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Date-Apple Oat Bran Muffins

The apple and applesauce add moisture, the dates and oat bran add fiber, and the nonfat dry milk adds calcium to these moist, flavorful muffins. Scientific research has found that fiber works to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. The muffins are delicious toasted and served with apple butter.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup oat bran
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 small apple, such as pippin, Granny Smith or Golden Delicious, halved, peeled, cored and finely diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup 1-percent-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 375°F. Spray 10 standard muffin cups with canola-oil cooking spray, or use paper liners. Fill the unused cups one-third full with water to prevent the muffin pan from warping.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, oat bran, brown sugar, nonfat dry milk, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add the apple and dates and stir to coat with the dry ingredients.

In another bowl or a large glass measuring pitcher, whisk together the milk, applesauce, canola oil, egg and vanilla until blended. Pour the milk mixture over the flour mixture and stir until just blended. Do not overmix. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full.

Bake the muffins until they are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes, then turn the muffins out onto the rack and let cool completely. The muffins will keep in a sealable plastic bag at room temperature for 2 or 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Makes 10 muffins.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Healthful Cooking, by Mary Abbott Hess, Dana Jacobi & Marie Simmons (Oxmoor House, 2003).