Breakfast muffins: anyone have a good source?
I'm a big fan of muffins for breakfast. It's something we always had growing up and I'm apparently continuing the tradition now that I'm in the Plateau.
As part of a meal I like them to be somewhat healthy, so whole grains and/or bran is a good start. (Plus I'm a bit of a health nut anyway.) Not too much oil is a second requirement.
The question is: where? It needs to be somewhere I can buy four or five at a time (for the week), so bakeries and grocery stores are good targets. Even some dépanneurs carry muffins but that's hit or miss and the quality is probably lacking.
I go to Eden in the La Cité building for most of my groceries. They have a decent whole wheat muffin / bread selection depending on when you go but they don't have bran. Their muffins also step a little too far onto the cake side for my liking.
I stumbled upon some hearty muffins at a random fruitery on Laurier near St-Denis. Fortunately they had a label on them that said "l'Epi Doré", which upon further investigation turns out to be a bakery on Van Horne. I'm going to check that place out today to see if they have the muffin motherload I seek.
As a long-term solution that place won't do though; it's too far from my apartment.
So I leave the question in your hands... in the hopes that a fellow muffin lover out there has discovered the holy grail of breakfast muffiny goodness. :)
My absolute favourite muffins in town are from La Mie Matinale on Ste-Catherine in the gay village. They are laden with fruit and nuts (the almond-cranberry and the raspberry ones are my favourites, but they also have chocolate and other kinds). They have the best texture of any muffin I've had from a bakery - a far cry from the industrial cakey texture of grocery store muffins. It would be quite a stretch to call them healthy, however. Especially considering how massive they are. I cannot remember if they have a bran muffin.
I had a whole wheat coconut-apricot muffin at Café Myriade the other day. It was alright but I suggest going early in the day. I bought mine in the afternoon and it was already too dry for my liking.
I tried La Mie Matinale muffins a couple of weeks ago, and I really liked their freshness and the texture. The tops were crunchy and nice, and the crumb was very pleasant. Though I think I could have done with a little less sugar in them (especially if we are talking about daily consumption) so I agree that they probably are not the healthiest muffins in town. They could be around 600 calories each, or even more, considering that they have the size of a grapefruit.
I third the homemade suggestion. The only reason I don't bake muffins at home is that I don't want to eat a whole batch. I think you can even freeze them if they do not have a lot of excessive moisture releasing items in them (ie: fruits) which makes them soggy while thawing. Bran muffins are a good candidate for thawing, and they are decent when warmed up in a toaster oven. Anyhoo, I think a defrosted muffin is probably going to be better than any store bought muffin that was bought four days ago.
I hear that the cafeteria in the YH on Westbury in the Snowdon area is the best. They won the Gazette muffin contest a few years ago and there was a scandal with that story. Another bakery put forth a muffin from the YH as their own and the two muffins tied for first place till someone told the Gazette about the unethical applicant. There's another follow-up story but I won't get into that :)
You could ask l'Epi Doré if they distribute their muffins closer to you than the fruitery you stumbled on...I've seen their stuff all over town.
But really, your best bet in terms of health value, cost and convenience is to just make 'em yourself. It's really not that hard and it would definitely take less time than traipsing all over town to find the muffin of your dreams... ;-)
I second that - but I am a big proponent of homemade vs. store bought. You control exactly what goes in (and what doesn't more importantly) and you can choose to make whatever you have a hankering for. Muffins are the simplest baked good to make - as long as you remember one simple rule: DO NOT OVERMIX.
When I don't feel like making my own, I buy those at Capucine et Tournesol located at 226 Bernard West. They have another store at 9121 Lajeunesse.
They have a wide variety of breads and muffins. My favorites are Reine-Elizabeth, very good for those who love coconut!
Première Moisson has some muffins that I find TOO healthy but my partner enjoys them; lots of bran, some with fruit. Rectangular rather than round, dense, not too oily. Don't have nutritional info, but as a frequent muffin baker, it seems to me that they are not the high-cal high-fat sort. Getting out of the place without buying something high-cal high-fat is another matter...
Thanks for all your suggestions! Some interesting stuff here... particularly the Première Moisson. I didn't realize they had muffins, let alone healthy ones.
La Mie Matinale -- 1371 rue Ste Catherine Est
Capucine et Tournesol -- 226 Bernard West
Première Moisson -- 895 de la Gauchetière O or 860 avenue du Mont-Royal Est
Looks like I have my work cut out.
Concerning baking... I have baked muffins before but they were nothing like store-bought. Plus, at a store I can get a nice variety. (And I'm lazy.)
They're both shown on the page you linked to.
1490, rue Sherbrooke O
Local 100, Montréal (Québec)
Téléphone: 514 931-6540
Télécopieur: 514 931-0773
1271, av. Bernard
Téléphone: 514 270-2559
Télécopieur: 514 270-7323
There's also an outlet on the Plateau, a few blocks east of the Mont-Royal metro station:
860, av. du Mont-Royal Est
Téléphone: 514 523-2751
Télécopieur: 514 523-2446
Dreena Burton is a vegan cook book author and her recipes for muffins and quickbreads are amazing. I don't know how she does it, but somehow every recipe is perfectly sweet and delicious, while also being extremely low in fat, vegan, whole grain and usually even wheat free. Oh and super easy to make. If you like this recipe I would definitely recommend buying her cookbooks, she has a whole repertoire of awesome muffin recipes. I'm eating some of her banana bread right now and it rocks!