"We load up on oat bran in the morning so we'll live forever. Then we spend the rest of the day living like there's no tomorrow."
~Lee IacoccaOur family has been fighting over the one-box-a-week ration of Cracklin' Oat Bran for twenty years. No box had a chance of lasting more than 24 hours, unless I hid it of course, which I've been known to do. By now, all the hiding spots are blown. Sometimes I discover the hidden goodies, boxes open and half-eaten, still in their hiding spot and oddly, I find that hysterically funny because nobody mentions it. But they know that I know that they know. Got it?
I came across this recipe in the online version of the Tampa Bay Times. The recipe made 6 jumbo (Texas size) muffins. We loved them. The flavor of the cereal really came through. They were moist and slightly heavy, as most bran muffins are, because these muffins are actually healthful and filling, not just naked cupcakes. In addition to the vitamins from the fortified cereal, each muffin also has 4 grams of dietary fiber, which I find exciting (you young-uns will understand this as you get older). Excellent for your heart, among other things. Did you know it is estimated only 20% of the US poopulation, oops...I mean POPulation consumes the recommended amount of fiber daily? Which, by the way, is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men.
The flavor of these muffins reminded me of an oatmeal cookie. We liked them so much I made another batch this morning. At this stage of the game, our family no longer has sit-down-together breakfasts except possibly on holidays. Everyone is on differing schedules and doesn't even want to pause long enough for breakfast. A muffin to grab on the way out the door works great. The freezer is always stocked with at least a few.
Cook's notes: The original recipe said to soak the cereal in the milk and vanilla for 5 minutes. I soaked it for 15 minutes and even then I had to go at it with a potato masher. I substituted wheat pastry flour for half of the white flour to further boost the nutritional value. Before baking, the muffins should be sprinkled with oats. I had some homemade granola handy, so I used that instead. I think coconut would be great, too!
Cracklin' Oat Bran Muffins
6 Jumbo or 12 standard muffins
From the Tampa Bay Times
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups Cracklin' Oat Bran cereal
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup raisins [or chopped prunes]
1/4 cup oats
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare muffin cups by greasing or adding muffin papers.
Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.
In a separate large bowl, combine cereal, milk and vanilla, stirring to combine. Let stand for 5 (or longer) minutes to soften. Add egg and oil to cereal. Beat well (use a potato masher if you have to). Add the flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Sprinkle with oats (or granola). Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until lightly browned and toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean. Cool on rack.
Each jumbo muffin has about 4 grams of dietary fiber.