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Whole-Wheat Blueberry Banana Bran Muffins

I promised in my menu post for this week that I’d post the recipe for the Blueberry Bran Muffins I was planning to make this week. Kaitlynn and I made them on Tuesday during our morning one-on-one time together.

I used blueberries I’d frozen from when they were on sale for $0.99 per pint and the bran and whole-wheat flour were from my recent bulk purchases. So I didn’t have to buy anything extra to make these–which is often how I cook/bake. I’m always on the lookout for recipes which utilize ingredients I already have on hand.


Blueberry Bran Muffins

1 1/2 cups wheat bran or oat bran
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed (I happened to have this on hand, but if you don’t, you could probably just substitute it with more bran.)
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup honey
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 large egg
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional–I rarely ever use vanilla in recipes. It’s just a small way that we save money. And we never notice any difference. I’m sure that this breaks culinary rules, but we’re just weird like that!)
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the bran, flour, flaxseed, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In another medium bowl, combine the milk, honey, banana, egg, olive oil, and vanilla until smooth.

Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Gently stir in blueberries. Spoon batter into greased muffin cups and bake for 8 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Makes about 15 muffins.

Considering how healthful these are, I thought they tasted quite good. My husband wasn’t too excited about them, but I’ve been enjoying them for breakfast warmed with butter.

If you have another healthful blueberry or bran muffin recipe, do send it my way. I’ve got lots of both of those items in the freezer and I’d love to try out some more new and healthful recipes!

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  • Lynn says:

    Sorry, 🙂 but I disagree about the vanilla. I think it adds a lot of flavor to baked goods. I can tell when I use cheap vanilla or leave it out. I actually make my own to avoid the extra ingredients that store bought vanilla has.

  • Lynn says:

    However the muffins look good!

  • STEPHANIE says:

    YUM! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Ginger says:

    Girl. I have to have vanilla in my recipe’s. Always!!!!! It is one area that I can not skimp on….

  • Have you discovered It is a fabulous site in which you plug in everything you have in your pantry. It will crawl the web and show recipes which match the ingredients you have on hand!!!! You could make a whole week’s worth of menus just from finding recipes online from whatyou have. I have over 2,000 recipes that I can make from what I already have. It caps at 2,000 so I’m sure there’s even more.
    Definitely worth having an account in order to store the ingredients of your pantry, so that you don’t have to start all over.

  • Michele says:

    Do you need baking powder in this recipe? What makes it rise?

    Money Saving Mom here: Oh my! Thank you for catching my mistake. It’s supposed to have baking soda in it. Oops. I’ll add that important ingredient in!

  • Jessica says:

    What a great idea to freeze fruit and use it for baking later! These look delicious!

  • Angela says:

    Here is a recipe I absolutely love

    It’s a reduced calorie (reduced sugar and oil–no artificial stuff) banana raspberry muffins. These never last more than a day at our house.


  • Angela says:

    Great way to save on vanilla–buy the super big bottle at Target. It’s real vanilla extract 8oz for 7.99. Thats about $1 an oz. The smaller containers are about $3 per oz.

    I use it alot because it’s soooo good. I’m going to start using vanilla beans, but until then…get to target and look for the large bottle. It’s away from the mccormick stuff a bit, so keep your eyes open. It’s worth it for $1 an oz.

  • A bit off topic but I am curious what you do with your other children during your one-on-one time?
    I need a schedule and you seem to have one that works great b/c you get so much done! I’d love a post on your schedule!!!

    Money Saving Mom here: We do have a fairly consistent schedule that we stick with because otherwise things turn to chaos! I can email you our file, if you want to see it. Just drop me an email. We’re not perfect by any means and we’re definitely learning as we go!

    As far as what I do when I have one-on-one time with each of the children, here’s what is working right now:

    –When I spend time just with Kaitlynn, Kathrynne is working on independent fun “school” activities (I’m using the WorkBox System during that time– ) and Silas is napping.

    –When I spend time with Kathrynne, Silas and Kaitlynn are both napping.

    –And Silas doesn’t have any set one-on-one time since he’s nursing a lot so he gets quite a bit of Mommy Time! 🙂

  • susan says:

    When you use frozen blueberries, do you wash them before adding to your recipe? Thanks, Crystal!

    Money Saving Mom here: No, I wash them before freezing and then just stick them directly into the batter straight from the freezer.

  • Margery says:

    Here is my family’s fave recipe for blueberry whole wheat muffins. If I don’t have blueberries, I just make cinnamon muffins. (I should note I use freshly milled soft white wheat flour, but you don’t have to. Also, my photo isn’t as pretty as Crystal’s!)

  • Alex Hall says:

    I purchase my vanilla at Costco. I’m able to get 16 oz. of vanilla for around $5. By far the least expensive I’ve been able to find, and it’s quite tasty!

  • amy myers says:

    I have some flaxseed but it is not ground. How would I grind it to make it work for this recipe? Any suggestions on what else I could use the flaxseed for? I just made some butternut squash muffins and my nieces loved them. Everybody was shocked when I told them they were butternut squash. Thanks for the great recipe.

  • Kellie says:

    I buy my vanilla at Sam’s – soooo much cheaper per ounce than at the grocery store. I couldn’t believe it wasn’t imitation vanilla for the price. I need my vanilla! 🙂 The recipe sounds yummy!

  • Kansas Mom says:

    Ground flaxseed can be used as a substitute for oil (triple what you’d use for oil, so 1 cup ground flaxseed in place of 1/3 cup oil). So, if you don’t have flaxseed, I’d recommend using 2/3 tbsp oil instead. We absolutely love the taste of flaxseed; it makes everything a taste a little nutty. I keep it on hand (it stores well in the fridge) and usually substitute half of the oil in all our baked goods with it. So if a recipe calls for 1/2 cup oil (for example), I use 1/4 cup oil and add 3/4 cup ground flaxseed to the dry ingredients.

    In addition to being tasty, ground flaxseed is very healthy – more fiber and less oils!

  • Angie says:

    Can I ask where the Amish bulk store was where your sister made the purchase? I’ve been searching the web for one close to me ever since you posted that, and I haven’t been able to find any info. Thanks!

  • Those look good! I don’t miss it much in a muffin recipe (vanilla) but try making sugar cookies without it….ick!! You will miss it then. I just buy the cheap stuff, you can usually find stuff without too much bad stuff for $1 or so

  • Amanda says:

    Regarding flax seed:
    Ground flax seed acts as a binder in baked goods. I use it as an egg replacer (my dd is allergic to eggs). If you are going to skip the flax seed, you might add an extra egg. If you have whole flax seed, you can grind it in a blender or food processor or a Magic Bullet. If your flax seed is already ground, store it in the freezer! It goes bad quickly in the pantry but will stay fresh for a long time in the freezer.

    To use as an egg replacer:
    1/4 cup ground flax seed
    1 cup water
    Stir together in a sauce pan over medium heat until mixture gets thick and goopy. Cool and store in the fridge in a glass container (like a baby food jar). One tablespoon of mixture equals one egg. Suitable for use in baked goods. I’ve successfully used it in pancakes, banana bread, muffins, etc.

  • Jenny says:

    I agree with what Amanda said about flaxseed–I’ve used it as an egg substitute with success! I also add it to pancakes, cereal, etc.

    I’ve found the best way to grind it is a coffee bean grinder I use for spices.

  • Nell Fitchie says:

    Question? How do you freeze fresh blueberries? Please, oh please someone enlighten me. 🙂

    Money Saving Mom here: It’s super simple. I just wash them, pull out any bad-looking ones, and stick them in a freezer bag. That’s it! They can keep for at least 3-4 months in the freezer, probably longer, but mine never last that long since we use them up in smoothies and baked goods!

  • Here’s a favorite blueberry muffin recipe of our family that I converted to a soaked version.

    Soaked Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins

  • Chrys says:

    Amy, could you post the link of the butternut squash muffins? That sounds interesting!

  • Chiara Ko says:

    If you want to, you can make your own vanilla… I bought a bottle of super strong alcohol “Everclear” from Bevmo and it was only $15. Then, go to ebay and find a vanilla seller. I got mine for $4, I think I ended up with 20 vanilla pods. Very very strong, enough to make a jar of vanilla flavoring. Just add the alcohol and let sit in a dark pantry for 1 month or so until it turns color. I turn the jar around to mix it up once in a while 🙂

  • Becky says:

    I have been waiting for this one! Sounds so yummy. I think my DH will love this. Perfect for diabetics, low sugar, low fat, and high fiber!! I too, buy real vanilla at Sam’s Club. It really does last a long time!

  • Tammy L says:

    Sounds like a delicious healthy recipe, and WOW, your photo makes them look like something everyone should try TODAY!! 😀

  • Kim says:

    I get 10-20 lbs of blueberries from a farmer the past few years. I was told if you wash the blueberries before you freeze them, then they will stick together. So, I usually freeze them, then when I pull them out, I wash them. Do they stick together for you? Or do you make sure they are completely dry before sticking them in the freezer? Just wondering! 🙂 Thanks!

  • Melissa says:

    Please, please, please don’t skip vanilla! It’s so wonderful and really rounds out the flavor of most baked goods. You can buy a huge bottle at warehouse stores for $3-4.

  • Michelle says:

    I definitely have to agree about the vanilla too, when you get it at Sams/Costco its very reasonable.
    The muffins do look yummy though!

  • Bless you! I have been looking for a bran recipe! Does anyone happen to know how to make that yummy but probably not very healthy drizzle type topping that the bakery shops put on Bran Muffins?
    I am so excited to try some of these!! great post!

  • Patti says:

    To freeze berries that will not stick together, spread them out on a cookie sheet until frozen, then put into a freezer bag or container. You can just pop out the ones you want to use. You can do this with any kind of berries.

  • Kim says:

    When I freeze blueberries I wash them and dry them and lay them on a cookie sheet and freeze them. Once frozen I remove them from the cookie sheet and put them in a storage bag… no sticking together! I so this when freezing most fruit… even bananas. I slice the bananas and freeze them on a cookie sheet and then transfer them to a storage bag once they are frozen. Great for smoothie making too.

  • Manuela says:

    As soon as I saw the recipe I knew I would love it! Sure enough, I made them today and they are absolutely delicious. My 4-year old agrees with me..:)

  • Sara C. says:

    I made a few changes due to some food allergies in the house: I used soy milk instead of milk, omitted eggs and banana and replaced the eggs/banana with 2/3 c. unsweetened applesauce. They turned out great! My 2 year old loved them and I did too. I even went out and bought more oat bran to make them again this week 🙂

  • When you could I find it better to have your own vanilla beans extracts and it is not very hard to do. It has more flavor and x factor that makes a big difference.

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