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Help your kids load up on healthy greens without the fight! These easy green monster muffins are perfectly sweet and delicious yet are loaded with fresh spinach. With their fun name and colour, these spinach muffins are perfect for picky eaters!

A polka dot bowl filled with mini green monster muffins.

Green Banana Muffins with Spinach

If your little one turns their nose up at greens or has a hard time getting in enough veggies, this green monster muffins recipe is a perfect fit! They’re moist, tender muffins subtly sweetened with applesauce and ripe bananas.

The best part is, they don’t have a notable spinach flavour despite their vibrant green colour!

We love to serve these green muffins with goofy googly eyes to make them even more fun and exciting.

The baked green monster muffins in a mini muffin tin.

Why We Love These Spinach Mini Muffins

  • Healthy: Unlike many regular muffin recipes, which tend to be high in sugar and low in nutrients, these spinach banana muffins are naturally sweetened with ripe bananas and applesauce. They’re a great way to get your kids to eat their leafy greens!
  • Easy: This easy recipe requires minimal effort and no fancy baking know-how! If you can mix things together and use a blender, you can handle this green monster muffins recipe!
  • Toddler-friendly: These spinach mini muffins are perfect for toddlers or baby-led weaning! They’re sweet enough to entice your little ones while being perfectly soft, easy to chew, nutritious and filling.

GREEN MONSTER MUFFINS

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Ingredient Notes

Ingredients required to make green banana muffins.

Wet ingredients:

  • Overripe bananas: Just like your favourite zucchini bread recipe, mashed ripe bananas add sweetness and moisture with no added sugar.
  • Eggs: Eggs help bind the batter together and give it a rise, turning these into fluffy muffins. Feel free to use flax eggs instead.
  • Milk: Choose your favourite type of milk, including non-dairy milk like soy milk, to thin out the batter.
  • Unsweetened applesauce: Similar to bananas, applesauce adds another layer of sweetness and fibre. The vitamin C also helps to enhance the absorption of the iron in the spinach!
  • Canola oil: Muffins are typically made with oil instead of butter for the perfect fluffy texture. You can use melted coconut oil too.
  • Vanilla extract: A little vanilla helps hide any flavor from the spinach and gives these veggie muffins a sweeter flavour.
  • Spinach: I like to use fresh baby spinach leaves, which are tender and have a mild flavour. 
  • Maple syrup: Although this is optional, pure maple syrup is the best way to sweeten this recipe if needed.

Dry ingredients:

  • White whole wheat flour: Instead of regular flour, white whole flour has more fibre and other nutrients to fill those tummies, but still mimics the taste of white flour.
  • Cinnamon:  Cinnamon is the perfect way to highlight the sweetness in these healthy muffins, plus it smells so tempting while the muffin batter bakes!
  • Baking powder & baking soda: These two ingredients help these sweet muffins rise.
  • Salt: Not only does salt draw out the sweetness in these green monster muffins, but it also helps to activate the baking soda. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a mini muffin pan.
  2. Place the bananas, eggs, milk, applesauce, oil, spinach, and maple syrup (if using) in a blender. Blend on high until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Pour the spinach puree into the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Do not overmix.
  5. Scoop the batter into the greased mini muffin pan, filling each cup to the top.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached. Allow muffins to cool for several minutes before removing them from pan. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
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The mini green monster muffins in a bowl with a bite taken out of one of them.

TIPS FOR THE BEST MINI MUFFINS

  • Since bananas are the primary sweetener in these muffins, I recommend using overripe ones to maximize the sweetness and flavour. 
  • These muffins are not overly sweet. You can add more maple syrup if you prefer sweeter muffins, however you may need to reduce the liquid a bit so that they don’t come out too moist. 
  • If you prefer to skip the maple syrup to make these muffins with no sugar added, then you may wish to add an extra 2 tablespoons of applesauce.
  • I packed my spinach tightly into a measuring cup until no more could fit. This is what helps to produce that vibrant green colour, and contributes extra nutrients as well!
  • If you use mini muffin liners, be aware that the muffins may stick a bit to the liners since these muffins are fairly moist. For best results, grease a mini muffin tin really well with cooking spray or use a silicone muffin pan instead.

Recipe FAQs

How do you get picky eaters to eat spinach?

If your child is reluctant to eat their leafy greens or veggies, you’ve probably been wracking your brain to come up with solutions. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to incorporate a little extra nutrition into a wide variety of recipes! 

Since kids tend to be more open to flavours when they’re really young, it’s important to introduce lots of new flavours before they turn two years old. Even if you do a great job at this, many kids still become extra particular about flavours between the ages of 2 to 4.

That’s why it’s important to have a host of recipes that taste great and are fun to eat (unlike a bowl of spinach)! If you can get your kids on board eating foods with fun colours, you can convince them to try these hulk muffins or this tropical-flavored green smoothie. Both recipes are made with fresh, raw spinach.

You can also add spinach to scrambled eggs or egg bites, add it into these homemade pizza rolls, blitz it up into a delicious pesto with fresh basil, let some simmer down in this chicken pastina soup, or add some very tiny pieces into homemade mac and cheese.

Some people are really sensitive to spinach’s taste and texture, so trying different greens can be helpful. For example, baby kale or chard are great substitutes for spinach that may taste better to little kids than actual spinach.

How do I make these green monster muffins gluten-free?

Although I have not tried this variation, you should be able to use a gluten-free flour that works as a 1:1 replacement for all purpose flour. These mixes are specially formulated to turn any recipe gluten-free and should work perfectly with this easy recipe, although I have not tried it. If you do, please add your experience in the comments for others!

How do I serve the muffins for baby-led weaning?

If you’re trying BLW, these muffins with spinach are the perfect fit! They taste wonderful and have a vibrant green colour to grab your little one’s attention. All the ingredients are completely safe for babies, so these can be served as early as six months old.

I recommend baking these as mini muffins for babies or cutting large muffins into strips, making them easier to hold and bite. Once they reach approximately 9-12 months old, cut them into small bites they can pick up with their fingers. For babies between 12-18 months old, serve them the whole muffin (mini or large) for them to practice taking individual bites.   

A stack of two mini sweet spinach muffins with a bite taken out of the top one.

Storage Guidelines

  • Room temperature: Store leftover muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1-2 days.
  • Refrigerator: For longer storage, place the sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.
  • To freeze: You can freeze excess muffins by wrapping them in toil foil or plastic wrap, then freezing them in a freezer-safe bag.

Serving Suggestions

Since these green muffins have a good dose of nutrients and carbohydrates, they’re a great source of whole grains to serve with a meal.

I like to offer these with some additional protein and additional fruits and veggies for breakfast, snacks or packed into lunch boxes!

Try them with: 

Recipe Variations

  • Chocolate chips: Add a nice crunch and a little extra sweetness with mini chocolate chips!
  • Peanut butter: For some healthy fats to fill them up, sub in some of the oil for some peanut butter or almond butter.
  • Add some seeds: To add extra omega-3 fatty acids and fibre, add a tablespoon of either chia, hemp, or flax seeds.

More Similar Recipes

Did you make this recipe? Scroll down to leave a star rating and review!
A bowl of mini green monster muffins.
Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Green Monster Muffins

Created by Elysia
Servings: 38 mini muffins
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Help your kids load up on healthy greens without the fight! These easy green monster muffins are sweet and delicious yet are loaded with fresh spinach. These spinach muffins are perfect for picky eaters!

Ingredients
 

Wet ingredients

  • 2 medium overripe bananas (mine weighed 214 grams without the peel)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk (or milk alternative)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups tightly packed fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup (optional)

Dry ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a mini muffin pan.
  • Place the bananas, eggs, milk, applesauce, oil, spinach and maple syrup (if using) into a high power blender. Blend on high until smooth.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Pour the spinach puree into the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Do not overmix.
  • Scoop the batter into the greased mini muffin pan, filling each cup to the top.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached. Allow muffins to cool several minutes before removing from pan. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Notes

  • Since bananas are the primary sweetener in these muffins, I recommend using overripe ones to maximize the sweetness and flavour. 
  • These muffins are not overly sweet. You can add more maple syrup if you prefer sweeter muffins, however you may need to reduce the liquid a bit so that they don’t come out too moist. 
  • If you prefer to skip the maple syrup to make these muffins with no sugar added, then you may wish to add an extra 2 tablespoons of applesauce.
  • I packed my spinach tightly into a measuring cup until no more could fit. This is what helps to produce that vibrant green colour, and contributes extra nutrients as well!
  • If you use mini muffin liners, be aware that the muffins may stick a bit to the liners since these muffins are fairly moist. For best results, grease a mini muffin tin really well with cooking spray or use a silicone muffin pan instead.

Nutrition

Calories: 45kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 48mg | Potassium: 57mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 318IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 0.3mg
A bowl of mini green monster muffins.

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These are wonderful. My kids love them and always ask to make “green monster muffins”. Hiding spinach in these little treats is such a great idea.

    1. I’m so happy your kids love the muffins! It can be such a fun way to pack in some extra greens 🙂 Thanks so much for returning to leave a rating and review!