Date and Banana Bran Muffins (with no added sugar)

Unless you are making your own, muffins are typically loaded with fat and sugar. One Dunkin’ Donuts Honey Bran Muffin is over 400 calories with a quarter of your days worth of fat and almost 10 teaspoons of sugar.  This recipe skips the added sugar and uses ripe bananas, dates and raisins for sweetness. These muffins are loaded with fruit and whole grains which boosts the fiber to 7 grams yet keeps the calories around 160.

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a small saucepan, combine 3/4 cup orange juice with 1 cup pitted dates.  Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Uncover and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Put dates and orange juice into a food processor and process until smooth.  Add 1 cup buttermilk, 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large), 2 tablespoons melted butter, 2 tablespoons canola oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and process until smooth. In a medium bowl, combine, 1 cup wheat germ, 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1/4 cup ground flax seeds, 4.5 ounces (about 1 cup) white whole-wheat flour, 1 1 2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add date mixture to bran mixture, stir until moist.  Add 2 eggs (slightly beaten) and 1 cup raisins, stirring just until combined.

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I thought prunes might work as well as dates (since I did not have any dates in my pantry) but dates provide a sweeter taste to the muffins.

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Place 12 paper liners into muffin cups. Spray liners with cooking spray. Scoop batter into muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes.

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Notes: I modified the original recipe, from myrecipes.com, by swapping out the wheat bran with wheat germ, oatmeal and flax seeds for added protein and healthy fat. I did not have dates so I used prunes (which were fine but I like dates better). If you don’t have buttermilk, use 1/4 cup regular milk mixed with 3/4 cup plain yogurt. To keep muffins from drying out, freeze any you don’t eat after the first day. For a quick muffin whenever you want one, just defrost in the microwave.

 

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