Preparation Time: 1 hr 5 min
1 cup chopped dried figs, plus 3 whole dried figs
1 1/2 cups bran cereal (recommended: All-Bran)
1 cup lowfat milk
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup natural applesauce
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
1 large egg, beate
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 12-capacity muffin pan with cooking spray. Thinly slice the whole figs.
In a large bowl, combine the cereal and milk. Let sit until softened, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together the whole-wheat flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl.
Add the applesauce, honey, oil, molasses, and egg to the cereal mixture and stir until combined. Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Gently stir in the chopped figs. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and top each muffin with a fig slice. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center of 1 of the muffins comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. If necessary, run a knife around the muffins to loosen. Unmold and cool completely on a rack.
Note: Make a batch of these muffins on the weekend, then wrap them individually in waxed paper and freeze them in a sealable plastic bag. When you want a muffin all you have to do is take 1 out the night before to defrost at room temperature. Enjoy with a skim latte or a to-go container of lowfat milk for a perfect start to a busy day.
Personal Notes: One of the secrets is the applesauce which adds extra tenderness and sweet fruity flavor