Summer Squash, Sweet Potato & Turmeric Baby Blend

Sweet potato summer squash turmeric

And another use for those summer squashes my mum brought back from Suffolk! This time in batch cooking for Braxton. He’s old enough to be eating proper solid food now but I still make the odd bit of mush to mix in with it as he likes it, and also it’s a great way to get things like turmeric into him for anti-inflammatory goodness.

Ingredients
2 summer squashes
2 sweet potatoes
1 tsp (if powder) or 4 tbsp (if liquid) homemade or organic, low salt vegetable stock
1 tsp turmeric

Method

Steam the vegetables for about 10 minutes or until soft then put them in the blender with the stock and turmeric and blend until you reach desired consistency.

Love & health,
Lauren & Braxton

Broccoli, Pea & Mixed Herb Baby Blend

Broccoli Pea Mixed Herbs

Want to get more greens into your baby? This is a great one! The mint makes it really tasty too.

Ingredients

I broccoli head, cut into florets
1 cup frozen peas
Handful fresh mint
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried oregano

Method

Steam the broccoli. Once ready, remove the steamer part from on top of the saucepan of boiling water and add the peas to the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes.

Drain the peas and add the peas and the broccoli to the blender with the remaining ingredients.

Spoon into small containers or food cube trays to store.

Love & health,
Lauren & Braxton

Creamy Cauliflower Sweetcorn Baby Blend (& Some Info On Nutritional Yeast)

Cauliflower Corn Nutritional Yeast

(Sorry for the bad picture on this one – busy mama alert!)

Just because Braxton is dairy-free, doesn’t mean he misses out. The combination of cauliflower and sweetcorn is great, it goes really creamy. Add to that some nutritional yeast and it literally could not get any creamier if you were to add butter!

The term ‘nutritional yeast’ isn’t particularly appealing, but it is not the same as brewers yeast. It is deactivated so doesn’t froth or grow. It’s essentially a single-cell organism which is grown on molasses then harvested, washed then dried, and this deactivates it. It is very high in Vitamin B12 which is essential in our diets and is used by vegans as a cheese substitute. I know it sounds weird but give it a go!

This doesn’t even need any herbs as the cauliflower and corn are both so flavoursome.

Ingredients

1 cauliflower
1 small tin organic sweetcorn
2 tbsp nutritional yeast

Method

Break the cauliflower into florets then steam.

After about 7  minutes add the corn to the steamer and keep steaming for a further 5 minutes.

Add to the blender with the nutritional yeast and blend.

Spoon into smaller containers or food cube trays if you are batch cooking (this makes quite a large batch).

Love & health,
Lauren & Braxton

Carrot, Sweet Potato, Squash & Turmeric for Babies

Carrot Sweet Pot Squash Turmeric

Another simple but delicious meal for you little ones. Braxton is now really enjoying feeding himself so I usually give him some fish, chicken, buckwheat crackers or steamed or raw vegetables (or all of the above!) alongside these blends as he is 10 months now, but this can be made for babies as young as 6 months.

Ingredients

1 sweet potato
1 summer squash
3 carrots
1/2 tsp turmeric

Method

Steam all the veg in a steamer then add to the blender with the turmeric and blend. You can add some almond or oat milk to make it creamier if you like.

Health & happiness

Love,
Lauren & Braxton

Flapjacks For Breastfeeding Mamas (& everyone else!)

Sticky Oaty Flapjacks

My friend just had a baby and was really determined to make breastfeeding work. I always found that the best gift anyone could bring me after having the baby was food. And healthy food. You don’t have time to cook so you just have to take whatever anyone gives you or whatever is convenient which usually means you eat really badly for the first few months. Not only is this not good for our bodies but of course whatever you eat goes through to your milk so it affects the baby too. One of my biggest struggles after having Braxton was trying to maintain my healthy diet when I was just too exhausted to cook and of course when he slept, I didn’t want to be in the kitchen, I wanted to sleep!

I also really struggled with breastfeeding – it didn’t come easily to me at all – but I got there eventually. I was told to eat lots of oats to increase my supply so I eventually got into the kitchen to make some flapjacks as the store-bought ones are just so full of sugar. They were so yummy and such an easy snack to have next to me during those early days of being absolutely ravenous every time he even approached my boobs! So I made these for my friend also and thought I’d share the recipe.

These are also fab for baby led weaning, I’d suggest just omitting the sunflower seeds.

Ingredients

250g organic rolled oats
15 dates (if they’re big, 20 if they’re smaller)
Quarter cup ground flaxseeds
3 tbsp sunflower seeds
5 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp peanut butter
5 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 8 tbsp water

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a silicone baking tin with baking paper and grease with coconut oil.

Soak your dates for about half an hour in purified water so they soften and once they’re soaking, mix the chia seeds with the water and leave aside to set.

Heat the coconut oil in a pan and add the peanut butter and maple. Once combined add the dates and mix, then put it all in a food processor.

Blend until smooth, then add the oats and chia mix and blitz a little bit but you still want the oats to be in solid pieces.

Tip into a bowl and add the sunflower seeds an mix around until they are evenly spread throughout the mixture.

Now spoon the mixture into the prepared baking tin and bake for 12-15 minutes. Check it at 12 minutes and see if the top is starting to go golden, if it is, take them out. They need to be moist and not overcooked.

Leave on a cooling rack until completely cool – if you cut them while they are hot they won’t stick together.

Once cool cut into squares and store in an airtight container.

Love & health,
Lauren

 

Lentils, Broccoli & Cumin for Babies

Lentil Broccoli Cumin

Once again, I literally just made what I had at home! Although I do give Braxton meat (only organic, free-range from trusted sources), I like him to get a lot of his protein from plant-based sources and lentils are great for this. They are also cheap and go a long way. Broccoli is just full of bioavailable calcium, better than any sort of calcium you can get from dairy, so he has quite a lot of broccoli in his diet.

Cumin is great for digestion so it’s a really good spice to add when first weaning to help their tummies adjust. It is also an antiviral so great to give if baby has a cold.

Ingredients

1 organic broccoli
Half a cup of lentils – I used red lentils here
Half tsp cumin
1 cup of vegetable stock (homemade or low salt version if store-bought)

Method

Put the lentils in a pan with the stock and simmer until cooked – they can take a while. Add more water as needed until they are fully soft.

While the lentils are cooking, steam the broccoli for about 7 minutes. You don’t want to over-steam it.

When both are cooked, put in the blender with the cumin and blend to desired consistency.

Love & health,
Lauren & Braxton

 

Coconut Curried Chicken & The Importance of Introducing Flavours From Early On

Coconut Curried Chicken & Veg

I met some friends for a walk in the park after we’d given the kids dinner a few days ago as it was such a lovely day and it’s always nice to have something to fill the time between dinner and bath time. One of them asked me what Braxton had for dinner. ‘Coconut curried chicken,’ I replied. ‘Curry?!’ one of the girls asked, almost dismayed. ‘At his age? Did he like it? Does he like the flavour?’ YES YES YES!!! And the reason he is OK with flavoursome food is because I give it to him!

I think it is so important to introduce different flavours into a baby’s diet from the early stages of weaning. Not only will this make life easier for us as it means our babies will be less fussy as they grow up, it also makes life better for them! We all have a friend whose staple diet is chicken nuggets, chips and pasta because they don’t like anything else. I’d hazard a guess that their parents probably didn’t give them much else as kids which is why. There are also so many nutrients in spices and herbs. Turmeric, for example, is a hugely important anti-inflammatory and I make sure Braxton has it at least 3 times a week. Dried herbs have heaps of calcium so at least I know that this dairy-free baby is getting more bioavailable calcium than most babies who have cow’s milk!

With this particular meal I had some chicken out that day as I hadn’t given him any meat all week and I stood in the kitchen wondering what I could do with it, then realised that the easiest thing to do with chicken breast is always a curry. I had mild curry powder and coconut milk and some vegetables so I got cooking!

Ingredients

1 organic, free-range chicken breast, chopped into smallish pieces
Half an onion, chopped
1 can full-fat organic coconut milk (I like Biona)
1/2 tsp milk curry powder
1/4 tsp turmeric (optional)
1 cube pre-frozen homemade bone broth/ veg stock or a low salt chicken stock cube in half cup water (optional for added taste)
Handful shiitake mushrooms
Handful chestnut mushrooms
A few broccoli florets
Some coconut oil

Method

Heat a tsp of coconut oil in a pan then add the onion and cook for a minute or so before adding the chicken.

Brown the chicken all over and once cooked, add all the veg. Give it a good stir to coat it in the oil and cook for about 2 minutes.

Now add the coconut milk but don’t add the whole can. Spoon out the delicious creamy stuff from the top and put that all in, followed by about half of the water but no more as it will make it too watery. (You can save this for another dish or add it to a smoothie.)

Mix it all around, then add the stock, curry powder and turmeric. Mix well and turn the heat down to low and leave to simmer for 15 minutes.

When it’s finished simmering, put it in the blender and blend to the desired consistency.

It may look like mush but you have meat-based protein, plant-based protein, vegetables and spices in there all containing nutrients so this meal really needs nothing else although you could add some brown rice pasta if you want. I froze this in small containers and it made about 5-6 meals.

Health & happiness,
Lauren & Braxton