Spinach Week: Cheddar Spinach Muffins

Today’s Spinach Week recipe comes from the one cookbook I can’t live without. I am especially fond of my St. Paul Farmers’ Market cookbook. It is full of the best traits: lots of pencil notes and lots of possibility. I’m sharing a Spinach Cheese Muffin that has me saying “oooh…that sounds good” every time I flip through the pages.

I’ve adapted the heck out of the recipe, but think they’re better off in the end. Adaptations are why this cookbook rocks my world. 9 out of 10 times my gentle suggestions or crazy ideas turn out. I get to strut around with my apron strings puffed and claim, “Hah. Two points for me. I’m a kitchen genius.” This only works with the St. Paul Farmers’ Market Cookbook. Anytime I vary from the recipes in Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian” I get a burned/dried/nasty pot of yuck. Thunked on the head with an invisible wooden spoon: “Where in the ingredients list did it call for your opinion? These recipes are tested to perfection. Follow the directions you twit.”

Allow me to illustrate what happens to the muffin recipe when I “adapt” it to make it my own:

  • READ: 1 egg. Open the fridge and guess what? No eggs. THINK: I’ll just Google “egg substitutes” and make something up. 1 egg becomes 1 1/2 Tbsp. oil + 1 Tbsp. baking powder +1 1/2 Tbsp. water. That’s got to be right?
  • READ: Steam the spinach before adding it to the muffin batter. THINK: Too much work. Too many dishes. Takes too long. I’ll just chop it and throw it in raw. What could it hurt?
  • READ:  1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg. THINK:  Nutmeg is my least favorite spice. It tastes like old lady and Christmas. Let’s try Italian Seasoning instead. You can’t go wrong with Italian Seasoning. Right?
  • READ:  Add 1/4 cups of Parmesan and Swiss. THINK: If you know anything about this blog–1/4 cup of cheese is just NOT going to cut it. Ever. Let’s try a full cup and make it cheddar instead. I vaguely remember someone saying “Cheddar is better.” Then again, maybe that someone was me?

25 minutes later and out come fluffy, cheesy muffins full of deep green spinach. Out come the puffed up apron strings. Thanks St. Paul Farmers’ Market cookbook. You sure know how to make a gal feel like she can accomplish anything.

Cheddar Spinach Muffins 

Adapted from the St. Paul Farmers’ Market Cookbook 


Dry Ingredients
2 C. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1 Tbsp. raw cane sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

Spinach Mix
1/2 pound fresh spinach, washed and stems removed
1 egg replacer (1 1/2 Tbsp. water, 1 1/2 Tbsp. oil, 1/2 tsp. baking powder)
2 Tbsp. melted butter
3/4 C. milk
1/4 C. heavy cream
1 C. cheddar cheese, plus more for topping

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a muffin tin with 12 liners.
2. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients and set aside.
3. Finely chop the spinach (pieces about 1/4″ wide) and place in a separate bowl. Add egg replacer, butter, milk and cheese. Stir to evenly coat.
4. Add spinach mixture to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Batter will be thick and sticky.
5. Spoon into muffin tins (fill until level with the top of the muffin cup). Top each muffin cup with additional cheese if desired. Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and cheese on top is melted. Cool for 5 minutes on a wire baking rack before removing from muffin tin. Serve warm.


  • Eileen

    Ha, I never follow recipes either. I think that’s why I like Nigel Slater’s cookbooks so much–the recipes more or less read as lovely ideas that you can take wherever you choose. 🙂 I love how green and vibrant those muffins look–and I bet they taste just as good as they look!

  • liz

    You’re so much braver than I am. I tweak recipes in the smallest of ways, I feel! That’s why I like the More with Less Cookbook and Simply in Season Cookbook, which give alternative suggestions RIGHT IN THE COOKBOOK 🙂

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