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Improved muffins for any time of day

Muffins are the topic of the day, bran muffins in particular. Low-fat and low-sugar recipes were asked for. The Apple-Walnut and Raisin-Nut recipes are in this category. The Apple Bran muffins are quickly put together since they are made with buttermilk biscuit mix. The use of apple juice for the liquid is a nice touch. The Branana Muffin recipe, sweetened with brown sugar and molasses, is from a Canadian visitor.

For: Philis Wickens of St. Petersburg.

From: Dale Jefferson of Largo.

Recipe: Almost Sugar-Free Apple-Walnut Breakfast Muffins from Dale's "The Light Choice Is The Right Choice" classes in Detroit.

Almost Sugar-Free Apple-Walnut

Breakfast Muffins

Nutritious Quick Bread Mix:

3 cups stone-ground whole wheat flour

1 cup soy flour (found in specialty food stores)

2 teaspoons salt

1 cup dry (not instant) milk

2{ tablespoons baking powder

Muffins:

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup milk, buttermilk or yogurt

2 tablespoons canola oil or olive oil

2 tablespoons honey, molasses or dark syrup

2{ cups Nutritious Quick Bread Mix (above)

1 cup finely chopped apples

\ cup raisins or chopped dates (optional)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

\ teaspoon ground nutmeg

\ teaspoon baking soda

cup chopped nuts

Combine all ingredients and mix until well-moistened. Do not over-mix or muffins will be tough. Fill greased muffin tins two-thirds full.

Bake at 400 degrees 15 to 20 minutes. Do not overbake. Makes 16 regular-size muffins or 8 to 10 Texas-size muffins.

For a lighter texture, fold in 1 stiffly beaten egg white.

Variation: Use cup grated carrots and cup drained crushed pineapple instead of chopped apples.

For: Alta Keim of Tierra Verde.

From: Alicia Piccolo of Spring Hill.

Recipe: Raisin-Nut Bran Muffins from The Low Cholesterol Oat Plan Cookbook.

Raisin-Nut Bran Muffins

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup oat bran

{ cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 tablespoon baking soda

\ teaspoon ground cinnamon

{ teaspoon salt

1 cup skim milk

cup peanut oil or safflower oil

1 egg, separated, plus 2 egg whites

1 tablespoon honey

{ cup chopped walnuts, peanuts or pecans

{ cup raisins, blueberries or chopped dates

Lightly oil 12 muffin cups and dust with a little oat bran.

Put oats and oat bran in large mixing bowl. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a sifter and sift into oats.

Add milk, oil, egg yolk and honey; mix well with a wooden spoon. Stir in nuts and fruit or raisins.

In a small bowl, beat the 3 egg whites until stiff with an electric mixer at high speed. Fold gently into batter.

Fill muffin cups with batter and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

Cool on wire rack. Makes 12 muffins.

For: Mary Young of New Port Richey.

From: Judy Morris of Tarpon Springs.

Recipe: Apple Bran Muffins.

Apple Bran Muffins

2 cups buttermilk biscuit mix (Bisquick recommended)

} cup whole bran cereal

cup apple juice

cup brown sugar, packed

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 cup chopped, peeled apple

\ cup raisins

Grease bottoms only of 12 muffins cups or line with paper baking cups.

Mix all ingredients except apple and raisins. Fold in apple and raisins. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.

Bake at 400 degrees until light brown, 21 to 23 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before removing from pan. Makes 12 muffins.

Edna Guarin of St. Petersburg writes that she often uses Martha White Bran Muffin Mix, available at most local grocery stores. Edna adds { cup raisins and sometimes chopped nuts and thinks the result is excellent, and the price is right.

From: Alice Dawe of Brantford, Ontario.

Recipe: Branana Muffins

Branana Muffins

1 egg

1 cup mashed ripe banana

1 cup Nabisco 100-percent Bran Cereal

} cup milk

{ cup firmly packed brown sugar

{ cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons molasses

2 cups all-purpose flour

{ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1 tablespoon baking powder

{ teaspoon salt

Beat egg in bowl with fork. Blend in banana, cereal, milk, sugar, oil and molasses.

Combine remaining ingredients in large bowl. Stir liquid ingredients into dry ingredients, stirring until moistened. Spoon into greased muffin cups, filling to the top.

Bake at 400F for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Store in airtight container. Makes 12 large muffins.

From: Ruth Gardner of Holiday.

Recipe: Tiny Tea Biscuits.

Tiny Tea Biscuits

1 egg

2 cups buttermilk biscuit mix (Bisquick)

2 tablespoons sugar

} cup milk

cup chopped nuts or raisins

In mixing bowl, beat egg with fork. Sift biscuit mix over beaten egg. Stir in sugar and milk. Add nuts or raisins. Spoon into miniature muffin tins that have been buttered or sprayed with nonstick vegetable coating. Bake at 350 degrees until brown, 10-12 minutes.

Recipe requests

Marjorie Parker of Brooksville is looking for the recipe for the thick, Red Sauce Chinese restaurants serve with sweet and sour pork.

Bahama Sauce is the recipe Eric Fehrmann of Tarpon Springs wants. It is the perfect accompaniment for conch fritters.

Blooming Onion Sauce is another popular dip. Pam Palmer of Madeira Beach, Lydia Warfield of Clearwater, Eric Fehrmann, Clyde Miller of Holiday and Bill and Jo An Byrd of Treasure Island are eager to have the recipe.

Belle Rawlinson of Ellenton has lost her recipe for Clotted Cream to complete her favorite combination of scones topped with strawberry preserves and clotted cream.

Do you have a special recipe for Leek Soup? Bill Young of Spring Hill wants a good one.

Mildred Reif of Hudson has lost her recipe for No Bake Cheesecake made with cream cheese and Milnot in a graham cracker crust.

Jan and Don Halberda of Pinellas Park are having a nostalgia attack for chili served at "chili and hot dog" restaurants in Highland Park, Mich., years ago. The chili was dark tan, thick and contained beans. A no-bean version was served on hot dogs. The owners and the diner-type restaurants had flashing neon "red hots" signs. Help!

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