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We are busy like crazy around here, preparing to head out of town for a photo shoot and to bring our newest “baby” home (but more about that later).

So I decided to do something a bit different today, tonight, whatever it is wherever you are.

I’m going to share a recipe with you. I have been working on and modifying a muffin recipe given to me by a precious friend in Milwaukee. Give a whirl if you can and then let me know what you think. I’ve included a few options – less gluten and even less gluten (I’ve just learned that oats do have a tich of gluten and the base of these muffins is oat bran, so they are not gluten-free).

We love these muffins and start pretty much every day with them. I hope you like them, too.

Fruity, Nutty, High Protein Bran Muffins

Preheat oven to 375º F To prepare muffin tin: brush the bottom of the muffin cups only… with virgin coconut oil. Avoid grease on the edges of the muffin cups so the muffins will rise and produce a lighter, more airy product.

In a large bowl, mix and let stand:

3 cups oat bran; I use a combination of regular and red oat bran. Tap down/compact the flakes into 3-cup measure, so there is less air in the measure. Do not, however, press the bran down.

Add 1 cup of boiling water. Stir together and break up lumps.

Beat in a medium bowl and add to the bran:

2 large eggs

2 cups of skim milk (substitute with buttermilk if you want more fat in your diet)

1 tsp vanilla

½ cup virgin coconut oil (liquefied; add to liquid ingredients last)

1 cup honey; Hint: Use the same measuring cup as for the oil, because the honey slips readily out of the measuring cup when there is a residual coat of oil in the cup.

Sift together two times, and then fold into bran:

2 cups flour: you can use all whole-wheat flour, or to reduce the gluten content try 1/3 cup kamut or spelt flour, 1/3 cup buckwheat flour, and 1/3 cup brown rice flour; or for even less gluten use 1 cup buckwheat and 1 cup brown rice flour.

½ cup coconut flour

2½ teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

Add:

1 cup chopped almonds; Did you know that almonds are the “Health Nut” of nuts? They provide antioxidants, which are useful in preventing cancer.

1½ cup mixed dried fruit; may include: apricots, Montmorency cherries, raisins, craisins, blueberries, or whatever your favorite may be.

Bake at 375º F for 15-20 minutes.  Yields about 30 muffins.

*** Not sure where to get Coconut Oil or Coconut Flour? Here’s my source:

http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/

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