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Priscilla Wyland is Brinna's aunt, a woman who hasn't changed a bit in all the years she's known her. Priscilla, who happens to be 84 at the moment, is one of those people who has never, and is not about to, let anyone tell her how to run her life (a clear asset at any point!) These muffins are what Priscilla starts her day with. She's been playing with the recipe for years and, per Brinna's last conversation with her, has more ideas in the offing. (Even wrestling with a muffin recipe gives you a sense of control!) Not long ago, Priscilla's grandson, MacKenzie Davis, as large as she is petite (he plays football for Brown University) said to her, "Not enough bananas." So she added more and we've captured her recipe at this evolutionary juncture, complete with rum for added punch. At this point they are one of the best nutritional bets around. Her recipe makes 12 muffins with enough batter left over to make a tiny loaf (or 3 more muffins). And each muffin checks in at only about 130 calories.
1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (or 1 cup King Arthur Traditional Whole Wheat Flour)
1 cup uncooked oatmeal
1 cup unprocessed bran
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional; Priscilla leaves it out since she wants to keep her sodium intake to a minimum)
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk (optional, but in combination with the wheat, boosts the protein level)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 large or 3 medium bananas (about 1 cup mashed)
2 egg whites (no yolks, no cholesterol!)
3 to 4 tablespoons honey, molasses or maple syrup (no white sugar)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (this can be eliminated for completely fat-free muffins)
1 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons dark rum (contributes flavor only)
Preheat your oven to 400°F.
Combine the dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl. In a larger bowl, mash the bananas and beat in the egg whites until the mixture is light and frothy. Blend in the honey (or other sweetener), vegetable oil, orange juice and rum.
Sprinkle in the dry ingredients and blend until just combined. Lightly grease muffin cups and fill two-thirds full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes.
These muffins won't rise up in the middle because there is such a small percentage of flour in relation to the oatmeal and bran. But because of the banana, they are delicious, moist and chewy, a great way to start a healthy day!
This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. II, No. 5, March 1991 issue.