Scrumptious, light, fluffy and moist spinach banana muffins are a great way to sneak extra nutrients into your breakfast, snack or dessert. These wholesome mini muffins are not only kid friendly, but adults love them too! Plus they’re simple to make and come together in just 1 bowl and a blender.
This recipe was originally published in May 2018. It has been updated for content and photos.
I just love a delicious treat that you don’t have any guilty feelings over. Just like my chickpea cookies and zucchini muffins, these spinach banana muffins are vegan and made using wholesome and nutrient dense ingredients, and if it weren’t for the beautiful green ribbons of spinach throughout, you’d never guess these are actually healthy.
These healthy muffins for kids (and adults too!) are delicious when they’re warm out of the oven, cooled to room temperature, and even chilled in the fridge.
PLUS just look how cute these baby banana muffins are!
Why you’ll love these muffins
- They’re not filled with empty calories like traditional muffins are. Instead these spinach banana muffins use oats and brown rice flour as their base. Not only are these far more wholesome than regular white flour, but they’re also gluten free, making these muffins perfect for gluten free eaters too.
- Low in fat! Now, yes the healthy fats that come from whole foods like nuts and avocado are good for you. But these spinach banana muffins are free from the “bad” fats like oil, lard or butter. No oil needed in these scrumptious muffins. Instead unsweetened apple sauce does a splendid job.
- These mini muffins are fluffy and slightly sweet without using any refined sugar. Ripe bananas and a touch of maple syrup adds all the sweetness these little guys need! Okay, yes, they’re not as sweet as, let’s say, bakery muffins. But my kids (aged 2 and 4), nieces, nephews, husband and friends ALL love these.
- Even though these muffins are loaded with spinach, you won’t taste even a hint of it. These spinach banana muffins still taste like a sweet treat.
They’re perfect for everyone!
- Baby muffins are perfect for all ages. I first made these muffins for my youngest when he was 8 months old. I did baby led weaning (skipping purees and going straight to appropriately cut and sized solids) with him and his little hands were more than capable of devouring these, even then. These muffins don’t crumble, and they hold well. They’re soft and moist and make a perfect muffin for your baby, toddler or big kid too!
- This sweet (yet healthy) treat is not only wholesome, but also allergen friendly! No eggs, no dairy, no nuts, and no gluten making them vegan friendly, and school safe, too!
How to make spinach banana muffins
(This is a summary with step by step photos, full recipe measurements and instructions are in the recipe card below.)
Start by gathering your ingredients.
I use a combination of oat flour and brown rice flour for this recipe. After trying a couple of different options, I found this combination to be best.
However, if you’re not gluten free, you may use whole wheat flour which also works well, but I do prefer these with the oat and rice combo.
NOTE: If you don’t have oat flour or brown rice flour on hand, you can make some. Measure out a cup of each of oats and brown rice and add them to a high speed blender. Process until a flour like consistency is reached.
Step by step
Mash your bananas in a large mixing bowl. (photo 1)
Then add the milk, finely chopped spinach and lemon zest to the same bowl and mix well. (photos 2-3)
Now add your dry ingredients to the same bowl and mix until combined, without over mixing. (photos 4-5)
Let your batter rest for 5-10 minutes while you preheat your oven and prepare your muffin tray.
Then spoon the batter into your muffin tins, filling them most of the way, as the muffins won’t rise too much. (photo 6)
Bake your spinach banana muffins for 13-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, and then remove from the oven. (photo 7)
Once baked, let the muffins rest in their pan for at least 5-10 minutes before removing them. The cool down time helps them complete setting and prevents them from sticking to the muffin pan.
Then gently remove them and transfer to a cooling rack and enjoy warm, or let them cool to room temperature and enjoy.
How to store
You may keep your spinach banana muffins covered at room temperature for 1-2 days, but they will keep longer and fresher if refrigerated.
Refrigerate for 3-4 days in an airtight container and enjoy chilled, or reheat in the microwave, if preferred.
To freeze the muffins, cool them completely and then place them in the freezer in a single layer on a baking sheet or other tray that fits in your freezer, for about 1 hour. They won’t be fully frozen at this point, but just enough so that they won’t stick to one another. Then place them in a container or sealed zip top bag for up to 3 months.
Thaw frozen muffins overnight in the fridge, or at room temperature.
Have a sweet tooth?
Since these muffins are very low in sugar, you may add 1/4-1/3 cup of chocolate chips (dairy free if vegan) if you have pickier eaters to please.
Sweetness preference is all about what you’re accustomed to, and these suit us without the chocolate chips, but you know your family best.
Tips and tricks
- Use very ripe bananas. The more brown spots, the better to get the most natural sweetness possible.
- Fresh baby spinach is preferred over frozen. I find fresh spinach to have a more mild flavour than frozen and tastes best when used in a sweet treat.
- Don’t puree the spinach or the entire muffin will turn green. This can be off-putting to younger eaters, so I like to keep mine finely chopped to keep the muffins their yellow-y colour.
- If you don’t have spinach, you may also use kale. Just remember that kale has a stronger flavour, so you may want to reduce the amount slightly.
- Since these healthy muffins have hardly any fat, steer clear of parchment liners, or make sure to spray them with a nonstick spray to prevent them from sticking to the paper.
- If you don’t have brown rice flour, or oat flour on hand, add a cup of rice and cup of oats to a high speed blender and process until a flour like consistency is reached. This could take anywhere for 30-60 seconds depending on your machine.
- Use a non stick muffin pan, OR make sure to grease the tins so your muffins don’t get stuck and break apart.
- Let your spinach banana muffins cool for 5-10 minutes after taking them out of the oven, before removing them from the muffin pan. I use a non stick muffin pan and don’t need to grease it, and these muffins pop out easily without breaking at all after the cool down period.
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- 1 cup brown rice flour or brown rice* (see notes)
- 1 cup oat flour or rolled oats** gluten free if preferred
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp very ripe mashed banana approx 2 medium bananas
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 heaping tbsp lemon zest approx 1 medium lemon
- 1 cup unsweetened soy milk or almond or cashew milk
- 2 cups baby spinach (2 cups before chopping) finely chopped in food processor or blender, but not puréed
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Mash your banana in a large mixing bowl and then add all remaining wet ingredients and mix well. Then add your dry ingredients to the same bowl and mix until combined without overmixing.
- Fill your mini muffin pans, almost to the top, leaving just a little room for rising. You should get 36 mini muffins.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffin comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before removing from the muffin pan and enjoy.