Friday, September 26, 2014

Hidden Veggies: Kale Muffins

I love eating things that are both healthy and tasty and I think this combo that comes together as kale muffins fits that description to a T! It started out as an experimental recipe, adapted from a spinach muffin recipe I had made before. As I"m typing they are out of the oven, and a couple are in my belly.

It's September and there is still a lot of kale in my garden. I do like to freeze some to add to soups throughout the winter, but I have a lot. For some reason my mom and I are really good at growing kale. Peppers never turn out so well for us, but we can raise kale with the best of them. This year we had both curly and dinosaur kale in the garden. For this recipe I used curly but I'd swap out any variety any day and bet it wouldn't make much difference.

The muffins turned out just how I like them. A little sweet, with a hint of banana. I recall teh spinach ones being a little brighter green, but the slightly more dull color doesn't bother me. If you're looking to "trick" kids into eating a green muffin, I might go with the spinach instead. Swap it out, tit for tat, no problem.

Here's how I made them...

6-7 cups fresh kale leaves, washed and roughly chopped with stems removed
1 cup almond milk
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted just enough to be a liquid.
2 ripe bananas
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup quinoa, cooked and cooled
2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup slivered or chopped almonds, walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Using a stick blender in a large bowl, puree kale with milk and oil. (This part starts off slow but picks up speed as more kale turns to liquid. Regular milk is just fine if you don't have almond milk.) Add bananas and vanilla and continue blending to combine. Add quinoa, stir to combine and set aside.

Combine next six ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk or stir to combine. Add dry mixture to the kale mixture and stir until just combined. (If batter is very thick and dry, add an additional splash of milk.) Add nuts and stir gently to combine.

Drop 1/4 cup batter into greased muffin tin. Bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Expect about 20 muffins.

Enjoy and let me know what you think!