Welcome back from the long weekend, friends! I hope you had a GREAT Labor Day! If you’re like me, you might be in need of a little motivation to get back on the healthy train after a weekend of eating just a few too many desserts…
So it seemed like the perfect time to share this recipe for NINJA TURTLE MUFFINS! My friend Courtney gets credit for calling them this (or at least she’s the first person I heard call them such!) She said when you stick Ninja Turtle in the name, kids just automatically associate them with cool. And boy was she right! (Never mind the fact that neither of my kids have ever even seen an episode of Ninja Turtles to my knowledge… They’ve only seen like 6 episodes of PJ Masks ever in their lives, none of those six times being the the recent past, yet Wilson insists that he wants his next birthday party to be PJ Mask themed… To each his own?!)
Anyway, back to the muffins. They’re “Ninja Turtle” because they’re green. That’s it! The green comes from all the spinach in them. And they are sugar and white flour free, so you really can feel good about your kid wanting like three muffins in a row! I have adapted this recipe to be just a teeny bit healthier, so I’ll share my version below!
Here’s what you need:
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 to 3 cups fresh organic spinach – uncooked (could also add shredded carrots, shredded zucchini, or shredded yellow squash (all raw) to really pack it full of veggies!)
1 ripe banana
1/3 cup Maple Syrup, Organic, Grade A
2 tablespoons Unrefined Organic Coconut Oil
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup almond flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Here’s what you do:
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Put the first seven ingredients (applesauce, egg, vanilla, spinach, banana, maple syrup and coconut oil) in a blender or food processor and blend.
3. Combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt) in a mixing bowl.
4. Add the wet spinach mixture from blender to the dry ingredients.
6. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet until combined. You can use a spoon or spatula.
7. Scoop the batter into greased muffins tins.
8. Bake at 350 degrees (12 minutes for mini-muffins or 17 minutes for regular-sized muffins).
A few notes:
1.If you’re wondering if Maple Syrup is a healthy switch for sugar, the answer is mostly yes! It does still contain sugar, but less than your typical refined sugar. Plus, it contains antioxidants as well as several vitamins and minerals. Read more about maple syrup and its benefits here!
2. If ever I’m out of a jar of applesauce, I use squeeze pouches. We always have some on hand! I’ve used the cinnamon applesauce and the strawberry applesauce and they both work great! Don’t let the fact that your on-hand squeeze pouches aren’t plain throw you off. They’ll work! You’ll need more than one, but not a full two pouches, so I usually just let whatever kid is closest by finish off the remainder of the second pouch.
3. I’ve been topping the muffin batter, once scooped into tins, with a little sprinkle of kosher salt and a few more oats. Seems to make it more fun, and salt always compliments sweet extra well in my opinion. (This is a step on which Lily Ryan always wants to lend a hand. A very heavy hand, at that. So you’ll notice that the oatmeal is pretty concentrated on several of these muffins! But I would never let her be in charge of the salt sprinkling. Ew. Could you imagine?!)
4. I usually double the recipe because it is slightly involved. If you’re gonna do one batch, why not just do two?! Which leads me to my next point…
5. They freeze well. So go for three batches if your heart leads you there.
I hope you and your kids love them as much as my kids and I do! They are absolutely delicious and are so good for ya 🙂
Along the same lines of my kids loving Ninja Turtles and PJ Masks with little to no exposure to them in their little lifetimes, my niece is obsessed with Elsa, yet has never seen Frozen. So funny!! Kids really are the most hilarious little things! If their classmates like a cartoon, I suppose they start liking the same ones? (Surely all of Wilson’s classmates are huge fans of VeggieTales and all the Charlie Brown holiday specials if my theory holds true…) Are any of your kids in love with a show they’ve likely never seen?! I would love to hear! And please let me know if you try the muffins! Would love to know if you/your kids love them as much as my kids and I do!
// purchase of the week: a bigger backpack for Wilson to take to school! //