These hidden veggie muffins are perfect for picky kids. They’re a tasty way to sneak in some extra nutrients. These muffins are vegan, refined sugar free, and nut free so they’re a good option for school lunches. They also freeze well so you can make them ahead of time and defrost them for a quick breakfast or snack.
Main ingredients and substitutions
I used kale in these muffins but spinach works too. Either fresh or frozen is fine. Either way, you really can’t taste the greens in these muffins.
Instead of using milk as the liquid component in these muffins, I opted for carrot juice which adds an extra boost of nutrients. The carrot juice does give these muffins a subtle hint of carrot flavor, so if you’re feeding them to an extremely picky kid then you can substitute any type of plant-based milk or traditional milk. That will result in a purely chocolate flavored muffin with no hint of veggie taste.
Unsweetened cocoa powder helps hide the veggie colors in these muffins and also masks the vegetable flavor. You can use either natural unsweetened cocoa powder or Dutch process cocoa powder in this recipe.
I used whole wheat flour in these muffins but you can substitute all purpose flour or gluten-free oat flour if you prefer.
I sweetened these muffins with maple syrup. You can substitute other liquid sweeteners such as agave or honey if you prefer.
How to make them
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, then add the chopped kale, maple syrup, extra virgin olive oil, carrot juice, and salt to a food processor or blender. Blend for two minutes, occasionally scraping down the sides of the food processor or blender to make sure the kale ends up very finely chopped.
Transfer that mixture to a mixing bowl, then add the whole wheat flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, and baking powder. Use a whisk to mix until combined.
Divide the batter evenly into a 12 cup muffin pan lined with paper baking cups.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out looking clean.
Let the muffins cool off for at least 30 minutes before removing from the pan and serving.
Storage and freezing
Store the muffins in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days or in the freezer for up to six months.
To add an extra layer of flavor and texture to these hidden veggie muffins, stir 1/2 cup each of dark chocolate chips and/or chopped nuts into the batter, if desired.
More muffin recipes to try
- These gluten-free corn flour muffins are subtly sweet and delicious.
- These applesauce muffins are vegan, gluten free, easy to make, and filling.
- These vegan buckwheat muffins are hearty and nutrient dense.
- These flaxseed muffins are a nutritious, make-ahead breakfast or snack.
Hidden Veggie Muffins
- Blender or food processor
- Muffin Pan
- Paper baking cups
- 2 cups whole wheat flour (or substitute all purpose flour)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen chopped kale (or substitute spinach)
- 1 cup carrot juice (or substitute any type of plant-based milk or regular milk)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add the kale, carrot juice, maple syrup, olive oil, and salt to a food processor.
- Blend for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the food processor or blender as needed to make sure there are no larger pieces of kale.
- Transfer that mixture to a mixing bowl.
- Add the whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder, then use a whisk to mix until combined.
- Divide the batter evenly into a 12 cup muffin pan lined with paper baking cups.
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out looking clean.
- Allow the muffins to cool off for at least 30 minutes before removing from the pan and serving.
- Store these hidden veggie muffins in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days or freeze them for up to six months.