My turn: Get creative with muffin mixes

The quickest route to muffins is a boxed mix, and mixes take a step up with easy added ingredients.

I did a little research after my supervisor, Robin Fornoff, asked about muffin recipes.

I checked a lot of labels to see which mixes had the fewest calories and no trans-fat-carrying hydrogenated ingredients. To save you time, they were Krusteaz fat-free Honey Cornbread and fat-free Cranberry-Orange muffins, Duncan Hines Wild Maine Blueberry muffins with whole grains and Betty Crocker Angel Food Cake.

They all taste nice, and, yes, angel food cake has fewer calories and less hydrogenated junk than most muffin mixes.

For savory muffins, look for less-sweet cornbread mixes.

Sweet add-in ideas:

• cinnamon — gives cranberry-orange muffins a twist.

• ground ginger — good with blueberry muffins.

• fruit preserves, mixed into the batter or used as filling — add sweetness and moisture. In angel food cake, preserves sink to the bottom, so use cupcake liners.

Savory add-ins for cornbread:

• salsa — spicy.

• dried herbs — I tried dill. Lots of flavor, but use savory cornbread.

• cheese — use cheese with a strong flavor like colby and plenty of it.