It was 1985. I was working as a clinical dietitian, recently married, and just learning how to cook. Friends recommended, Good Food Book by Jane Brody, a NY Times Food Columnist, to help me with my cooking skills as well as to understand the art of healthier cooking. I read it cover to cover. I still have my original dog-eared, stained, and scribbled copy. This Bran Muffin Bread (she called Bran Cake Bread) is adapted from this book. Although the mid-80s nutrition advice was based on low-fat guidelines, as I reread her book, most of her research-based recommendations hold up today. Eat more plants. Fill your plate with lots of vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds. Jane Brody retired from the New York Times last year and in her honor, as a thank you for inspiring me to cook, I’ll be sharing several of my favorite Jane Brody recipes with you.
Bran Muffin Bread
1 cup bran flakes (not cereal, whole unprocessed bran)
1 1/2 cups fat free milk
1/3 cup molasses (not black strap)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (canola, olive, or corn)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch pie dish with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, combine bran flakes, milk, and molasses, and let the mixture stand until the bran is softened.
- In a large bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and raisins.
- Add the egg and oil to the bran mixture, and then add this to the flour mixture. Stir the mixture just to moisten the dry ingredients. Pour into prepared pie dish.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs. Cool in pan for 10 minutes then turn it out onto a rack to cool completely.
Adapted from Jane Brody’s, Good Food Book.