Tuesday, December 07, 2010
Delicious, Healthy Chocolate Chip Muffins ... From a Mix!
I'm ashamed to admit it, but I tend to be skeptical when I see labels with words like, "all-natural" and "multi-grain." Experience tells me that makers of those products tend to sacrifice taste for nutrition. But I've been seeing mixes from Allens Hill Farm around town and hearing positive reviews. I decided to give their 8 Grain Chocolate Chip Muffin mix a try, but I honestly didn't have high expectations.
One of the reasons for choosing that particular mix is that I'm not very good at making muffins. I make a mean scone, but my muffins seem to turn turn out dense and leaden. I know the secret is not to over mix the batter, and I don't think I do, but in any case, nobody clamors for my muffins.
Most muffin mixes, though, may as well be cake mixes. They are so sweet that when I use them, I feel I may as well give my kids cookies and cupcakes for breakfast.
I doctored up the Allens Hill Farm mix to suit our family's tastes. I thought the amount of chocolate chips seemed skimpy, so I added another half cup, plus sprinkled a few on top of each muffin. I also sprinkled the top of the unbaked muffins with a little Turbinado sugar.
The muffin baked up nicely -- better than most of my homemade attempts. The mix yielded the perfect amount for 12 muffins, and rose just above the height of the muffin cups.
The muffins were just sweet and light enough to be a hit with both of my teenage boys -- even the one with an uncontrollable sweet tooth. I also enjoyed them -- they weren't as sweet as a cupcake -- and I'm delighted to know that we're all getting some fiber and nutrition from the eight grains.
In fact, I've been a bit hesitant to post a review because I don't want them to find out that the muffins are "healthy." Shhh ... it will be our little secret.
I got my mix at Wickham Farms, but I've also seen the mixes sold at the Fairport Farmers Market. Since those are both closed for the season, you can check the Allens Hill Farm website, which has retail locations (under "links") and an online store (click on "products").
(In full disclosure, I did not get paid for writing this review. The Allens Hill Farm people don't even know about it.)