Ever since I made my Carrot, Zucchini and Feta Muffins, I’ve been on the savoury muffin train. They are a perfect way to sneak more veggies and micronutrients into your day, but in a much more fun fashion than eating raw carrot and celery sticks. You can pick up these pesto and olive muffins as an afternoon snack without the niggling guilt of hidden and unwanted nasties in your standard Choc Chip muffin from the cafeteria at work.
I’m going to be honest, the last few weeks I have felt like a human hurricane. I am racing from room to room in the house, haphazardly putting things away and stuffing them in, on and under things to ‘worry about later’. And then I’ve been racing off to work, and returning home absolutely spent. So to have a container of these fluffy, flavourful fancies in the fridge is a weight off my shoulders. When I’ve needed a snack to stuff in my handbag on the way out the door, they’ve been there waiting for me.
The Muffin Base
I have a very short list of staple ingredients in my savoury muffin base. Self-raising flour, eggs and milk of your choice. I usually have all these ingredients on hand in my pantry, meaning it’s easy to whip up some muffins when I need to prepare a snack for the week. I find the most important thing when creating batter for muffins is not to over-mix it. Over-mixing will lead to dense, compact muffins because you’ll be breaking down the pockets of air in the batter.
The Pesto and Olive Fillings
I’m going to explore a few of the filing ingredients here and talk about why I love including them in my diet. Baby spinach is rich in Vitamin A, which is an important vitamin for skin and bone health, as well as vision. As we know, leafy greens also often contain iron. The spinach is worked in to the pesto with a bit of parmesan cheese for flavour and bite.
Olives are rich in antioxidants, iron and copper, which is good for heart health. The olives in these muffins make them pack a serious flavour punch. And obviously, they would not be pesto and olive muffins without them. But keep in mind that if you’re not an olive lover (I have flashbacks to my childhood at this statement), you could easily replace this with something else. Think chunks of crumbly feta, hunks of sweet roasted pumpkin or heavenly sweet potato.
I can only hope you find them equally delicious and that they will serve you just as well as they do me.
Pesto and Olive Muffins
- 1 cup gluten free self-raising flour
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 handful baby spinach
- 1 tbsp pinenuts
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 small handful basil
- 20 grams parmesan
- 80 grams pitted olives
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius fan forced, and grease a standard muffin tray.
In a blender, combine the spinach, pinenuts, olive oil, lemon juice, basil and parmesan to make your pesto. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set it aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together your almond milk and eggs. Gradually add your self-raising flour and continue to whisk until combined.
Add in your pesto and olives and whisk until evenly distributed.
Distribute the batter between 10 holes in your muffin tray, and bake for 20 minutes or until golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean.