*This recipe has been modified since I first posted it.
I looked outside this morning to see menacing dark clouds and high winds that soon brought rain and snow. I have a green monster smoothie 4-5 days a week but with today’s blustery weather it just sounded cold and unappealing. What I really wanted was something warm and home-baked. Why couldn’t I have a warm home-baked treat AND the benefits of a green monster smoothie? I’ve had it in the back of my mind for a while now that since the spinach purees so nicely in the smoothies, you could probably add it to baked goods very successfully. Zucchini bread is always a big hit, why not spinach?
It didn’t take me long to find what I was looking for. The muffin base of this recipe is modified from a recipe found on ‘Anja’s Food 4 Thought.’ (As always, I have to change what I find!) The streusel topping is my all-time favorite Berry Crisp topping from Clean Eating. Hungry and not sure if they were even going to turn out, I did not photograph the process of making these, just the end results. Admittedly the topping does make these muffins a little more work but it is totally worth it, I promise!
I couldn’t decide what to call them. Are they Banana-Spinach Muffins? Banana Pumpkin Muffins? Pumpkin-Spinach Muffins? ‘Banana Pumpkin Spinach Muffins with Date Streusel Topping’ just seemed like far too much of a mouthful. They are also delicious but healthy which can sometimes seem a mutually exclusive combination in baked goods. Delicious AND Healthy, with a myriad of interesting ingredients? They can’t decide if they are a treat or a health food. Identity Crisis Muffins seemed to sum it up.
Identity Crisis Muffins
Makes 6 muffins
For the Muffins:
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup sucanat
- 1/4 cup pure pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
- zest of one lemon
- 1/3 cup mashed, ripe, banana (If your banana is small and is not quite 1/3 cup you can fill the rest out with a little bit of extra pumpkin puree.)
- 1 cup packed organic baby spinach
For Streusel Topping:
- 5 large medjool dates, pitted
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1 Tbsp raw honey
- 1 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (or regular ground)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the spinach in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. It will be slightly paste-like. Set aside.
Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl.
Beat or whisk the sucanat and egg in a separate bowl until creamy. Add pumpkin, banana, lemon zest, and spinach and whisk until incorporated.
Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
Spray 6 muffin cups with cooking spray or use foil liners. Divide the batter between the cups.
Make Streusel topping:
Place dates in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add oats, flour, coconut oil, honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg and pulse until combined and crumbly. Divide mixture over the top of the muffins. I did not quite use all of it.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. These are ready to go in the oven:
Ready to eat!
Moist and flavorful, they don’t taste of spinach at all but it does add iron, calcium, and vitamin C! The pumpkin means these are chock full of Vitamin A, and the Banana and dates pack a punch of potassium. (Say that 10 times fast!) They also have 5.7 grams of fiber. But if you don’t tell, no one will know. Lilly followed me around pronouncing them “CAKE!” and gobbled down every last bite of her “treat” saying “MMMM…TREE!!!” inbetween every few bites. (And she’s my harshest critic, believe me!) Today’s personal challenge: Make sure there are some left for Andy and Trinity to try when they get home. Success is not altogether certain. Lilly gives it her squinty-eyed smile…that’s her version of two thumbs up!