t h e m a y f i l e s is foremost a family blog, chronicling everyday life. Life including natural, healthy eating (with recipes thrown in at random), home educating (with ideas popping up sporadically), an attempt to homestead on .2 acres (with very meager yields), raising 3 of 4 children with a rare genetic disorder, and lots of highly personal family triumphs and failures. You may also find an eclectic array of musings on politics, exercise, sewing, emergency preparedness, backyard chickens, and religion. This blog isn't a campaign to glorify anyone or anything. Just simply a record.


Basic Bran Batter

Zucchini Muffins Scroll down for recipe and Variations Galore!

When you try to make everything from scratch, sometimes it can seem overwhelming and daunting. There are a few tricks to keep up your sleeve. This basic bran batter is one of those tricks. It is delicious, simple and extremely versatile.

Rarely will you open my fridge and not find a big tub of this basic bran batter. It is adaptable to muffins, breads, cakes cookies, pancakes and waffles with variations galore! You never tire of the same taste. This recipe makes 1 gallon at a time and lasts in the fridge for 5+ weeks. The acid in the buttermilk provides the long life.

Every morning or afternoon, I can scoop out 2 or 3 cups, flavor, and we have hot muffins or bread in minutes. This recipe is from "The Amazing Wheat Book" by LeArta Moulten. It only required minimal substitutions on my part so she gets all the credit!

I no longer make any other type of quick bread or muffin. These are too easy, nutritious and adaptable.

Basic Bran Batter

Mix and set aside to cool:
2-3 c oat bran*
2 c boiling water

*You can substitute any bran, wheat rice, corn commercially or hand rolled. You can also use commercial flakes (wheat, corn, rice or oats) or 100 % bran cereal. I don't use these because often they have added sugar.

Cream Together:
1 c olive oil
2 1/2 c honey or other natural sweetener
4 eggs, powdered or regular

Add and mix well:
2 T soda
2 t salt
4 c buttermilk
cooled bran and water mix
7 cups whole grain flour

Store in a tightly covered container and keep refrigerated at all times.
Makes 13 cups (1 Gallon).


3 cups of Basic Batter
12-16 muffins
1 cake
1 loaf quick bread
24 cookies

Baking Times and Temperatures:

Muffins = 375-400 degrees for 20-25 min
Cookies = 375 degrees for 10-15 min
Cakes = 375 degrees for 30-45 min
Bread = 375 degrees for 40-60 min
Pancakes = medium heat
Waffles = regular waffle heat

Recipe Recommendations: The pancakes and waffles don't crisp up, so they aren't our favorite. They are great reheated in the toaster though. Do not add extra pumpkin or more banana than the recipe calls for. The batter will not cook properly. If the batter is too thick thin with yogurt, milk or juice. If batter is too thin, thicken with wheat germ, oat flour, cornmeal etc.

Here is what makes this batter the best...it has a dozens of variations:

Recipes for Sweet Muffins
Combine any of the following with 3 cups of Basic Bran Batter...or be creative and create your own versions. I have tried all of these...they are wonderful.

Apple Cinnamon
1 c finely chopped apples
3 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t cloves
1 c raisins (opt)
1 c nuts (opt)

1 c finely chopped zucchini
3 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t cloves
1/2 c chocolate chips (opt)

Banana Nut
2 well mashed or blended bananas
1 T vanilla
1 c chopped walnuts
1/2 c chocolate chips

Black Cherry
1 c fresh or canned black cherries (toss with 1 t flour)
1 T cherry extract or vanilla

1 c blueberries (fresh, frozen, or canned)
Add just before baking:
1 T cinnamon or vanilla
2 T grated lemon peel (opt)

1/2 c raw, finely grated carrot
1/4 cup pure maple syrup, honey or molasses
2 t ground cinnamon or orange extract
2 T grated orange peel
1/2 to 1 c each raisins, nuts, coconut

4 t baking cocoa
1/4 c natural sweetener
1/2 c nuts or chocolate chips (opt)

1/2 c chocolate chips
1 c potato flakes
1 T coconut extract

Coconut Mandarin
1 c potato flakes
1/2 c coconut
1/2 c mandarin oranges

Date Nut
1 c chopped dates
3/4 c chopped nuts
1 t vanilla

1 T cinnamon
1 t each ginger and cloves
1/2 c molasses

1 c rolled oats
2 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1 c each raisins and walnuts

Orange Cranberry
2 T grated orange peel
2 T orange extract or orange juice
1 c fresh chopped cranberries

Peanut Butter
1 c softened peanut butter
1/2 c sweetener
1/2 peanuts (opt)

Poppy Seed
2 T poppy seeds and any one of the following flavorings:
1 T almond extract
1 T each lemon extract and lemon peel

1 c canned pumpkin
1 T cinnamon
1 t each, nutmeg, ginger and cloves
1/2 chocolate chips (opt)

Raspberry Lemon
1 c fresh or canned raspberries tossed with 1 T flour
2 t vanilla or raspberry extract
1 T grated lemon peel or 1/2 c lemon yogurt
1/2 c chopped pecans (opt)


Jessica said...

Hi! I made these for the first time this week and they are delicious. I love that you can keep the batter for so long as well. So far we have had the banana nut and date nut~ thanks for another great recipe :)

Brittney said...

Yay! I swear I was just thinking about these muffins a coule days ago and wishing I had your recipe. I think I tried your banana/choco chip ones and they were yummy! You're so wonderful to post all this info! Thanks, and say hi to your parents and Char for me. :)