Pumpkin bran muffins are baked sweets that have been flavored with pumpkin puree and contain bran. These muffins tend to be more dense than traditional muffins, and are slightly chewy in the center. They can be sweetened with a variety of natural sugars, including honey and spice extracts. Recipes for this type of food are available in health food cookbooks and on the Internet.
Bran is one of the byproducts of a grain kernel that is left over during the refining process. A whole grain contains all three essential portions of the kernel including the bran, germ, and endosperm. This type of grain contains a higher amount of nutrients than refined grains in which much of the kernel has been removed. Bran is high in vitamins, protein, minerals, and fiber, and can be obtained from such cereal grains as millet, barley, wheat, and rice, among others.
These muffins use a combination of whole wheat flour and wheat bran to create a moist and chewy muffin. To increase the nutritional value of the muffins, cooks can choose to use whole wheat flour made from whole grains as well. The pumpkin bran muffins tend to have a more firm consistency than standard sweet muffins, and are typically blended with pumpkin puree and buttermilk or applesauce to add moisture to the mixture.
The muffins may be sweetened with any type of natural sugar to balance the savory nature of the bran. Molasses and honey are two common choices to add to the batter to improve its flavor, and a small amount of brown sugar may be included, as well, depending on the taste preferences of the cook. Those spices which best compliment pumpkin flavoring can be included in the mixture, like cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, and cloves, or a generous sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.
Once all ingredients have been combined, the pumpkin bran muffins batter is poured into individual baking tins. The thick nature of the batter requires that baking cups be used for best results, and to guarantee that the muffins do not stick to the pan. They are then baked in a hot oven between 20 and 30 minutes.
Pumpkin bran muffins contain a significantly lower amount of calories than other traditional baked muffins. Each serving, depending on the recipe used, may have between 120 and 150 calories, and can provide an individual with up to 3 grams of fiber per muffin.