This recipe was originally posted on the 9th August 2016, but was updated with new photos and reposted on the 10th of May 2017. For the original photos, scroll to the bottom of this blog post.
Today, I decided to get you back onto the healthy wagon having tempted you with these killer chocolate chunk cookies, heavenly rich thick milkshakes and perfectly cooked French fries. We’re going to try and be healthy, okay? I’d also like to debunk this myth that healthy and tasty are mutually exclusive. These spinach and feta pesto muffins are everything you could ever want: an extremely light crumb, bursting with flavour in every bite and extremely filling. Loaded with the super food spinach, these could not be any healthier. It just happened to be a coincidence that these muffins are also sugar-free.
1. It turns Popeye into a superhuman.
Are you hoping to increase your gains in the gym? They say that abs are built in the kitchen and not the gym, so look no further than this lean green muscle building machine! Spinach: taking Popeye from 0-100 in 0.4 seconds since 1929.
Meal planning tip: make these muffins on a Sunday and freeze them. Defrost as needed for a grab and go breakfast.
2. It’s loaded with all sorts of great things such as iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B2 and folic acid. What that means for you: increased energy, stronger bones and lower blood pressure.
3. It can be used to make these bomb-ass muffins
The only thing I can fault spinach for is how much it shrinks. Uncooked spinach is roughly 25% water. That explains why this happens whilst making these muffins. I used my Simple Spinach and Parmesan pesto to give these muffins that lovely dark green colour. It only takes 5 minutes to prepare the pesto, but if you’re seriously short on time then you don’t have to make it.
- 2 and ½ cups self-raising flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup chopped fresh spinach or 1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp spinach pesto, homemade or store bought (optional)
- ¾ cup feta cheese, cut into cubes
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease 12 muffin cups, you can also line them with parchment paper to give it a more fancy look. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and paprika.
- Add the milk, oil and eggs to a separate smaller bowl and whisk until combined. If you’re using fresh spinach, add it to a colander and pour boiling water over the spinach until reduced in size by about 50%. Now squeeze the spinach to get all the water out. By the time you’re done squeezing, the ball of spinach you’ll be left with will be no bigger than a child’s fist. Carefully add the reduced spinach to the egg mixture and stir until the spinach is incorporated. Add the parmesan cheese.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the egg mixture into the middle. Use a rubber spatula to mix the two together to obtain a thick batter. Drop the tablespoons of pesto into the batter and gently stir it in to yield a dark green colour. Don’t be tempted to mix the pesto completely in, it’s okay if there are streaks of it in the batter.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool at room temperature for about 10 minutes before consuming warm. These can also be eaten at room temperature. Store in a cool dry place for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month. To reheat, microwave on high for 40 seconds or place in a warm oven at 200°C for 5 minutes.