Looking for something to make for St. Patrick’s Day, but don’t want to use half a bottle of green food coloring? We’ve called them spinach muffins, muscle muffins, or hulk muffins. They’re just the right size for kids to eat, great for a holiday, and I’ve used them for a Book Club. Also, there are 2 cups of vegetables! My comfy friend in East Texas shared the recipe with me two years ago, and we’ve loved them ever since! My 5-year-old loves making these with me, so follow along as we make an easy St. Patrick’s Day treat.
As I cook with my daughter, I try to make it fun, and let her help with as much as possible. In theory, this recipe makes 24 mini muffins. I find that when I cook with my daughter, we have a little variation, and usually get somewhere between 20-24.
To start, I try to get my ingredients ready so there’s less waiting. We cook tag-team and start with the egg. I crack, she pours. I am the measurer, and she is the pourer/dumper of vanilla, applesauce and sugar and, in this case, the spinach packer-downer.
I use regular white sugar, but if you want something different, I’m sure you could try using honey, agave or another sweetener.
The oil is the last of the six ingredients that go in the blender. You can use vegetable or canola oil if you like. I prefer coconut oil, and since I melt it, I put it on the top so there’s no chance of cooked egg pieces in case it’s hot.
We leave the blender alone for a bit while I measure, she dumps and then whisks the dry ingredients together. I’ve had success using freshly ground wheat flour, but it does give them more texture and makes the color a little darker, instead of the brightest green you get when you use white flour.
After all the ingredients in the blender are blended together, my girl gets excited to pour it into the dry ingredients that are in another bowl. We use our largest mixing bowl to give a little extra room, so the flour doesn’t puff out when an exuberant child stirs..
Next, she gets to scoop them out! We use a cookie dough scoop. This is great fine motor practice and she loves to count the rows.
We toss them in the oven and bake for 12 minutes, sometimes a minute longer if they are large scoops Both of my girls love to watch whatever is cooking in the oven and can hardly wait for them to be done.
The finished product! If you’re taking them somewhere, you may want to use mini muffin liners, but we usually do without, and they seldom last long enough to share!
St. Patty’s Day Mini Muffins
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups fresh spinach, packed
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a mini muffin pan with nonstick spray and set aside. In a blender, combine egg, vanilla, packed spinach, sugar and applesauce. Add melted coconut oil and mix until blended. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients. Whisk well. Pour the spinach mixture into the large bowl and mix until combined. Fill mini muffin tins. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes. These muffins are best eaten once cooled. Enjoy!
*Adapted and inspired by a Spinach Cake Muffin recipe from Weelicious.