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Review: Fiber One Apple Cinnamon Muffin Mix

PastaQueen reviews the Fiber One Apple Cinnamon Muffin Mix and gets caught licking the beaters.

Fiber One Apple Cinnamon Muffin Mix


Disclosure: General Mills sent me two boxes of Fiber One Apple Cinnamon Muffin Mix in return for an unbiased review of the product.

Fiber One isn’t a product I usually buy because, well, my medical problems do not currently include constipation. However, I did buy a box after I got Hungry Girl’s cookbook which includes recipes that use ground-up bits of the cereal to mimic fried foods. It was pretty tasty, so when I was offered some of their Apple Cinnamon Muffin Mix to review, I accepted the offer.

The muffin mix comes in a plastic bag. You just add water, eggs and oil to make the batter.

Mixin' it up

The batter is rather yummy in itself. I went ahead and baked the first batch for this review, but ate the batter raw from the second batch. For those of you who think I was just being lazy, oh, shame on you! I was starting a new green initiative. Licking the batter from the bowl saves costly energy that would have otherwise been wasted heating my oven!

Licking the bowl

The muffins cooked in about 15-20 minutes. Mine cooked a bit fast, but my oven is kind of small and I left my rack in a rather high position. The muffins were very tasty and kept well in a Tupperware overnight, staying moist and delicious.

Baked muffins

However, there is no way I would qualify this as health food. This is cake, plain and simple. When I saw the Fiber One brand name, I assumed the product would be healthy and good for me. Then I read the ingredients.

Ingredients

The first item listed, and thus the most abundant ingredient, is sugar. No wonder it tastes good. The mix also includes high fructose corn syrup, which could never be spun as a health food, no matter what those commercials from the corn industry might tell you. Finally, it also includes partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil , better known as trans-fats. So, basically this is evil in a box. Sweet, tasty, evil. Mmmmm, yum. Buy it at your own risk.

And as further proof of the deviousness of this product, in my rush to eat the muffins, I ripped my silicon muffin pan!

Cracked muffin pan

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31 Comments

Jen • January 17, 2009 at 4:51 pm

Glad you made it home OK. Hope there wasn’t too much snow.

This does look evil, pure and simple. I’d rather just have REAL cake.

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Elle, XL • January 17, 2009 at 5:32 pm

I used to buy FiberOne chocolate granola bars and they were soooo good, but then I read the ingredients. I think all of their stuff has hydrogenated oils, which is sad because otherwise I would buy it. I just can’t get past the idea of eating trans fat since there’s no reason for it to exist beyond commercial enterprise. I finally found a substitute, which was a challenge because I’m allergic to nuts. If you’re ever looking for some type of easy bar – try Gnu bars. They have less than 9g of sugar, which is either cane sugar or from grape juice – I can’t remember, and only contain ingredients that are easily recgonizable as food.

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Jamie • January 17, 2009 at 5:33 pm

Ugh, “health foods” containing HFCS drive me bonkers. I’m looking at you, Yoplait!

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christen • January 17, 2009 at 6:20 pm

hey pq–

greetings from ann arbor again.

Another, um, unintended consequence from this product might be…..farting. another now-defunct blog ( elastic waist ) had a post about fiber one granola bars entitled: “chicory root makes you toot”

hee hee!

turns out the author had several of these bars and was quite entertaining for the next 24 hours.

so, if you noticed similar…results, it’s not you. It’s the fiber one!

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Neena • January 17, 2009 at 6:35 pm

Any food that inducing pan-ripping fervor is something that needs to stay out of my kitchen forever! Thanks for the delicious-sounding review! I will continue to buy the delicious, and equally unhealthy, Fiber One granola bars.

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Julie • January 17, 2009 at 6:36 pm

Oh man, bummer about your muffin pan. But thanks for reading the label. There was an interesting article in the New York Times on December 2, 2008 about a phenomenon called the “Health Halo” that americans often fall for, namely just because something sounds healthy or has a healthy name, they simply assume it’s healthy and don’t bother to read the label. Fast food places like Subway and others like it are benefiting from the “Health Halo”. I thought a really interesting fact that the article pointed out is that when they tried the experiment on non-americans, not a single person fell for the health-halo trap.

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Shelley • January 17, 2009 at 7:08 pm

Thanks for the honest review – and shame on Fiber One for marketing such unhealthy muffins.

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cindy • January 17, 2009 at 7:20 pm

Hi PQ,

Thanks for the review. I don’t trust ANY mixes or other convenient food-like products. I make fresh muffins every week ~ pumpkin, or carrot or banana or blueberry, etc… All the recipes I have adapted from traditional ones, but I use whole wheat and cut the sugar (usually in half!) and exchange yogurt for the sour cream, etc… They are all delicious and pretty healthy and not much more challenging than a quick mix. Real food really makes a difference in this battle!

P.S. Sometimes I lick the batter, too!

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Rachael • January 17, 2009 at 7:24 pm

@cindy – Can you post one of your recipes for us?

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Rachael • January 17, 2009 at 7:26 pm

I made this (without reading the ingred.) using a 15 oz can of pure pumpkin instead of the water, oil and eggs. They were a hit at my house warming party!

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Maggie • January 17, 2009 at 7:38 pm

I made these!! I added chopped apples and subbed something for the oil though (applesauce or egg whites probably). They were really good. And I added a TON of apples so they were very low-cal and yummy.

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Calidaho • January 17, 2009 at 10:33 pm

@christen – I had the exact same problem with the bars…only, I discovered the side effect shortly before having to stand, butt first, in front of about 100 people while addressing a panel in front of all of us! I did a lot of moving around so people wouldn’t notice I was squeezing my cheeks together!

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Erica • January 18, 2009 at 12:25 am

You know, I recently bought these and made a batch for breakfast. It sadly never occurred to me to read the ingredients. Now I am sad. And grateful to you for pointing that out. Sugar I can deal with, but HFCS and trans fats for my attempt at a healthy breakfast is just pathetic.

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MizFit • January 18, 2009 at 7:00 am

I know (sugar)

we love those around here.

especially the husband who desperately (TMI ALERT) needs more fiber.

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Becky • January 18, 2009 at 12:10 pm

@Jamie – A little off topic here, but have you tried making your own yogurt? I did it for the first time last night, and woke up this morning to fresh, yummy, tangy yogurt. It’s disgustingly easy to do (I made mine in the crockpot- didn’t even have to buy an expensive machine!), and it’s even supposed to be cheaper than buying ready made, although I haven’t priced it out yet. And best of all, I control the ingredients. No corn syrup. No chemicals with names I can’t pronounce. Just milk and starter, and then a little honey drizzled on top when I eat it. Can you tell I’m just a little excited this morning? ;p

MizFit- You may be able to help your husband by adding extra fiber- like ground flax seed or psyllium hunks- to his foods. Take it slow, because adding too much fiber can increase the problem instead of solve it. Also, be sure he’s drinking enough water. Fiber works by absorbing water. If there’s not enough water it just makes things harder.

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Lyn • January 18, 2009 at 12:11 pm

I have a box of those on the counter. For the KIDS. The KIDS, I tell you!!

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SP • January 18, 2009 at 12:38 pm

What a terrific, honest review, PQ — your reviews are so useful, precisely because you are straight with us!

Muffin mixes are SUCH a scam; muffins from scratch are precisely as easy as muffins from a box. Almost every muffin recipe amounts to: Mix a few basic dry ingredients together, mix a few wet ingredients together, stir the wet into the dry, put in muffin pan, bake.

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Angie • January 18, 2009 at 4:11 pm

This explains the explosive tootles lately.

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Tina • January 18, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Sadly, MANY (possibly all) of Fiber One’s products contain HFCS.

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gretchen • January 18, 2009 at 6:39 pm

My 9yo son adores their cereal- Caramel flavor. He will eat a box every-other-day if I buy it that fast. Of course, he’s a stick figure that could stand to gain a few dozen pounds! He even packs the bars in his school lunch.

Hubby also had to quit eating the cereal and bars for the ‘musical’ reasons mentioned.

It’s funny what we will all overlook if the name sounds healthy. I wish I could do all-raw or fresh eating, but in the hillbilly-town I live in we’re lucky to have two stores selling whole wheat flour!

Love your blog, love your courage to tell it like it is. I wish you a happy pain-free 2009!

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gretchen • January 18, 2009 at 7:50 pm

@gretchen –

Oh yeah- and don’t forget their “PopTarts” and yogurt products! The tarts have more fiber than the originals, but more sugar than the WG PopTarts.

And again, the kiddo loves them… :(

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Keri-Ann • January 19, 2009 at 9:45 am

Hello! I came across your blog from one of Jimmy Moore’s podcasts!

Just like so many other posters here, I too am VERY dissapointed and disheartened at the Fiber One foods. I use to LOVE their fiber one almond clusters cereal – but don’t eat it anymore since going Low-Carb…

I have to post, however, that I too had a similar experience with the Fiber One Bars. I bought a box one day about 2 years back when I was doing weight watchers and I had TWO and thought it OMG so delicious!!! And, of course, I though (wow, they MUST be healthy – not reading the ingredient list)…well – that night I was going to my now-best-friend’s bachelorette party (I’d only known her then for a few months…) – and I felt soooooooooo bad – both emotionally and physically!

Just from eating those TWO bars that day – I couldn’t move all night at the bar. While everyone else was up and dancing and having a grand ol’ time – I sat there being a (literally, sorry tmi) party pooper. :(

I haven’t touched those bars since.

I’ve also givin up anything and everything that I see has HFCS in it and it seriously makes me angry that those commercials are out now trying to say that it’s “healthy” for you.

Anyways – you have a fabulous blog. Thanks!

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Petunia • January 19, 2009 at 10:10 am

Fiber One, the brand, baffles me.

These look delicious though. But aside from their twig cereal (and even that has fake sugar in it) everything else they make is pretty junky.

I looked at their “pop-tart” ingredients side by side with the real thing — and there really was not a dramatic difference in fat and sugar.

Like I said, I’m sure these are great, but their are probably more natural places to get fiber from.

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Sweetie Pie • January 19, 2009 at 1:28 pm

I agree with the poster talking about how easy it is to make muffins without resorting to using mixes. I do that quite often myself. I will say, however, that I have come to love the mixes made by Southaven Farm. I order them on-line and keep a couple in the pantry for muffin emergencies. They come unsweetened and you can kind of choose what you add. I like to mix up a box of sf/ff pudding and add that to the mix with about half the sugar they suggest (if you are choosing to use sugar), They are quite yummy and do pretty well as far as weight watcher points go!

PQ, I applaud your energy saving tactics. I’m a beater licker too.

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randi • January 19, 2009 at 1:31 pm

Was is it in the Fiber One products that causes the toots? I can eat other high fiber products and don’t have the problem that I have with Fiber One. Is it a certain type of fiber or a combo of the fiber and other ingredients? Help!

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Erin • January 19, 2009 at 2:35 pm

Oh my. I get sucked into the “Fiber One = Must be Healthy” thing all the time. I’ve bought Fiber One toaster pastries. POP TARTS. Come on. But I do love the Fiber One bars. They are tasty and filling. Particularly the apple struesel (or struedel?) variety.

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psychsarah • January 19, 2009 at 3:10 pm

I tried a Fiber One bar out of desperation once-I was in a gas station starving, and it seemed to be the best option. I couldn’t even finish it-it tasted so chemical-y (I know that’s not a word, but you know what I mean). The HFCS is no help either. I will join the party and advocate for homemade muffins-they are the one baked good I don’t screw up! (Except for the time I forgot the salt-don’t ever ever forget the salt-it was bizarre how bland and icky they were!)

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Jamie • January 19, 2009 at 4:04 pm

@Becky – Hmm, I’ll try it!

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FT • January 20, 2009 at 11:05 am

There is an interesting article on “Nutrition Know How” blog about some of the misperceptions about High Fructose Corn Syrup. You can read it here: http: http://nutritionknowhow.org/wordpress/?p=683 – FT on behalf of the Corn Refiner’s Association

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Lisa • January 21, 2009 at 10:07 am

I realize the sugar stuff of it, but substituting applesauce for oil may help a bit? I want to find this now!

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rukhsar • September 14, 2009 at 1:52 pm

hey i think this is soooooo stupid and i typed in ‘cereal box logo which represents alot of fibre init and which causes constipation’ and this is what comes up a list of stupid ingredients!!!!!!!!

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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