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What Are Whole Grain English Muffins?

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  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 13 November 2017
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Whole grain English muffins are traditional breadstuffs that are made, at least in part, from whole grain flours. It is possible to make whole grain English muffins at home, although many commercial manufacturers also produce whole grain, multi-grain, or whole wheat versions of standard muffins. Consumers who are concerned about getting whole grains in their diets should carefully read the ingredients label on packages of so-called whole grain English muffins to make sure that the muffins they buy actually contain a significant percentage of whole grains.

The English muffin is a popular breakfast bread in both the United Kingdom as well as the United States, although they are also commonly used as a crust for mini-pizzas that are served as appetizers or as a quick lunch or dinner. When homemade, the muffins are typically cooked on a griddle and then sliced in half, revealing a soft, porous interior. These muffins can be toasted and then spread with butter, jam, or peanut butter. Both traditional and modern breakfast dishes, such as eggs Benedict or breakfast sandwiches, make use of English muffins as well, and these products are easily available at supermarkets in both the United States and United Kingdom. Some companies produce several varieties of whole grain English muffins, including some made from several different types of grains, extra fiber, or even added honey, which gives the muffins a sweet flavor.

In the late 20th and early 21st century, a significant concern about the quality and health benefits of certain foods began taking hold in mainstream culture. Many health experts advocated the consumption of whole grains and whole grain flours rather than their processed counterparts. In addition to being more nutritious, many people found whole grain products to be tastier, as these products often have a heartier texture and a more robust, complex flavor.

As a result of this concern, many commercial bakeries began to produce products labeled as being made from whole grains, including English muffins. It should be noted, however, that not all jurisdictions have a legal definition of what constitutes whole grains for product labeling purposes. Thus, a bakery may add a small amount of whole wheat flour to a recipe that is primarily composed of processed white flour and still advertise it as being made from whole grains. In these jurisdictions, it is up to the consumer to learn about a bakery's standards for its products.

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