What I Had for Lunch Today: Bran Muffin
Years ago, I took a plate of these to the visiting mother-in-law of an Indian friend. The m-i-l was very old, very crabby, and very vegan. You name it, she didn't eat it. She was constipated and miserable. I made up a batch of these, using soymilk and egg substitute, and she was charmed. They did the trick. My girlfriend got the recipe from me and made another batch for her, but the old lady insisted mine had been better. So for six months, about twice a week, I baked a batch of bran muffins and sent them next door. The following year when she visited again, another request for frequent muffin deliveries came. Apparently only I had the secret, magical touch.
I moved, the old lady's been reincarnated by now, and I don't have to bus muffins any more, but I never make them without thinking of her.
Two of these every morning and you'll be regular, I guarantee it.
They're made with a cup of bran and 3/4 cup flour (whole wheat if you want them extra-nutritious), 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/4 cup of brown sugar, all stirred together. Then an egg, a cup of buttermilk, and 1/4 cup of oil stirred in. I actually use white sugar plus a drizzle of molasses instead of brown sugar (it's exactly the same thing), and whole milk plus a tablespoon or two of lemon juice or vinegar instead of the buttermilk. Soymilk and egg substitute make it vegan. Twenty minutes in a hot oven (425 degrees) and they're done. You could add raisins if your boys weren't so fussy.
This recipe in its original form (white flour, more sugar, actual buttermilk, etc.) came off the back of the packages of bran that GNC used to sell, back in the 70s when that was about the only place you could find it. It used to come in clear plastic bags. Most recipes for bran muffins call for bran cereal and don't have nearly as much bran--i.e., fiber--as these.