"I realized that they really weren't kidding about the fiber."

20090227-fiberone1.jpgGrowing up, I was one of those lucky kids who got to have any breakfast cereal they wanted: Fruit Loops, Cocoa Krispies, Apple Jacks. Nothing was off-limits. So you'd think that, after years of consuming massive amounts of sugar first thing in the morning, I'd still have a serious AM sweet tooth.

But in fact, just the opposite happened—these days I crave plain Cheerios, Weetabix, and, more than anything, Fiber One.

Recently, Betty Crocker, which is owned by parent company General Mills, debuted a new line of Fiber One products including toaster pastries, granola bars, shredded wheat, and baking mixes for pancakes and muffins. It’s all part of their ingenious “Cardboard, no. Delicious, yes.” campaign. I decided to test out the Apple Cinnamon Premium Muffin Mix ($3.99). According to the box, each serving is packed with 20 percent of my daily fiber needs and had only 160 calories and 6 grams of fat. It sounded like a pretty good breakfast to me.

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I realized that they really weren't kidding about the fiber. Once out of the box and into the bowl, there were literally pieces of cereal in the mix. There were also dehydrated apples, and a lot of fragrant cinnamon. All I needed to add was 3/4 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, and 2 eggs. The prepared batter was very thick and lumpy, but that was to be expected. It was, after all, flecked with whole bits of cereal.

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After twenty minutes in the oven, my muffins had risen adequately, if not enormously. They had nice, golden tops and between the cracks I could see moist chunks of apple. Oh, and they smelled pretty damn good, too.

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The Fiber One muffins had all the familiar density and heft of bran muffins, without the sawdust flavor. Instead they tasted fresh and fruity, with lots of cinnamon and hints of brown sugar. As an added bonus they stayed fresh for three days, making them perfect for busy mornings and take-to-work breakfasts. Paired with a carton of low-fat yogurt and a skim latte, you’d definitely have a healthful meal worth getting out of bed to enjoy.

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