The bran muffin recipe this nutritionist swears by

The bran muffin recipe this nutritionist swears by

The bran muffin recipe this nutritionist swears by

Add protein and fiber to your breakfast with this nutritionist-approved recipe for healthy bran muffins, without the excess fat and sugar.

Are Bran Muffins Healthy?

When you think of bran muffins, you probably think these are a healthy breakfast—right? But that is seldom the case. A bran muffin can be 300 calories or more, oodles of added sugar, and high in butter and sodium. And that doesn’t even include the extra butter you’re likely going to spread on the bran muffin.

A nutritionist recommended bran muffin recipe

Just because a muffin contains bran doesn’t mean it’s good for you. That’s why we caught up with Boston-based nutritionist Julia Robarts, RDN, on how to make a healthy — yet delicious — bran muffin. You can scroll all the way down to see her Old Fashioned Bran Muffins recipe.

Each muffin has 240 calories and can be the start of a balanced breakfast. “This recipe is lower in fat and sugar, but still rocks the classic bran muffin flavor,” says Robarts.

To be precise, this nutritionist-approved muffin has just 1.5 grams of saturated fat and 14 grams of sugar. About half of that is added sugar. Robarts reduces the sugar content with additions like unsweetened applesauce, raisins and cinnamon. “While these muffins have less sugar than a typical muffin, you certainly won’t miss them,” she says. (You’ll definitely taste the natural sweetness in this healthy banana muffin recipe.)

A healthy bran muffin refuels

This bran muffin contains 5 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber, both nutrients that help keep you energized for longer. “A healthy bran muffin recipe provides a good dose of fiber without overdoing it with sugar or fat,” says Robarts. “This bran muffin gets its significant fiber content from wheat bran and whole wheat flour, as well as walnuts and raisins. The protein comes from a combination of milk, wheat and walnuts.”

“Ingredients should include whole grains like wheat bran and whole wheat flour, and black molasses for authentic flavor,” adds Robarts.

However, the molasses is not only for the taste, but also provides nutrients. “The muffin is a good source of iron thanks to the blackstrap molasses,” she adds. Iron is an important nutrient that helps deliver oxygen to various parts of the body. The bran muffin is also a good source of bone-building calcium.

The benefits don’t stop there. “The fiber and cinnamon both support good blood sugar control, while the walnuts contribute health-boosting antioxidants,” says Robarts. Don’t miss these other healthy muffin recipes that are also packed with nutrients.

A balanced breakfast

Now how do you eat a nutritious bran muffin? “The deep, rich flavors of a bran muffin are the perfect complement to cold brew coffee,” says Robarts. “I wanted to create a recipe with a taste that rivaled commercially made bran muffins, but kickstarted the morning by providing all the flavor, fiber and protein without the excess fat and sugar.”

To balance the muffin with enough protein to fuel your morning, consider pairing it with some hard-boiled eggs. Top off your meal with a healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Make the muffin even healthier

If you’re salt sensitive or on a low-sodium diet, you can experiment by slightly reducing the amount of added salt in this recipe. Check out the best and worst breakfasts for losing weight.

Healthy Bran Muffin Recipe

healthy bran muffinCourtesy of Julia Robarts

Makes 12 muffins


  • cooking spray, optional
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup wheat bran
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 400 F. Position the grate in the center of the oven. Prepare a standard muffin tin, either coating each cavity with a generous coat of spray oil or lining each with a cupcake liner. Put aside. In a medium bowl, add brown sugar, molasses, applesauce, milk, eggs, and oil. Stir with a whisk or large spoon until well combined.

In a separate bowl, mix together the wheat bran, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Stir with a fork until well combined. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix everything together until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Don’t overmix. Fold in the raisins and walnuts. Fill each well about 80 percent full. Sprinkle the tops with a few raisins and walnuts, if desired. Bake for 18-20 minutes.

The muffins are done when the top is no longer wet and firm. Be sure to check doneness by touch as the dough is dark brown making it difficult to visually tell doneness. Let the muffins rest in the tin for a few minutes before removing them to cool further on a wire rack.

Nutritional information per serving:

Cal: 240 Fat: 13g Sat Fat: 1.5g Pro: 5g Carbohydrate: 29g Sugar: 14g Fiber: 4g Chol: 35mg Sod: 280mg

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