Oat Bran Breakfast Muffins

I’m excited to share this muffin recipe–these pack a nutritional punch with oat bran, walnuts, apples, carrots, blackstrap molasses, chia seeds–just to name a few ingredients.  Let’s look at a few of the health benefits:

Oat bran:  fiber, protein and iron
Walnuts:   heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids
Apples:  fiber, antioxidants, regulate blood sugar
Carrots:  beta-carotene, antioxidants, Vitamin A
Blackstrap Molasses:  iron, calcium, potassium
Chia Seeds:  fiber, omega-3 fatty acids

Carrots and Apples ready for the muffins

The muffins do take a bit of extra prep work because of having to shred carrots and apples, and mix the wet ingredients separately from the dry, but they are worth it!  Even though I’ve named these “Breakfast” muffins, they are good anytime of the day.

Oatbran Breakfast Muffins

1 cup Oat Bran Cereal (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1 cup unbleached flour
1 Tblsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 ripe bananas
3 Tblsp blackstrap molasses
2 Tblsp natural applesauce
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 carrots, peeled and grated
2 medium size apples, grated
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/4 cup currants
1/4 cup golden raisins

*Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray muffin tins with nonstick spray.
*Combine oat bran, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder in mixing bowl and set aside.
*Shred apples and carrots in food processor (if you do not have a food processor, you could chop the ingredients) and put into small mixing bowl and set aside.
*Mix banana, molasses, apple sauce, orange juice, apple cider vinegar in food processor and pour into bowl with dry ingredients.  Fold ingredients together using a spatula.
*Fold in the shredded carrots and apples, add in raisins, currants, walnuts, and stir all until everything is combined.
*Place batter in muffin tins, bake for 15-17 minutes, remove from pan and cool.

Apples and Arteries Oat Bran Breakfast Muffins

These are best served warm–straight out of the oven or reheated for a few seconds in the microwave.  Let me know if you bake these.

Question:  What’s your favorite ingredient to include in muffins?

February Foodie Penpals – Reveal Day

Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean organizes Foodie Penpals every month.  Participants are assigned a pen pal and send a fun, food package by the 15th of the month, with contents that add up to no more than $15.  All of the details are at the end of the post…if you’re interested, get in touch with Lindsay by March 4th.

This was my second month participating…I loved it!  You can see my January write-up here.

I was paired up with Christine over at Oatmeal in my Bowl--you can check out her blog to see what I sent her.

On to the exciting package that showed up at my doorstep!  Christy from Chocolate Covered Diamonds sent me a box of fun goodies!  Check out her blog–blogs to educate women on how to have their cake and eat it, too.

Christy was thoughtful and put together a package of snacks with my love of apples in mind!

Goodies from Christy

A nice tea for nighttime

– Sweet Apple Chamomile tea–I’ve been enjoying a cup of hot, sweet tea at night

– Fancy pasta–Look at the fun colors!  I’m going to save this for an Italian dinner feast
–  Kashi Soft & Chewy Banana Chocolate Chip granola bar–My Quality Assurance Guy (QAG) got his hands on this and said it was delicious and tasted like banana bread.
Dark Chocolate covered pretzels— again…QAG found the bag and seemed to finish these.  On Sunday afternoon I was going to take a picture and try one…somehow the bag “disappeared”.
 – Crispy Apple Chips— These are nice and crunchy and a good snack when on-the-go.  They remind me that one of these days I want to try and make homemade apple chips/crisps.
Christy’s  Morning Granola Trail Mix–In the mix:  raisins, peanuts, chocolate chips, Kashi cinnamon crumbles, crushed Oreos, Cinnamon Puffins.  I ate the Puffins first…then made my way through the other ingredients but someone (QAG) picked out the chocolate.

Christy's AM Granola Trail Mix

So…a big thank you to Christy for a thoughtful package and a big thank you to Lindsay for organizing Foodie Penpals!  It was really fun to participate…I got to “know” (virtually) new bloggers and try new treats–a Win, Win!  I’m excited to participate again in March.  I think my Quality Assurance Guy loves this program as much as I do because it means new snacks to try!

Foodie Penpal Details

-On the 5th of every month, you receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.

-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!

-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!

-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)

-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. 

If you’re interested in participating for March, please send  an email to Lindsay by March 4th at theleangreenbean@gmail.com and include the following information:

-Your full name
-Your email address
-Your blog name/address
-Your twitter handle (if applicable)
– Whether you are a US or Canadian Resident

You’ll receive your pairing on March 5th.  Time to get back to snacking!