Honey Bran Breakfast Muffins

The question that torments me each morning...what do eat for breakfast? Somehow, I can never get into a routine about eating breakfast, unless a giant barrel of coffee counts as a meal. I'm not sure if it's that my stomach just isn't ready or I'm too pressed for time (read: lazy) to cook something in the morning, but breakfast is the one meal that I have trouble sticking with. Don't get me wrong...I love a giant, fluffy pancake as much as the next person and I can whip up the most delish scrambled eggs you've ever tasted...but on a daily basis? It's just not happening. But after I realized that a virtually unused carton of buttermilk (it was purchased and only slightly tapped into for Kathy's Irish Soda Bread) was about to expire, I just felt the need to salvage some by way of the muffin. So I pulled out my handy Muffin cookbook (which was the inspiration between my Apple Surprise Muffins and Snickerdoodle Muffins), searched for recipes containing buttermilk with at least a little health value. While the Blueberry Streusel was calling my name, I opted instead for the heart healthy and morning stomach pleaser, Honey Bran Muffins. This bran and fiber filled muffin isn't a pastry, but it's a filling way to get going in the morning.

Honey Bran Breakfast Muffins
*Adapted from Muffins
1 C boiling water
1 C raisins
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 C honey
2 3/4 C flour
1/2 tsp salt, optional
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
2 C buttermilk
3-4 C wheat germ (I used Hodgson Mills) or unprocessed wheat bran

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tin with paper liners. Pour boiling water over raisins and add baking soda. Mix slightly (it's like a little chem lab in your kitchen!). In a large mixing bowl (I broke out my oversized red Tupperware mixing bowl, reserved for major batches of baking), lightly mix remaining ingredients together.Add raisin mixture and stir just until moistened.

(Note: it's important not to overmix. If you do, it will make the batter tough and just undelicious, so resist the urge to mix and mix).

Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the toothpick test comes out clean.

Some notes:

I'm not sure if they used muffin tins for giants or what, but I had a lot more than 12 muffins. My batch produced more like 24...so many that I ended up wrapping some in plastic wrap and freezing them. Now I can just pop 'em in the microwave and add a bit of light butter whenever I want one for breakfast.

The original recipe called for unprocessed wheat bran. Admittedly...I didn't know what this was and couldn't find it. Is it cereal? A box of plain old bran? Is it masquerading under another name? What I did find, however, was wheat germ, located in the cereal aisle. But I took a leap on wheat germ (close enough?) and who would have thought...it worked!

So there you have it. A healthy breakfast muffin with just a hint of sweetness added from the raisins. But what I really want to know is, how do you get down with breakfast?