RECIPE: Blueberry Juice Pulp Bran Muffins

In an effort to eat healthier I bought a juicer. What a great idea! You get fresh juiced fruit and vegetables in a matter of minutes. However, the bi-product of juicing is pulp. Lots of pulp. And since I don't have a garden compost pile to toss it in I was tossing it OUT. Boy, did I hate doing that. But what choice did I have? I began researching uses for juice pulp and found my solution. Muffins!

I experimented with several variations of flours, different fats, sugars, and other components. I'm no nutritionist but I think I came up with a great tasting, low sugar, healthy muffin. With the added bonus of a clear conscience by recycling otherwise discarded "waste". (Recipe to follow).

BLUEBERRY JUICE PULP BRAN MUFFINS - makes 12 (around 135 calories each)

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oat bran
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 TB Stevia extract (I use Trader Joe's which is the kind you can use almost 1:1, not the pure extract)
1/4 cup ground almonds or hazelnuts (or any ground nut you prefer)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground clove

2 cups packed juice pulp (I use a combo of carrots, apples, cranberries, beets)
2 room temperature eggs, beaten (cover cold eggs in a bowl of warm water to take off the chill)
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tsp vanilla
zest from one orange (optional)
3/4 cup frozen blueberries (not thawed)

12 cup muffin pan
paper baking cups (cupcake liners)

Preheat oven to 350˚. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with baking cups. I find this more convenient but you can grease the pan if you don't have liners.

In a large bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients and set aside.

In a medium bowl beat the two eggs until frothy. Switch to a wooden spoon or rubber spatula and incorporate the juice pulp. Next add in the yogurt, coconut oil, vanilla and orange zest if using.

Before combining the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, toss the blueberries into the flour mixture to coat evenly. Now add in the wet mixture. This may take a couple minutes and seem like it's not wet enough. But it will come together eventually.

With a spoon scoop out enough dough to fill the cup but try not to compress it too much. I'd say it's about 1/3 cup per cup. Then just top off each one so they look about equally filled. Hey, it's not rocket science.

Now pop 'em in the oven for about 20-25 minutes or until they feel firm to the touch. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack for a few minutes still in the pan. Then remove the muffins from the pan and finish cooling on the rack. They will keep in the ice box for a week in an airtight container. Bon App├ętit!

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