I’m feeling mean green today. In sixth grade, my friends and I would do silly things and one of the things that I did (among other crazy kid things) was perform rap songs. To my friends, I was once “The Mean Green Rapper Crapper” because I was a wannabe rapper and my favorite color was green. So silly, but those were the days of being crazy kids. I was influenced by those times as I was developing a new muffin recipe and an accompaniment to it. I was thinking of using green things that are good for your insides so that they do their job well (LOL yes, alluding to my former rap name). I love zucchini bread and muffins, but wanted to use a different green veggie. Cruciferous kale is big nowadays, so I decided to try it out in a muffin recipe along with banana, apple, and pineapple, which are often found in green smoothies. When I wanted to stop my coffee and caffeine addiction a couple of years ago, I started having tea or a green smoothie instead, often with kale and a few fruit pals. Moreover, I love matcha green tea in green smoothies so I added it here in this recipe. The pistachios are a nice addition as well. Going with the green theme, I also made pistachio milk, which, when paired with these green smoothie muffins, is a mean & green, yet delightful combo. 😀
These look like zucchini muffins, but a bit greener.
Monstrous green muffins! For the adventurous souls.
Here’s the kale. I used Tuscan kale, though any type of kale would be fine, even spinach. You want it very finely chopped in the same way as when you finely chop herbs. If you use a food processor, don’t process it too much that it becomes a puree. Pulse it. You don’t want to liquefy the kale at all.
To make the pistachio meal a very fine consistency, I blend it with the brown rice flour called for in this recipe. This makes a superfine flour mix for a nice and soft cake texture in the finished muffin.
I also tested out some toppings: banana chips, homemade kale chips, pistachios, and pineapple chips.
For my first attempt, I used too much kale and the muffins were too green. The best topping were the chopped pistachios. Because this muffin is nice and moist, the other toppings lost their crunch later on. Plus, pistachios looked the best.
Second attempt with less kale. Looks more like zucchini bread batter. This was much better and not too green.
I used 1 teaspoon of matcha in this batch, which gives a more assertive green color. I think it would work best with just 1/2 a teaspoon. The good thing about gluten-free baking is that you can mix or add a little of something to the batter after it is already mixed because you don’t have to worry about overworking and toughening the batter. Also, if you don’t want a green muffin, you could make a chocolate variation and add cocoa powder. I would start with a tablespoon, mix the batter, and adjust to taste.
These gluten-free muffins are pretty tasty and they have a nice level of moisture. I guess they fall under the “quirky” category like this cookie recipe that I previously posted.
Kale, Banana, Pineapple, Apple & Pistachio Muffins aka Green Smoothie Muffins
adapted from my previous post on Butternut Squash, Carrot and Hazelnut Muffins which was adapted from Whole Living
Makes 1 dozen muffins
- 3/4 cup brown rice flour
- 1/2 cup raw pistachios, chopped
- 1/2 cup millet flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon matcha powder (or 1 teaspoon for a more assertive color)
- 3 large eggs (or flax egg gel substitute: 3 tablespoons ground flax mixed with 6 tablespoons of warm water)
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons evaporated cane sugar
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (can also use orange zest)
- 1 medium sized banana, mashed
- 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup kale, finely chopped
- 1 cup drained crushed pineapple (don’t squeeze out all the moisture, just let it drain off)
- 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios (for topping)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
- Using a spice grinder or food processor, pulse 1/2 cup of chopped raw pistachios with 3/4 cup of brown rice flour to make a superfine pistachio-brown rice flour blend. You may have to do this in batches.
- Dry ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together the brown rice-pistachio mix, millet flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
- Wet ingredients: In another bowl, whisk eggs for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy. Then whisk in the brown sugar, cane sugar, coconut oil, vanilla, and lemon zest until thoroughly combined, whisking for about 2 minutes. Fold in the mashed banana and apples auce.
- While mixing, slowly add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix until well combined. Add the remaining flour mixture and stir until blended together. Fold in the kale and crushed pineapple until combined.
- Spoon the batter into the paper-lined muffin cups, filling about 3/4 full. Sprinkle with the chopped pistachios and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out clean and crumb-free. Cool on a wire rack. Serve and enjoy!
- Variation: you can add 1 cup of blueberries (use the smaller wild blueberries if you can find them as they are ideal for baking) and bake an extra 5 minutes.
I love pistachio ice cream and this milk reminded me of it. It didn’t need too much added sweetness. I just used a shake of stevia for each serving. What’s fun about making your own nut milk is that it doesn’t take too much time and you could customize it with flavorings of your choice. No need for a nut milk bag either, just use a very fine mesh strainer with the finest holes you can find. Then use the remaining pulp (dry it in the oven on lowest setting for a couple of hours, stirring often) for the muffin recipe!
Makes about 3 cups
- 1 cup raw pistachios, shelled
- 3 cups water
- Soak pistachios overnight (optional step). Rinse. Using a blender on high speed, blend the pistachios and 2 cups of water.
- Strain the liquid through a very fine mesh sieve.
- Place the remaining pulp back into the blender and add the remaining 1 cup of water. Blend on high speed.
- Strain the milk one last time and add any flavorings or sweetener to taste.
9 Flavoring options – (do you have any to share?)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or a vanilla bean
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4-7 drops oil of cassia (Potent stuff! So, start with 4 drops and add a drop at a time until you reach desired taste)
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1-2 tablespoons rose water
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- Eggnog style: 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg + 1 teaspoon natural rum extract
- 1 teaspoon matcha powder
- 1-2 tablespoons cacao powder
Okay, these muffins are not camera shy.
This is a muffin that’s quirky in terms of the ingredients used and colors. The pistachio milk was surprisingly creamy like a good nut milk and easy to make. Pretty good in a latte (decaf for me). I enjoyed them, but then again I like to eat and drink green things. Try it…if you dare 😉
- Carrot and Hazelnut Muffins…with a hidden ingredient (foodflavorfascination.com)
- Simnel Muffins (makeseedobe.wordpress.com)
- Beet Kale Smoothie: Purple Color and Very Green (bestfruitsmoothies.com)
- Avocado Almond Muffins (runhunny.com)
- Recipe: Corn Shoot Smoothie. (floweryprose.com)
- Green Smoothie. (healthykiwif.wordpress.com)