Friday, January 30, 2009

A Healthy Take on Ina Garten: Chunky Banana Bran Muffins

So ok. You should really know my workout schedule by now. I try to time my gym sessions with Giada and Ina and Chris Matthews to offset the boredom that is the elliptical or the pain that is the treadmill. For the uninitiated, that's the Food Network cooks: Giada de Laurentiis (tiny Italian, platform wearing, big-breasted hottie) and Ina Garten (big lady with a big gorgeous house) and Chris Matthews of MSNBC's Hardball (grouchy old bloke with a penchant for political sarcasm).

I like Giada mostly because she cooks easy and gorgeous food, doesn't have an annoying grin and because I lust after her pepper mill. I always come away from watching Giada's show with some recipe I keep in mind to make.

Now, the Barefoot Contessa on the other hand. I don't know. I'm quite torn. On one hand, I think she makes really elegant stuff, knows what she's talking about and isn't quite so pretentious like say... oh I don't know, Emeril Lagasse? She definitely isn't as annoying as Daisy Martinez or god forbid, Rachael Ray. On the hand, I find the Ina Garten's recipes so terribly unhealthy, I don't think it should be aired on national telly where half the population are already overweight. She can make even bran muffins unhealthy! It's quite astounding really, how she puts tons of buttermilk AND tons of butter to make bran muffins - something we all associate with being healthy. I don't know, sometimes I come off watching her show feeling a little cheated. Can you really NOT have good food without adding vats of oil and animal fat? The show today was something about breakfasts, I don't get how after having one of those insanely bad bran muffins, you can even think about eating bacon and potato omelettes! The Carbs! The Fat! Aaaahhhh... no wonder we're a nation of pure, unhealthy fatties.

So here's MY take on what a good banana bran muffin should be, one that won't leave you paunchy and sluggish from fat overkill and will still meet your fiber needs. You can have two of them with coffee for breakfast and will still be able to manage your calorie intake even if you are on a dismal, anorexic diet of 1200 calories a day! Serve with a teaspoon of raspberry jam, and you're still in the dismal, anorexic range.

Chunky Bran Muffin

Makes about 9 muffins, 135 calories each

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unprocessed wheat bran
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp grounded flax seed
1 egg
1 large banana, sliced
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup soy milk or low fat milk
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp grated orange zest
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a muffin tin with 9 paper liners.

Whisk egg in a medium bowl. Add in soy milk, applesauce, orange zest and vanilla extract.

Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the egg mixture. Mix until just combined. Add in nuts, banana, honey and raisins. Give it one or two stirs to combine.

Spoon into lined muffin tray until 3/4 full. Bake at 400°F for 15 - 20 minutes until a thin knife inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Cool on wire racks. If serving the next day, warm in an oven at 325°F for about 5 minutes.


Hayley said...

I love bran muffins, and these look so tasty! I love the added banana. Thanks for sharing!

aleta meadowlark said...

Hhhheyyy, yeah, I'm on an anorexic diet too! These are perfect. =)

I share some agreement on the ridiculous number of calories in a lot of recipes I see. I read hundreds before finding one I'm really into. I, however, would have given up before modifying the recipe to this extent. You are an artist!

stephchows said...

I love that you made these without butter or oil! Can't wait to try them!

duodishes said...

Love the applesauce, zest and honey. Funny how you can make something taste so good with basic ingredients!!! Will you hate us if we put a pat of butter on it, though? :)

Emily said...

Great foodie blog!

We'd love for you to join our recipe card swap!

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Kevin said...

Those muffins sound healthy and look good!

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