Whenever I can find ways to pack a ton of nutrition into a few bites, I always feel like a real success. If those few bites can provide a good dose of veggies AND be eaten for breakfast, well, then I’m just winning all around. The feeling of accomplishment I have when I manage to have already polished off a serving of vegetables before 9am is huge. Smoothies are an awesome way to pack in extra nutrition without sacrificing taste, especially leafy greens. However, today, I want to introduce you to one of the most versatile and certainly the healthiest muffin I’ve ever encountered.

This muffin was born out of a friend’s desire to re-purpose leftover pulp from juicing, rather than simply throw it away. For those of you that have a juicer, feel free to do so, too. But, for those of you who do not have a juicer or don’t want to take the extra step, I tested the recipe using whole fruits and veggies instead of the remaining pulp and it was a complete success. A word of warning – these muffins WILL look a bit scary. Don’t let that fool you; they are delicious. My husband, who would eat Chipotle and Wendy’s every meal if allowed, happily munches on these, takes them to work for snacks, and sometimes even shares with co-workers. They’re a definite keeper!

Green Goodness Muffins

Makes 24 large muffins; can be frozen after baking and thawed or rewarmed in the oven

2 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose, but the whole wheat has more fiber and nutrients!)

3 Tbs honey

½ cup sugar (I use can sugar or coconut sugar for less processing and more minerals)

2 tsp baking soda

½ large pineapple, peeled and core removed, cut into chunks (or 1 8-oz can pineapple)

1 large bunch of kale (about 7 leaves), thick middle stem removed

2 eggs (pasture-raised is best)

2 parsnips or carrots, grated

1 apple, peeled and then grated

½ cup coconut oil, melted

¼+ cup chopped walnuts (if you like nuts, you can certainly add more!)

¼ cup shredded coconut

½ cup dried cranberries or raisins or both

pinch of salt

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp ginger

**you can use the pulp from one whole pineapple and one large bunch of kale after juicing if you have a juicer that removes essentially all the pulp instead of using the actual pineapple and kale as listed in this recipe.

Place your pineapple and kale into a blender. Blend until very smooth. You may need to stop and stir it a few times. If you’re having trouble because your pineapple wasn’t juicy enough, add one of the eggs and blend again. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350* F. Line 24 muffin tin cups with muffin liners. Set aside.

Grate the carrots/parsnips and apple into a large bowl. Add the egg/s, blended pineapple/kale mixture, coconut, walnuts, dried fruit, spices, and honey. Stir until well mixed. Add the flour, baking soda, and sugar. Mix until well combined. Scoop into the prepared muffin tin, filling about two-thirds to three-quarters of the way full.

Bake for 20ish minutes. Test with a toothpick; when inserted into the center of the muffin, it should come out clean when removed. Depending on the juiciness of your pineapple and apple, you may need to bake a little longer if your batter was very wet/liquidy instead of thicker/drier. Pair with a scrambled egg or some nut butter and you have a quick, delicious, and highly nutritious breakfast all ready to go!

Per muffin, about:

157 calories, 6 grams of healthy fat, 23 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein

22% of your daily vitamin A, 18% of your daily vitamin C, 6% of your daily Iron