Featured Ingredient: Spinach
Why does Popeye the Sailor Man eat spinach? We know that it’s to recharge his superhuman strength so he can win over a certain lady. Apparently, the creator of Popeye made the strongman’s main fuel spinach because it was believed back in the day that spinach was abundant in iron. Now, nutritionists know that the leafy green is not a very good source of iron and the plant contains compounds that reduce its absorption.
Regardless of its iron content, spinach is indeed a powerfood. A serving of the verdant vegetable contains an abundance of beta-carotene, vitamin K used for blood clotting and bone strength as well as folate, a B vitamin shown to reduce the risk for a number of different cancers. All the more reason to add spinach to plenty of recipes, including, surprisingly, muffins.
It’s been a long time since I made a batch of savory muffins, so when I saw an amazing idea for one with spinach, roasted red pepper and feta in the pages of Bon Appetit magazine, I knew it might just be winner. These muffins are great for packing with your lunch as they work both cold and warm. I believe they would also be wonderful with gorgonzola cheese in replace of the feta. This recipe is just another example of where you can swap out the nutritionally poor all-purpose flour for more wholesome whole wheat with great results.
Does anyone out there in the cyber world have any other ideas for tasty savory muffins?
Savory Spinach Feta Pepper Muffins
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup sugar (I used turbinado)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk or unsweetened non-dairy beverage
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 cup thinly sliced baby spinach leaves, stems removed
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers from a jar
Preheat oven to 375F. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, cayenne, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, milk and oil. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix gently until flour is incorporated. Fold in spinach, feta and red pepper. Divide among 12 muffin cups and bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden on top and a tester comes out clean. Let cool before unmolding.