Spinach Quinoa Muffins are lightly sweet, healthy little green muffins, that are free from artificial colors, and filled with yummy, good for you, fruits and veggies. These healthy spinach muffins are quick and easy to make and kid-friendly, yet they’re packed with good for you foods.
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What do these spinach muffins taste like?
This is probably the biggest question in your mind when you see these green muffins. What do they taste like?
These get all of their flavor from the banana in the mix, making them like little banana muffins that just happen to be green!
Lightly sweet. Not bitter at all. The spinach just adds color and nutrition to the mix.
These have the same texture, light and spongy, like regular muffins.
But, what to call these Quinoa veggie muffins?
They could be Green Monster muffins. Those green monster smoothies were super popular back in the day. But, does anyone even remember those? These green muffins are basically the muffin form of those smoothies.
I’d like to call these muffins, “Oscar The Grouch Muffins”. Green and kind of gruff looking, but ultimately lovable and yummy!
And, at Christmas time I call them Grinch muffins! For a seasonal healthy treat!
I’ve also seen them called Healthy Hulk Muffins, which I think is super cute too! I mean, the Hulk was this big tough green guy. Or Green Machine Muffins (do you remember those Big Green Machines from way back in the day?).
And, all of these names show how kid-friendly these little quinoa muffins are. Muffins that are perfect for baby or toddlers. Toddler Muffins that are perfect for little kid hands. They’re a bite size healthy snack for toddlers or adults! Shhh, just don’t tell them what makes ‘em green.
I first published this recipe in 2012. I saw these vegetable Quinoa Muffins, and I knew they’d be perfect for the healthy eating cleanse that I was doing at the time.
There are several days where a muffin is scheduled, and what better way to increase the amount of iron (from the spinach), and protein (from the whole grain quinoa) in the diet? And, such a pretty fun color!
On the go breakfast
When needing a breakfast-on-the-go, these are an easy to grab healthy start to the day, and they give a nice boost of energy as well as nutrients.
This recipe is also a great make ahead addition to Christmas morning or as part of a special brunch buffet for Mother’s Day; it’s always nice to have a fun healthy alternative on the table, especially since the muffins are vegetarian and so yummy.
Can these be made ahead?
Yes! These can easily be made ahead for a quick breakfast or snack at any time.
They will keep for about 2 days in an airtight container on the counter.
If you aren’t going to eat the quinoa spinach muffins right away, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
For longer storage, about 3 more months, put the muffins in an air-tight container or a zip-top bag and place in the freezer.
To defrost, take them out of the freezer and pop them in the fridge overnight.
They can be enjoyed cold from the fridge, or reheat in the microwave about 20 seconds for refrigerated, and 60 seconds for frozen. You can also reheat them in the oven or toaster oven at 350° F for 5-10 minutes.
Can I change the recipe?
Absolutely! The recipe is pretty customizable.
Make these into banana nut muffins by tossing in ½ cup of chopped nuts, pecans or walnuts would be my top choice here.
Add in ½ cup mini chocolate chips to make chocolate chip banana muffins.
And, speaking of chocolate chips, these would make a fantastic mint chocolate chip muffin, that green color just lends itself to the minty feeling. Add 1 teaspoon mint extract along with the ½ cup of mini chocolate chips. Sprinkle some more chocolate chips on the top before baking for some extra pretty muffins.
Can I make these spinach banana muffins vegan?
If you’d like to make a vegan version, substitute an additional tablespoon of ground flaxseed blended with 3 tablespoons lukewarm water for the egg.
Can I substitute the sugar?
The sugar in these muffins may be replaced by an equal amount of honey or maple syrup, but this substitution will alter the texture of the muffins.
Are these muffins savory?
These are a lightly sweet muffin, and a fun way to increase your veggies, but these are not a savory muffin. If you’re looking for a savory muffin, hop on over to my Savory Spinach Parmesan Muffins Recipe. They are so good!
How to make these muffins
How to cook quinoa
You’ll need to make sure you have some cooked quinoa.
Run cold water over uncooked quinoa in a fine mesh strainer.
In a medium saucepan, add ½ cup quinoa and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Simmer about 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Fluff gently with a fork.
Once you have the cooked quinoa, either freshly cooked, or leftover, proceed with the rest of the muffins. (This recipe is a great way to use up any leftover quinoa that you may have.)
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Make the spinach puree by blending fresh spinach leaves (and you can use the stems!), and some water. Add in the banana, egg, sugar, oil, vanilla extract, lemon zest (or lemon extract), and flaxseed, and blend.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and fold in the cooked quinoa.
Fill the muffin cups. I find that an ice cream scoop or cookie dough scoop really helps to keep things even and cleaner. Those silicone muffin trays that you see in the picture above are great too! The muffins pop right out of them, and clean up is a breeze!
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Would these be ok with frozen spinach?
Frozen spinach will be much darker and denser, and I don’t know that the color will work for these muffins. I also tend to find cooked spinach to be a little more bitter than fresh.
If you do want to try it, you’re looking for 1 cup of puree, I’d start with about ½ cup of frozen spinach and some water (or milk or pineapple juice). Then see what color you get. You want a bright green color rather than a deep dark green.
If you try it, I’d love to know how it comes out.
Quinoa muffins recipes
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Spinach Quinoa Muffins Recipe
Spinach Quinoa Muffins
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Around 3-5 cups fresh spinach enough to yield 1 cup puree
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 overripe banana
- 1 egg
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Zest of 1 lemon or ½ teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- ½ cup cooked quinoa
- Preheat oven to 350° F. In you have metal muffin tins, lightly grease & flour metal mini muffin tins. Silicone muffin cups don't need any prep.
- In a large bowl, whisk dry ingredients: flours, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, and set aside.
- In a blender blend the spinach with the water. When you get one cup of puree, return the puree to the blender, add banana, egg, sugar, oil, vanilla extract, lemon zest (or lemon extract), and flaxseed, and blend until everything is uniform.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture in batches, stirring gently just until evenly distributed. Gently fold in the cooked quinoa.
- Spoon the batter into muffin cups, and bake 10-13 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry.