Recipe Face-Off!

Recipe Face-Off: Corn Muffins

Corn Muffin Face-Off

Even back when sugar-crusted, store-bought muffins were something I ate regularly (when I cared about neither my waistline or a balanced meal), I would never go for the corn muffin. Chocolate chip? Yes. Blueberry? Definitely. But for some irrational reason the corn muffin always looked so nasty to me, so I never tried it. It wasn’t until recently when my boyfriend said he loved corn muffins that I came around. At first I was like what, why? And then I realized if I like cornbread there’s no reason why I wouldn’t like them in muffin form. It’s so weird how we just fear things we’ve never tried before.

I still have never bought a corn muffin, but I have been making good use of my Bob’s Red Mill Organic Medium Grind Cornmeal and making them myself. I like the medium grind for the slightly crunchy texture it gives my cornbread and corn muffins. I had been using Ina Garten’s corn muffin recipe (you know how I love Ina) until recently, when I came across Running to the Kitchen’s Strawberry Corn Muffins. Gina’s muffins don’t have wheat, table sugar, or dairy. I was really curious about them, so it was face-off time. I left out the strawberries to make the two recipes comparable. (Note: I called Gina’s muffins “paleo”, but they’re technically not paleo. “Wheat/sugar/dairy-free” just didn’t sound as catchy.)

Ina Garten’s Corn Muffins

Regular Corn Muffin

I don’t know if Ina has a giant muffin tin or what, but I got way more than 12 muffins out of this recipe! Other than that, these are wonderful. Sweet, crumbly, really high in calories…basically, everything a corn muffin should be.

Running to the Kitchen’s Corn Muffins

Paleo Corn Muffin

The last time I baked something wheat, sugar, and dairy-free, the result was tasty but barely resembled the original baked good it was based on. So I was really pleasantly surprised when I pulled these out of the oven and they looked a lot like the corn muffin we know and love, with crumbs and all. I was concerned about whether or not the coconut oil and almond meal would give the muffins a weird taste but, nope. They tasted like corn muffins but earthier with just a touch of sweetness.

Final Verdict

Running to the Kitchen’s corn muffins win, I can’t believe it! This is our first Recipe Face-Off where “the real thing” didn’t win. Running to the Kitchen’s muffins are much lower in calories and way cleaner with almond meal, almond milk, honey, coconut oil instead of wheat, dairy, and table sugar. The texture wasn’t compromised by the alternative ingredients either. But most importantly, I actually preferred the taste. I loved the earthiness of it and that it was much less sweet. These are actually muffins I can eat for breakfast! Sorry, Ina. I love you but I’m switching recipes.


What a Mug Cake Has To Do with Clean Eating

Dessert is not healthy. Unless your idea of dessert is just plain fruit, then yes, that’s pretty healthy. But real desserts like cookies, ice cream, apple pie, or crème brûlée are not. There are things you can put in desserts like fruit, nuts, or vegetables to give it a vitamin or two, but let’s be real. It’s mainly sugar, butter, and/or flour. It’s totally fine if you have small servings of them once or twice a week with a healthy diet, but it will never classify as a nutritious food on its own.

And if you’re going to have dessert, eat a real one. Made out of real ingredients. It might be easier to buy something packaged that has a year-long shelf life at the supermarket but processed food is so not worth it. It doesn’t taste all that great and it’s bad for your health.

Ingredients in Iris’ chewy chocolate chip cookies: butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg, all-purpose flour, baking powder, sea salt, chocolate chips

Ingredients in Chips Ahoy chewy chocolate chip cookies: Enriched Flour, Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate Vitamin B1, Riboflavin Vitamin B2, Folic Acid, Semisweet Chocolate Chips, Sugar, Chocolate, Cocoa Butter, Dextrose, Soy Lecithin An Emulsifier, Milk, Palm Oil, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar, Dextrose, Cornstarch, Soybean Oil, Salt, Baking Soda, Molasses, Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil, Caramel Color, Annatto Extract Vegetable Color, Natural and Artificial Flavor


So while real dessert isn’t necessarily good for you, manufactured desserts with all kinds of weird additives are definitely much worse. The problem is, of course, you don’t always want to whip up a batch of cookies, or bake a whole cake. And you may not have a quality bakery near you. Here’s where the mug cake comes in.

You no longer have an excuse to go to the junk food aisle of the supermarket when you’re craving a sweet treat. This 5 Minute Chocolate Fudge S’mores Mug Cake recipe…well, takes five minutes to make! Literally. OK maybe seven minutes the first time I did it just ’cause I was reading through all the steps but from then on, five minutes. It’s tasty, easy, and you made from real-ish food. Don’t like s’mores? Google “microwave cakes” and I’m sure you’ll find other quick and easy desserts you can enjoy. So put down the Twinkie! Make a mug cake.