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.

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.
4.93 from 225 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. Do you think adding shredded carrots would have a negative effect? I have extra and my 2yo will not eat them plain. Hoping to incorporate them into some recipes (while continuing to expose them to him plain as well)

    1. I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure. I don’t think it would impact how they bake (I wouldn’t add more than 1/3 cup or so just to be sure)

  2. 5 stars
    So easy, so delicious! I have shared this recipe with so many moms. I’ve made this recipe gluten-free, vegan, gluten-free and vegan, dairy free, with and without chocolate chips. My kids liked all options…but with chocolate chips the best. Thanks!

  3. 5 stars
    Made them for myself, used maple syrup instead of honey.I also mixed the flour and soda and salt together.
    Added poppyseeds. Will add the sugar next time, not sweet enough for me. Will sprinkle today’s batch with powdered sugar.

      1. I would thaw it, squeeze it dry, and use 1/4 cup at most. I think that should be fine!

  4. 5 stars
    This was amazing. I made this today and my son ate a whole muffin! He’s been fighting vegetables lately and I felt good knowing he got spinach out of this

    1. I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure and usually I don’t recommend that substitute since they absorb liquid differently. It might make the muffins too moist…

  5. It looks delicious, can’t wait to prepare some, but can we use frozen spinach, and if so, which quantity? Also could we substitute the spinach by zucchini? thank you!

    1. If you use frozen spinach, I would thaw it, squeeze it dry, and use 1/4 cup. And no, zucchini won’t work the same!

  6. Hi, can you confirm if it’s salted or unsalted butter? Also, baking SODA and not baking POWDER? Just want to be sure I’m making it right. Thank you!!

    1. I use unsalted butter and YES baking soda not powder. Baking powder makes these turn out very mushy so use fresh baking soda!

  7. 5 stars
    These are great. My super picky toddler was way into them (I even had to cut her off!). I told her I made cupcakes and all day she was asking for “more cake”.

    I also really enjoy them!! I didn’t have quite enough honey so I added a bit of maple syrup. And definitely added chocolate chips.

    10/10 recommend

  8. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! It’s my go to with any left over bananas and my toddler LOVES them – and so do I! I love that it’s as easy as throwing everything in the blender and I really appreciate that on your recipes you give an overview of what can be substituted and how.

  9. Can you recommend an alternate to rolled oats? My toddler has a severe oat allergy so I’ve tried spelt flakes which are ok but not that great. Thanks!

    1. HI there! Have you tried this recipe with any of the oat alternatives? I’m in the same boat with my toddler and cannot use oats. Looking for feedback!

      1. I haven’t tested it any other way, but it’s possible it would work to stir in the flour, plus additional flour in place of the oats, at the end. It might be done a few minutes earlier. That’s a best guess!

    2. Did you try this with just using 2 cups of flour? I’m curious on how it came out! Thanks!

  10. 5 stars
    I have used this recipe over and over. My toddler and I can’t get enough of them. Delicious! Thanks for always giving gluten free instructions!

      1. Does this recipe have to be muffins? Can I pour the batter into a square pan and make it a cake?

      2. I’m sure you could do it in an 8×8 inch pan. I haven’t done it that way but I see no reason why it wouldn’t work. The baking time might be a little longer to get the center of the pan cooked through, but I bet you’ll be able to tell if it’s done by looking at it/using a cake tester.

  11. 5 stars
    I began a skeptic: Green? Are they going to be sweet enough? Will my blender be able to handle the spinach and oats? I was blown away. Perfectly sweet, incredibly simple to make, and absolutely delicious. 5 stars (even from my 4 year old); will definitely make again!