Muffins are the favorite dessert or breakfast for many people of all ages. They can be sweet or salty and usually best savored with coffee. The main difference between muffins and cupcakes is that the latter is topped with sugar frosting. Muffins are sold in many bakeries, donut shops and fast food restaurants. Basically, they can be found everywhere.
There are two basic types of muffins: the English muffin and the American one. Both of them have different tastes and history. The English muffin is small and flat bread which is sliced horizontally when eaten. It is toasted, buttered and eaten with jam. They can also be topped with meat, eggs and cheese to be eaten for breakfast. On the other hand, the American-style muffin is taller and spongier.
Here are Some Interesting Facts about Muffins:
- There is National Oatmeal Muffin Day. It is on December 19. Recipes for oatmeal muffins appeared in American cookbooks in the middle of the 19th century.
- There is National Blueberry Muffin Day too. It is celebrated on July 11th.
- The origin of the English muffin is thought to be in Wales. It appeared in the 10th or 11th century.
- American muffins are the so called ‘quick breads’ and they are made in individual molds. Muffin cases are used for this purpose.
- In 1972, McDonald’s started to serve Egg McMuffin. Its ingredients include eggs, an English muffin, Canadian bacon and American cheese.
- Some states have their own State Muffin. Massachusetts chose the corn muffin, Minnesota went for the blueberry muffin. New York’s state muffin is the apple one, and Washington is also keen on the blueberry muffin.
Are Muffins Healthy?
Actually, some of them are healthy. The reason is that some of the muffin ingredients are really beneficial for your health. Although there are gluten-free muffins, wheat also has health benefits. With or without gluten, there are some muffins that you need to include in your diet. You can enjoy it as a tasty dessert and still eat healthy.
Oatmeal muffins lower your cholesterol levels. This may sound strange since muffins are usually high in fat. Bad cholesterol accumulates in the walls of the arteries and veins, clogging them and restraining blood flow. High cholesterol means that more of it would build up on the walls. This may lead to heart attacks or strokes. Oatmeal fibers lower cholesterol levels. So, the next time you are making muffins, add oatmeal to improve your heart health.
- Double chocolate muffins can also be beneficial. Cocoa’s antioxidants lower blood pressure and improve its circulation. Thus, every cell gets optimal amount of nutrients and oxygen. Dark chocolate is so rich in antioxidants that it boosts brain activity. Chocolate contributes to healthier skin. It produces dopamine which is called ‘the hormone of happiness’ and also reduces stress levels and the hormones related to it.
- Apple muffins can improve the function of almost every system in your body. The digestive system benefits from the fiber which apples contain. It can relieve symptoms of an irritated bowel, irritated hemorrhoids and detoxes the liver. Apples provide sufficient amount of antioxidants to your diet. It boosts the immune system by reducing stress levels. Eating apples on a daily basis can decrease the chance of having type 2 diabetes and pancreatic cancer. They also boost your brain activity, reduce cholesterol levels and the chance of heart disease and are a great choice for those who want to lose weight.
- Blueberry muffins are also a great choice for those who love sweet muffins but still want to eat healthy. Blueberries contain antioxidants that can improve your health. Vitamins that can be found in this fruit such as vitamins A, B complex and C which improve the immune system and are a great source of energy. Those vitamins also prevent and fight against various infections. Blueberries keep the brain healthy and improve the condition of the neuron tissues. This keeps the brain health stable on a long term basis and prevents diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. They also improve memory, learning ability and motor skills. Digestion also benefits from this tasty fruit.
- Banana nut muffins contain carbohydrates, vitamins and nutrients. It contains vitamin E and iron. If you consume muffins with low fat milk, your heart can benefit from banana nut sweet treat. They provide you with energy. Banana nut muffins are rich in thiamine, riboflavin and niacin. All three of them are coenzymes that turn food into energy. These muffins participate in bone building. Calcium and phosphorus which are present in the muffins strengthen bones. There are other purposes of calcium. It helps in the contraction of muscles and proper functioning of the nerves. Phosphorus, on the other hand, can be found in every cell of our body. Banana nut muffin contains fiber. It lowers cholesterol and blood sugar. Fiber is also needed for the proper functioning of the digestive system.
Are Store-bought Muffins Healthy?
In most cases, they are not. The average muffin that is sold has 460 calories. They also contain preservatives that keep them good for longer. Homemade cakes last for few days, those on the shelves can last for a week. The preservatives used can be really harmful to your health. So you have always to consume store-bought muffins with caution.
Another negative trait of store-bought muffins is that they contain lots of sugar. Processed sugar is bad for your health. This is also valid for the processed fats in the muffins. Both ingredients can increase bad cholesterol and sugar levels. This can lead to heart diseases and strokes. If you bake them at home, you can reduce the levels of fat and sugar and make them healthier.
What about Starbucks Muffins?
Let us explore the nutritional value of Starbucks muffins and you decide whether you want ot over-indulge in them.
|Serving: 1 muffin||Calories||Fat
|Blueberry Muffin with Yogurt and Honey||380||16||53||1||6||260|
|Chocolate Chunk Muffin||440||21||60||2||7||350|
|Blueberry Streusel Muffin||360||11||59||2||7||390|
|Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin||350||14||54||1||5||430|
|Low Fat Blueberry Muffin||340||6||65||2||7||500|
|Banana Nut Muffin||440||16||67||1||7||430|
|Cranberry Orange Muffin||410||20||53||2||5||400|
All of the muffins on the list are high on calories, so next time you order a muffin bear in mind that your calorie intake may be influenced significantly by a single muffin. One cake is 20% of the daily recommendation. Avoid eating such muffins and try to bake your own healthy alternatives.