Are you wondering yet what the point is? So, a couple weeks ago, Jenn called me worried, because she had been to the doctor's office and found out that her iron was really low. It was so low that the nurse told her that if she didn't get it up, they would not let her leave the hospital after she has the baby. We talked about how we both really don't love red meat, which has tons of iron, so I suggested drinking a green smoothie every morning.
I'm not exaggerating when I tell you I could hear the disappointment in her voice as she said "You do green smoothies too!?" It's like I had broken our unspoken pact.
After we hung up I decided to find a way for her to incorporate spinach into her breakfast in a non smoothie form. So what did I do? I followed a different trend. Baking with Greek Yogurt. At least it's not a smoothie recipe!
I actually came up with two different muffin recipes, but I'm still tweaking the chocolate banana one, so today I'm just going to share my Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins. Yes, I realize that most people only bake with pumpkin in the fall, but this about not following trends, remember.
I'm actually pretty proud of these muffins, because as I've mentioned before, bread and I don't usually get along and these don't just taste good, they are packed full of good for you stuff. Including spinach!
You are going to start by throwing some canned pumpkin, pureed carrots, or more pumpkin if your not in the mood to cook and puree your own carrots, spinach, Greek yogurt, and skim milk into a blender. It will look something like this.
PS. I'll tell you a secret that my kids do not know. I didn't actually puree my own carrots. I accidentally bought the chunky carrot baby food and my
Now, if you are making these for yourself or you happen to not have children who don't mind if they don't look quite as orange as the "normal" ones, than continue on. I know my children though, so I added a few drops of yellow and red food coloring to the mix, and the world was right again.
Dump this mixture into a mixing bowl and add some eggs, agave nectar, oil, sugar, spices, whole wheat flour (I actually used white whole wheat), and chocolate chips. Mix just until blended and divide into muffin cups. Bake and enjoy!
And If your wondering what in the world Agave nectar is and why I would use it, click here. Don't worry, it's not some obscure ingredient that you will have to drive all over town for. You can find it at most grocery stores on the top shelf of the sugar isle. I actually use it mostly to sweeten my smoothies, but I've started using it more in baking. The only reason I even use white sugar at all in this recipe is because agave nectar costs quite a bit more than sugar.
What's great about these is that they can be either naughty or nice. I've obviously given you the very nice version, but you could easily make them very naughty by leaving out the veggies, using white flour, and adding more sugar.
Sneaky Good For You Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins
In a blender combine:
1 C canned pumpkin
1/2 C pureed carrots
1 C raw spinach
6 oz plain non fat greek yogurt
1/4 C skim milk
Pour into a mixing bowl and add:
1/4 C vegetable oil
1/2 C agave nectar
1/2 C white sugar
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp ground cloves
2 C whole wheat flour
Yields 24 muffins
Mix until just blended. Bake @ 350 for 18-20 min. (I've found that my oven cooks way different than most modern ovens, so check them around 15 minutes to asses how long you will need)
My kids have been loving these for breakfast and they have no clue how good for them they really are.(compared to the muffins I usually make!) Each muffin has 4.6 grams of fat, 135 calories, 2 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, 4.6 % of the daily recommended amount of iron, and tons of vitamins.
If anyone tries these, I would love to know what you think. And I am definitely open to suggestions of improvement.