Sweet Spinach Muffins with Banana (Perfect for Babies + Toddlers!)


These Spinach Muffins with Banana are a super healthy and yummy toddler or big kid breakfast or snack. Each bite is packed with nutrients from greens and fruit—and the interior is so moist that even babies can enjoy these easy blender muffins!

spinach banana muffins on pink plate

Spinach Muffins

Oh these muffins are one of our very favorites. And they’re one of the most popular recipes on my entire site! And while I know I’ve written about how we actually don’t need to pack kale and spinach into every bite our kids eat, I do think there can be merit in sometimes making nutritious versions of foods our kids already like. Like muffins.

The color green can be a huge red flag to many kids, so I like to try to use the color to my advantage in fun foods—like these Sweet Spinach Muffins with Banana.

You can call these Hulk Muffins, Monster Muffins, Green Smoothie Muffins, or any fun name you can come up with!

Made with a not-too-long list of good-for-you ingredients, these muffins are naturally sweet from banana, and have a dose of Vitamin A and C from spinach or kale. They also have healthy fats and protein so they’re a nice meal component that will provide long lasting energy for your busy kids.

They’re great for breakfast paired with a smoothie or milk, as a snack, or packed in a kids lunch.

TIP: To make for a baby, omit the honey and use an additional 2 tablespoons milk. Omit the chocolate chips.

Ingredients in Banana Spinach Muffins

Ingredients You Need

To make these muffins you’ll need:

  • Ripe banana: Bananas with brown spots will add lots of sweet flavor to this recipe.
  • Baby spinach 
  • Milk: You can use whole milk, low-fat, or any nondairy milk.
  • Honey: Swap in maple syrup if desired (and for kids under age 1).
  • Melted and cooled butter: Or you can use neutral oil or plain yogurt.
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Rolled oats: This adds some extra fiber and whole grains, but blend into the mixture nicely.
  • Baking soda
  • Whole-wheat flour
  • Mini chocolate chips: These are optional to add on the top.

TIP: Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.

Ingredient Swaps

To make these without eggs, omit the eggs. Increase banana to 1 ½ cups.

To make these gluten-free, try King Arthur’s gluten free flour blend instead of the regular flour.

You can make them dairy-free by opting for your favorite unsweetened nondairy milk.

To make with frozen spinach, thaw the spinach, squeeze very dry, and measure out ¼ cup.

Use maple syrup for the honey.

how to make spinach muffins step by step

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at the simple process involved in making this healthy muffin recipe for kids so you know what to expect. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to see the full recipe.

  1. Place all ingredients into a blender except the flour and chocolate chips, if using. (photo 1)
  2. Blend until very smooth. (photo 2) 
  3. Add the flour. (photo 3)
  4. Pulse in the flour just to combine. (photo 4)
  5. Pour batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each cup about ¾ cup full. Sprinkle with chocolate chips if using. (photo 5)
  6. Bake until firm to the touch and lightly browned around the edges. (photo 6)

TIP: The veggie muffins are done when the edges are lightly brown, the tops are firm, and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly.

Why do these spinach veggie muffins require a blender?

In order to get the spinach smooth and incorporated into the batter—which is really the key to getting the kids to eat these, because a muffin with chunks of spinach would be no good!—you need a blender.

It’s basically the same principal as making a green smoothie!

TIP: You can try this with a food processor, though be sure to run it on high for 30-60 seconds to get the spinach as blended up as possible.

spinach muffins on a plate with fruit

Banana Spinach Muffins

These kids muffins (which I happily eat myself too!) are delicious warm out of the oven or chilled, so see what you and the kids like. The ripe banana adds natural sweetness and while there’s a load of fresh spinach in these, they just taste like a treat.

They aren’t super sweet like most bakery muffins are, but they are always a big hit with my kids (and myself!)…especially with a few mini chocolate chips on top.

Spinach Baby Muffins for Baby-Led Weaning

These muffins are incredibly moist and they don’t dry out very easily, so they are a perfect early food for older babies. Cut them up into small cubes so baby can easily pick up bite-size pieces.

You may want to warm them slightly to make them even moister and/or top with applesauce or apple butter.

TIP: Use maple syrup or omit the sweetener and use 2 tablespoons additional milk to make these for a baby.

Spinach Muffins Without Banana

If you can’t do banana, you could do apple butter, a thick applesauce, or roasted mashed sweet potato instead.

Vegan Spinach Muffins

Use the egg- and dairy-free options and opt for maple syrup to make these vegan.

halloween-spinach-muffins

Halloween Breakfast Idea

We love making these all year round, but they are super fun for Halloween with their bright green color. Call them “monster muffins”, add some eyes (I like using cream cheese and raisins and sprinkles for eyelashes) and you have a healthy and nourishing breakfast or snack to share.

How to Store

You can store the muffins in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days and eat cold or slightly warmed. Or store in a zip top bag with as much air removed as possible in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge or at room temperature.

Best Tips for Success

  • Use very ripe bananas with brown spots for the best natural sweetness.
  • To make for a baby, omit the honey and use an additional 2 tablespoons milk. Omit the chocolate chips.
  • Dairy-free: Use unsweetened nondairy milk and using a neutral oil instead of butter.
  • Gluten-free: try King Arthur’s gluten free flour blend.
  • Egg-free: Omit the eggs and use 1½ cups sliced banana.
  • To make with frozen spinach, thaw spinach, squeeze very dry, and measure out ¼ cup. Proceed with the recipe.
  • To make as mini muffins, use a 24-cup mini muffin pan and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly.
  • To make these with kale, I prefer using kale that’s been frozen since it tastes less green. Simply wash, dry, and store it in a zip top bag in the freezer. Crush gently in the bag and measure with a measuring spoon. (I use it in smoothies this way too!) Baby spinach usually has a milder flavor when used fresh.
  • You can stir ⅓ cup chocolate chips into the batter before baking, or sprinkle some on top depending on your preference. You can also just omit them.
  • These are not crazy sweet without the chocolate chips (though my kids like them just fine!), so if you think your kids will prefer a sweeter muffin, add ¼ cup granulated sugar to the batter.
  • You may also like Applesauce Muffins, ABC Muffins, Yogurt Muffins, and Spinach Banana Pancakes.

Please comment and rate the recipe below if you make it—I’d love to know what you and your kids think! And your feedback helps me continue to improve my content.

This post was first published March 2018.

spinach banana muffins on pink plate

Sweet Spinach Muffins with Banana

Amy Palanjian

These healthy muffins taste like a delicious banana muffin, but with the added nutrition of a big handful of spinach. These store well, so you can make them ahead of time and pull them out of the fridge or freezer to serve.

Prep Time 10 mins

Cook Time 18 mins

Total Time 28 mins

Course Breakfast

Cuisine Muffins

Servings 12

Calories 131 kcal

Ingredients 

 

  • 1 cup sliced ripe banana (about 2 small or one medium/large)
  • 2 cups lightly packed baby spinach
  • 3/4 cup milk (dairy or unsweetened plain nondairy)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons melted and cooled butter (OR neutral oil OR plain yogurt)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • Mini chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and grease a standard-size muffin tin well with nonstick spray.

  • Place all ingredients into a blender except the flour and chocolate chips, if using.

  • Blend until very smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowls as needed. You want the greens to be very finely blended in so the batter is green, as if you were making a smoothie.

  • Pulse in the flour just to combine, or stir it in gently.

  • Pour batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each cup about ¾ cup full. Sprinkle with chocolate chips if using.

  • Bake for 18-20 minutes or until firm to the touch and lightly browned around the edges. (You can also check to see if a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly.)

  • Remove from the oven and use a paring knife, if needed, to transfer to a wire rack to cool.

  • Serve slightly warm, at room temp, or chilled.

Notes

  • You can store the muffins in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days and eat cold or slightly warmed. Or store in a zip top bag with as much air removed as possible in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge or at room temperature.
  • Use very ripe bananas with brown spots for the best natural sweetness.
  • To make for a baby, omit the honey and use an additional 2 tablespoons milk. Omit the chocolate chips.
  • Dairy-free: Use unsweetened nondairy milk and using a neutral oil instead of butter.
  • Gluten-free: try King Arthur’s gluten free flour blend.
  • Egg-free: Omit the eggs and use 1½ cups sliced banana.
  • To make with frozen spinach, thaw spinach, squeeze very dry, and measure out ¼ cup. Proceed with the recipe.
  • To make as mini muffins, use a 24-cup mini muffin pan and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly.
  • To make these with kale, I prefer using kale that’s been frozen since it tastes less green. Simply wash, dry, and store it in a zip top bag in the freezer. Crush gently in the bag and measure with a measuring spoon. (I use it in smoothies this way too!) Baby spinach usually has a milder flavor when used fresh.
  • You can stir ⅓ cup chocolate chips into the batter before baking, or sprinkle some on top depending on your preference. You can also just omit them.
  • These are not crazy sweet without the chocolate chips (though my kids like them just fine!), so if you think your kids will prefer a sweeter muffin, add ¼ cup granulated sugar to the batter.
  •  

Nutrition

Calories: 131kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 4gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 154mgPotassium: 168mgFiber: 2gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 600IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 35mgIron: 1mg

Keyword baby muffins, spinach muffins



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