Recipe: Spinach and Walnut Muffins
Wondering what these beautiful green muffins are made of? It's spinach! Here's a unique Spinach and Walnut Muffin recipe that you and your kids will love. It uses nutritious and immunity-boosting ingredients like spinach, walnuts and milk products. And your muffins are sure to come out both soft and delicious. So let's enjoy a healthy tea time!
150 gm raw spinach
150 gm (1.25 cup) whole wheat flour
50 ml (1/5 glass) milk
50 gm (1/5 cup) curd
60 gm (1/3 cup) ghee
100 gm (1/4 cup) honey
2 tbsp finely chopped walnuts
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
(Tip: For better results, weigh all your ingredients using a kitchen scale.)
(using 7 cm (2.8 inch) hole muffin pan)
Nutrition Value (per serving):
Energy: 247 kcal
Protein: 6 gm
Carbs: 33 gm
Fats: 12 gm
Fibre: 4 gm
Steps to prepare the ingredients:
1. Rinse the spinach well.
2. Put some water in a large pot and bring it to a boil. Put the stems of the spinach in the hot water, and keep for 30 seconds.
3. Then soak the leaves of the spinach, and continue to boil for 30 seconds.
4. Remove the hot water. Soak the spinach in some clean water. Squeeze and drain.
(Tip: This process of blanching the spinach helps preserve its nutrients.)
(Note: After this process, the weight of the spinach will reduce from 150 gm to around 100 gm.)
(Tip 1: It is recommended to wash and boil the spinach properly before using it to remove chemicals from pesticides, small insects, and oxalic acid on the spinach. Depending on your constitution, eating too much oxalic acid may cause kidney stones. But don’t over boil the spinach or soak it in water for a long time to avoid nutrient loss.)
(Tip 2: You can store any excess boiled spinach in the freezer, and use it anytime later.)
5. Blend this spinach, milk and curd to a smooth puree.
Steps to make the dough:
1. Put ghee, salt and honey in a bowl. Mix them well.
(Note: You don’t need to warm and melt the ghee. Soft ghee and honey can be combined by themselves.)
2. Sift the flour and baking powder. Add 1/3 of this mixture to the bowl, and mix with a spatula.
3. Add half of the spinach puree, and mix until combined.
4. Add half of the remaining flour and baking powder mixture, and mix lightly.
5. Add the rest of the puree and mix lightly.
6. Add the rest of the flour and baking powder mixture, and mix it until the flour completely dissolves.
Steps to bake the muffins:
1. Preheat your oven at 170 degrees centigrade for 5-10 minutes.
2. Take a muffin tray, and grease the holes with ghee or oil, or line them with cupcake liners.
3. Put the dough into muffin tray holes. Sprinkle each muffin with loads of chopped walnuts.
4. Bake for around 23 minutes. If they need more time, bake them for 3 more minutes, or until they turn slightly golden on the top. Don’t over bake, or the beautiful green color of muffins will change to light brown.
5. Set aside to cool down.
Your Spinach & Walnut Muffins are ready!
Know Your Ingredients:
Spinach is a superfood because of its high nutritive value. It is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron, and calcium. Vitamin C plays a role in fighting viruses and bacteria that invade the body and helps boost immunity. Vitamin A makes the nose and throat stronger. It is best to have spinach is winter, because winter spinach is richer in these nutrients. Vitamin C contained in winter spinach, for instance, is 5 to 10 times the amount in summer. Spinach is also low in carbs but high in insoluble fiber. This type of fiber helps in digestion. Spinach has a host of benefits. It can reduce oxidative stress, promote eye health, fight cancer and regulate blood pressure.
Walnuts provide healthy fat, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Omega-3 fatty acid contained in walnuts increases the flexibility of body cells, and activates the brain functions. Walnut skin contains many types of polyphenols, such as catechin, tannins and ellagitannins. These polyphenols make the signal of the immune cell stronger, and boost immunity. Walnuts have a high antioxidant activity. This activity helps to fight oxidative damage in the body, including damage due to LDL (bad) cholesterol which causes heart diseases and brain infarction.
Whole Wheat Flour
Compared to refined flour, whole wheat grain flour is not stripped of valuable nutrients and has many health benefits. It is fibrous and a complex carbohydrate that slowly converts to glucose in our body and keeps us full for a longer time. Fibre also helps lower cholesterol as well as move waste through the digestive tract. Whole wheat flour is also rich in vitamins B-1, B-3, and B-5, along with riboflavin and folate. It also has more iron, calcium, protein, and other nutrients than refined flour.
Curd is a great probiotic that contains good bacteria for a healthy gut and helps in the proper functioning of the digestive system. Curd is also a good source of protein. It helps prevent infections and improves overall immunity. Curd is rich in calcium and phosphorus, which are good for healthy bone and teeth. Curd can also help reduce high blood pressure.
Pure honey is rich in vitamins B1, B2 and C, and minerals. Oligosaccharide contained in honey is good for the intestines. Keeping a good condition of the intestines is related to boosting immunity. Unlike refined sugar, honey also has antioxidant properties. So honey is a better than refined sugar as a sweetener.
This recipe has been contributed by Chie Hirayama, Dietician and Certified Diabetes Educator (Japan).