Hearty Oat Bran Muffins: Gingerbread

Hearty Oat Bran Muffins: Gingerbread
Hearty Oat Bran Muffins: Gingerbread

Crystallized or “Candied” Ginger is a great ingredient to use during the holidays.  It is medallions of fresh ginger that are peeled and steeped in a simple syrup, then covered in sugar.  If you would like to make this recipe with less sugar, you can use a brown sugar substitute or chopped fresh ginger (usually found in the produce section near the herbs).

To get a finely chopped product, use 1/2 of a large package of crystallized ginger (about 1/4 lb.) and place it in the bowl of a food processor with the chopping blade at the bottom.  Add the 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and chop on high for 25 seconds.  Don’t use the pulse setting as the ginger just seems to get knocked around a bit.  Check the consistency of your ginger and put on high again as necessary.  You’ll end up with a beautiful mixture of chopped ginger and sugar that looks like slightly moist beach sand.

Preheat Oven to 400 degrees           

1 egg

1 cup cold applesauce

3/4 cup almond or low fat milk

1 tbsp. fresh chopped ginger (or one package crystallized ginger chopped in a food processor)

1/2 cup brown sugar

¼ cup molasses or honey

3 Tbsp. oil

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

In a second bowl combine the dry ingredients:

1 ½ cups oat bran

1 ½ cups rolled oats

2 ½ cups flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup raisins (optional)

¼ cup ground flax seed (optional)

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Combine the wet ingredients in a bowl, then combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Adding the dry in thirds, mix in the dry with the wet ingredients.  Let rest for up to 10 minutes.  This will help the dry ingredients absorb the liquids, and give the baking soda a chance to begin activating.

The oven should be preheated to 400 degrees.

Using a #16 scoop (about 1/2 a cup), divide the batter into cupcake tins lined with baking cups. 

Tip #1: Use the ‘Grease-Resistant’ liners, as they don’t bleed any fat through the papers. With these types of papers you may need to let the muffins ‘cure’ overnight and in the morning the papers remove easily.

Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then rotate the pan and bake for an additional 10 minutes.  The tops will spring back when they are ready to remove from the oven.

Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then let cool an additional 30 – 60 minutes before storing in an air-tight container..

Tip #2: if using a resealable container, line the bottom with a clean sheet of paper towel.  This will keep any extra moisture from spoiling the muffins and continue to keep them fresher for up to a week in the refrigerator.

Great with coffee for breakfast or as an afternoon snack.

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