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Healthy Living: Spinach Parmesan Muffins

If you’re like me, eating healthy gets a little bit harder during the winter months. I’m a summer fruit fanatic, so there’s never a shortage of healthy options in my house during the hot months. Winter is a bit more of a struggle for me. There are still plenty of healthy choices, but I tend to lean more toward comfort food when the days shorten and there’s a chill in the air.

These ‘muffins’ are the best of both worlds. You get more than a day’s worth of vitamin A in one muffin and quite a bit of folate and vitamin C as well. Not only do they freeze well, but I eat them for breakfast with a scrambled egg white.

You can use mature or ‘baby’ spinach in this recipe. If you use frozen spinach, make sure to thaw it completely and wring as much moisture out of it as possible before using. The pinch of nutmeg really brightens the greens in this recipe, too, so don’t leave it out.

Spinach Parmesan Muffins
Makes 12

12 oz fresh spinach
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese, or low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
2 large eggs, beaten
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400° F. Pulse spinach in three batches in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add ricotta (or cottage cheese), Parmesan, eggs, garlic, salt and pepper; stir to combine. Coat 8 cups of the muffin pan with cooking spray. Divide the spinach mixture among the 8 cups (they will be very full). Bake the spinach cakes until set, about 20 minutes. Let stand in the pan for 5 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife and turn out onto a clean cutting board or large plate. Serve warm, sprinkled with more Parmesan, if desired.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 141; Fat: 8 g, Cholesterol: 123 mg, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Protein: 13 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sodium: 456 mg, Potassium: 560 mg

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