- There was no sugar
- They were bright green because they were laced with spinach
The moment we tasted them, we knew we neeeeeeeded the recipe. Once you’ve tasted them, you too won’t be able to stop making these muffins.
Oh, yes. And one more amazing thing about these muffins… we adore spinach so it’s no surprise that we love these muffins. But we know someone who does NOT adore spinach; yet he loves these muffins.
Tracy’s Spinach and Cheese Muffins
based on a recipe in Tracy’s CSA box
- fresh spinach
- ¼ c cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 c boiling water
- ⅓ c skim milk powder
- oil, for the muffin tins
- 1 c whole wheat flour
- ½ c Graham flour ¹
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 Tbsp fresh Italian herbs, chopped finely ²
- 1½ c cheese, grated ³
- some goat’s cheese (optional)
- 1 egg, beaten
- Parmesan cheese, grated (optional) 4
- Wash the spinach well. Put washed spinach into a colander. Sprinkle with a small handful of salt. Toss to mix and set aside to drain for about 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes has passed, take a third of the spinach and squeeze it out with your hands til it is quite dry. Discard juice. Put the ball of back in colander as you queeze the other two thirds of the spinach. Once all, the spinach has been squeezed, squeeze it all again, always discarding the juice. Do this 3 or 4 times in total. Set aside in a bowl and refrigerate UNcovered if not using right away. 5
- Put the butter cubes into a medium sized bowl (ideally one that does NOT retain heat very well). Pour boiling water over top and stir until the butter is melted.
- Whisk in milk powder.
- Turn the oven to 350F.
- Oil twelve muffin tins. Set aside.
- Take enough of the squeezed spinach to fill a cup measure. Chop it finely. Set aside.
- Using a wooden spoon, stir dry ingredients together well in a largish bowl. Stir in the grated cheese and herbs. Set aside.
- Stir beaten egg, spinach and goat’s cheese (if using) into the egg mixture.
- Pour the egg mixture into dry ingredients. Stir just enough to mix together.
- Evenly distribute the batter in the greased muffin tins. Sprinkle each muffin with grated parmesan, if using.
- Place the muffins on the top shelf of the oven and bake at 350F for about 20 minutes until they are golden brown and a skewer poked in the centers comes out clean.
Allow to cool for a bit on a rack before removing from the tins. Serve warm. More butter is nice but not necessary. These muffins are delicious with goat’s cheese as well.
1. Graham flour The “Graham Flour” I bought at our health food store is a mixture of hard whole wheat and whole rye. But it appears from reading that normally, Graham flour is simply 100% whole wheat flour. (Please read more about Graham Flour here.)
2. Italian Herbs I used fresh basil and even though Tracy’s recipe called for fresh herbs, I threw in some dried oregano and dried tarragon.
3. Cheese Tracy’s recipe calls for cheddar. I used a combination of cheddar and gouda (because that’s what we had in the fridge.
4. Parmesan Cheese We rarely buy actual Parmesan cheese now. For a fraction of the price of Parmesan, we buy the not unreasonable Portuguese substitute “Ilha Branca”.
5. Salted Spinach Tracy’s recipe calls for 3 cups fresh unsalted spinach and ½ tsp salt. But we had some salted spinach in the fridge already so I used that and simply omitted the salt from the recipe (I don’t know if the butter in her recipe is salted or unsalted, but decided to use unsalted butter anyway. I suspect that olive oil could be used in place of the butter and the muffins would be equally delicious). Spinach that is preserved in salt, squeezed out and stored in an uncovered bowl keeps for at least a week in the fridge. It retains its beautiful green colour as well as being disinclined to turn to mush when cooked. I often toss some at the last minute into whatever stir-fried vegetables I’m using when making pasta sauce.