These Spinach Muffins 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!

spinach banana muffins on pink plate

Spinach Muffins

Oh these muffins are one of our very favorites. And they’re one of the most popular recipes on my entire site! And while I know I’ve written about how we actually don’t need to pack kale and spinach into every bite our kids eat, I do think there can be merit in sometimes making nutritious versions of foods our kids already like. Like muffins.

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.

You can call these Hulk Muffins, Monster Muffins, Green Smoothie Muffins, or any fun name you can come up with!

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 kids.

They’re great for breakfast paired with a smoothie or milk, as a snack, or packed in a kids lunch.

TIP: To make for a baby, omit the honey and use an additional 2 tablespoons milk. Omit the chocolate chips.

Ingredients in Banana Spinach Muffins

Ingredients You Need

To make these muffins you’ll need:

  • Ripe banana: Bananas with brown spots will add lots of sweet flavor to this recipe.
  • Baby spinach 
  • Milk: You can use whole milk, low-fat, or any nondairy milk.
  • Honey: Swap in maple syrup if desired (and for kids under age 1).
  • Melted and cooled butter: Or you can use neutral oil or plain yogurt.
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Rolled oats: This adds some extra fiber and whole grains, but blend into the mixture nicely.
  • Baking soda
  • Whole-wheat flour
  • Mini chocolate chips: These are optional to add on the top.

TIP: Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.

Ingredient Swaps

To make these without eggs, omit the eggs. Increase banana to 1 ½ cups.

To make these gluten-free, try King Arthur’s gluten free flour blend instead of the regular flour.

You can make them dairy-free by opting for your favorite unsweetened nondairy milk.

To make with frozen spinach, thaw the spinach, squeeze very dry, and measure out ¼ cup.

Use maple syrup for the honey.

how to make spinach muffins step by step

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at the simple process involved in making this healthy muffin recipe for kids so you know what to expect. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to see the full recipe.

  1. Place all ingredients into a blender except the flour and chocolate chips, if using. (photo 1)
  2. Blend until very smooth. (photo 2) 
  3. Add the flour. (photo 3)
  4. Pulse in the flour just to combine. (photo 4)
  5. Pour batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each cup about ¾ cup full. Sprinkle with chocolate chips if using. (photo 5)
  6. Bake until firm to the touch and lightly browned around the edges. (photo 6)

TIP: The veggie muffins are done when the edges are lightly brown, the tops are firm, and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly.

Why do these spinach veggie 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!

TIP: You can try this with a food processor, though be sure to run it on high for 30-60 seconds to get the spinach as blended up as possible.

spinach muffins on a plate with fruit

Banana Spinach Muffins

These kids muffins (which I happily eat myself too!) are delicious warm out of the oven or chilled, so see what you and the kids like. The ripe banana adds natural sweetness and while there’s a load of fresh spinach in these, they just taste like a treat.

They aren’t super sweet like most bakery muffins are, but they are always a big hit with my kids (and myself!)…especially with a few mini chocolate chips on top.

Spinach Baby 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. 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 and/or top with applesauce or apple butter.

TIP: Use maple syrup or omit the sweetener and use 2 tablespoons additional milk to make these for a baby.

Spinach Muffins Without Banana

If you can’t do banana, you could do apple butter, a thick applesauce, or roasted mashed sweet potato instead.

Vegan Spinach Muffins

Use the egg- and dairy-free options and opt for maple syrup to make these vegan.

halloween-spinach-muffins

Halloween Breakfast Idea

We love making these all year round, but they are super fun for Halloween with their bright green color. Call them “monster muffins”, add some eyes (I like using cream cheese and raisins and sprinkles for eyelashes) and you have a healthy and nourishing breakfast or snack to share.

How to Store

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 with as much air removed as possible in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge or at room temperature.

Best Tips for Success

  • Use very ripe bananas with brown spots for the best natural sweetness.
  • To make for a baby, omit the honey and use an additional 2 tablespoons milk. Omit the chocolate chips.
  • Dairy-free: Use unsweetened nondairy milk and using a neutral oil instead of butter.
  • Gluten-free: try King Arthur’s gluten free flour blend.
  • Egg-free: Omit the eggs and use 1½ cups sliced banana.
  • To make with frozen spinach, thaw spinach, squeeze very dry, and measure out ¼ cup. Proceed with the recipe.
  • To make as mini muffins, use a 24-cup mini muffin pan and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly.
  • To make these with kale, 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.
  • You can stir ⅓ cup chocolate chips into the batter before baking, or sprinkle some on top depending on your preference. You can also just omit them.
  • These are not crazy sweet without the chocolate chips (though my kids like them just fine!), so if you think your kids will prefer a sweeter muffin, add ¼ cup granulated sugar to the batter.
  • You may also like Applesauce Muffins, ABC Muffins, Yogurt Muffins, and Spinach Banana Pancakes.

Please comment and rate the recipe below if you make it—I’d love to know what you and your kids think! And your feedback helps me continue to improve my content.

This post was first published March 2018.

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spinach banana muffins on pink plate

Sweet Spinach Muffins with Banana

These healthy muffins taste like a delicious banana muffin, but with the added nutrition of a big handful of spinach. These store well, so you can make them ahead of time and pull them out of the fridge or freezer to serve.
4.98 from 588 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Cuisine Muffins
Course Breakfast
Calories 131kcal
Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sliced ripe banana (about 2 small or one medium/large)
  • 2 cups lightly packed baby 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 extract
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • Mini chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and grease a standard-size muffin tin well with nonstick spray.
  • Place all ingredients into a blender except the flour and chocolate chips, if using.
  • Blend until very smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowls as needed. You want the greens to be very finely blended in so the batter is green, as if you were making a smoothie.
  • Pulse in the flour just to combine, or stir it in gently.
  • Pour batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each cup about ¾ 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, if needed, to transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  • Serve slightly warm, at room temp, or chilled.

Video

Notes

  • 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 with as much air removed as possible in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge or at room temperature.
  • Use very ripe bananas with brown spots for the best natural sweetness.
  • To make for a baby, omit the honey and use an additional 2 tablespoons milk. Omit the chocolate chips.
  • Dairy-free: Use unsweetened nondairy milk and using a neutral oil instead of butter.
  • Gluten-free: try King Arthur’s gluten free flour blend.
  • Egg-free: Omit the eggs and use 1½ cups sliced banana.
  • To make with frozen spinach, thaw spinach, squeeze very dry, and measure out ¼ cup. Proceed with the recipe.
  • To make as mini muffins, use a 24-cup mini muffin pan and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly.
  • To make these with kale, 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.
  • You can stir ⅓ cup chocolate chips into the batter before baking, or sprinkle some on top depending on your preference. You can also just omit them.
  • These are not crazy sweet without the chocolate chips (though my kids like them just fine!), so if you think your kids will prefer a sweeter muffin, add ¼ cup granulated sugar to the batter.
  •  

Nutrition

Calories: 131kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 34mg, Sodium: 154mg, Potassium: 168mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 600IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 35mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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Comments

  1. I was wondering if plain Greek yogurt would work in lieu of the butter or does it have to be just plain yogurt? We typically only have Greek yogurt in the fridge but am wondering if it would maybe be too thick? Can’t wait to try these for my son!

    1. I think that should be fine since the amount you need is so small. (I’m making a batch of them myself right now!)

  2. 5 stars
    Made this with my child today. It’s a great, not to sweet recipe. I added perhaps more kale than called for. I also used very ripe bananas that I had frozen for recipes like this. My daughter and I love the muffins. This is going into regular rotation

  3. 5 stars
    Great recipe! Very yummy. I made mini muffins and it required only 10 mins in the bottom rack of the oven so it was even faster.

    1. Hi! I haven’t tried these with almond flour and don’t bake with it enough to guess how it might work. Let me know if you try it though!

      1. 5 stars
        Hi, I just used almond flour in these and they turned out great! My 18 month old loves them. I also doubled the batch and put half in the freezer.

  4. Hello! My one year old is allergic to eggs. I am familiar with egg substitutes however not sure if they work with this. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi! I haven’t tried this recipe with an egg alternative but give me a few days and I’ll see if I can figure something out. The batter is really moist so I don’t think I can suggest something without trying it first!

    2. Hi again! We just tried these with chia seeds instead of eggs and they were great. I added a variation with the specifics at the end of the recipe for you!

  5. 5 stars
    These muffins were really easy to make (I loved putting all the ingredients in the blender) and came out with a nice texture. They are sweet, but not too sweet. My 2 and 4 year olds, who will not touch greens, gobbled them up on the first try.

  6. 5 stars
    Hi there! Thank you for all of these great recipes! I would love to be able to incorporate blueberries into this recipe. Would you suggest following the recipe and baking the muffins for a short time, then adding the blueberries so that they do not sink to the bottom of the muffin? Thanks!

    1. Hi! I would think you could sprinkle a few on top of each muffin, like you would the chocolate chips, and that might work. Or yes, adding them after maybe 5-8 minutes. If you pull them out of the oven to do this, you may want to add a few minutes to the total baking time. I’d love to hear how this works out if you do it!

  7. 5 stars
    My 18 month old who never eats anything new just demolished 4 of these! I would call that a win! Thank you!

  8. The muffins didn’t raise and i suspect is because the ‘cup measurement’ that I have used it’s not accurate. Could you share your recipes in grams instead of cups?

    1. Hi! I’m sorry to hear that you had trouble. Do you want the leavening agent in grams or everything? I can work on converting this recipe for you but at the moment I don’t have the bandwidth to do all of my recipes. I’m happy to help as I can though!

    1. Place a muffin onto a heat-safe plate and microwave in 15 second increments until thawed and warmed. You could also put a few in the fridge in an airtight container to thaw overnight, then heat slightly (if you want—they’re okay cold too) to serve.

  9. I would love to make these for my 9 month old’s breakfasts however she cannot have honey. Do you have any suggestions to use in place of the honey it calls for?

    1. I’m making these with maple syrup as we speak, so I can let you know how they turn out with that substitution for honey.