15 min prep, 1 bowl, healthy and nutritious and cheesy Spinach Cornbread Muffins are great for babies (baby-led weaning) and toddlers (and you will love them too)! Perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner or as an afternoon snack.
Spinach must be one of my favorite vegetables. Not only is it very, very nutritious but it has this subtle taste that makes it a great ingredient in almost any meal.
That's precisely why I often use it in pasta sauces, risottos, pancakes, smoothies and baked goodies. And muffins are one of them. To take a bit of a twist on muffins I tried these with corn flour and they are absolutely delicious!
The idea came from a traditional Balkan peninsula meal called "proja". Usually it is made with polenta but you can also use corn flour. And as I know that polenta is not really available all around I tested them with corn flour and they worked great!
You can serve them as a delicious breakfast, healthy snack (that you can even take on-the-go) or part of a healthy lunch or dinner. AND they are freezer-friendly.
Your baby / toddler will love these (and so will you).
Nutrition And Ingredients
- As already mentioned, instead of corn flour you can also use polenta - the result should be pretty much the same
- Corn flour is gluten-free flour so can be consumed by people intolerant to gluten
- It contains good amounts of the vitamin B6 as well as minerals like magnesium and phosphorus. It's also a good source of dietary fiber
- I prefer to use spelt flour to wholewheat flour because it is digested easier and has a higher nutritional value
- Since we want these muffins to rise while baking I couldn't really use wholewheat flour so white spelt flour was my next best choice
- Spelt is a good source of calcium, magnesium and zinc and provides a good amount of dietary fiber
- Most of my recipes have whole milk as an ingredient because I mainly make them for my 22-month old son, but it is easily substituted with a lower fat version or plant-based version
- It is high in protein, fat, calcium and calories so a great ingredient to use when needing to boost up the calorie and nutrition content of toddler meals
- I used plain drinkable yogurt here but you can also use a more firmer version (we have tried this recipe with goat's yogurt and they turned out great)
- It is a great source of calories, fat, protein and calcium
- You might have noticed that I rarely use sunflower oil and almost always go with olive oil in baked meals. That's because olive oil has a wonderful nutritional profile and provides a huge amount of healthy fats in comparison to other oils
- When possible, use extra virgin olive oil because it is made through a process that ensures the maximum nutrients
- When choosing eggs I always tend to choose either organic ones or free-range ones as here I can be sure that the chickens have not been treated with any hormones, antibiotics or preservatives
- Eggs are a great source of B vitamins, especially choline as well as protein
- Use fresh spinach leaves here and not frozen spinach, otherwise the batter might become soggy and it won’t bake or form as easily as with fresh spinach
- Filled with minerals such as iron, potassium, and magnesium but also vitamins A, C, and folate
- You can really use any kind of shredded cheese of choice here. I prefer to use shredded mozzarella cheese just because I find it healthier than other options. We have also made this recipe using full fat shredded goat's cheese
- It’s a great source of fat, protein, calcium and calories
At What Age Can I Give This To My Child?
This is suitable for 6 months + if you are baby-led weaning. The crust may be a bit too hard but you can remove it and just serve this inside which should be nice and soft like bread. This is subject to you testing all the allergens beforehand (egg yolk, egg white, cheese, flour).
If you started with puree then once you transition to finger foods you can cut these for pincer grasp (size of pinky fingernail) or, when ready, let baby hold and eat the muffin whole.
Wean With Confidence
This is so much more than a recipe book. This is a full weaning plan written by a PhD nutritionist for your child's entire first year, based on the latest science. This will take away the mental load of wondering if you're feeding your child the right food. It's what we wish we had when we were weaning our own children.
How To Make Spinach Cornbread Muffins
Prepare the oven. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F.
Start making the batter. Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl. Add the yogurt, milk and olive oil to the eggs and mix. Mix in the corn flour, spelt flour, salt and baking powder and mix until a smooth batter is formed.
Add the spinach and cheese. Wash the spinach leaves and chop into small pieces. Add the chopped spinach and shredded cheese into the batter by gently folding it in with a spatula.
Bake. Line a muffin tin with muffin cups. Fill the muffin tins about ¾ (they will rise during baking). Bake for about 45 minutes, based on the strength of your oven. When you insert a knife inside, it should come out clean.
Cool and serve. Once finished, remove the muffin cups from the muffin tin and leave to cool before serving.
Tips & Tricks For The Perfect Muffins
Use muffin cups. This is always a must if you are not using a silicone muffin tin. I know that for some of you this is logical but I've had people asking me why they can't remove their muffins from the tin and it took me a while to figure out that they didn't line it with muffin cups. With silicone tins it's much, much easier because you can easily scoop them out. We use these silicone muffin tins and they are great.
Don't over mix the dry ingredients, spinach and cheese. When adding the flours, salt and baking powder into the wet ingredients mixture, make sure to mix them in gently. If using a mixer, I'd say about 20 - 30 seconds is enough. Or you can gently fold it in with a spatula. When adding spinach and shredded cheese, always use a spatula. Preferably a silicone one.
Don't over fill the muffin tins. Sometimes it's just easier to fill the muffin tins all the way up rather than wait for the first batch to be baked and then use the silicone muffin tin for those 2 extra that you have the batter for. But if you do that the muffins will "explode" from the muffin tin while baking. The trick is to fill them about ⅔ or ¾. This will allow enough space for them to rise while baking and get that proper muffin shape.
Possible Spinach Cornbread Muffins Variations
Vary your cheeses. As I already mentioned, you can really make these Spinach Cornbread muffins your own by choosing your own type of shredded cheese. Instead of shredded mozzarella you can use any kind of hard shredded cheese.
Bake them in a baking tin. When I don't have the time to nicely arrange the batter into 16 muffin tins, I just use a 10 x 10 inch (25 cm x 25 cm) square baking tin and place the batter inside. It also takes about 45 minutes to bake and once cooled I just cut them into 16 square pieces. So really it's just Spinach Cornbread then :).
Mix your flour. That's the spelt flour, not corn flour. For this recipe to be a cornbread you need to use corn flour or polenta. But you can choose any other flour that has the ability to rise while baking instead of spelt flour. Usually this is white wheat flour or semi-white wheat flour. If you do use another one that I haven't mentioned let me know how it turns out in the comments below.
Other Baked Veggie Recipes
Spinach Cornbread Muffins
- 200 g corn flour 7.05 oz
- 200 g spelt flour 7.05 oz
- 200 mL whole milk 6.75 fl oz
- 300 mL yogurt 1 ⅓ cups
- 150 mL olive oil 0.6 cups
- ¾ tbsp baking powder
- 3 eggs
- 100 g fresh spinach 3 ⅓ cups
- 120 g shredded cheese 4.2 oz
- pinch salt omit for babies under 1
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F.
- Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl.
- Add the yogurt, milk and olive oil to the eggs and mix.
- Add the corn flour, spelt flour and baking powder and mix until a smooth batter is formed.
- Wash the spinach leaves and chop into small pieces.
- Add the chopped spinach and shredded cheese into the batter by gently folding it in with a spatula.
- Line a muffin tin with muffin cups.
- Fill the muffin tins about ⅔ way through (they will rise during baking).
- Bake for about 45 minutes, based on the strength of your oven. When you insert a knife inside, it should come out clean.
- Once finished, remove the muffin cups from the muffin tin and leave to cool before serving.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.
- Freeze in an airtight container up to 3 months.
- To reheat you can microwave for 30 seconds or place in an oven at 180°C / 350°F for 10 minutes.