*UPDATED POST* This post was originally published in March 2017. The original post and recipe remains the same, but I’ve updated the photos.
They’re mean. They’re green. They’re delicious! Introducing my baked Green Monster Donuts….packed with spinach and sweetened with banana and agave syrup, they are a fun way to feed your family some greens! Your little ones will be so excited by the idea of eating a donut, they will not even question why it’s green; however, if they do, you can just tell them the leprechauns did it.
St. Patrick’s Day is less than a week away, and although it’s my usual tradition to serve up some green pancakes for breakfast, I thought I would try something different this year. It took a couple of tries, but eventually I hit the perfect ratio of spinach to sweetener. I promise, your wee ones won’t even know there is spinach in these donuts! These donuts come out light and fluffy, tasting a lot like a banana muffin.
If you’ve read my Baked Strawberry Buttermilk Donuts post you’ll see my tried and tested donut pan in use. I bought this Wilton Nonstick 6-Cavity Donut Pan a couple of years ago have never looked back. There is nothing better than baking your own set of donuts on a weekend morning, and they’re inevitably going to be better for you than the deep fried donut-shop kind!
These donuts are super easy to whip up; you start by pureeing fresh spinach with a very ripe banana (the riper the better), almond milk (or other milk), agave syrup, avocado oil and an egg. You can substitute the agave for honey, or even regular white sugar. If you do use sugar, be sure to add it to the dry ingredients rather than in the blender.
After you’ve got a nice green milkshake – pour it into your dry ingredients and stir slowly to combine. Do not overmix!
To make your life a bit easier, transfer your prepared donut batter into a piping bag or a large Ziploc bag with the end cut off to get the batter into the donut pan. Fill the pan 2/3 full and into the oven they go!
Let the donuts cool for about 5 minutes in the pan before popping them out and cooling completely on a wire rack before icing.
The fun is in the decorating. You could certainly leave the icing off if you’re wanting to keep these donuts 100% healthy, but I think a little bit of icing is just the ticket. Plus, it makes them so much more fun to eat!
I use a simple white frosting in this recipe, but feel free to try something more adventurous like a cream cheese icing. As I mentioned, the donuts taste a lot like a banana muffin, so there are all sorts of flavor combinations that would work. I hope you give these donuts a try, whether it’s a special surprise for St. Patrick’s Day or just a fun treat on the weekend. You will wish every donut was green!
Green Monster Donuts
Yield 8 donuts
The proof is in the green - donuts can be healthy! Packed with spinach and lightly sweetened with banana and agave, you can give your family their greens while treating them at the same time.
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup almond milk*
- 3 tbsp avocado oil*
- 1 large, very ripe banana (about 1/2 cup mashed)
- 3 oz fresh spinach
- 1/4 cup agave syrup*
- 1 egg
- 3 tbsp heavy cream
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and spray a donut pan with non-stick spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
- Place the almond milk, avocado oil, banana and spinach in a blender (in that order) and blend for about a minute or until the spinach is totally pureed. Add in the syrup and egg and blend for 15 more seconds.
- Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Pour the liquid ingredients in, stirring until just combined. Do not overmix!
- Transfer the batter into a piping bag or a large Ziploc bag with the tip cut off, and fill each cavity of the donut pan until the cavities are each 2/3 full.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the donuts spring back lightly when poked. Allow the donuts to cool for about 5 minutes in the pan, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack while you prepare the icing.
- Combine the heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract in a medium sized bowl, and whisk until smooth; add more sugar if the icing is too thin or more cream if it is too thick.
- Using a cake spatula, spread the icing onto the cooled donuts and top with sprinkles.
Donuts are best enjoyed fresh, but will keep at room temperature, in an airtight container for 2-3 days. If they are too warm, the icing may melt into the donut. I actually keep my leftovers in the fridge to avoid this!
- Use any other non-dairy milk, 1% or 2% dairy milk
- Substitute honey for the agave, or regular granulated sugar. If using regulated granulated sugar, add it into the dry ingredients rather than into the blender
- Substitute canola oil or another oil in place of the avocado oil