Sweet Green Spinach Muffin with Banana are a super healthy and yummy toddler or big kid breakfast or snack. Each bite is packed with nutrients from greens and fruit and the interior is so moist that even babies can enjoy these easy blender muffins!
I know I’ve written about how we actually don’t need to pack kale and spinach into every bite our kids eat, but I do think there can be merit in sometimes making more nutritious versions of foods our kids already like. The color green can be a huge red flag to many kids, so I like to try to use the color to my advantage in fun foods like these Sweet Spinach Muffins with Banana.
We prefer these muffins either warm out of the oven or chilled, so see what you like! On one recent weekend day, the little one at a whole muffin and my big girl ate three! How’s that for a ringing endorsement? (Full disclosure: The chocolate was the deciding factor for my 5 year old.) They are moist and pleasantly dense.
Healthy Muffins for Kids
Made with a not-too-long list of good-for-you ingredients, these muffins are naturally sweet from banana, and have a dose of Vitamin A and C from spinach or kale. They also have healthy fats and protein so they’re a nice meal component that will provide long lasting energy for your busy bees. And unlike some other more classic muffin recipes, they also have whole grains from rolled oats, adding in fiber and B vitamins too.
Can I adjust these green muffins for food allergies or what I have on hand?
- You can make them dairy-free by opting for your favorite unsweetened nondairy milk and using a neutral oil instead of yogurt.
- You can use either spinach or kale. If you plan to use kale and have time to plan ahead, I prefer using kale that’s been frozen since it tastes less green. Simply wash, dry, and store it in a zip top bag in the freezer. Crush gently in the bag and measure with a measuring spoon. (I use it in smoothies this way too!) Baby spinach usually has a milder flavor when used fresh.
- Since I can’t eat gluten but I like to share baked goods with my girls, I bake with King Arthur’s gluten free flour blend. This works really well in this recipe. You can also use whole-wheat flour.
- You can stir 1/3 cup chocolate chips into the batter before baking, or sprinkle some on top depending on your preference, to add a little something special!
Why do these spinach muffins require a blender?
In order to get the spinach smooth and incorporated into the batter—which is really the key to getting the kids to eat these, because a muffin with chunks of spinach would be no good!—you need a blender. It’s basically the same principal as making a green smoothie! It also means that you don’t need to dirty any mixing bowls since you can blend the batter and pour it right into the muffin tin.
Can I make these egg-free?
Yes! I just added a variation in the notes section at the bottom of the recipe. My girls and I tried them using chia seeds instead of eggs and they turned out really well.
Chocolate Chip Spinach Muffins
Nutrition aside, these muffins are also fun, especially when topped with a few chocolate chips! And we love them with a side of milk…or coffee! I actually try to keep a stash of these in the freezer to grab for lunch for myself on busy days since it’s nice to know that I’m getting fruit and veggies in one convenient package.
Spinach Muffins for Baby-Led Weaning
These muffins are incredibly moist and they don’t dry out very easily, so they are a perfect early food for older babies. Simply omit the added sweetener and replace with an additional 2 tablespoons milk. Cut them up into small cubes so baby can easily pick up bite-size pieces. You may want to warm them slightly to make them even moister.
How long can I store these muffins?
You can store the muffins in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days and eat cold or slightly warmed. Or store in a zip top bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge or at room temperature.
Please comment and rate the recipe below if you make it—I’d love to know what you and your kids think!
Updated 12/9/18: I retested these a few times and made two small changes to ensure a more even, less dense consistency and better overall rising. I now call for baking soda instead of powder, a slightly higher baking temp, and a shorter baking time than the original recipe. I think you’ll like them!
- 1 cup sliced ripe banana (about 2 small or one medium/large)
- 1 cup lightly packed baby kale or spinach
- 3/4 cup milk (dairy or unsweetened plain nondairy)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons melted and cooled butter OR neutral oil OR plain yogurt
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup whole-wheat or gluten-free flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Mini chocolate chips, optional
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and grease a muffin tin with nonstick spray.
- Place all ingredients except the flour and chocolate chips, if using, into a blender. Blend until very smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowls as needed. (I sometimes have to use the stick that came with my Vitamix to get things going.) You want the greens to be very finely blended in so the batter is green and there aren’t large pieces, as if you were making a smoothie.
- Pulse in the flour just to combine, or stir it in.
- Pour into the prepared muffin tin, filling each cup about 3/4 cup full. Sprinkle with chocolate chips if using. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until firm to the touch and lightly browned around the edges. (You can also check to see if a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly.)
- Remove from the oven and use a paring knife to transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve slightly warm, at room temp, or chilled.
These muffins will store up to 3-5 days in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer. Simply let cool fully and store in a zip top freezer bag with as much air removed as possible.
Omit the eggs. Add the milk to a measuring cup and add an additional 2 tablespoons ilk. Stir in 2 tablespoons chia seeds and let sit for 5 minutes. Continue with the recipe as directed. Check for doneness starting at 16 minutes.
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