Sweet potato and spinach muffins (gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, oil free)

Last week, Little Monkey had an AWFUL cold.  Poor guy was congested with so much drippy, sticky crud, yet somehow remained in good spirits, with a whole lot of energy in between sleeps to boot. We tried to lay low and keep away from others so as not to spread our germs, but we didn’t exactly have a ton of “down time”. It was more like, hyper and sometimes fractious play at home followed by mommy trying to work  here and there, typing with one finger while holding and rocking a tenderly clinging tot.

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Luckily, this week Little Monkey bounced back like sunshine. Crud and cough “all done”, as he likes to say in adorable lilting tones accompanied by palms-down hand gestures. Unfortunately, I caught what I hope is a much milder case, still enough to warrant pulling out the Neil Med bottle. What it all amounts to though, is two weeks have now passed during which this super, handy and nutritious muffin recipe has just been idly sitting in drafts.

These started as yet another knockoff of those quinoa banana muffins I can’t stop making and/or adapting. Only this time I wasn’t in the mood to use flour, not even quinoa flour. So I tried just oats, added an extra egg, stuffed in a bunch of vegetables, and it worked! A little more prep is involved than with the banana muffins and ensuing knockoffs, in that I used the food processor to grind up the oats (so yeah, I guess I did go with flour…but really just floury oats). You also have to pre-cook the sweet potatoes, which I did while prepping a tray of mixed roast vegetables for dinner. As a result, some broccoli and red pepper sneaked in the muffin tin, too, all the more proof of the easy versatility.

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I won’t pretend these savory muffins have the same automatic allure for Little Monkey as their sweeter counterparts, but he does like them, and I love them. They take so little time to make, even with the sweet potato prep, if you plan it right, and they’re so portable. They work for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and a side at dinner; warmed or straight out of the fridge, veggies-on-the-go.

Looking back through recent posts, I realized that this blog records our cooking successes in the way Facebook shows off vacations–making life appear all sand, surf, and celebration. We’re so happy with the generally adventurous eater Little Monkey is, but there are majorly picky spells, too. Some days all he wants is blueberries…and eventually I stock up on blueberries only to have them thrown in the dog’s bowl, popped down the side of the fridge, into the bath tub…anywhere but into the mouth. One thing that almost never fails, though, is “boo”, his endearing term for “bread” that we can’t seem to keep from adopting, too. When I can fashion “boo”  we both like out of mostly vegetables, quickly, and with ingredients easily on hand, it’s a win worth keeping and repeating. Hope you have fun playing and “winning” with them, too.

 

20150303_130031Sweet potato and spinach muffins
Makes approximately 9 muffins

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup cubed sweet potato, cooked *
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups spinach, chopped
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Place oats in a food processor and pulse until mostly floury.
  3. Transfer oats to a mixing bowl and whisk in baking powder and soda.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  5. Spoon batter halfway to 2/3 full in prepared muffin tin. Bake 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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