May 9, 2022

Wholesome Banana Muffins with Zucchini and Spinach

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Moist and wholesome banana, zucchini and spinach muffins. They are delicious. Some recipes with bananas can be heavy and dry. These muffins are light yet fulfilling. The use of warm spices are included and what you would expect from a banana muffin, but here we have better flavour and texture in this recipe.
Banana- zucchini- spinach muffins featured

What you’ll need to make this recipe

  • Ripe banana
  • Frozen spinach cube
    *Refer to Q+A
  • Zucchini
  • All purpose flour
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground flax seed
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Sea salt
  • Chocolate chips
  • Granulated sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Oil *see notes
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Special equipment: Box grater and hand mixer (it is helpful however not necessary to make these light and fluffy muffins).
Banana Zucchini and Spinach muffins ingredients.

A good muffin requires a good muffin pan. My favourite one to use is the Wilton 2105-6789 Perfect Results Nonstick 12-cup Muffin Pan.

A good muffin also requires a trusty muffin liner. My favourite muffin liners are by Bake Choice. They come in a 200 pack and a variety of colours!

Fun Fact

Bananas Musa sapientum= dessert bananas
Musa paradisiaca= cooking bananas (plantains)

Cavendish, which is known as the the dessert banana is one of the most important fruit crops in the world. The cooking banana is referred to as plantain and they have a more starchy texture than the Cavendish. Both are high in dietary fibre, potassium and other nutritious vitamins.

An extinct variety of banana that was first domesticated in Southeast Asia however, it is the Cavendish banana that currently thrives in regions of the Caribbean, India, Africa, Latin America and the Pacific.

Banana trees can grow up to 30 feet tall with leaves that reach lengths of up to 9 feet. The Cavendish banana trees are hardy and fast growers. They are ready for harvest after 10 weeks of the plant flowering which also makes them ideal for consumer consumption.

Various recipes that include bananas are so vast. That means more for us to experiment with and enjoy from pudding, bread, cake, ice cream, pie, fritters, chutney, tostones and more. What is the next recipe with bananas that’s on your culinary to do list?

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Wholesome Banana Muffins with Zucchini and Spinach


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  • Author: Jordana Eloise
  • Total Time: 32–35 minutes
  • Yield: 16 muffins 1x

Description

These muffins are healthy and delicious with bananas, zucchini and spinach. A few chocolate chips are included with cinnamon a hint of warmth and decadence. 


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 frozen spinach cube or 1/4 cup fresh spinach, washed and finely chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini (1 cup) washed and grated
  • 1 cup (120g) all purpose flour weighed or spooned and levelled
  • 1 cup (113g) whole wheat flour weighed or spooned and levelled
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/21 teaspoon ground flax seed
  • 1/81/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup (85g) chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup mixed nuts (43g) or dried fruit (70g) *optional
  • 1/3 cup (66g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (71g) brown sugar (light or dark) packed
  • 1/2 cup oil (olive oil, coconut oil-melted and slightly cooled or vegetable oil) *see notes
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Start by taking the cold ingredients (banana, eggs and zucchini) out of the fridge so that they can come up to room temperature. Then take a frozen spinach cube out of the freezer *if using and put it in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. Next, prepare two muffin tins with cooking spray or paper liners. Set aside.
  3. Then grab a medium bowl, measure and sift the dry ingredients with a mesh strainer or stir with a whisk. Mix for thirty seconds until everything is fully combined.  After that, add the chocolate chips and stir again until fully combined. Set aside.
    Dry ingredients in bowl
  4. Next, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Peel and mash the banana and place it in the medium bowl with the spinach cube. Then wash, grate and measure the zucchini (1 cup). Place the zucchini in the the same bowl with the frozen spinach and mashed banana. Stir everything together and set it aside.
    Wet Ingredient MixBlended Zucchini in bowl 
  6. Next, place the measured sugars, eggs and oil in a large bowl then stir until well blended. For a lighter crumb you should mix it by hand or with a mixer (hand or stand) until the ingredients are light and almost the consistency of smooth custard. About 5 minutes.

    Sugar, eggs, oil in bowls Mixed wet ingredients

  7. Next, add the vanilla extract and mix again until combined. Add the banana, zucchini and spinach mixture to the large bowl. Stir until well combined.
  8. Then place the dry ingredients in the large bowl with the wet ingredients. Gently fold everything until the mixture is just combined. Do not over mix, it will result in heavy/dense muffins. Divide the batter in the muffin tins. I usually use a ¼ cup measure to try and get the muffins as even as possible however, that does not happen often. I tell myself that I get an A for effort. Ha.
    Wet ingredients and dry ingredients
  9. Before placing the muffins into the oven, pour some water in the empty spaces in the second muffin tin. This will help to maintain the moisture in the muffins. By adding this extra step the muffins will not overheat and dry out. Moreover, your muffin tin should not warp and remain intact.

    Lined muffin tin with water  Muffin batter in tin

  10. Then place the muffins in the middle and bottom racks of the oven and bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Switch and rotate the tins and bake for another 7 minutes.
  11. Then, insert a toothpick into a muffin and if it comes out with a few crumbs on it take the muffins out of the oven and place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. If the toothpick comes out with a lot of batter on it, turn the oven off and leave the muffins in for another 2-3 minutes.
  12. Next, take the muffins out of the oven and place the tin on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. The muffins will keep cooking once they are out of the oven. You can always put them back in the oven if needed. If they are overdone it you cannot undo it.
  13. Then remove the muffins from the tins and place them on a cooling rack until they are cooled if you can. I never can. As they say practice makes perfect and maybe one day I will be able to be patient enough. Nah, I love warm, fresh baked muffins too much!
    Eat and enjoy!

    Baked muffins in tray  Baked muffins cooling

  14. These muffins can be stored at room temperature for three days in the fridge or for a week. They also freeze well when properly wrapped and stored in freezer-friendly bags or containers for up to two months in the freezer. Just take one out and thaw it on the counter for an hour and you have a yummy snack.

Notes

Use the type of oil that you have. If you choose to use coconut oil the texture of the muffin will result in a denser crumb. No less delicious + a hint of coconut = tropical bliss! You can also use a combination of oils. I tend to mix olive oil with vegetable oil or melted coconut oil with vegetable oil. It usually depends on the amount of oil I have in the kitchen. It just needs to equal ½ cup.

Q: How ripe should the bananas be for this recipe?
A: They should have a lot of spots. The ripe bananas will provide the most moisture and flavour to your recipes.

Q: Can I store bananas in the freezer?
A: Yes. I store a few bananas in freezer bags. The texture will be different after they are thawed however the flavour will remain delicious.

Q: Can I use fresh spinach instead of frozen cubes?
A: Absolutely. The amount just needs to equal ¼ cup before chopping.

  • Prep Time: 10–15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 17–20 minutes

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