Cranberry Apple Bran Muffins

I felt like baking over the long weekend, so I whipped up some muffins to take for this week’s breakfast. They’re a great way to get some bran into your diet if you’re looking for more fibre.

Cranberry apple bran muffins

Cranberry apple bran muffins

Cranberry apple bran muffins
Adapted from a Kelloggs All-Bran recipe.
Makes 12 muffins.

Ingredients
1 cup/250 ml All-Bran Buds or Original cereal
1 cup/250 ml light plain soy milk or skim milk
1 egg
1/4 cup/50 ml vegetable oil
1 1/4 cup/300 ml whole wheat or all-purpose flour
2/3 cup/150 ml granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp/12 ml baking powder
1/4 tsp/1 ml salt
5 ml/1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp/pinch of ground nutmeg
3/4 cup/175 ml chopped fresh or frozen cranberries, or dried cranberries
1/2 cup/125 ml peeled and diced apples

Optional topping:
1 tbsp/15 ml granulated sugar
1/4 tsp/1 ml ground cinnamon

Directions
Mix the cereal and milk together and let it sit for a few minutes until the cereal has absorbed as much liquid as possible. Beat the egg and add it and the oil to the mixture and stir.

In another bowl, take the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix throughly. Add this to the cereal mixture and stir until combined. Add your cranberries and diced apples. (If you use fresh or frozen cranberries, your muffins will be moist. If you use dry cranberries the muffins won’t be dry, but you may want to eat them with a glass of milk to wash everything down.)

Preheat your oven to 400 °F (200 °C). Mix the sugar and cinnamon for the topping and temporarily set aside.

Grease or line your muffin pans and fill with the batter. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar topping if desired.

Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes or until firm.

Ying Fat Food Products, Edmonton

You know how people say that fresh food tastes much better than processed? For something like tofu, I find this is especially true.

Edmonton is lucky enough to have a place that makes fresh tofu and other soya bean products daily. Ying Fat Food Products, Ltd. makes big vats of tofu and soy milk. While I think the majority of their business is through wholesale and commercial sales, they do a brisk business to anyone who walks into the door.

Ying Fat Food Products Ltd.

Ying Fat Food Products Ltd.

Along with tofu and soy milk, you can also purchase dofu fa (soy bean custard), deep fried tofu, homemade fish balls, dried soy beans, and fresh bean sprouts, just to name a few of their products. Sometimes they even have sticky rice wrapped in leaves – a less oily version that contains soy beans along with meat.

On my most recent visit I picked up a jug of soy milk, some deep fried tofu, and a quart of dofu fa.

Soya bean products

Soya bean products

This soy milk is unlike the stuff you can buy from Silk, So Good, etc. It is light tasting, and has a slight soya aftertaste. If you’ve tasted Vitasoy’s soy milk before then you’ll have a better idea of what fresh soy milk from an Asian grocer tastes like. The ingredients are simple – soya bean, water and sugar. It is available sweetened or unsweetened, and in 1 L, 2 L and 4 L sizes.

The deep fried tofu is soft and flavourful. It adds some great flavour to stir fries, and also can be eaten cold.

The dofu fa (or tofu fa, or soy bean custard) is a dessert that can be eaten cold or hot. It is very soft and very delicate – similar in texture to a panna cotta. It is usually eaten with a small amount of sugar syrup or ginger syrup spooned on top.

With this dofu fa, however, I usually just eat it straight out of the carton. It’s so fresh that it has a slight sweetness of it’s own and I find that I don’t need to make it overly sweet.

Like any fresh food product, these items can spoil quickly so it’s best to only buy a small amount that you can consume within a few days. They do speak a little English; point to what you want if all else fails. And if you go during the weekend, be prepared to wait in a (quickly moving) line. The one thing I don’t like about this place is the sketchy location. I’ve never been bothered by the homeless nearby and have always felt safe, but over the years I have seen a few things that I would have rather avoided….

Ying Fat Food Products Ltd.
10512-98 St.
Edmonton, AB

Making syrup

The best way to make the sugar syrup is to melt Chinese yellow rock sugar in some hot water, which will produce a simple syrup.

To make the ginger syrup, take your simple syrup and either stew 2-3 chunks of peeled ginger in the mixture, or use grated ginger. You may have to strain out the ginger however, as the syrup is supposed to be a clear, amber-coloured liquid.