Spinach Pesto Muffins
I love a good muffin. They work great for a busy life, especially with kids, where you can just grab one to go. Or freeze until you need one. But the majority of the time you go to the bakery, starbucks, grocery store, and they are filled with lots and lots of sugar.
These muffins are quite the opposite, as they are packed with loads of spinach and basil. Serve alongside your dinner, have as your main course at lunch or even breakfast. They are quite filling and very tasty. I love them warm out of the oven, but Hudson says they work good cold too.
For the pesto:
1/2 cup-3/4 cup basil leaves (I prefer 3/4, but honestly 1/2 does the job too)
2 cloves of garlic
1/8 cup pine nuts (walnuts are a great replacement here)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
(using a premade pesto here is 100% ok, believe me, I get it. or use your own pesto recipe, I often go back and forth with whether to add lemon zest and juice. so do what works for you)
In the food processor, add the basil, garlic, nuts, salt and pepper. Mix until combined. While still mixing, slowly add in the olive oil until creamy. Parmesan cheese can be added in and mix. Taste, adjust seasonings, set aside.
For the spinach:
1 (10oz) package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed
The night before, or earlier that day defrost spinach either in the fridge or on your counter. If short on time, you can microwave for a few seconds. Make sure to hand squeeze out the extra liquid, there will be a lot. You want it as dry as possible, otherwise the water will make your muffins soggy, not moist. yuck. Set aside.
For the batter:
* You can use 3 cups of all purpose flour or you can go up to 1 1/2 cups of each. I do not recommend using more whole wheat flour than all purpose flour.
2 cups all purpose flour *
1 cup whole wheat flour *
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, beaten
2/3 cup olive oil
1 cup milk (whole, part or skim, whatever you have on hand will work)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare muffin tin with cooking spray or butter.
In a large bowl sift together all 3 cups of flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a medium bowl, beat 3 large eggs, add in olive oil, and milk. Stir in the thawed spinach.
Make a well in your large bowl in the middle of the dry ingredients. Add the egg spinach mixture and fold everything together. Once combined, add in the pesto and mozzarella and continue to fold in with a spatula. You want it combined but try not to over-mix.
Fill your muffin tins, I like to use a ice cream scoop. Place in oven and cook for 20-25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on rack for 5 minutes.
We had these for dinner served warm. Lola and Hudson enjoyed it for their breakfast, while Jake took his for lunch. They work for everything!