Grapefruit Bran Muffins

Some people hate winter weather, but I love it.  It is snowy and cold, the perfect duo for baking something warm and tasty inside.  And when I get to make something real and delicious to sustain my family through the craziness that is stocking stuffers and wrapping paper (and generally holiday mayhem), that makes me happy.  Plus, last time I checked no one complained when I derived my happiness from cooking (and more specifically, baking).

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Henry and Val (and Liesel and Pudge) are some of my best recipe testers

Another thing I love: The Birchwood Cafe.  If you ever find yourself near Minneapolis during any time of day…this is the place you need to go.  Birchwood is all about seasonal and REAL food that not only tastes good but is good for you.  They split the year into 8 micro seasons, with bold flavors enhancing their impressive sense of community.  After devouring one of their signature savory waffles, I discovered they had a cookbook.  And being a cookbook collector, I didn’t wait for Santa and got it on the spot.  And thank goodness I did.  I’ve been cooking out of it all year, and once again the book delivered for some Christmas morning grapefruit bran muffins.

These muffins were the perfect counterbalance to all the heavy holiday foods.  The bran gives them staying power, while the grapefruit and honey adds a sweet tang to this wintery baked good.  I altered the recipe slightly to avoid adding sugar (while subbing some healthy hemp seeds), and didn’t miss the sweetness at all.  They came together in no time- when the rest of the family emerged from dreams of sugarplums, they woke up to freshly baked muffins.  Next year I’ll get them out in time for Santa…I heard the big guy was looking for a better baked good.

May your days be filled with family, friends, and food.  Happy Holidays!

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Grapefruit Bran Muffins (also work well for tree decorations)

Grapefruit Bran Muffins

Makes 12 Muffins, adapted from the Birchwood Cafe Cookbook

the stuff

1 cup flour

1 cup wheat bran (not the cereal!)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon sunflower seeds

1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds

1 tablespoon flax seeds

3 tablespoons hemp seeds

1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)

1/4 cup honey

1 large egg

1 cup full fat plain Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons grapefruit zest

2 tablespoons grapefruit juice

the how

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin tin with muffin papers, or grease the pan.

2. In a medium bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together.  Set aside.  In a separate bowl, beat butter and honey together until combined.  Add egg, yogurt, zest, and juice and mix again.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing until just combined (this is NOT a smooth batter- you want some lumps!).  Divide the batter evenly among the 12 prepared muffin papers.

3.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool for 5 minutes in the tin, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

4. Serve these perfect muffins alongside your Christmas brunch, by themselves, or topped with honey and almond butter.  Will keep for 3-4 days on the counter, or basically indefinitely in the freezer.  If you keep them in the freezer, either let defrost completely before eating, or pop in the microwave to speed the process up.

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