My jaw kind-of dropped the first time I read this recipe: zucchini, apples, coconut, pecans, raisins, oats and wheat bran! What wasn’t in this muffin? And could it really taste okay? And would any of my kids eat it? Well, I was pleasantly surprised by this success–it’s feels so satisfying to place all of these powerhouse ingredients together, and then for it to turn out beautifully. I enjoy them, and so do, well, two of my kids. That’s not bad success around here. The other great plus to these muffins: they stay soft for days, even though they tend to shrink down into their wrappers a bit. I wish I had the wherewithal to bake a batch of these every week! This recipe comes from the Flour cookbook. The recipe says it yields 12 muffins, but it works out to be more like 18 for me.
Good Morning Muffins
1/4 c. wheat bran
1/2 c. hot water
1 small zucchini, grated (about 1-1/2 c. packed)
1/2 c. raisins
1/2 c. pecan halves, roughly chopped, toasted
1/2 c. sweetened flaked coconut
1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped (about 1 c.)
2/3 c. packed light brown sugar
3/4 c. canola oil
1 t. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 c. old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick cooking)
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a standard 12-cup muffin tin, cot with nonstick cooking spray, or line with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, stir together the wheat bran and hot water until the bran is completely moistened. Add the zucchini, raisins, pecans, coconut, and apple and stir until well mixed.
Using a stand mixer fitted with a whip attachment, beat together the sugar and eggs on medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the mixture thickens and lightens. (If you use a handheld mixer, this same step will take 6 to 8 minutes.) On low speed, slowly drizzle in the oil and then the vanilla. Don’t pour the oil in all at once. Add it slowly so it has time to incorporate into the eggs and doesn’t deflate the air you have just beaten into the batter. Adding it should take about 1 minute. When the oil and vanilla are incorporated, remove the bowl from the mixer stand.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, oats, baking powder, salt and cinnamon until well mixed. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and fold carefully just until the dry and wet ingredients are well combined. Then add the bran mixture and fold again just until well combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, dividing it evenly and filling the cups to the rim (almost overflowing.)
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the muffins are lightly browned on top and spring back when pressed in the middle with a fingertip. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan.
The muffins taste best the day you bake them, but they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. If you keep them for longer than 1 day, refresh them in a 300 degree F oven for 4 to 5 minutes. Or, you can freeze them, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 1 week, reheat, directly from the freezer, in a 300 degrees F oven for 8 to 10 minutes.