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Bird-Friendly Pumpkin Bran Muffins

Share this recipe with your bird and family this holiday season.

By Crystal Apilado

Holiday feasts are just around the corner, are you prepared? BIRD TALK editors took this holiday favorite and gave it a healthy makeover, making it less fattening and bird-friendly.


Recipe Ingredients
1⁄2-cup sugar-free applesauce
1⁄2-cup all-bran cereal
11⁄2-cups whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1⁄2-teaspoon baking soda
11⁄2-cups canned pumpkin
1 egg, beaten
1⁄4-teaspoon ground ginger
1⁄4-teaspoon ground cloves
11⁄4-teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1-cup cranberries
1 banana, mashed
Plain pumpkin seeds (optional)

Preparation
• Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
• Blend all-bran cereal and applesauce together in a large bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes to allow the cereal to soften
• Mix the flour, baking powder and baking soda in another bowl
• Add canned pumpkin, egg, ground ginger, ground cloves, ground cinnamon, vanilla extract, cranberries and mashed banana into the cereal-applesauce mixture
• Fold in the dry mixture. Make sure to blend it in, don’t over mix. The batter should be lumpy. (Over-mixing the batter will make it tough.)
• Spoon 1⁄3 cup of the batter into muffin cups
• Top each with three to four plain pumpkin seeds on top for decoration
• Bake for 20 to 25 minutes (depending on how hot your stove cooks). Cool muffins on a wire rack for three minutes before you remove them from the muffin pan

How We Made It Bird-Friendly
We removed the sugar and the milk from the original recipe. We used cranberries and banana as natural sweeteners, the amounts of which you can adjust depending on your preferred sweetness levels. Experiment with other natural sweeteners like apples or blueberries. You can also substitute 13⁄4-teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice in place of the ground ginger, ground cloves and ground cinnamon. Sugar-free applesauce was used instead of milk to add moisture and additional sweetness to the recipe.


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Reader Comments
i tried the recipe using unsweetened applesauce since its suppose to be all natural i didn't want to had a man made sweetener. i will have to adjust the sweetness but i liked it. the recipe needs to be rewritten so people would not do 112 cups of flour. this is very miss leading and some might not figure out the dashes and slashes where they are to be.
stacey donaldson, platte city, MO
Posted: 11/30/2012 7:04:52 PM
great recipe, nikko thanks you!
Gabby, San Diego, CA
Posted: 11/22/2012 11:08:43 AM
Thanks!
Terry, Houston, TX
Posted: 11/22/2012 9:26:12 AM
great ty
stephanie, no smithfield, RI
Posted: 11/21/2012 6:03:13 AM
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