Green Muffins Recipe -- Perfect for St. Patrick's Day | Pamela Salzman & Recipes Skip to content

Green Muffins Recipe — Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day

green muffins! | pamela salzman

I am too excited about this muffin recipe to wait until St. Patrick’s Day!  I’ve had great luck in the past using pureed spinach to turn pancakes green, so I knew I could make a green muffin.  Not only do I think these turned out fantastic, even Mr. Picky loved them, too.  Although I did tell him a little lie and said I used green food coloring and he just lit up, eyes wide, “Really?!  You did?!  Really, Mom?!  Like the unhealthy kind?!”  Honestly, I’m a little disappointed that my son actually thinks I would use food coloring in a muffin.  And just as disappointed that he would be excited to eat that same muffin.  I had to lie again.  Actually, buddy, it’s a natural green food coloring which gets its color from spinach.  Bummed out face.  I know for a minute there he thought I suddenly turned into an exciting mom, one who would take risks and dare to use carcinogens!  “Oh.  They’re still good, I guess.”

whole wheat pastry flour

puree coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, egg, milk together

And they are good!  These muffins are lightly sweet, moist, simple and BRIGHT GREEN because they are loaded with spinach!  St. Patrick’s Day is a HUGE opportunity to get green foods into your kids because they are expecting them.  You’re showing your spirit.  On any other day, green muffins are you just trying to sneak leafy greens into your kids who are not fooled.  But the closer we get to March 17th, green muffins are part of the fun!

batter made green from pureed spinach

fill about 7/8ths full

This is a very basic muffin recipe.  The spinach is undetectable and the banana is very subtle.  But if you hate banana, you might be able to sub 1/2 cup of applesauce.  I think adding walnuts or chocolate chips would be great, too.  One of my daughters suggested cream cheese frosting, although then these become cupcakes which is fine, too.  These tasted best the day they were made and the next day, too.  They lasted just fine a few days on the countertop in a sealed container, but I would freeze what you don’t think you’ll eat within a couple days.  Let me know if you make these and if you get lucky!

Green muffins! |Pamela Salzman

green muffins | pamela salzman

4.2 from 13 reviews
Green Muffins
Serves: makes 12
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, white whole wheat flour or spelt flour (or use 2 cups of King Arthur Multi-purpose Gluten-free Flour + 1 teaspoon xanthan gum)
  • 2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon fine ground sea salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup pure maple syrup (Grade A or Grade B)
  • ¾ cup dairy or non-dairy milk (such as almond milk)
  • ¼ cup unrefined coconut oil, melted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 5- or 6-ounce bag of fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with unbleached parchment liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a blender add egg, maple syrup, milk, oil, vanilla and spinach.  Process until pureed.
  4. Add spinach mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.  Fold in the mashed banana.
  5. Scoop batter into prepared muffin tin, filling cups about ¾ full.  I like to do this with a large ice cream scooper.  Bake about 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Store at room temperature up to 3 days.  These freeze nicely!

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  1. I followed the recipe as written using Spelt flour which was a recommended alternative in the ingredient list. Unfortunately this must have changed the hydration of the dough and no matter how long I baked the muffins for they remained gelatinous and raw on the insides. After doubling the baking time with still no success I gave up and threw them out. Ugh.

    • So sorry these didn’t turn out for you, Alyse. In my experience, a raw interior has to do with the leavening agents being expired or mis-measured or swapped (baking soda for baking powder or vice versa.) I have made these muffins countless times with spelt flour and they have always turned out perfectly.

  2. Hi! I used to make these all the time (for Halloween) and my kids (and I) love them. But now I’m vegan and I’m wondering if I can sub a flax egg???
    Thanks 🙁

    • I meant – lol

    • That’s so great to hear! I think a flax egg will work here. You can take 1 Tbs. ground flax meal and mix with 3 Tbs. warm water. Allow to sit on the counter for 10-15 minutes before adding to the batter.

  3. This is a wonderful recipe, thank you for providing it!
    Regarding freezing the muffins, how would I go about that exactly? Once the muffins are cooled, just place them in a freezer zip top bag? When ready to be consumed, how long does it take to defrost? Is it recommended that the muffins be defrosted on a countertop or in the refrigerator? Thanks for any insight! 🙂

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it! To freeze muffins, I like to wrap each one individually with plastic wrap (after they have completely cooled) and place them in a resealable bag or container. When ready consume, remove the plastic wrap and defrost at room temperature or in a microwave/toaster oven. Muffins usually take about an hour to defrost at room temp or 30 seconds if you are warming them in the microwave.

  4. Is it possible to sub almond flour for this recipe?

    • Unfortunately, you can’t sub nut flours for wheat flours. I would look for an almond flour muffin recipe and blending fresh spinach with the wet ingredients.

  5. These are soooo good I make them all the time and such a great way to give my son some spinach! My bananas are not ripe enough so I want to try subbing applesauce. Would it be an equal exchange? About a cup and a half of applesauce folded in at the end? Thank you for another homerun recipie!!

    • That’s so great to hear! You can try using 1/2 cup of applesauce for the 2 bananas called for in the recipe. Enjoy!

  6. do you have the nutrition info for this recipe?

    • Sorry, I don’t.

  7. So…. talk to me about what the importance or significance is with the ALUMINUM FREE baking powder??

    • I use aluminum-free baking powder because I don’t want to consume additional aluminum in my diet and baked goods won’t get a metallic taste.

  8. My Mr. Picky loved these, his problem isn’t spinach, it’s cooked bananas! My older son loves banana bread/muffins, but the younger doesn’t like cooked bananas, go figure! I also always add flaxseed to my muffins, so at least I felt like Mr. Picky was getting a load of vitamins and fiber!

    • Great idea! Apple sauce is a great alternative to the mashed bananas for a more subtle flavor.

  9. Could I cut the maple syrup down to a half of a cup?

    • You can. Since the maple syrup helps provide moisture, I would check the muffins a few minutes early so they don’t dry out.

  10. Hi, what can I use if i don’t have maple syrup? would i need to increase the amount of oil or milk? Thanks

    • Honey or date syrup can be subbed one for one in place of the maple syrup.

  11. Hi Pamela,
    Is there a good substitute for the xanthan gum when using gf flour?

    • I haven’t tested these subs in this recipe, but guar gum and psyllium husk powder are often suggested as substitutes for xanthan gum.

  12. Can I use oat flour?

    • Probably! I would measure 2 cups and take out 2 Tablespoons since oat flour is more water soluble

    • It’s worth a try! I think it should work fine.

  13. Is there any reason not to purée the bananas in the blender with all the other wet ingredients? Thanks!

    • You could! It will make the texture very smooth. Go for it!

  14. Can you add blueberries inside or put a streusel on top of the muffin? I’m trying to make a muffin that looks a bit more “icky.”

    • You mean less icky?? LOL You can put chocolate chips on top or sprinkle the tops with plain blanched almond flour which will look streusel-like?

  15. Just made these with my 5 year old daughter and they were a hit with the whole family! Perfect snack filled with goodness.

    • Yay! Feel free to make them NOT on St. Patrick’s Day now that they passed the test! 🙂

  16. Is there a good substitute for coconut oil? Olive oil? Applesauce? We can’t use coconut anything due to an allergy. Thank you!

    • Try olive oil! I’m sure they will turn out amazing!

  17. Just tried for the first time Wow, delicious!! Any idea on a calorie count? (For Mom, not child ) thanks!

    • Glad you like them! Sorry, I haven’t calculated calorie count. My blogger friends all refer their readers to My Fitness Pal for calculating calories and macros. I hope that helps!

  18. So, I wanted to make these for my son’s class as a treat for St. Patrick’s Day. I made a batch first to test them out to see if 3rd graders would eat them. I thought they were excellent and decided they would be perfect. (We really aren’t allowed to bring in homemade treats because of allergies but I can’t stand bringing in anything processed so I just make sure I make things that everyone can eat). My own kids loved them and my son’s class, with a few exceptions, loved them too. Camden could not wait to tell everyone that the muffins had spinach in them. I also made a little skewer of grapes and honeydew. These muffins were simple, tasty and so easy to make. The color was amazing. We have some new St. Patrick Day traditions thanks to you.

    • You’re a good mama. Just say no to processed food! I don’t think these muffins are all that difficult to make and I’m sure you would agree. Thank you for spreading the health!

      • Just a little note here….I made these for my mom to take on the airplane with her this week and the daughter of the person she was visiting loved them. I passed on the recipe and she can’t wait to make them for her family.

        • Thank you for sharing my recipes with so many people. I wish I could hire you as my agent!

    • Can you let me know the nutritional Value for these? Thank you!

  19. Hi. How many cups spinach? I have a big box..

    • If you have a 1 pound box, you can eyeball 1/3 of the box, or measure out 6 cups lightly packed.

  20. Hello from Australia. We made these for St Patricks Day last year and sent them to my daughter’s primary school. The mothers all asked for the recipe, as the kids had talked about the bright green muffins when they went home! Some kids had NEVER eaten spinach before!!!!! This year my 3 year old is making them together with his classmates at Preschool as an activity for St Patricks Day, they are so easy as you just put everything in a blender, and have low sugar so the Preschool liked the idea! Great recipe and photos!

    • Thank you for the lovely email. I so enjoyed reading it and what a gift you are to your son’s school!

  21. I think these are amazing… But for those who are intereste very very sweet. Next time I’d do far less syrup.

  22. these were so good and my kids loved them. i have done all different variations of “normal” flours/wheat germ and sugar/maple/applesauce sweeteners and it always turns out great. very easy to adapt.

    Also, i just blend the banana into the blender and then pour into bowl and the texture is always perfect.

    thanks so much. my kids are OBSESSED with this muffin….. 1 year and 2.5 years old

    • i am sorry i tried to leave 5 stars but it wouldnt allow it! i didnt mean to leave two stars 🙁

      • No worries, but thank you! I love all your adaptations of this recipe. Such a healthy breakfast/snack for your littles!

        • I just made another batch today… kids are now 2 ans 3.5 and still obsessed….by far their favorite muffin. this batch has 1/2 wheat and 1.2 regular flour and for sweets i did 1/2 cup applesauce and 1/4 maple. they love it every time.

          • Nice work, mama!

  23. These were so good and a hit at the office today! Thank you and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

    • So great to hear! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  24. I´ve done these for today´s S Patrick day, I used 50gr spinach and about 60gr cellery leaves, not really because I wanted to try something new but because I didn´t have more spinach and my garden is full of cellery :). I also substituted coconut oil for a bit less than 1/4 c butter, 2 tsp baking powder for 1/2 baking soda (1 tsp soda altogether) , and milk for plain yogurt plus 1 tbsp lemon juice to make the soda work. The result was delicious, the bananas, cellery and spinach turned out to combine great in a mildly sweet muffin, and they elevated pretty well despite the soda replacement. Great recipe for today thanks

    • I forgot, I also substituted 3/4c. maple syrup for about 1/3c honey 🙂

    • Wow! This is an incredible adaptation of the recipe. Love it!

      • Can you use frozen spinach? Only asking because I have some.

        • Maybe! If you try it, I would defrost it and squeeze it dry. I’m just not sure how much to use and if the color will be as vibrant green as it is with fresh spinach. Probably not, but maybe that’s not a big deal.

          • Ok thanks 🙂

          • I know these are old comments, but my kids and I have made these many times and we often use frozen spinach. They turn out great, just not as green! Making a batch (with fresh spinach) for my son’s kindergarten class for St Patrick’s Day tomorrow.

            • So great to learn! Thanks for sharing.

  25. Any ideas for substitution if I only have one banana?

    • You can try adding 1/4 cup applesauce plus some additional sweetener, maybe another 2 Tbs. dry or wet sweetener.

  26. I plan on making these for tomorrow (THANK YOU!). Think I could substitute either 1 cup of applesauce or another banana for the egg? Thanks!

    • Why don’t you try a flax egg? 1 Tbs. ground flax meal mixed with 3 Tbs. warm water. Allow to sit on the counter for 10-15 minutes before adding to the batter. Otherwise, 1 cup of applesauce sounds like too much to use in place of 1 egg. Another banana might work though.

  27. I made a double batch of these with 1.5 times the leavening agents. I had some doubts on the product as they were very wet on the inside, even with a longer baking time. However, my daughter’s preschool class was thrilled with the result, including my wonderful daughter who normally won’t touch anything green with a ten foot pole. Thanks so much for the recipe!

    • Glad it worked out. But they were wet on the inside because you doubled the recipe but only multiplied the leavening agents by 1 1/2. Next time if you make a double batch, double all the ingredients! 🙂

  28. Can I double this recipe?

    • For sure!

  29. Is there a substitute for unrefined coconut oil? It’s such a small amount and rather than buy a whole bottle just to try these….thanks!

    • Sure! You can use olive oil or melted butter.

  30. would whole wheat flour that is not pastry flour still work?

    • Whole wheat flour is a bit coarser and heavier than whole wheat pastry. I would use half whole wheat and half white, otherwise they may come out a little dense and heavy. Even 2/3 whole wheat and 1/3 white.

      • Thanks! They are great! Do you know how many calories are in each?

        • Not sure! You would have to plug the recipe into a calorie counter.

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I come from a large Italian-American family with 28 first cousins (on one side of the family!) where sit-down holiday dinners for 85 people are the norm (how, you might ask – organization! But more on that later …).

Some of my fondest memories are of simple family gatherings, both large and small, with long tables of bowls and platters piled high, the laughter of my cousins echoing and the comfort of tradition warming my soul.

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