What have these Molasses Bran Muffins done to my appetite?

Posted on October 20, 2011


I seem to have misplaced my appetite.

I’m usually hungry all day long. Really. Sometimes, I’m hungry even after just eating, especially for any kind of dessert. But I can’t say that anymore. Now when I eat, I get full quicker and stay that way longer. It is quite a strange experience. At first, I couldn’t figure it out, but I’ve slowly begun to remember what it feels like to listen to my tummy instead of my tastebuds.

Not that the food I have been eating is tasteless. Ok…I know, not everyone agrees that bran muffins are, “tasty.” In fact, my husband’s reaction was, “What did you put in there?!”

I was like, “Oat bran, you know the outer part of the grain…”

And he said, “Oh! We feed that stuff to goats!”


But the good news is that I’ve also been doing a lot of other whole grain baking that has been to the approval of my husband (and some goats, too, probably).

Maple Pumpkin Muffins

Almond Apple Cake

And tomorrow I have plans for turning these ripe bananas in to Honey Banana Bread.

Making whole wheat flour substitutions in quick breads and muffins like these is really is less of a problem than I thought it would be. Same for substituting granulated sugar with other sweeteners like molasses, honey, maple syrup, or date paste.

I have been using the bones of recipes from more experience cooks, such as Heidi Swanson, author of the natural foods cookbook, Supernatural Everyday and blogger at 101 Cookbooks, changing the recipes up according to what I’ve got on hand in the kitchen. Now that I’m beginning to understand the baking formula, I’ve also been converting some traditional sugar-laden recipes with success!

These foods are definitely giving my body a fuller regimen of nutrients, so that may be part of why I feel more full. But I think another big factor is that I have taken out the refined sugar that was constantly stimulating the release of, “happy chemicals” in my brain.

At the end of the first week of eating #Unprocessed, I had a headache that was just screaming out for any kind of sugar high. I’ve made it through that phase it seems, and now it’s just my tummy screaming out, “Hold it, fork.”

Molasses Bran Muffins
adapted from Heidi Swanson at 101 cookbooks

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups oat bran
2 tablespoons flax seed, ground
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup whole milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup molasses
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup raisins, other dried fruit, or nuts

Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Grease a twelve-cup muffin tin.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oat bran, ground flax seed, salt, and baking soda.

Beat together the yogurt, milk, egg, molasses, and butter in a seperate larger bowl. Fold in dry ingredients until combined. Fold in any raisins. Resist overmixing.

Distribute batter evenly between twelve muffin cups. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake 18-20 minutes, until muffins cooked through. The muffins will be easier to remove from the pan after cooling.


Maple Pumpkin Muffins
I created this recipe loosely based on the recipe for my mom’s famous pumpkin bread, using the ratios of ingredients in the Date Nut muffin recipe as a guide for going unprocessed. A great success!

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 large eggs
1/4 cup olive oil
¾ cup maple syrup
1 can (about 1 ¾ cups) pumpkin puree
½ cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup raisins, optional
Pepitas, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line or lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a seperate large bowl, combine eggs, oil, and maple syrup. Add in pumpkin puree and water. Gradually stir dry ingredients into a wet ingredients. Stir in raisins.

Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Sprinkly pepitas over tops.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool before removing from pan.

Almond Apple Cake
adapted from Heidi Swanson at 101 Cookbooks

1 cup whole wheat flour (or almond flour for gluten-free and double the nuttiness!)
3 tablespoons old-fashioned oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup maple syrup, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk
1 cup apples, chopped
(Note: The smaller you chop the apples, the easier it will be slice your cake!)

1/2 cup almonds, chopped
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon butter, melted
½ tablespoon honey

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a loaf pan with aluminum foil. Lightly and butter the foil. This will help with removing the cake later.

Prepare the almond topping. Combine almonds, cinnamon and flour in a small bowl. Pour butter, then honey over the stop of the almonds, and stir to incorporate.

Then prepare the cake. In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

In a separate large bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy. Slowly pour in the maple syrup, and beat until well incorporated. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.

Add half of the flour mixture to wet ingredients, stir once or twice, then add a splash of milk, and stir once again. Add remaining half of flour mixture, stir once, then add remaining milk. Use a spatula to combine in as few strokes as possible. Gently fold in apples.

Scrape the batter evenly into the prepared pan and top with honeyed almonds. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool for five minutes, then remove from pan and place on a flat surface. Allow to cool completely before sliceing.

I wrapped up the slices, as I do most muffins and breakfast items, so that my husband could easily grab one to take with him to work for breakfast. It’s a nice compromise. I bake, he eats. Ok, ok, I eat too…

Stay tuned for a report on Honey Banana Bread.