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Sweet Spinach Muffins

Got a picky eater? These kid-favorite muffins are 100% whole wheat, refined-sugar-free, and packed with fresh spinach!

Sweet Spinach Muffins. These kid-favorite muffins are 100% whole wheat, refined-sugar-free, and packed with fresh spinach!

“I like all the muffins you make, but these ones are my favorite.” My kind (and diplomatic) kindergartener told me this last week, after I served him a warm, buttered Sweet Spinach Muffin.

And I have to say, that boy has good taste. These muffins are addictively delicious, and chock full of fresh spinach to boot–an entire bag of it!

Speaking of the spinach, don’t be fooled by the verdant hue of these muffins; the greens don’t make waves, flavor-wise. Instead, the taste is sweet, cinnamony and moist, like a treat you’d serve with a cup of tea. This is true even though we only use half the sweetener you’d find in most muffin recipes.

There’s more goodness packed into these muffins: 100% whole grains, creamy banana, eggs and whole milk.

Plus they’re portable, freezable, and easy to eat with your fingers… I’m not trying to gush here, but did we just discover the world’s most perfect kid food?

Sweet Spinach Muffins. These kid-favorite muffins are 100% whole wheat, refined-sugar-free, and packed with fresh spinach!

What’s in a Name?

Some kids might shy away from the green color of these muffins; my daughter is one to reject a food just by the look of it. That can be aggravating, of course, but it’s a fact of life when feeding kids.

That doesn’t mean you can’t help them come around to new foods with a little help from branding. (Yup, that’s right. Sometimes you gotta use the same tricks as the marketers!) Here are some of the nicknames my kids and I came up with to give these muffins a little imaginative appeal:

Hulk Muffins
Green Goblins
Monster Muffins
Frog Muffins

Whatever you call them, be sure to tell your kids that these muffins are filled with spinach–tell them the spinach is what makes them so moist and colorful! That way they’ll know they love spinach, at least some of the time.

Oh, and my picky daughter? Obsessed with these muffins.

Sweet Spinach Muffins. These kid-favorite muffins are 100% whole wheat, refined-sugar-free, and packed with fresh spinach!

 

Sweet Spinach Muffins. These kid-favorite muffins are 100% whole wheat, refined-sugar-free, and packed with fresh spinach!

Easy Baking

When you’re ready to whip up these gems, have your blender ready. All the wet ingredients get pureed together, so you don’t have to worry about mashing the banana or whisking the egg separately.

Then just pour the wet ingredients into a bowl of the dry ingredients, and fold them together gently. It’s super quick and easy!

We like the flavor best when the muffins have had some time to cool. We store the leftovers in the refrigerator, where they have never lasted more than a couple of days!

I hope you love these muffins as much as my family does. Here’s to you health, and happy baking!

FOOD - Sweet Spinach Muffins. This recipe for SWEET spinach muffins is perfect for kids! SUPER easy way to get in more veggies! http://www.superhealthykids.com/sweet-spinach-muffins/

Sweet Spinach Muffins

Ingredients
  • 18 standard – cupcake liners
Dry ingredients:
  • 2 cup – flour, whole wheat
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon – cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon – baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon – baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon – salt
Wet ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup – milk
  • 1/2 cup – honey
  • 1 large – banana
  • 6 ounce – spinach
  • 1/2 cup – butter, unsalted
  • 1 large – egg
  • 1 teaspoon – vanilla extract
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F, and line a muffin pan with paper liners (or use silicone muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray).
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Melt butter. Blend the wet ingredients in a blender or food processor until completely pureed.
  4. Pour the puree into the dry ingredient bowl, and fold together gently until just combined. (Do not over-mix.)
  5. Spoon the batter into the muffin pan, and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until the muffins are firm to the touch on top, but not quite browning.
  6. Cool most or all of the way before serving.

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63 Comments

Terita

Hi Kate! I haven’t tried sweeteners besides honey, so I can’t promise they’ll work in the recipe. But you could probably substitute pure maple syrup or plain sugar. If you try it, let us know how the muffins turn out!

Reply
Melissa

I’ve done these using 1/2 cup of white sugar instead of honey and they turned out great. I added the sugar to the dry ingredients instead of in the blender with the wet ingredients.

Reply
Terita

Hi Blima! I haven’t tried frozen spinach. I would think it would create a very different texture. But if you try it, let us know how it turns out!

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Jen

Is it only three-fourths of a cup of spinach or is it 3 to 4 cups of spinach? The narrative did say a whole bag, but I just want to check. These look great!

Reply
Nicole

I have the same question as Jen. I put in only 3/4 cup spinach as the recipe says and my batter is nowhere near as verdant as your photos. Reading back on the post you do mention a whole bag…thanks!

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Nicole

Good muffins. Not sure I’d slather more butter on a muffin from a recipe that calls for a whole stick of butter though!

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Sarah W

I had similar issues – I used 6 oz of frozen spinach and while they taste great – similar to a zucchini muffin – they aren’t exactly green! Could you clarify the spinach quantity please?

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Terita

Hi, Sarah! I’m glad you got tasty muffins, even though they did turn brown for you. I used fresh spinach, and I think that’s why my muffins stayed bright green. I have also found that if they cook too long, they can brown on the outside (even though the middle stays green.) I hope this helps!

Reply
Carlene

I put in much more spinach (1.5 loose cups maybe?) and they are greener, but still not as green as your pictures. I think I could add even more!

Reply
Terita

Hi, Carlene! An older version of the recipe mistakenly said 1/2 cup of fresh spinach… the updated correct amount is 5-6 ounces of fresh spinach (a whole bag!) I hope you’ll give it another try with the full amount… they’ll be super green! 🙂

Reply
Juli

How did you get them green? I used a bag of spiniach but mine are brownish not bright green. Thanks!

Reply
Juli

I’ve made these twice and my kids love them! However, mine are turning out more brown than green. How do I get them green?

Reply
Terita

Hi Juli! I’m so glad you like them. I’m not sure why they’re brown for you, but it could be that you’re using a dark muffin pan. I use silicone, which helps them cook super evenly. Maybe try an aluminum pan with liners, or a silicone pan. Or try cooking them a little less and pulling them out before they brown. Let us know if you figure out the solution? 🙂

Reply
Juli

Thanks for the reply! The food processor I was using didn’t purée the spinach well enough. I switched to a blender and they’re green! Thanks, again!

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Terita

Hi, Melissa! I haven’t tried a gluten-free flour, but it would probably work. Let us know how it turns out!

Reply
Jessica

These are so good! My toddler has decided he doesn’t like spinach anymore, but he’ll eat these! The whole family loves them. Thanks so much for the great recipe!

Reply
Terita

Sandy, I’m really not sure,since I’ve never tried it. If you do, let us know how it turns out!

Reply
Teresa

I’m also allergic to bananas, thinking of trying these with an avocado and maybe some added sugar… I’ll post again if it works

Reply
Anita

Can I use regular flour in the same amount unread of the whole wheat? I’d like to make these right away but don’t have whole wheat flour. Thanks!

Reply
Danita

I just made these tonight, and my husband and daughter (neither of which are veggie lovers) LOVED them! Hubby ate two right away. I used organic Agave nectar instead of honey, and vanilla almond milk, so I omitted the vanilla extract. So yummy and filling!

Reply
Tania

Last week I did the spinach one and it was not so green like yours but was delicious. My kids loved them! Today, instead spinach I used beets for a pink color since we are close to valentine’s day and it was amazing! Love this recipe!

Reply
Tess

Hi Tania, saw that you posted subbing spinach with beets. Just curious what kind of beets you used. Raw or cooked and how much? My two year old is a very picky eater. She refuses anything green. Her favorite color is pink she will at least give it a try. Thanks!

Reply
Sarah

Do you put the butter in the blender with the wet ingredients? If so, is it melted butter or just softened butter?

Reply
Terita

Hi Sarah! We melt the butter in the microwave and pour it right into the blender with the other wet ingredients.

Reply
Lindsay

I have just made them and they are delicious – hubby and two year old approved as well. thanks for the recipe

Reply
Naomi

What if don’t use baking powder and baking soda ? Is a good Idea replace butter with avocado??

Reply
Terita

Hi Naomi–I don’t recommend leaving out the baking powder and soda… I don’t think the muffins would rise without them. And I haven’t tried the avocado substitution, but it could be interesting. Let me know if you decide to try it. 🙂

Reply
Katy

Any idea on the nutritional information of the muffins? I’d like to know carbs, sugars, calories. Thanks!!

Reply
Terita

Hi, Katy! We haven’t calculated this recipe yet, but you can do it at nutritiondata.self.com by using their recipe feature. I hope this helps!

Reply
Maddie

It is approximately 140cal per muffin (20g carbs 6g fat 3g protein). The calories pretty much all come from the flour, honey, and butter.

Reply
Mary M.

These turned out wonderful! I used my NutriBullet for the wet ingredients — and named them “Bobgoblin Muffins” after my 3 yr olds favorite green mischievous goblin on Wallykazam. Thank you so much for helping me get greens into my toddler!

Reply
Kristel

I just made these. I used maple syrup in place of honey so that my 8 month old could have some. They were a big hit. I would love to hear of successful egg substitutes for vegan family members. Great recipe….will surely make “hulk muffins” again. Thanks

Reply
Tara

I made these for green eggs and ham day at my daughters school and my whole family loved them! I used 1/4 c coconut oil and 1/4 c applesauce instead of butter and used about 1/3 c maple syrup instead and honey and they were great! Thanks!

Reply
Jen

Thanks Tara! I was just going to ask if anyone has tried using a butter substitute successfully.

Reply
Terita

Hi Kathleen! I haven’t tried and banana substitutes… avocado might work but you’ll lose a little sweetness. A couple of other readers were interested in using avocado in this recipe, too, so if you try it, be sure to share how it turns out! 🙂

Reply
Meghan

I used half baby kale and half spinach. I steamed it first and then pressed the water out bc I thought that would limit the veggies taste more. When I noticed the color was a little weak I added a handful more of fresh. Color is pretty good! I also used 1/2 cup of butter-flavored coconut oil (Nativa) instead of butter. I also used 1/2 cup of date sugar instead of honey (plus a few dalops of maple syrup). I used unsweetened vanilla soy milk instead of dairy milk. They are great! Next time I’ll try oat flour and throwing in some chia seeds too. I look forward to making them again!

Reply
Jessica

I know you say a whole bag but I have a Costco sized bag… Do you know how many cups of fresh spinach it works out to for the recipe? Today I weighed but so I can add to my recipe for future times when I may not have a scale handy? Thanks!

Reply
Bonnie

I’ve been wanting to make these for a while, and I finally did last night. Wonderful! I brought two of them in my lunch today, warmed them up for about 15 seconds in the microwave, and put a little butter on them. Soft and warm and moist and sweet and tasty! (I ate one just plain last night, and it was good, but warm with butter put it over the top!)

I’m going to try them on my two-year-old grandson tomorrow (for whom I really made them), so I’ll let you know how that goes. But if he doesn’t like them, I’ll finish them off!

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Jessica R

Just made these for the second time. They were great the first time following the recipe exactly. This second time I decided to get adventurous and subbed applesauce for the butter. They turned out great! They are maybe a little more chewy in texture, but still soft and fluffy. I also stirred blueberries in half of the batter and sprinkled a little organic turbinado sugar on top to balance the tartness of the blueberries. I thought they were tasty, but my kids preferred them plain. Thanks for the fun, tasty and healthy recipe!

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Melissa

Love this recipe thanks!! My more adventurous eater, loves them green. But my pickier 5 year old was convinced she didn’t like them despite my best marketing. So I add 1/3 of a cup of unsweetened cocoa powder and an extra banana to off-set the additional dry ingredient. They come out a deep chocolate brown. Picky 5 year old now begs for seconds!!

Reply

Just made these…in the oven now. I substituted the banana with 3/4 cup of unsweetened apple sauce as I don’t like bananas. Now, I am a bit concerned because I did not use the whole bag of spinach. I looked up the conversion and used about 1 cup? The batter was very green so I’ll have to see what they look like when cooked.

Reply

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