It’s a Monday Rewind! Yellow Brick Home has 12 years of archives, so from time to time, we’ll be sharing our favorites from posts past. This tutorial was originally published in March 2019. Enjoy!
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 and satisfying.
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.
This 30-year-old toddler is excited to try these!
Bravo! I think you hit the magic, sometimes elusive combination of delicious and nutrient-dense here. I imagine one could maybe use another oil (or melted butter) in place of the coconut oil as well? I also love what yogurt does in banana bread and muffins so I might try with that too. I was super curious when you mentioned these so thanks so much for sharing! I did want to say (as non-judgmentally as possible) that I had a moment of being a little squigged out at the phrase “guilt free” here, in the context of creating food for children — who I would hope are experiencing neither guilt nor un-guilt in their relationship to eating whatever it is that they are eating (as should be their parents!). I can’t wait to make these regardless.
Thanks, Molly – and valid point. You said it better, in that it’s guilt-free because it’s nutrient dense. Lucy eats what we eat, and we believe in most things in moderation!
These look great! I often make a sort of similar muffin for my toddler, but use almond meal instead for some extra calories/protein.
I do agree with Molly, though, about the “guilt-free” phrasing and even want to expand on her point a little — I really hope that no parents feel guilty for giving their kids a Gogurt or a package of Goldfish as a snack instead of something like this. I totally know that this was not you guys’ intention, but no one should feel bad because they aren’t giving their kids veggie muffins for an afternoon snack. Getting food into kids is (as my pediatrician says) about what they eat in a week, not what they eat at any given meal or any given day. So I will out myself as someone who makes healthy muffins but ALSO hands out fruit bars and “fishies” on the regular to my two kiddos.
Again, thank you for posting! Lucy is adorable and I love the kid content.
Toddler eating is tough. My 16-month-old is in feeding therapy because he as a very limited repertoire of foods he’ll eat. I will try these, thanks! :)
I finally made these for my 11 month old and she LOVES them! I didn’t use the entire 8oz of spinach, more like 4oz, just to make sure she would like it. I will definitely add the whole bag next time though. The dog’s a little sad that nothing is ending up on the floor for him, but I’m sure he’ll survive. I’d love to see any other recipes you make for Lucy!
Haha, so true, Jack and CC love the muffins as much as Lucy, but she never spares them so much as a crumb!
[…] Notes: Lucy’s muffin recipe: https://yellowbrickhome.com/healthy-toddler-muffins-snack/ CC’s adoption story: https://yellowbrickhome.com/chocolate-chunk/ How we keep a pet […]
Dude, I finally made these yesterday and my 19 month old just scarfed down two for breakfast (the girl who usually gets bored and wants down before she’s eaten hardly anything)! Thank you so much for sharing!
Side note – I used strawberries and all purpose with buckwheat flour, maybe 5 or 6 oz of the spinach (the nutri bullet makes my kid cry so I stopped) and they turned out lovely and dense but still fluffy! <3
Oh I absolutely love hearing this! Lucy is still scarfing hers down!
So excited to try these! Made them together with my 2 year old and we made 3 different muffins. We added apples, strawberries and blueberries. Thank you for sharing this recipe!