Nothing says “I love you” quite like homemade muffins in the lunchbox, especially when those muffins are mini muffins! Even better if those mini muffins are packed full of nutritional goodness.
What I love about sending mini muffins in my daughter’s lunchbox, besides the fact that she considers it a treat, is you can give your mini muffins a nutritional boost by adding lots of healthy ingredients, like wheat germ, flax seed and applesauce!
Muffin baking tip: Substitute 1 tablespoon each of wheat germ and flax seed per 1 cup of flour in almost ANY muffin recipe. Just add both to the bottom of your 1-cup measure before scooping your flour to maintain proper dry ingredient proportions. If you want to reduce the fat, substitute half the oil for applesauce.
OMG Kids Actually Eat Them Bran Mini Muffins
I never in a million years though my picky-eater would even try bran muffins, much less like them, but when served a Honey Bran Mini Muffin at a hotel brunch buffet, she not only ate it, she asked for more!
I immediately went home and searched for a basic bran muffin recipe on AllRecipes.com. From this basic bran muffin recipe, I created my own healthier mini muffin version (the secret is serving them up in the mini muffin version):
3 cups wheat bran
2 cups buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup wheat germ
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1. Add wheat bran to the buttermilk and let stand for 10 minutes.
2. Combine oil, applesauce, egg, sugar and vanilla and add to the bran mixture.
3. Sift together flour, flaxseed, wheat germ, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
4. Add to the bran mixture until just blended.
5. If adding any nuts or raisins, add now.
6. Spoon into greased mini muffin tins.
7. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in a 375-degree oven or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean!
Note: This recipe is already doubled so if you want to make fewer mini muffins, cut in half.