You want to add more spinach to your daily diet. Alas.. morning routines are hectic, I know. But, with a clever mix of ingredients and layering, you can make not 1, not 2 but 3 dishes from the same basic recipe.
Get a breakfast smoothie for your morning commute, a healthy snack when the munchies hit you, and a late night popsicle ready with just this single recipe. Let us see how.
Let us start with first layer – Popsicle:
Layer bananas, greek yogurt, sugar and spinach in a blender.
Blend and pour a third of the mixture into popsicle molds
Each of the ingredients listed, spinach to a lesser degree, freezes very well. Greek yogurt freezes phenomenally better than yogurt that freezes better than milk (which is rather icy).
Banana is an excellent ice-creamy fruit, as explained in the healthy ice cream post. Sugar makes frozen goods soft. Also, don’t add any extra water. If there is more water, it will freeze hard and will be unpleasant to eat.
After you get back from work, pop these babies out of the freezer for your after-dinner treat…
Next Layer – Muffin
Remember that blended spinach mixture that you still have in the blender? Pour a cup of the mixture into a bowl. Add melted butter, your mix-in’s (almonds, raisins) and stir.
Add measured amount of flour and baking powder to the bowl and mix gently until well combined.
Transfer to muffin cups and bake.
*Tip Alert* – I know that melting the butter is an additional step. But, since flour has very little fat, you need the butter for softness. The fat from greek yogurt alone won’t do.
If you want additional sweetness, add a couple of teaspoons of sugar as well.
*Temperature tip* – Unlike, say a cookie, that is small and flat, a muffin is almost a ladle full of scoop-able liquid. Which is why the temperature is on the higher range of 375F, compared to the standard 350F. You want it to puff up and cook completely, but not dry out with too long baking times.
Once baking is done, out pops these beauties:
Look how fluffy it is inside…A perfect, satisfying treat for that mid-morning hunger attack. Not too sweet, but full of flavor!!
Final layer – Smoothie:
Finally, for your instant gratification – a yummy smoothie….You will still have about 1.25 cups of spinach liquid left in the blender. Add frozen blueberries and plant based milk to make your breakfast smoothie.
Pour into your favorite smoothie container…
Now, Off you go to work….
Using a blender make 3 spinach dishes using 1 recipe
- 200 g Spinach
- 2 Ripe bananas
- 1 cup Greek Yogurt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup Base Recipe
- 1/4 cup Melted butter
- 1 cup Whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- 1/8 tsp Baking soda
- Sliced Almonds Handful
- Raisins Handful
- Leftover Base Recipe
- 2 cups Frozen Blueberries
- 2 cups Plant based milk (Any variety)
Blend all ingredients listed under Popsicle and pour into molds. Freeze for about 6 hours. Once ready, run warm water outside the molds to easily pop the popsicle out of the molds.
Preheat oven to 375F
Measure out 1 cup of the blended spinach liquid in a bowl. To this, add melted butter and mix-ins (almonds, raisins). Whisk.
Add 1 tsp baking powder, and a pinch of baking soda to the liquid. Whisk well.
Add 1 cup of flour and fold gently until fully blended. Try not to over-mix as it will make the muffin tough.
Distribute batter into muffin cups and bake in oven between 20-25 minutes. Mine got done at 21 minutes. Run a toothpick in the muffin. If it comes out clean, it is done!!
Add 2 cups frozen blueberries and 2 cups of plant milk to spinach base and blend. Pour into desired smoothie cups.
Honest reactions from the family:
This was a yummmmmy smoothie. With the addition of blueberries, you cannot even tell that spinach was there to begin with. Fantastic fruity flavor and satisfying taste of a nutritious, wholesome, yummy smoothie. All of us enjoyed it very much.
If berries are not available, you could substitute them with other locally available fruit or even carrots.
My husband and I are not typically muffin fans, but we really liked this one. The spinach flavor is mild, there is no need to try and hide it. It is very soft, fluffy and not overly sweet. Add more sugar to the recipe, if you like sweeter muffins. I like to eat them with my tea.
My kids, were a little weird-ed out by the green color. I drizzled honey on top to encourage them. Additionally, you could also blend these muffins (fresh or frozen) with some almond milk for an instant spinach smoothie. Who said you cannot blend muffins? Who made you smoothie inspector!!?? 🙂
The popsicle has sweet and slightly bitter taste combination. It will be the perfect counter-punch to end a dinner without overly binging on desserts. I was pleasantly surprised my kids ate them, after a hot day at school, although it is more likely an adult treat. I cannot assure you that your kids will like them.
Not a spinach fan…You can eliminate spinach, the recipe still works. You will have great plain-banana versions of the 3 dishes. You can even add peanut butter to make a delicious peanut butter version of these recipes as well. But maybe, over time, you throw in a handful of spinach, eh?
Share your thoughts, comments down below. As always, I love hearing from you!!