This blog post is contributed by MaryAnn of Oatmeal Bread fame. MaryAnn baked the muffins using the original recipe with cane sugar and then tried a version with agave nectar and some other revisions.
After baking the already healthy (and delicious) blueberry oat bran muffins courtesy of the blog Chocolate & Zucchini a couple of times with regular granulated sugar I decided to try them out with agave. I had never baked with agave before, so I had no idea how they would come out – I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised! The first thing that I noticed was the difference in the batter – it thinned it out a little bit, which I actually found to be a good thing because the batter is quite thick and heavy (probably partially to do with the fact that I am using Greek yogurt, which is far thicker than regular yogurt). The original version of the muffin is not overly sweet, so I decided to do a 1 for 1 swap of the sugar and agave, and it turned out perfectly – my husband said he didn’t notice a difference in the taste what so ever. I thought that the taste was slightly less sweet, but in a very subtle way, and that the texture was a bit lighter, but overall they tasted very similar and baked up beautifully. This will be a recipe that I will be using often and can feel good about eating. Next time I might have to bake a double batch because they don’t last very long in our house!
Blueberry Oat Bran Muffins
– 1 cup oat bran
– 1 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
– a good pinch salt
– 1/2 cup agave nectar
– 1 cup blueberries
– 1 cup plain yogurt (I used plain/fat free Greek yogurt)
– 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
– 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
– 2 eggs, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 360°F (I lowered the temp by 25 degrees because I had read that agave browns faster than regular sugar, so the bake time was a little longer – I think in my oven it ended up being about 19 minutes) and grease a 12-muffin tray really well.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the bran, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until no lumps remain. Add the blueberries and toss gently to combine.
In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, oil, vanilla, eggs and agave. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients, and fold it in gently with a spatula until no trace of flour remains. The mixture will be lumpy, but resist overmixing.
Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tray, filling each muffin mold by about three quarters. Bake for 12 to 16 minutes (possibly longer if using lower temperature) until set and golden. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Makes 12 muffins.