So I work at a coffee shop, and I know the dirty truth about those fluffy scrumptious-looking muffins you order with your coffee every day. You know that fluffy blueberry one with the crumb topping? The one you justify getting because it has “fruit” in it, and looks a lot healthier than the bear claw or chocolate muffin sitting next to it? —- Don’t even get me started on the crumb-topped coffee cake, and I hate to break it to you all, but the bran muffin is just as bad.
So I almost never eat them, which makes me sad, because muffins are one of those little delicious things that reminds you to slow down and enjoy life, and they go great with a cup of coffee. Yeah, you shouldn’t eat them every day, but I don’t think you should have to feel riddled with guilt and a stomach ache after eating one either.
I decided to whip up some healthier muffins to take with me on the go, a break from the oatmeal and yogurt cups I inevitably find myself eating on the days I forget to pack breakfast for work. They are light and fluffy like a cakey muffin you would buy out, but way heartier, and way less fattening. Adding orange zest, juice, and almond extract gives them a little complexity and steps them up from your boring everyday brick of a bran muffin. Sugar has been cut down by more than half and replaced with dates. Yum!
These were super easy, and puffed up perfectly. The prettiest muffins I’ve ever made! 🙂 Happy muffin-making.
- 2 cups plain yogurt
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 cup oil
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 eggs
- 2½ cups natural bran
- 1½ cups flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup raisins
- zest, juice, and pulp from one orange
- 5 dates, finely chopped
- Crumble Topping (Optional)
- 2 T brown sugar
- 2 T flour
- Pinch of cinnamon
- 1-2 T oil
- Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add flour mixture to wet ingredients, and slowly fold in.
- Fold in the raisins last, along with walnuts if so desired.
- Pour into lined muffin tin. Top each liner with a sprinkling of the crumble topping. (This step is optional, but considering how healthy the muffins are, I say why not. Live a little :))
- Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.