These joyfully spring-colored keto egg muffins aren’t just perfect for Easter: they make a superb and satisfying low-carb breakfast or snack at any time of the year. And they freeze really well, so keep a batch in the freezer and pop one into the microwave when you need to grab a bite on the run.
I bet you and your whole family will love these delicious, super-healthy muffins! (They are a great way to get kids to eat spinach, too!)
My egg muffin experiments
Originally, I wanted to post a cabbage recipe, but my cabbage experiments failed miserably. I was itching to develop a great recipe for roasted cabbage, but nothing worked: no matter what I did, I always ended up with a bland, tasteless result.
This was a family affair, too: My husband carried four large heads of cabbage home from the grocery store for me and I used all of them for my roasted cabbage experiments — all of which failed. Well, actually, I still have a few ideas I haven’t tried yet, so whenever I manage to get a perfect result (and when I stop being bored with eating cabbage!), I will certainly post the recipe here.
So, after my failed cabbage experiments, how did I end up with something as different as egg muffins? Since Easter is around the corner (and St. Patrick’s Day was just a couple weeks ago), I had the color green and green-colored food on the brain.
And what could offer a more perfect, healthy version of green “food coloring” than spinach? (Well, okay, maybe spirulina, which I have used in some of my St. Patrick’s Day recipes.)
Anyway, further recipe experiments were a bit delayed since I was suffering from pyelonephritis and sepsis (after eating rye bread which I definitely don’t tolerate but just wanted to try out to see if I would tolerate it anyway… it’s a long story, so I won’t bore you with it!), I spent a week in the hospital and after that I had to rest a lot at home. St. Patrick’s Day passed, and I didn’t manage to develop any recipes for that.
Luckily Easter is on the way, though, and since I have almost all my energy and strength back, I decided that it’s about time to develop a new nourishing, satisfying recipe.
I was reading my idea list — I have a long list for recipe ideas to develop and post here on my blog. An idea for green egg muffins caught my eye. That would be just perfect for Easter, I thought. I think I got the idea for green egg muffins when I once saw a recipe for a green omelet. Unlike omelets, egg muffins are easy to grab as a snack: plus, they store well and freeze well. Just perfect for a busy — or lazy! — lifestyle. Bake once, eat 12 times! And they make it easy to feed your family, too.
So, on my list I’d just written the title “Green Egg Muffins with Bacon and Cheese” — no further explanations or descriptions of the ingredients or amounts. So I started to ponder what would I actually need for those egg muffins.
First of all, I wanted to switch bacon to ham. Ham is more juicy and tender, and I’ve just used bacon so much lately. And I wanted to be sure that these muffins would be juicy and tender.
Spinach would provide the green color, and eggs would act as the base, because I was making egg muffins. I’d certainly need some cheese as well. Sharp cheese is perfect for baking; it gives plenty of flavor and perfects the texture.
But what about spices? Eggs, spinach, cheese — even sharp cheese — and ham would be quite mild. I certainly needed some spices, too.
Since mustard is my favorite seasoning with spinach (I sometimes make spinach pancakes and just cannot eat them without a big load of mustard), I wanted to see how mustard powder worked here. It had to work: how could it not?! Mustard is great with basically any savory dish!
But I was still hesitating between frozen or fresh spinach. Since frozen spinach is so handy and affordable, I decided to give that a try. It might make the texture watery, but if I used enough eggs, I thought, that shouldn’t be a problem.
So I didn’t have a clue as to quantities at first, but after some hard thinking I grabbed these for my first experiment: 6 eggs, 10 oz (280 g) defrosted frozen spinach, 1 cup (240 ml) chopped ham, 2 cups (480 ml) Swiss cheese, 1 teaspoon mustard powder and 1/2 teaspoon unrefined sea salt.
I placed all the ingredients into a bowl and whisked them with a gravy whisk until well blended. I spooned the mixture into 12 muffin cups (paper liners, actually) and baked them at 350 °F (175 °C).
After 20 minutes I checked the result. The muffins were too raw and moist, so I continued baking them. After 35 minutes they looked good and I removed them from the oven.
When the muffins were still hot, I couldn’t stop myself from peeling the paper liner from one of the muffins. It was pretty moist. Maybe they’d look better after proper cooling? Plus, when hot, they stuck to the paper liners.
Moreover, the texture was a bit uneven. I was hoping for a more even and intense green color, but the muffins were spotty with pale yellow egg and green spinach bits. The spinach should be definitely be integrated more smoothly throughout the muffins. Maybe blending with a blender would help? And the amount of spinach was simply too much: I definitely had to reduce it.
I wasn’t happy with the taste either — it was just plain weird! It must have been the mustard that was the culprit. And I was so sure mustard would have been just the perfect seasoning for these muffins! No way. I had to think of something else. Something spicy that could offer a proper kick. Red pepper flakes, maybe? Now that sounded good!
At least now I knew how to improve my recipe. I got the ingredients ready for my next experiment. This time, I was planning to use fresh spinach instead of frozen spinach. And instead of that terrible-tasting mustard, I was planning to use crushed red pepper for better flavor and that much-needed kick.
So, for this experiment, I took 6 eggs again, and this time I used 4 oz (115 g) fresh spinach leaves, plus 1 cup (240 ml) chopped ham, 2 cups (480 ml) Swiss cheese, 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper and 1/2 teaspoon unrefined sea salt.
I placed the eggs and the spinach leaves into a blender jar. I blitzed them until the mixture was smooth and light green. And how smooth it was! I bet the muffins are going to be perfect now, I told myself.
I poured the green mixture into a bowl and added the rest of the ingredients. I whisked them again with a gravy whisk until everything was well blended. Then I spooned the mixture into 12 muffin cups. This time the paper liners were slightly smaller, so there was some leftover batter. I noted that the recipe is just perfect for 12 medium paper liners.
After baking the muffins for 20 minutes, I removed one muffin from the oven and checked the texture. It was a bit too moist, so I let the muffins bake a bit longer. Five minutes later I decided to remove the rest of them from the oven as they looked perfect. The center had risen remarkably and the muffins looked like green balls! After removing the muffins from the oven, the center fell slightly. Nothing catastrophic, though.
My taste test revealed a smooth and tasty result. No nasty bits of spinach. The muffins were moist, but not watery. The crushed red pepper gave them a perfect kick. I bet Sugar-Free Sweet Chili Sauce would be the ideal accompaniment for these muffins.
All the ingredient amounts seemed to be perfect. The 4 oz (115 g) spinach provided just enough color and flavor. There was enough delicious ham in each bite, and the sharp cheese added extra taste and made the texture perfect. Super! I was really satisfied.
I made one more experiment with frozen and defrosted spinach. It wasn’t as perfect as the version with fresh spinach, but it was still tasty. The surface was somehow harder and slightly leathery and the bottom was moist. But they were still really good and they disappeared pretty quickly from the plate on which I had placed them to cool.
Tips for preparing the muffins
This is a very quick and easy recipe, so no special skills are needed. What is an absolute must, though, is a proper blender so that you can blend the spinach until really smooth. I’m afraid a food processor doesn’t create a smooth enough result, so a blender is highly recommended.
I recommend using sharp cheese for these muffins. Personally, I love Swiss cheese, but other sharp cheeses, like mature Cheddar, will fit well.
As I mentioned above, fresh spinach makes perfect muffins, but you can use also frozen and defrosted spinach if you don’t have fresh.
Other than that, no special tricks are needed. So let’s take a look how to make these marvelous egg muffins:
After preheating the oven and lining a muffin pan with paper liners, grab a blender jar and add the eggs to it.
Then, add all the spinach.
…and blend (this is quite hypnotic, isn’t it!)…
…until smooth. With a high-speed blender, it took just a few seconds. (Don’t worry, I haven’t been hypnotized…)
Pour the egg and spinach mixture into a bowl.
Add the rest of the ingredients – so, ham…
…crushed red pepper…
…and some salt.
…until well blended.
Spoon the mixture into the muffin cups.
Bake for about 30 minutes…
…or until done.
Let cool and serve warm. The muffins taste best the day after baking.
And here’s the final recipe: I bet you’re going to love it!
|Per muffin if 12 muffins in total:
Tips for variation
This version uses only crushed red pepper as seasoning. Personally, I think it gives these muffins enough flavor. However, you can use any seasoning you wish. I recommend something spicy, as these muffins seem to scream for something with a decent kick. Tabasco or another sugar-free hot sauce is a great option, as are cayenne pepper, chipotle, or chili flakes.
Instead of ham, you can use bacon or any chopped leftover meat you happen to have lurking in your fridge.
Next, I’m going to replace ham with crumbled feta cheese and see how that works. Spinach and feta is a great combination, so I expect the result to be outstanding!
If you prepare these muffins, let me know: I’d love to hear how you liked them!