These super healthy, delicious muffins were the result of a kitchen blunder. I went to make my favorite Bran Muffins by Heidi Swanson and realized I was out of a key ingredient, buttermilk. Since I didn't feel like making the journey to the grocery store, I decided to root around my fridge and see what I could substitute for buttermilk. That's when I noticed a sad, lonely container of Greek yogurt staring at me and begging to be used. It was my only option, so I figured I'd give it a shot. Greek yogurt is obviously very different from buttermilk, which meant I had to change up my recipe a bit. This kind of yogurt has a lot of protein (20 grams per cup!), which is awesome when you’re eating it on its own…….but not so awesome when you’re trying to make a tender muffin. To keep the batter from getting tough, I knew I needed to add another source of moisture in to the recipe. I did the usual scan of my kitchen and stopped when I noticed a sad, single, ripe banana that was just pleading to be made into something delicious. So I went ahead and mashed up the banana and threw it in the recipe. Part of my was worried that I was going to end up with tough, rubbery, banana flavored hockey pucks. Luckily for me though, the baking gods aligned and I was rewarded with moist, tender, and delicious muffins.
This recipe is adapted from Heidi Swanson's Bran Muffins in her Super Natural Every Day cookbook. —Kristine Hinterkopf
Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a standard 12 cup muffin pan.
In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the yogurt, canola oil, maple syrup, mashed banana, and eggs. Then stir in the bran cereal and flaxseed meal. Set mixture aside and let sit for at least 10 minutes (this allows the cereal to soften).
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
After you’ve let the cereal and yogurt mixture sit for 10 minutes, stir in the chopped pecans. Then add in the flour mixture and gently stir until just combined (it's important to make sure you don’t over mix the batter at this point otherwise you could end up with tough muffins and no one wants that).
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin. Each cup will be pretty full, but that’s okay!
Bake for 18 – 20 minutes or until the muffins are lightly browned and spring back slightly when pressed in the center.
Let muffins cool in the tin for about 5 minutes. Then remove muffins from tin and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.