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
- 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.