilk. let sit for 10 minutes while you gather your other ingredients. This lets the bran soften as it absorbs the buttermilk.
- Whisk in oil, egg, sugar, and vanilla.
- Whisk in the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. This little trick allows us to do everything in one bowl ~ no need for a separate bowl for tossing together dry ingredients.
- Switch to a silicone spoonula and fold in the flour. After a couple of folds add in the apples and nuts as well, and continue folding until everything is well incorporated. Don’t over-mix.
- Fill your muffin cups and bake.
did you know?
Bran muffins lend themselves to easy variations. Try shredded zucchini or carrot in place of the apple. Berries would work, too. You can use any nut you like, leave them out, or replace them with seeds like flax or sunflower.
Bran muffin batter can be made the night before, left in the fridge overnight, and baked in the morning.
Many bran muffin recipes call for bran cereal (looking at you, King Arthur) but it’s much better to use actual wheat bran which is healthier to start with, and you won’t be left with a box of bran cereal to use up.
Some bran muffins are extremely dry, dense, and flat ~ not these! The real wheat bran actually contributes to a fluffy texture, and the buttermilk interacts with the leaveners to help these muffins rise with a nice dome.
more delicious ways to get more fiber into your meal plan
- Toasted Muesli
- Oat Bran Power Bowl
- The Ultimate High Fiber Menu Plan
- Healthy Buttermilk Bran Muffins
- Brothy Beans with Garlic Toast
- Mediterranean Bean Salad
- Overnight Steel Cut Oats with Whiskey Butter
- Crudité is the new charcuterie!
Apple Walnut Bran Muffins
- 12 cup muffin pan with muffin liners (parchment muffin liners release perfectly!)
- 1 cup wheat bran
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg, large or extra large
- 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup shredded apple, about 1 large peeled Granny Smith apple
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 tsp cinnamon or apple pie spice
- Preheat the oven to 375F and line your muffin pan with paper liners.
- Whisk together the wheat bran and buttermilk in a mixing bowl and set aside for 10 minutes while you gather the rest of your ingredients.
- Add the oil, egg, sugar, and vanilla to the bran mixture and whisk well.
- Whisk in the baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Fold in the flour, and after a few turns add in the shredded apples and walnuts. Fold until everything is evenly combined, but don't overmix your batter.
- Fill your muffin cups full, you will get 11 or 12 muffins. Bake for 20 minutes, until light golden and firm on top. Do not over bake, I like to check a couple of minutes early.
- Serve the muffins warm with butter, apple butter, peanut butter, or almond butter!
Questions and Reviews
My muffins turned out GREAT- dense, moist and flavorful. I halved the sugar and added a bit of microplaned ginger
The ginger is a nice touch!