Mini spinach muffins with banana are 100% whole grain and a kid favorite. They make a perfect school lunch and the extras freeze beautifully.
Oh how my kiddos love these spinach banana mini muffins!
They always want at least 4 and usually 5 of these pretty little green muffins. Did I mention that they are under 4 and under 2 years old?
No wonder I feel like I make these ALL the time.
But when it’s quality ingredients and a good source of fruits and vegetables and whole grains, it’s hard to fight it. (And I've got a note in the recipe card about how to make these with honey so they are naturally sweetened too.)
Plus these mini banana and spinach muffins are so pretty and they smell absolutely amazing when they are baking.
Please do sneak one for yourself because they are scrumptious!
These make a lovely finger food for toddlers, too. (I avoided giving my kids anything with sugar or sweeteners in it before they turned 1, but you could give these to a baby otherwise.)
They also freeze really well, so I always have some on hand to pack for school lunches. Which is why I wrote the recipe to make so many! I figure while I'm at it... 😉
I like to pair a few of these muffins with a bowl of yogurt mixed with fruit, a side of fruit - usually raisins or grapes - and their milk. I know they are feasting well.
These banana spinach muffins even work great on their own as an afternoon snack. Shoot, you could call them breakfast since it's a little like a green version of banana bread muffins!
Bake up some of these mini-muffins and try them on your family today. I think they'll be a new favorite!
Spinach-banana mini muffins
Moist and beautifully green, these are a healthy kid and adult favorite!
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- scant ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup olive or canola oil
- ½ cup plain yogurt (or Greek yogurt)
- zest of one lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 medium ripe bananas
- 2 cups packed baby spinach leaves
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the oil, yogurt, lemon zest and vanilla.
- Mash the banana and add to wet mixture.
- Blend the spinach leaves in a food processor until very finely chopped. Add to the wet mixture and mix to combine everything well.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir until just combined. Don’t over mix.
- Spray a large mini muffin tin with cooking spray.
- Spoon the batter into each cup, filling them all the way to the top.
- Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the muffin tin and let cool. Store in the fridge, or freeze for later use. They freeze beautifully!
Note: I've also made a naturally sweetened version of these using honey in place of the sugar. You can replace the sugar with a full ⅓ cup of honey and then use just 2 tablespoons of oil, to balance the amount of liquids. Everything else is the same and they came out great!
Adapted from Fun & Food Cafe.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 53Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 109mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 2g
I never thought to put banana and spinach together - genius. Perfect for the school lunch boxes.
You must try it - it's SUCH a good combo - plus so healthy 🙂 I've always got some of these on hand for school lunches!
Lauren @ Create Bake Make
What a great recipe for the kids! My boys would LOVE these.
Thanks Lauren! We are HUGE fans. I've always got some of these stored away in the freezer to send in for school lunch. So easy, so yummy, so healthy - we all win!
These sound delicious. Would they taste ok without the sugar, since the bananas would be sweet? I try to avoid adding sugar to my sons food. Thanks!
Yes Amanda, you can omit the sugar for little ones. I didn't give mine anything with sugar until they were at least 18 months. For kids that haven't had it, these will be perfectly sweet without, though I sub in 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce to keep everything balanced. Let me know how he likes them!
Hi do you use fresh or frozen spinach? Thanks these sound scrumptious!!
Hi Glady! I use fresh, raw spinach. It's chopped up in the food processor then folded into the muffin batter. Gives them such a pretty color and a little boost of nutrition. My little ones adore these little muffins (and so do I!)
These look perfect for adding some green to my toddlers diet. My husband has celiac, do you have any idea what you could sub for whole wheat flour to make GF? Thanks!
Yes, my kids ADORE these little green muffins! I think you should be able to use a standard all-purpose gluten-free flour mix in place of the white whole wheat flour here. Would love to hear if you try it!
I just made these with King Arthur's gluten free flour blend and they are delicious.
So happy to hear you loved them Pam! And great to know about the gluten-free flour substitute - thanks for sharing!!
So glad I found this recipe! My one year old doesn't get much spinach, but she loves these! I also made a batch with beets and beet greens and she also loves them, and they're a pretty fuscia color! Thanks again!
I'm so happy to hear that Kellie! And I love your beet version! My kids love beet hummus (http://www.familyfoodonthetable.com/beet-hummus/) so I'll have to try that for a new muffin idea! Happy holidays to you!
How did you incorporate beets? Fresh or frozen? Shredded?
I used fresh beets. I cooked them and then removed the skin. And cut and blanched the greens like the spinach recipe suggests. Then I put the beets in the food processor until puréed, then put the greens into the food processor. I didn't use a full cup of beets since they're a little more wet than spinach, but it was probably 3/4 cup of beets and 3/4 cup of greens. The color is fun, and not really very beet tasting!
That's awesome - thanks for sharing! I also just posted a berry-beet-broccoli smoothie that my kiddos have been happily slurping up recently. http://www.familyfoodonthetable.com/berry-beet-smoothie-with-broccoli/ Have a great weekend!
These are so good! I made them last night, stashed them in the fridge and had some for breakfast this morning. Really good, not too sweet and makes you feel like your doing something good for your body when you eat them. Kids liked them too!
Yay, I'm so happy to hear that Laurie! Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend!
these look delicious. my daughter is allergic to dairy and egg. do you know if i can use a substitute, or simply leave out the yogurt and eggs, and perhaps add some (how much?) apple sauce?
Hi Natasha! My daughter had a cow's milk allergy until she was 4, so I feel you. I used to make these with her goat milk yogurt back then. (I found it at Trader Joe's.) You could also substitute with a coconut milk yogurt or soy yogurt. As for the eggs, I'd recommend substituting with an egg substitute or flax eggs (made with flax seeds and water to give them the same binding texture). I hope you try these muffins!
My son as a dairy allergy as well, but he does fine with it in baked things. Where do you find soy yogurt?? Ive been searching with no luck!
Also, I put all of the ingredients (other than the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt) into my large 32 oz Ninja mixer cup and blended it all together. Then mixed into the dry ingredients. Just a tip to save a step or two!
Hi Molly! I use goat milk yogurt that I buy at Trader Joe's. You could substitute a coconut milk yogurt or other vegan alternative if you can't find it, though it may change the flavor a bit. And that's great that he can tolerate milk baked-in - makes it more likely he could outgrow it! My daughter could do that by age 3 and then by 4, she was allergy-free! Also, love your tip about just blending it all together. I make these ALL the time and will definitely try it that way next time!
I know I've made these before and my son loved them. But now I can't find the actual recipe on this page. Am I blind?
Hi! I'm sorry, I've just switched recipe plugins and there seem to be some tech glitches. They are looking into it now. That recipe appears to be showing up at the very bottom of the post - underneath the big Pinterest image. (Hopefully will be moved back up soon once they figure out what's wrong.) Sorry for the inconvenience!
Has anyone tried these with regular whole wheat flour instead of the white whole wheat flour? Would I use same amount?
Hi Cecilia! You can certainly substitute regular whole wheat flour here. It's a bit more dense, so I'd suggest using just a bit less than the 2 full cups for this recipe.
These look perfect! Do you think I could use canned spinach that's been rained instead of fresh?
Hi Rachel! I think canned, cooked spinach would not work here. It has a different texture/flavor/moisture level than using fresh spinach. Hope that helps!
How do you prepare to eat when you remove from the freezer?
Hi Laura! I usually put them in the refrigerator the night before and then they are ready to go by morning! (In fact, I just took some out of the freezer for my kids' lunch tomorrow.) You can also take them out of the freezer and pop them in the microwave (start with 20-30 seconds for a few of the mini muffins at a time) if you want to eat them immediately. Hope that helps!
Hi there! I'm hoping to make these muffins today! I realized I only have 1 large ripe banana though, do you think that will be okay vs 2 medium ones? Should I add something else with it? Also, will regular all purpose flour work with this recipe in the same measurements?
Thanks! Can't wait to try these!
Hi Jocelyn! You might be OK with 1 big banana. You also could add a little applesauce or some extra yogurt if needed. And yes, regular all purpose flour will work just fine here too in the same amount. Hope you love these!
Thanks so much! I'll try some added applesauce! I'm going to make them right now! 🙂
I hope that substitution worked out! Would love to hear what you thought!
Hi, I would love to make these for my daughter. I saw I can sub the sugar for applesauce. Do I need to add the salt? I'm trying no added sugars or sodium in her diet. It's tough to bake without it though.
Hi Amber! I didn't do any sugar for my kids until 18 months and no salt until at least 12 months, so I feel ya... if she is used to that, you can certainly leave the salt out here. As for the sugar, I would substitute more mashed banana (or half banana, half applesauce) so that it's not too bland. However, that will add a bit more liquid so you'll need to increase the flour a bit to compensate. Hope that helps!
I have a ton of muffin recipes (almost all the others are naturally sweetened with honey or maple syrup) if you want to check them out. My kids were both muffin munchkins (and still are at ages 6 and 4!) https://www.familyfoodonthetable.com/category/muffins/
These apple cinnamon quinoa breakfast muffins are super healthy and have just 1/4 cup maple syrup, which you could substitute with applesauce for your daughter: https://www.familyfoodonthetable.com/apple-cinnamon-quinoa-breakfast-muffins/
Happy baking! 🙂
Would i be able to use frozen chopped spinach instead?
Hi! No, I don't think frozen spinach would work because that is cooked spinach, which would change the flavor quite a bit and also have a different water content than using the fresh (raw) spinach.
What could be used as a substitute for the yogurt? I cannot use a dairy free yogurt because most are also processed in facilities that also process nuts.
Or could I leave the yogurt out?
Hi Sara! I have used a goat's milk yogurt (when my daughter was still allergic to cow's milk) for these muffins but I'm not sure about any other substitutions. You would need to replace the yogurt with something- maybe half applesauce and half milk of choice? I'd love to hear if you try it!
how would these work if i used Self Rising Flour. I dont have any whole wheat flour. And what could i trade for the yogurt? i dont have any plain yogurt. thanks for any tips!!
Hi there! Self-rising flour includes baking powder, so you can just leave that out in the recipe if you're making that substitution. I'm not sure about substituting the yogurt. You could try half milk and half applesauce but I can't vouch for the results. Hope that helps!
Omg I made these muffins and they are so good. My 4 and 2 year old boys loved them. Going to make them all the time.
I'm so happy to hear you and the boys loved them Cynthia!! They are a MUST in our house - my kids still eat them weekly!
Hi, What about with Baby cereal? Is there any way to incorporate that into this recipe? I have so much left.
Hi Janet! I've never tried making this with baby cereal, so I'm not sure how that might turn out. However, if you are talking about leftover baby food purees, I have a whole post on different ways to use them up: https://www.familyfoodonthetable.com/ways-to-use-leftover-baby-food/ And turning them into homemade squeeze pouches is an easy way to go too: http://www.familyfoodonthetable.com/homemade-baby-food-pouches/ I hope that helps!
hello, i made muffins. i halved the ingredients for smaller batch, and it worked well. i just tasted one even before cooling down. yum... it was so good that i thought i should write a thank you note.
Aww, thanks! I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed them! They are a serious favorite in our house! 😊
Hi, My grandson is a terribly picky eater. I’m trying to make him the most nutritiously loaded food I can find,(he’s 17 1/2 months old). Would almond flour work well with these muffins?
Hi Peggy! I hope he goes for these muffins! My kids are now 7 and 5 and they still eat them every week! 🙂 I've not baked with almond flour before, so I'm not sure how that would turn out. I would think it would be OK, they may just not rise as much. Would love to hear if you try them!
I just put these in the oven but forgot to put yogurt in 🤷🏽♀️ Hopefully these then out lol
Hmm, that may change them a bit, since they won't have the same consistency or amount of wet ingredients, but I hope they still taste good!
These look so good! I bet kids love the green color too!
They are definitely a fun and colorful muffin! 🙂
Thanks for sharing! Do they keep long?
Hi! They keep for 1-2 days at room temperature. After that, I like to put them in the fridge (I do that with any baked good that uses banana). They'll be good for another 3-5 days in the fridge. They also freeze great - for up to 6 months. Hope that helps!
It looks delicious. Is there any way to substitute the yogurt. My son is allergic to milk.
Hi, yes! My daughter had a cow's milk allergy until she was 4 and I used to make these for her with goat's milk yogurt. (I bought it at Trader Joe's.) I think a soy or coconut milk yogurt would work too, but it might affect the flavor a bit. I hope that helps!