Fire Life

Mighty Muffins

By Rip Esselstyn

These muffins are the brainchild of my friend Bridget’s brother, Michael. An amazing cook and a Buddhist, Michael lives in a monastery outside of Pharping, Nepal, where he serves as a chef for his teacher. Once these muffins cool, they keep well in the refrigerator for a week. Eat them cold or warm them briefly in the oven.

Makes 6 large muffins, 12 small muffins, or 1 enormous loaf.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.


 6 brown bananas, lightly mashed (leave some chunks)
 1 large apple, grated
 ¾ cup water
 3 cups oat bran
 1 teaspoon baking powder
 ½ teaspoon salt
 ¼ cup walnuts, chopped or halved
 ¼ cup raisins
 4 tablespoons sweetener
 Juice of 1 lemon


1. Mix wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls. Squeeze the juice of one lemon onto the combined apple and bananas.
2. Combine wet and dry ingredients into one bowl.
3. Pour into sprayed muffin tins and bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown on top.


Bake the batter in a loaf pan, and enjoy hearty slices instead of muffins.
Add three thinly sliced pears or 1 cup of 70 percent pure cocoa chips to the batter.

Rip’s Tip:

Make a double batch of these muffins and freeze half of them for a quick, on-the-go breakfast or a healthy snack.


Rip Esselstyn is a mission-driven man. As a swimmer at the University of Texas at Austin, he was a three time All-American. As a professional athlete, he was one of the premier triathletes in the world for more than a decade. As a firefighter for the Austin (TX) Fire Department, he helped people and saved lives. As a friend to other firefighters, he transformed the way Austin’s Engine 2 ate to save firefighters’ health. Now, as the author of The Engine 2 Diet, he is teaching people the irrefutable connection between what they put in their mouths and their ability to reach their ideal weight and their ideal health. Recently, he has teamed up with Whole Foods Market as a Healthy Eating Partner to raise awareness for Whole Foods Market team members, customers, and all of America about the benefits of eating a PlantStrongÔ diet composed of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

Rip comes from a family steeped in medicine. His great-grandfather, George Crile, co-founded the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic, where his father, Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., was chief of the breast cancer task force and completed one of the most extensive studies ever conducted on the relationship between the heart and diet–proving that a plant-based diet can stop, prevent, and even reverse heart disease.  

Rip serves on the Board of Directors for The Wellness Foundation, EarthSave’s Meals For Health Program, and the AllergyKids Foundation.