While we adjust to life as a family of 5, a few local moms kindly agreed to keep MiniBury readers entertained with tales and adventures from their own lives. Today Suzanne Young tells us about her passion for food and children. Suzanne is the cook at Mary Johnson Children Center in Middlebury and we can personally attest to her remarkable ability to engage children in food. Take it away Susanne!
Hello, I am the cook at Mary Johnson Children’s Center in Middlebury. At Mary Johnson Children’s Center we do lots of taste testing of new foods and vegetables with pre-school aged children. I also teach food education and cooking workshops incorporating local and seasonal whole foods with an emphasis on helping adults introduce new foods to kids.
I enjoy hiking to swimming holes in the summer, gardening, knitting, camping, and kayaking. I live in Bomoseen, VT with my two boys ages 9 and 12 who have taught me kids’ tastes change over time and what they loved one day they may turn down the next, but usually they come around again with patience.
Today, I’m going to share a muffin recipe that were a big hit last week in our toddler (18 mos- 2.5 years) classroom. They taste and look great! A Middlebury College student doing an internship for a class made them with the children for afternoon snack. I made them at home over the weekend, but had no bananas, so substituted applesauce and they came out great.
Local spinach is in season now at the Middlebury Farmers’ Market at Mary Hogan on Saturday mornings from 9:30-1:00.
Fresh local spinach is also available at the Middlebury Natural Foods Coop.
Spinach Banana Muffins
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup virgin olive oil
- ¾ cup milk
- 6-8 ounces fresh spinach
- ½ cup mashed banana (from about 2 bananas), or ½ cup applesauce
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Muffin tins (recipe makes about 24 mini muffins or 16 regular sized muffins)
- Mixing bowl
- Mixing spoon
- Rubber spatula
- Blender or food processor if available
If not: Fork to mash banana, Knife to cut spinach, Bowl for wet ingredients
- Preheat oven to 350°F and grease muffin tins.
- Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl: flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
- In a food processor or blender, place oil, milk, and spinach. Blend on high for about 30 seconds or until completely puréed. Add banana and vanilla; blend on low just to mix.
- Pour puréed mixture into dry mixture and fold together with a rubber spatula until completely combined.
- Fill muffin cups about ⅔ full and bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.