I ask you, who doesn’t like muffins? They are a perfect little food, just like the cupcake, plus I really love that it’s a non-share item. I love having a light snack, and these are IT!!! This whole recipe calls for just two tablespoons of oil — I’m using canola — so the muffins are very low fat, and they are sweetened with a mixture of Splenda and honey, so they are free of processed sugar, with a low calorie count all around. And moist? Well, you’ll find the applesauce takes care of that, not to mention the cranberries, with which  they are loaded!!! I use only the best ingredients which I buy at Whole Foods. The Red Mill products are all natural and spectacular. The wheat bran is some of the best I’ve ever used in baking. You can use whole wheat or unbleached white flour; the result is a little lighter with the latter but otherwise it’s just a matter of taste.
Also, recently while rockin’ around Jenni’s Dish Test Kitchen to the sounds of my fave ’60s and ’70s tunes, I was suddenly inspired to add some spices to the muffins. I was struck by the idea of adding a small amount of nutmeg, and then a little bit of ground ginger and lastly I turned to that tasty ingredient that’s also a great blood sugar regulator, cinnamon. Not only did this improve the taste, but it also bumped up the nutritional value. I am appalled at the size of so many of the muffins available today and how they’re made — these behemoth atrocities are a contributor to our growing population, and the growth I’m talkin’ ’bout is the measure of their girth!!! The baby muffins I make are well under 100 calories apiece, so enjoy one with your morning coffee and/or have one as a snack, and you can still stay within your guidelines for a healthy diet, feeling good about yourself and looking good as you do it!!!

Applesauce Cranberry Bran Muffins:

Preheat oven to 350ºF grease or spray or line a muffin tin and a 1/4, this makes 16 muffins, put a little water in the rest of the muffin cups which are not being used, so they don’t get burned.
In a lg. bowl mix well all dry ingredients,
1 1/2 cups whole wheat or unbleached white flour
1 cup wheat bran
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup Splenda or Granulated Sun Crystals Stevia (they came out with one for baking)
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 tsp. fresh ground Nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

In a lg measuring cup mix,
1 cup skim or lowfat milk
2 eggs
2 TBLS. Canola Oil
1/4-1/3 cup honey
3/4 cup all natural applesauce, I use the unsweetened and chunky, breaking the bits of apple a little as I stir this mixture, mix well and add to dry ingredients just until moistened, over beating will produce a tough muffin.
Spoon into muffin tins 3/4 full, bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean and the muffins spring back when gently pushed.
Let cool in pan for 5-10 minutes, hen remove to a rack to finish cooling.

And as always, Enjoy!!!
© jennifer Green Alger 2010