If you feel like you’re in a toddler snack rut, run to this post! I had just finished whipping up another batch of Lucy’s Power Muffins (more on that in a second), but we felt ourselves falling into a routine of monthly muffin baking, and we were in desperate need of new ideas – aside from the usual cheese, crackers and sliced up fruit. I asked, and you delivered. There was so much great feedback, that I’ve bookmarked that photo to refer to when we’re in need of a new idea, and we’ve already implemented a few. So, thank you! Y’all are the cats pajamas, I tell ya.
But back to those power muffins! Lucy, as I imagine most 14 month old babes to be, is insatiable. She’s no longer nursing, and that was the magic ticket that eased her into a more predictable food routine of breakfast, mid-morning snack (sometimes), lunch, late-afternoon snack (always!) and dinner. That late afternoon snack was always sneaking up on us, and we were on the hunt for something that would be filling, satisfying and guilt-free.
Enter the veggie packed banana muffin, a muffin that can handle a big handful of remnant fruits or nuts that are taking up space in your fridge and pantry. Sometimes, we refer to them as the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink muffins, but I’ll leave that up to you.
Originally adapted from this recipe, we tweaked the levels of banana, cinnamon – and most importantly, the addition of an entire bag of spinach! – until we found a dense-yet-soft muffin, sweetened by nothing but fruit and packed full of iron. We go whole hog and make full sized muffins, which Lucy happily devours with a sippy cup of milk and a grin on her face.
We use wax paper to individually wrap each muffin, and then we store them all in a large freezer-safe container. If we’ll be out and about, I’ll throw a muffin into my bag to thaw before snack time, or if we’re in a hurry, 20 seconds in the microwave does the trick.
If you give these muffins a try, we’d love to know what you think, as well as any other fun additions you throw in!
Veggie Packed Power Muffins
Delicious banana muffins for toddlers using no sugar and packed full of iron! Store in the freezer and thaw one at a time as you need them. So good, you’ll want to sneak a bite.
- 3 bananas, hand mashed
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup milk (almond, coconut or regular)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsps cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 8 oz bag baby spinach, pulsed or blended
- fruit of your choice, chopped
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup oat flour*
Preheat oven to 350F
In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas using a fork or whisk. A few chunks are fine!
Melt the coconut oil and add to the bowl. Whisk together with banana
Add applesauce, vanilla and milk to the bowl, and whisk everything together
Add eggs, and whisk until combined
Add cinnamon and baking soda, and whisk into the mixture
Pulse the spinach in a blender until finely chopped (it will be slightly clumpy and wet), and add the pulsed spinach to the bowl. Whisk to combine.
If you’d like, throw in some fruit for color and extra flavor! I have used blueberries, strawberries or apricots, to name a few.
Lastly, add the wheat and oat flour, and stir until combined
Spoon mixture into lightly greased muffin tins (I use a small amount of coconut oil to grease the tins)
Bake for 20 minutes and check for done with a toothpick. If toothpick comes out clean, remove from over and cool before removing from tins. If toothpick has residue, bake for an additional 1-2 minutes.
*If you don’t have oat flour, you can also blend steel cut oats or rolled oats into a fine powder. This is what I do!
Be as creative as you’d like. These muffins are a great base to add fruit or nuts!