Blue Sky Bran Muffins

We love the recipes from a website called SMITTEN KITCHEN! There is a great combo of plant based recipes and healthier versions of homemade baked goods that are both delicious and tweaked to include healthier oils, grains and sweeteners. 
This is one of our favorite muffin recipes and we made them with the Homesteading Campers nearly every week (we enjoy them with morning coffee as we set up for the day!). 
They are nearly sugar free and are customizable with whatever fruit (fresh or frozen) that you have on hand. 

INGREDIENTS

Yield: 12 standard muffins

1 1/3 cups (315 ml) buttermilk (you can also use sour cream or yogurt thinned with a little milk)
1 large egg
1/3 cup (80 ml) oil (such as vegetable, safflower, sunflower or olive oil)
1/4 cup (50 grams) lightly packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract, a little citrus zest (optional flavorings to add)
1 1/2 cups (90 grams) wheat bran*
1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons (8 grams) baking powder (preferably aluminum-free)
1 1/2 teaspoons (8 grams) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons (10 grams) granulated sugar, divided
3/4 to 1 cup chopped mixed fruit (just about anything but citrus or pineapple will work, they say; frozen berries are fine)

DIRECTIONS

Heat oven to 425 degrees F and coat a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray.

Whisk buttermilk, egg, oil, brown sugar and any vanilla or citrus zest you’d like to use in a small bowl. Whisk bran, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Stir wet mixture into dry until just combined and still a bit rough.

Spoon two 2 tablespoons of batter into each prepared muffin cup. Add about 2 teaspoons fruit to each (dividing it evenly) and sprinkling the fruit with one of the teaspoons of granulated sugar. Spoon remaining batter (about 1 tablespoon each) over fruit and sprinkle tops of muffins with remaining teaspoon of granulated sugar.

Bake muffins for a total of 16 to 18 minutes, rotating pan once midway through baking time for even browning, until a toothpick inserted into the center of muffins comes out with just a few crumbs attached. Do not overbake. Let muffins cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from tin.

Do ahead: Muffins keep for 3 days at room temperature, longer in the freezer.