Spinach Muffins for Picky Eaters (Gluten-Free!)

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These easy Spinach Muffins are naturally gluten-free (with a tested egg-free option) and come together quickly in a blender. I love their fluffy texture and slightly sweet flavor, but I especially love how my picky children gobble them up!

spinach muffins

You should know that my 5-year-old son rarely eats anything that I make these days. Except cookies, of course. He’s grown to love the snacks they serve at his preschool, like Goldfish and graham crackers.

Because he’s been exposed to packaged snacks like those, and to some picky-eating peers at school, he turns his nose up at my smoothies (that he used to love!) and most of my homemade baked goods. My 2-year-old daughter is starting to follow suit, because she wants to be just like her big brother. Yippee.

spinach muffin ingredients

Spinach Muffins Recipe

That’s why I’m SO EXCITED about these muffins. They’re green, because they’re loaded with fresh spinach, and my son nearly ate the whole pan the first time I made them. I love how they keep him full, thanks to the fiber-rich oats, banana, and protein-rich egg.

But, let me let you in on my little secret: the key is all in how you present them.

spinach blender muffins in pan

My 5-year-old is obsessed with Ninja Turtles right now, so I called these “turtle power” muffins, and told him that Ninja Turtles eat these to stay strong. He loves to pretend to train like a Ninja turtle, so he asked me if he could have two right away. Then he came back for two more, and soon again, he wanted two more. (They’re bite-sized, mind you.)

Spinach Muffins for Toddlers

If your child is into the Incredible Hulk, or dinosaurs, or the Grinch, feel free to call these bright green muffins whatever you need to. They could be St. Patrick’s Day muffins! Or Christmas tree muffins! The options are endless.

before and after spinach muffins

The first time I made these, the whole pan of muffins was gone by the end of the day! My 2-year-old daughter had eaten several herself, and so did my husband. They’re a total hit with my family! I did sweeten them with a little bit of honey, because I know my audience, but if you prefer a less-sweet treat, feel free to cut back on that to your taste.

Spinach Muffins for Babies

If you’re making these muffins for a baby under 1 year of age, omit the honey. You can use maple syrup instead, or just add a little more banana or applesauce for natural sweetness. The more ripe your banana, the sweeter they will be.

spinach muffins in a glass jar
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4.92 from 49 votes

Spinach Muffins for Picky Eaters (Gluten-free!)

These healthy Spinach Muffins are made with fresh spinach, gluten-free oats, banana, and a touch of honey for a naturally-sweet muffin my kids love! Egg-free option included.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword gluten free, kids, muffin
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 24
Calories 47kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana (6 to 8 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup almond butter (or any other nut/seed butter)
  • 1 egg (or a vegan flax/chia egg; see note)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1-2 cups fresh baby spinach , loosely packed
  • 1 cup rolled oats (certified gluten-free, if needed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF and grease a mini muffin tin.
  • Into a blender container, add the banana, water, almond butter, egg, honey, spinach, rolled oats, baking soda, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt, in that order. (Liquids on the bottom help facilitate blending better.) Blend until very smooth, stopping to scrape the sides as needed.
  • Pour the green batter into the prepared mini muffin cups. I usually get 22 to 24 muffins out of this batch, depending on the size of the banana. If you like to measure, I use about 1.5 - 2 tablespoons of batter per muffin cup.
  • Put the muffin tin in the preheated oven and bake until the muffins rise and feel firm to a light touch in the center, about 15 to 17 minutes. The edges should turn lightly golden, and might crack a bit.
  • Remove the muffins from the oven and allow them to cool at least 30 minutes before removing them from the muffin tin. I find that using my fingers to twist them out of the tin helps them release easily, but you can also run a knife around the sides of the muffin to help get them out.
  • Muffins can be stored at room temperature for 24 hours, but I recommend storing them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 47kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 28mg | Potassium: 67mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 245IU | Vitamin C: 1.2mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 0.4mg
Per mini muffin: Calories: 47, Fat: 1g, Carbohydrates: 6g, Fiber: 0g, Protein: 1g

Recipe Notes:

  • For a vegan version of these muffins, use a flax or chia egg to replace the egg called for. No need to mix the egg ahead of time; I just add 1 heaping tablespoon of ground flax seed and 3 tablespoons of water to my blender, with the rest of the ingredients. I also recommend adding a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in this case, to react with the baking soda and help the vegan muffins rise. Instead of honey, use maple syrup. The vegan version is slightly “gummier” in texture, but still totally passable as a muffin.
  • If you can’t have oats, try adding a handful of spinach to this flourless peanut butter banana muffin recipe instead. It’s naturally sweetened and you could use almond butter instead of peanut butter for a paleo version.
  • I’m not sure how these would work in a full-sized muffin tin. My kids only like mini muffins, so that’s the only way I’ve tested this recipe. I don’t think the vegan version would work as well, with more middle needing to cook through, but the egg version might be okay with a cook time of closer to 25-30 minutes.

Reader Feedback: Do you have any other sneaky ways of getting your kids to eat more veggies, and less processed snacks? Please feel free to share in the comments below!

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Comments

SARa

Hi! Have you tried them with another vegetable like beets? My daughter loved the spinach ones!

Mia Williams

Everyone in my house loves these muffins, but I have a hard time baking them. They seem to come out with empty centers, almost like they rose with a bubble under them. Then they deflate once out of the oven and are completely flat like disks. Please let me know what I am doing wrong? I follow the recipe to the letter, but do use a silicone muffin pan. Thank you!

Alice

15 mini muffins out of the first batch were consumed by my three-year-old twins and husband in 15 minutes. They asked for more. LOL. What a great recipe!

Ivette

Hello, i made the spinach muffins today but they didn’t come out and i followed the recipe except that i forgot to add the salt. And reasons why might of my muffins come out raw?

Meredith

How long do these last in the fridge?

Suzanne

This looks delicious, thank you for sharing!

RacHel

Can you use peanut butter instead of the almond butter?

Rachel

Mine came out really watery. Any thoughts?

    Megan Gilmore

    The baked muffin was watery, or just the batter? Mine is usually pourable into the muffin pan, so hopefully they turned out okay for you!

Trish

I love these, my kids love them, and they’re my go to when I have a banana and/or spinach about to go bad. Great recipe!

Priya

I would love to try this for my soon-to-be 1 year old. But I only have instant oats. Can I use those instead?

Dana

This recipe looks yummy. I want to make it for my kids. I don’t have mini muffin tin. I only have the 12-cup muffin tin. What do you think should the temperature and bake time be for a 12-cup muffin tin? Many thanks.

Andrea

These turned out really well and were delicious, but unfortunately, my 2 year old daughter hated them. She tried them twice and did not like them at all, so I will be eating these instead!

Darci

These were easy to make and taste like a banana oat muffin. They are a little more dense than i thought, bit good! I will eat them after lunch for a guilt free treat. I will be making them again.

Carla seminario

Hi!
Do you have any recipe of red velvet muffin?? With beets??
I need to introduce vegetables to my twins!! 😱
I love you turtle muffins!!! Great combination!!! Just great!!!

Christina

Did anyone else’s come out a brownish green? Mine came out soooo not pretty green

CHelsea

Super obsessed with these! I’ve made them a few times now, and because I’m EXTRA lazy and don’t want to clean a muffin tin, I’ve just been throwing all the batter into an 8×8 pan and cutting them into 9 bars. Cooks perfectly after 20 min. I’ve also added flax seeds, brewers yeast, and chocolate chips to turn them into my own little green “lactation blondies” 😉 Thank you for this awesome recipe!

ALC

My go-to muffin recipe when baking with the kids. We call them ‘Shrek Muffins’. Everyone can help make them, cleanup is super easy, and I feel good about serving them. Thanks for another awesome recipe!

Tt

I am planning on making these tomorrow. Do you taste the spinach? Can I add blueberries to this recipe? Thank you

    Megan Gilmore

    I can’t taste the spinach myself. I haven’t tried adding blueberries– it might work? Let me know if you experiment with it!

Nikki

The absolute best! My 15 month old has been very picky with vegetables lately but she LOVES this recipe!! I feel good knowing I can at least count on her getting some spinach in if she happens to refuse everything else I offer. Also I always make with 2 packed cups of spinach and she still loves them. Thank you!

michelle

Can i use maple syrup instead of honey? if so how much would i use?
Mahalo

    Brenda Landmon

    I just did a 1 to 1 swap and it turned out great.

Shae

My toddler and I both love these muffins! I was a little concerned when they came out of the oven and my kitchen reeked of cooked spinach. My daughter adores anything muffin-shaped so she didn’t hesitate to dig into hers. She practically inhaled two of them and begged for more so I knew I needed to try one for myself. They were so fluffy and perfectly sweet. There wasn’t an overpowering spinach flavor at all, and I even put the full 2 cups of spinach in my mix. We were pretty tempted to eat the whole tray of them right then!

I loved that they were so easy and quick to make and there was very little to clean up afterwards. Thanks so much for this great recipe!

Sarah

Followed the recipe to the T and it’s a huge hit with my picky two year old! Thank you!!

Just wondering, how many mini muffins per serving for a 24month year old?

JENNa

My 4yo has spd and will not eat any veggis. We made these together and it was a success! Thankyou

    Jenna Maucher

    We did replace the egg with 1/4 of apple sauce instead.

Ellen Price

These muffins are great for adults too. We enjoy them with a bowl of soup. I make a regular size muffin rather than minis.

Carolyn kothe

Stewed vegetables with tomatoes etc was called Spider-Man Food.
Baked beans was Cowboy Stew

Alana

My whole family is in love with these muffins! This recipe has been a life saver considering I can never get my kids to eat their vegetables. I was hoping to make a double or triple batch and freeze some to save for later… would this effect the recipe at all? Thanks!

Fiona

My 8 month old loves these. I used half the amount of maple syrup and a chia egg. Thanks so much for the recipe

Delory

This is one of my favorites to give my daughter who is 19 months old!! Great way to sneak some greens into her diet! I have made this recipe sooo many times!! Thank you!

Laura

I just made these without the honey and they came out too wet… Too much spinach?

Candice Burger

I have made this recipe a number of times and it’s a huge hit with my 2.5 and 4 year old, every time!

I use natural peanut butter and a regular sized muffin pan. I bake them for approximately 30min, until the knife comes out clean/without batter on it.

We call them green Dinosaur muffins -my boys are big Dinosaur 🦕 fans and feel like this is a treat. They don’t know whats inside them and so they think its just a special green muffin.

They taste good. I enjoy them too. I bake them weekly.

Thank you so much for this recipe Megan Gilmore… my youngest hates veggies and just loves eating these!

Brenda Landmon

I just made these today for my 3.5 year old and my 10 month old. I used maple syrup instead of honey so the little one could safely have them and they turned out great! The boys both devoured them. I also added flaxseed meal and that worked fine. Thanks for a recipe that is full of so much goodness and is so easy to complete. I love that everything can be done in a blender. I will definitely have this be a part of my family’s repertoire. I’ve been having trouble getting the little one interested in anything green and this worked like a charm.

Alana

I made these muffins for my family last night and they were a hit all around! I’m hoping to make a double batch and freeze half. Would that effect the outcome of the recipe? Thank you!

Linda

My son is a “selective” eater, but when these are offered, it is a guarantee that he will eat them.

Thank you!

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