Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Healthier Nest and A Recipe

I'm making a real effort to keep my fridge stocked with plenty of these.  Now that we are empty nesters, my meal planning is seeing a lot of changes.

In some ways our empty nest has been a bit of an adjustment.  But as for healthy eating, it has become easier with just the two of us.  I no longer keep things like chips and cookies on hand.  I'm finding that if I have a sweet tooth I can usually satisfy it with a graham cracker or a small piece of dark chocolate.

In keeping a good supply of fresh fruits and vegetables on hand at all times, I am always able to come up with a quick and healthy meal.  For lunch today I cut up some veggies and paired it with a few pita chips and some hummus.  It filled me up, was healthy and pretty too.

In addition to incorporating more fruits and veggies into our diet, I am making a conscious effort to add more fiber.  Which is part of the reason I recently made a batch of bran muffins.  I was asked if I would share the recipe & I am happy to do so.

This is a recipe from Jane Brody's Good Food Cookbook.

Best of Bran Muffins

  • 3 cups shredded bran cereal (e.g. All-Bran or 100% Bran)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2-1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, if desired
  1. In a large bowl, combine the cereal, oil & raisins & pour the boiling water over them.  Set the mixture aside to cool slightly.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, buttermilk & molasses.  Add this to the partly cooled cereal mixture.
  3. In another small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.  Add the flour mixture to the cereal mixture, stirring just enough to moisten the dry ingredients.  Cover the batter with plastic wrap, wax paper or a damp towel, and let it stand for at least 15 minutes, preferably for 1 hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Grease 24 muffin cups, and divide the batter among them, filling each cup about three-fourths full.  Bake the muffins for 20 to 25 minutes.  Remove the muffins from the oven, and, when they are slightly cooled, take them out of the tin and place on a rack to cool completely.
Makes 24 muffins.

I will tell you that these are not a real sweet muffin.  I'm sure you could add a bit more sugar if you prefer them sweeter.  I like them warm with one of the "healthy" spreads pictured above. 

The recipe makes 2 dozen.  I froze one dozen in a Ziploc bag.  When I want something to go with my afternoon coffee break, it's easy to pop one out of the freezer and into the microwave. 

A few of you asked questions in a recent post, so I thought I'd take a minute to answer those here.  Karen asked if the bran muffins were from the recipe where you kept the batter in the fridge and baked as many as you wanted.  I remember that recipe as my mom used to make it.  It is similar, but not the same one.
Stacey asked if my sister reads my blog.  Unfortunately, she isn't able to use the computer yet.  Hopefully she will be able to soon because I think it would allow her to be able to communicate more effectively.  Thanks for thinking of her, Stacey.
Osage Bluff Quilter asked whether my prayer plant had bloomed yet.  To be honest, I received it as a gift and didn't realize that it would bloom.  How exciting ~ I hope it does bloom eventually.
Lynn asked if I ship my muffins :-).  Well, so far I haven't, but there's always a first for everything.  Although they might taste fresher if you tried the recipe.

Thanks for your questions and taking the time to visit.  I hope I haven't missed any of your questions.  If so, please feel free to ask again.



  1. I am almost an empty nester, too, and I agree it's hard to downsize and be healthy! Looks like you are doing well so far.


  2. Thanks for the recipe! I make healthy muffins and scones for my desserts. My hubby is thin and can eat anything! I bought a lot of fruit today...I love it all! Wish I could send you a pineapple! ♥

  3. Hi Kim,
    It looks like a good, and healthy recipe. We are trying to eat healthier and getting back to exercising. I'm like you. A small piece of chocolate is all I need if I crave sweets.
    I love eating fresh fruits and veggies.
    I hope your sister will soon be able to read your blog and use the computer.

  4. The fruits and veggies are so colorful and look so good. It makes me want to eat healthier. :-)
    The bran muffin recipe sounds very good. I'll have to give it a try. Thanks!

  5. Your healthful food looks so beautiful. How long have you been employing these new ways of eating? Are you feeling better as a result? I love Polaner all fruit good.

  6. As almost empty nesters, we are eating much healthier too. Your pictures look so colorful and appetizing. I really do appreciated that you shared this recipe. I make bran muffins so often although I use the six week muffin batter. I think that yours may be healthier and I look forward to trying them. This post was inspiring to me.

  7. Kim it sounds like we are both eating the healthy way nowadays.
    It really feels wonderful to treat our bodies well!

    Your blog and all the photos are beautiful. What a precious header photo. I am enjoying my visit and will be back again very soon. Come by and visit me anytime sweet friend.

    ~Blessings, ~Melissa :)

  8. Kim, thanks for your sweet comments. We are empty nesters except for my sister and her 13 year old. They do their own cooking.
    I want to make your muffins. I am looking for high fiber beside foods with lots of antioxidants. Hopefully all these steps will help! Thansk for sharing and thank you for your visit! ~♥

  9. I like your spring buys from previous post.
    Good for you for a healthier diet; that dish with the veggies looks great. I'm into healthier baking, too. I'm baking oats cookies as soon as I 'manage' to stay away from the computer.

  10. It's so important for us to eat healthy...something I really try to do. Your lunch with hummus and veggies looks so good!

    Have a great weekend, Kim.


  11. This is a wonderful post! My family isn't always happy that I only keep healthy things in the house, but I figure one day they will thank me for it. I've been reading labels for the past 5 years and totally changed the way I cook our food. Of course, I also became vegetarian and they aren't quite on that bandwagon yet; although my 14 year old tends to not like meat either and has similar tastes to mine when it comes to food. The muffin recipe sounds delish! I always love to make homemade, healthy muffins and pass them out to friends. Nice for breakfast or a little snack. Hummus of course can be found all over the place around here. Yummo! Hope you are having a fabulous day. Blessings, Tammy

  12. Thanks for sharing your recipe, it sounds and looks delicious!

    We've had one of our grandchildren here to visit for the week, so we've had more junk foods than we're accustomed to, but starting next week it will be back to fruits and veggies for us......

  13. Thank you so much for coming by and your kind words. I really appreciate it.

    Have a blessed Sunday.
    ~Warmly, ~Melissa :)

  14. I applaud you on healthier eating. I will tell myself I'm going to do that. And then you get to feeling low, and out comes the sugar...

  15. Actually that's the only part of becoming empty nesters that makes me happy! My daughter is a somewhat picky eatier and I know our menus will change drastically once she leaves. My husband and I like salads and fruit and she's really a meat and potatoes kind of girl!


  16. Kim,
    I really need to try this recipe. I cooked 3 meals, 24/7 for over 23 years, but in the last few years I end up getting goodies from my daughters instead of baking. The veggie tray looks wonderful. Thank you for the lovely heartfelt comment on my blog about Terry good news. Could we have an update on your sister? I think it would be a great idea, once she can use the computer, we could all send her "cyber hugs" and tons of love in comments to your post. Just let us know. I know we all would love to do that as often as you wish. My prayers are not only for your sister but her hubby, her son, you and your family. His strength will let you lean when it seems too hard.


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I will do my best to answer any questions here in the comments section.