Healthy Almond Joy Bran Muffins
Yields: 12 muffins
 
Since Almond Joys are her favorite candy bars, my mom absolutely loves these muffins! They’re practically as tender as cupcakes, thanks to Step 2, and they have the perfect combination of classic cozy bran muffin flavors mixed with almond, coconut, and chocolate. Leftovers will keep for at least one week if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • 1 ½ cups (180g) oat bran (measured like this and gluten-free if necessary)
  • ½ cup (120g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup (120mL) nonfat milk
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup (120g) whole wheat or gluten-free* flour (measured like this)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tbsp (7g) coconut oil or unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • ¼ cup (60mL) molasses, room temperature
  • ¼ cup (60mL) pure maple syrup, room temperature
  • 3 tbsp (15g) shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 3 tbsp (42g) miniature chocolate chips, divided
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and lightly coat 12 muffin cups with nonstick spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the oat bran, Greek yogurt, milk, and almond extract. Let the mixture rest for at least 10 minutes while preparing the remaining ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a third bowl, whisk together the coconut oil and egg whites. Stir in the molasses and maple syrup. Add the oat bran mixture, stirring until fully incorporated. Add the flour mixture, stirring until just incorporated. Fold in the coconut and 2 ½ tablespoons of miniature chocolate chips.
  4. Evenly divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups, and press the remaining miniature chocolate chips into the tops. Bake at 350°F for 18-21 minutes or until the tops feel firm to the touch. Cool in the muffin cups for 5 minutes before carefully transferring to a wire rack.
Notes: Be VERY careful when measuring the oat bran! Use this method or a kitchen scale. Too much oat bran will dry out your muffins, which is why I highly recommend a kitchen scale. (← That's the one I own and love!)

Other readers have had success substituting wheat bran for the oat bran. I have not tried that myself and cannot personally vouch for that substitution.

For the gluten-free flour, use the following blend: ½ cup (60g) millet flour, ¼ cup (30g) tapioca flour, ¼ cup (30g) brown rice flour, and ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum. Most store-bought blends should also work, as long as they are measured like this.

Any milk may be substituted for the nonfat milk.

Honey or agave may be substituted for the maple syrup. Do not substitute pancake syrup because it will not produce the same taste or texture. Do not substitute anything for the molasses; it’s required to produce the iconic bran muffin flavor.

For a less prominent almond flavor, decrease the almond extract to 1 ½ teaspoons.

I’m not a huge fan of coconut in my muffins, which is why there’s very little of it. You’re welcome to add more, if you prefer!

{gluten-free, clean eating, low fat, low calorie}
Recipe by Amy's Healthy Baking at https://amyshealthybaking.com/blog/2017/05/07/almond-joy-bran-muffins/