Eating English muffins in the morning brings me back to my childhood. Sitting in my great-grandmother’s light blue dining room, table set with her best china, sliver and cloth napkins, waiting anxiously for her to bring in each tray of food: strawberries tossed in sugar with a side of cream; homemade bran muffins topped with a soft, generous cube of butter; freshly-squeezed orange juice; and of course a fluffy white toasted English muffin, again slathered in warm butter. It was the perfect breakfast and my mouth still waters thinking about it.
Now we have so many options when it comes to English muffins. There were Thomas’ originals, and now they’ve added whole wheat, lite, high fiber. Then Oroweat introduced their line of English muffins and most recently came up with double fiber English muffins. And I noticed last week that they now sell Rudi’s Organic products in discount grocery stores, from tortillas to bagels to English muffins. If you shop at an organic grocery store, you may have tried Ezekiel products or another local brand.
So, which ones are best?
Unfortunately, not the Thomas’ originals. (But, if I am ever offered one that is lightly toasted and smothered in warm butter, I can assure you I will not turn it down – in honor of my Grammie, of course!).
The whole grain English muffins are a good option. Any bread product made from whole grains will have a higher nutrient content and keep you full longer than regular white bread (make sure it’s “whole wheat” and not just “wheat” – there is a difference). Every grocery store offers a whole grain variety of English muffins, so you should have a few options.
Beware of English muffins labeled light, low-fat or sugar-free. These foods are often more highly processed, have added fake sugars or flavors, and can be stripped of their good, healthy nutrients along with the fat or sugars. I know at one point Oroweat products were under scrutiny for having high fructose corn syrup, but since then they have removed this ingredient. However, you never know what they might come up with next.
This is not always the case, but read the labels and if there are too many strange ingredients, go for the regular. Regular whole wheat English muffins are still fairly low-calorie and low-fat.
Oroweat has some products that have become popular recently, like their 100-calorie sandwich thins. I’ve had these before, and they are definitely “thin” – thinly sliced but also thin on taste. They have some protein and fiber, but that’s about it. Instead of buying these, save your money and enhance your health by following this tip for sandwich bread.
Oroweat and Thomas’ are owned by the same company, Bimbo Bakeries USA.
Another option at most grocery stores is Rudi’s Organic English muffins. These seem to have similar nutrients to the Thomas’ and Oroweat whole wheat English muffins, but probably use higher quality ingredients. I haven’t done a taste test, but I’m willing to bet the Rudi’s Organics taste a little fresher. This guy seems to think so, and he even mentions that Rudi’s ingredient list is much shorter than Oroweat’s, which is a sign of a more nutrient-dense and higher quality food.
Lately we’ve been eating some Ezekiel products – tortillas and English muffins. I think the company is actually called Food For Life, but they also have that Ezekiel name on them and most refer to them as Ezekiel. Anyway, all of their products are made from organic, freshly sprouted live grains (not flour). Sprouting the grains increases nutrient content greatly, and also helps with digestion. It preserves the enzymes, making it easier for our bodies to break down the grains. Those with mild gluten sensitivities may be able to tolerate Ezekiel breads because of this. Also, they use filtered water and do not add any conditioners, additives, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. If you are looking for an English muffin that is highest in nutrients, go for the Ezekiel products. They may also be something good to try with your kids if you suspect they have a mild gluten allergy. Ezekiel English muffins will probably cost an extra dollar or two, depending on current specials at the store. But give them a try and maybe you’ll become a convert. These can be found at most local health food stores, such as Whole Foods, Vitamin Cottage, Sunflower Market, or others.