Spa RECIPES: Bran Zucchini-Sunflower Seed Muffins from The Spa at the Grand Del Mar

The Spa at the Grand Del Mar's muffin recipe can be adapted many ways!

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Just one bite of The Spa at the Grand Del Mar’s moist, sweet bran muffins and we were in love. Luckily, executive pastry chef Melissa Logan makes them bite-size, so we didn’t feel too guilty about eating two. (OK, three.) Her secret? “It’s really just a basic bran muffin, but I like to incorporate different flavors to enhance it,” Logan says of the San Diego spa’s most requested recipe of late. “Zucchini-sunflower is one of my personal favorite flavors—the sunflower has nuttiness and texture while zucchini adds moisture. But you could use carrots and raisins or dates and walnuts.” For a leaner muffin, sans buttermilk (if you must), Logan suggests substituting skim milk, but adding a few drops of lemon juice to replace the acid in buttermilk needed to react with the leavening ingredients.

Bran Zucchini-Sunflower Seed Muffins from The Spa at The Grand Del Mar

Makes 24 Muffins

Wet Ingredients:
½ cup canola oil
2 eggs
½ cup water
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. molasses
½ cup plus 2 tbsp. buttermilk
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients:
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 ¹∕₃ cups oat bran or wheat bran
2 tsp. baking powder
1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
pinch of salt

1 cup finely grated zucchini
¼ cup sunflower seeds

Mixing Method:
1. Mix wet ingredients together using a whisk.
2. Mix dry ingredients together in a mixer with paddle attachment.
3. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together using the paddle attachment until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
4. After the zucchini is grated, squeeze out the excess water with your hands until it is fairly dry (not doing this will affect the outcome).
5. Last, add in the grated zucchini and sunflower seeds and mix well.
6. Allow the batter to rest for at least 8 hours or overnight.
7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
8. Place liners in regular muffin molds and fill each section ¾ of the way full.
9. If desired, sprinkle All-Bran cereal or sunflower seeds on top of each muffin as a garnish before baking.
10. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a muffin comes out clean.
11. You may store the leftover batter in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


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