Saturday, January 17, 2009

A couple more reasons to make your own foods

Jennette has a review on her blog of Fiber One's muffin mixes. Here's the ingredients list photo from her page. Compare this to the list of ingredients for the whole wheat/corn muffins I made yesterday:

1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. cornmeal
1 c. skim milk
1/4 c. coarse grits (softened by soaking them in the milk)
1 egg
1/4 c. honey
pinch salt
2 tsp. baking powder

I think I forgot to add the oil but normally there would be 1/4 c. canola oil in there too. You pour them into muffin cups and bake them at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes. I got the recipe off the box of cornmeal and only made a couple of modifications: Adding the grits, changing the white flour to whole wheat, swapping honey for sugar. And forgetting the oil, but that isn't so much a modification as a goof.

None of these ingredients cost me anything because I already had them all in my pantry.
I'm not sure how much the muffin mix would cost at a grocery store but my guess is it would be around $5 a box. You add water, eggs, and oil to the mix. If I had to go buy all my ingredients besides the oil and eggs, I'd probably spend about $10, but I'd get sick of the muffins before I ran out of the ingredients to make them.

The homemade muffins have 6 more calories per muffin, 3 grams less fiber, and 2.5 grams more fat (unless you forget the oil). But, on the plus side, the homemade muffins don't have Frankenfoods ingredients and since they were real food and not diet food, you wouldn't be tempted to eat 10 of them because they were so healthy. Obviously these were not as sweet, either, so it's not a totally fair comparison, but I just think it's interesting to see how sneaky these so-called diet foods can be.

Here's a side-by-side comparison of the nutritional data (data for my muffins was calculated using the cool tools at


  1. hooray for real food without seventeen syllables :)

  2. You bring up a good point about one thing that bothers me (and sometimes amuses me) about Hungry Girl and their recipes. It's that they substitute the most processed things to make low/no-fat switches and their over reliance on Fiber One.

    It's also funny you mention muffins because I'm thinking about making something to take to our Obama viewing party tomorrow & that was one of my ideas.

  3. & of course you can find easy ways to bulk up the fiber & dump six calories without those seventeen-syllable ingredients. Isn't applesauce one of the wonder substitutes for oil?

  4. Hungry Girl is a marketing tool so of course there is a huge reliance on processed foods made by the sponsors. I have something percolating in my head about the whole processed-diet-foods vs. real foods. I'm not sure how it will come out, but watch the blog and you'll see the eventual result. The applesauce is an OK substitute if you're going to eat all the baked goods the day you mkae them. The second day they get gooey and horrible. I think personally I'd rather have the extra few calories/fat grams because there's no real evidence that replacing fat with sugar makes it actually better for you.


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07