Ahhhh….the joy of raising foodie kids! New and interesting is their chant and I’m most happy to comply. Then there is a never-ending stream of friends coming over. Between group studies, play dates, movies, extra curricular activities, all the comings and goings, they need to be fed and fast.
I’m always looking for healthier snacks for home, a balance of sweet and savory. These muffins fit the bill perfectly. They are so darned easy to make and easy to eat. Make a batch in the morning, it lasts through the day. While all muffins are best on the first day, these make do make great leftovers. Store them in refrigerator and reheated in microwave or OTG ( toaster oven) the next day. You can eat them as is or slather them with a dip or serve as a side to your meal. They are lip -smackin’ good!
They have enough cheese to keep kids interested but not an overload. To pump it up nutritionally there is spinach! You can add a healthy dose of nutrients to any dish with spinach. Since its loaded with good quality iron, it helps to restore energy, increase vitality and improve the quality of the blood. It’s also rich in vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C and many minerals. Because of its excellent taste and health benefits, it’s a very popular vegetable the world over.
Salty, tangy, crumbly feta cheese is wonderfully delicious here. It pairs beautifully with spinach…one of those classic combinations. If you use a slightly firm variety, it won’t melt into gooey nothingness. Instead it will hold its shape and texture and every bite will have chunks of this creamy cheese . Bits of jalapenos, olives and sun-dried tomato really make these muffins sing!
It’s really important that you grease and flour the muffin tray well. Trust me, I learnt the hard way…..Its no fun eating muffins stuck in a pan!!! Use a knife to loosen the edges before turning them out. As the bottom of these muffins can be a bit soft, do place them upside down on cooling rack. Don’t worry, 10 minutes of this firms them up nicely. You could use any cheese instead of cheddar in this recipe. I used regular cheddar in one batch and sharp cheddar in another, we loved both!
All purpose flour – 170 gms
Whole-wheat flour – 160 gms
Baking powder – 2 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Chopped spinach – 200 gms
Sun-dried tomatoes – 50 gms, diced fine
Jalapenos – 20 gms, diced fine
Olives – 30gms , diced fine
Milk – 330 ml
Oil – 100 ml
Egg – 1
Grated cheddar cheese – 40 gms, plus extra for sprinkling on top
Feta cheese – 120 gms, cut into small pcs
Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease and flour a 12 cup muffin tray.
Sift the flours, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add the spinach, olives, sun-dried tomatoes , jalapeno and grated cheese. Mix well.
Separately, whisk together milk, egg and oil. Pour over the flour mixture. Stir well. Add the feta and gently fold in.
Spoon mixture into prepared pans. Sprinkle some extra grated cheese and bake for 35 – 40 min or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
Turn out on a wire rack after 10 minutes or so. Serve warm or at room temperature.