So, you’re standing in line at a coffee shop eying the range of baked goods you could eat along with your chai tea latte. You browse over the squares, the cakes, the croissants. Finally, your eyes settle on the muffins and you think to yourself, I’ll make a healthy choice today. Well, my friend, more than likely you’ve fallen for what I like to call The Muffin Myth.
I did a quick search online and did some comparisons between muffins and glazed donuts served at one of Canada’s more popular coffee shops. A glazed donut had 210 calories, 8 grams of fat, and 1 gram of fiber. A banana nut muffin had 390 calories, 17 grams of fat, and 2 grams of fiber. Granted, the muffin weighs nearly twice as much as the donut. So, if you ate *half* of that muffin, you’d be eating the equivalent of that glazed donut. Now, I’m not against eating treats – I like to eat them, and lots of them, but when I want a muffin I want a muffin, and when I want cake I want cake. The so-called muffins for sale at most coffee shops and bakeries are what I like to affectionately refer to as “muff-cakes”. They’re not good for you! They’re not a better choice! They’re imposters! Wake up and smell the muff-cakes! And it’s not just muffins! We could talk about the granola bar myth (most commercial granola bars are nutritionally equivalent to chocolate bars), the juice myth (that can of juice you bought from the vending machine can more than likely go calorie for calorie with a can of pop) . . . I could (and likely will) go on and on.
A muffin, I think, should be good for you. It should be dense and nutrient packed and and delicious and should fill you up and keep you fueled for a good long time. If you didn’t make it yourself, you should be able to read the list of ingredients and know what each ingredient is and why it is there. It should not leave a ring of grease seeping through your napkin.
Here at The Muffin Myth you will find a wealth of information about food and nutrition, and an ever increasing archive of recipes for all kinds of food. Including treats. There will of course be treats, just not treats disguised as muffins.
I’m constantly experimenting with new muffin recipes, but my current favourite weekday muffin is this No Sugar Banana Branner. Try making a batch!