We have been super busy making delicious spinach muffins with ingredients straight from our community garden here at preschool!
Did you know that back in the day there was a comic book hero called ‘Popeye’ who was a sailor known for his super-duper strength? Want to know what his secret weapon was? SPINACH!! When he ate a tin of spinach, he became super strong. Spinach, is in fact, one of the most nutritious vegetables. It’s high in iron, which helps build red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen through the body and provide energy. Spinach is also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin K, and vitamin C.
Rasela our Head Teacher in Te Ruma Ako had planned a fun and yummy activity with the children in her room. They have been taking great care in watering our community garden and now get to reap the benefits of all their hard work.
First, they had to go and select the spinach they used for their recipe – which your very lucky as I’m going to share this fantastic recipe with you all here too! After washing it and ensuring it was clean and dried, they set off on making the muffins adding all the other ingredients too. How lucky are we to be able to harvest fresh spinach from our beautiful lush community garden! Don’t forget if you are wanting some spinach or anything else we have in our garden you are more than welcome to come help yourself at any time, that’s what it is there for!
During this delicious activity there are many great learning opportunities for the children.
For, example they learn about mathematical concepts like counting, weight, measurement, sizes and they develop hand eye coordination and muscles, solve problems, estimate, predict and compare. Are you wondering how these math skills fit into baking muffins? Think about when you are putting ingredients into the bowl you are measuring the amount to put in, or when you have to weigh the butter or even when you have to estimate when they have finished cooking – these are all mathematical concepts and our wonderful children here at Preschool are empowered through these learning experiences. There are other great skills they develop such as social competency, like learning about taking turns with their peers as they mix the ingredients in or when they have to wait patiently for their turn, these are all social skills that help build their peer relationships and interactions.
Another learning opportunity that happens during baking activities like this one is they get to build on their communication and vocabulary skills as they learn new words, listen and follow instructions and express their delight in their achievement in baking yummy muffins! So much learning happening during one fun baking activity.
Here is the Spinach muffin recipe for you to try at home – these make great lunch box snacks too.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup milk
½ cup chopped spinach (make sure to squeeze out all the water)
1 cup grated cheese
Step 1: Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Lightly grease 12 cup muffin cups.
Step 2: Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a mixing bowl.
Step 3: Stir the melted butter, egg, milk, spinach, and Cheddar cheese together in a large mixing bowl until evenly blended. Slowly stir in the flour mixture to form a batter. Spoon about 2 tablespoons into each muffin cup.
Step 4: Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 35 minutes.
Additional things you can add is chopped ham, some onion powder, or swap the grated cheese for crumbed feta cheese. These can be eaten cold or warm and go great with some home-made tomato relish.
We hope you enjoy this as much as we (the teachers and children) have enjoyed making and eating them! If you need spinach we still have plenty left so feel free to pop on down to our community garden to help yourself.