Rose, Cardamom & Pecan Breakfast Muffins

img_9889

I know the title might suggest that there are a lot of ingredients in these that you may not have and that they are hard to make but they are super easy and also, you don’t even need to use rose and cardamom if you don’t want… you could just have them plain, they would be just as tasty. I just loved the rose and cardamom combination that Raine and I made for our original honey cakes, flavours inspired by my Moroccan upbringing, so thought I’d try them in the muffins.

These are gluten free, dairy free and refined-sugar free so totally perfect as a snack for your little ones. Braxton LOVED these when they came out the oven this morning!

Ingredients

2 ripe bananas
2 eggs, free-range organic
5 tbsp coconut oil, melted
150ml water, room temperature
Quarter cup almond milk (or oat, rice, coconut or any other nut milk)
250g maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
130g buckwheat flour
130g brown rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch Himalayan salt
The seeds from 10 cardamom pods
1 tbsp rose water
Pecans to top

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a muffin tin with 12 muffin cases.

Mash the bananas in a large bowl.

Whisk the eggs with a fork in a separate bowl then add this to the bananas.

Add the water, maple, almond milk and vanilla and whisk with a fork until smooth.

Sift both flours, baking powder and bicarb into the big bowl, followed by the cinnamon and salt and mix until totally incorporated.

De-seed the cardamoms and add the seeds to the mixture, followed by the rose water.

Mix well then add the mixture to each individual muffin case, about 3/4 of the way to leave room for rising. Top with a pecan if desired.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until the tops are golden and a fork comes out clean.

Love & health,
Lauren

Blueberry Coconut Oat Bars

img_6763

This morning I had a bee in my bonnet about wanting to make a less stodgy version of my blueberry porridge bars (not that stodge is bad, I just wanted something a bit crunchier this time!) and I happened to stumble across a recipe for exactly what I was looking for when I was scrolling through my Instagram (@theorganicspoon) courtesy of Baby Led Feeding.

They have more ingredients than the porridge bars but they are a bit more like flapjacks of some sort and made a nice change. Great to take out as a snack for the kids. Have packaged mine up ready to take out to the park with us this morning.

Ingredients

180g oats
140g buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
40g desiccated coconut
120g coconut oil
2 bananas mashed
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

280g blueberries
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon chia seeds

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC
  2. Heat the coconut oil gently in a saucepan and leave to cool.
  3. Add the oats, flour, baking powder and 3/4 of the desiccated coconut to a bowl. Give it a good stir then make a well in the middle and add in the coconut oil, bananas, maple syrup, egg and vanilla. Make sure the coconut oil is cooled first otherwise it will cook the egg. Stir well until it is fully combined and has formed into a dough.
  4. Line a square silicone baking tin with parchment paper then pour in 3/4’s of the mixture, then press it down with a spoon.
  5. Make the blueberry compote by adding the blueberries and water to a saucepan. Bring to the boil then turn the heat down to low and using a wooden spoon or masher, mash until they have broken apart, then add the chia seeds and give it a good stir.
  6. Pour the blueberry compote over the oat mixture, then dollop over the remaining mixture in small clumps until it is gone.
  7. Sprinkle over the remaining desiccated coconut then bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Cool fully before removing from the oven then slice into small baby bites and serve.

Love & health,
Lauren & Braxton

Golden Linseed Oat Cookies – Full of Omega-3 and Great for Baby Led Weaning

img_6384

As you all know by now, I usually make sure to make a batch of something sweet but healthy once a week (ish!) so that I don’t have to give Braxton anything processed or filled with sugar. I don’t give him sweet things every day (apart from fruit), but I do like to give him things like this every few days now he’s nearly 1. It keeps him quiet for 5 minutes, that’s for sure! 🙂 But the main point is that I like to make sure I fill any snacks I make with superfoods.

Making cookies like these is a great way to be able to add things like linseeds, which are a great vegetarian source of the Omega 3 essential fatty acid, Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA). Our bodies can’t make ALA, so it is ‘essential’ that we get them from our diet. These essential fatty acids also have anti-inflammatory properties, so aside from making sure he gets essential fatty acids in his diet, I’m also giving him anti-inflammatory properties which, in our situation, is imperative.

Suffice to say these were very well received! Soft on the inside, slightly crisp on the outside and easy for Brax to chew. Sweet but not too sweet and of course, free of gluten, wheat, dairy, refined sugar or eggs.

Ingredients (makes 12 cookies)

1 cup ground almonds
1 ½ cups organic rolled oats
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch Himalayan salt
5 tbsp coconut oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
4 tbsp almond butter
¼ cup almond milk
1 tbsp golden linseeds

Method

Preheat the oven to 180c and line 2 baking trays with baking paper and grease with coconut oil.

Mix all the dry ingredients, except for the linseeds, in a bowl.

Add all the wet ingredients to the blender and blend until combined.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the linseeds and mix.

Form into balls with your hands and press down on them on the prepared baking trays and bake for 10 minutes.

Put the baking sheets with the cookies on them on a wire rack or on top of some towels on the work surface (the surface they cool on shouldn’t be cold) to cool away from the heat of the baking trays so they don’t crisp up too much. Once cool put in an airtight container.

Love & health,
Lauren

Vegan Chickpea ‘Omlette’ – Baby Led Weaning

chickpea-omlette

Thank you to my friend Deepa at GirlBoyFoodBaby for this one. She’s always coming up with awesome vegetarian baby-led weaning ideas and this is one I really loved. Full of all the nutrients Braxton needs and so easy to make. I changed it just a little bit but the idea is all Deepa’s!

Ingredients

¼ cup chickpea flour
¼ cup quinoa flour
Cup purified water
Splash of almond milk
Bit of grated ginger
Handful spinach
Half a red pepper, cut in small pieces
A few mushrooms, cut in small pieces
Handful cherry tomatoes, cut in small pieces
Handful coriander, shopped
Mixed herbs
Coconut oil for frying

Method

Add the flour to a bowl and add the water slowly until a thick batter forms. You may not need to add it all, you may need more. Just assess it depending on the thickness.

Add the rest of the ingredients and mix.

Heat the oil in a pan and when hot, add a patty sized amount and fry on one side for about 3 minutes then flip and do the other side. Continue until you use up all the batter.

Serve with homemade turmeric hummus and avocado.

Love & health,
Lauren & Braxton

Vegan Buckwheat Pancakes

Buckwheat Maca Pancakes

Sunday mornings should really be all about pancakes, and my baby boy deserves the best! Such a great baby-led weaning food as it’s so easy for them to hold and feed themselves. This recipe uses only healthy, natural ingredients so it’s still full of nutrients, especially as I added a load of maca powder in there.

Braxton absolutely devoured these – and Daniel and I had no problem polishing them off!

I topped it with some almond butter and homemade chocolate sauce but you can use anything you like.

 

Ingredients

2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 2 tbsp water)
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 heaped tsp baking powder
1.5 ripe bananas
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 cup almond milk (or any other non-dairy milk)
Coconut oil for cooking

Method

Make the flax eggs by mixing the flax seed with water in a small bowl and leaving it to the side.

Add all the ingredients to a food processor and wizz until smooth.

Heat some coconut oil in a pan and when hot, add a small ladle full of the mixture in a pancake shape. It will only need about a minute, then flip it and do another minute, or until you think it’s cooked through.

Continue until the mixture is finished.

 

Top with almond butter, homemade chocolate sauce or maple syrup (or all 3!)

Love & health,
Lauren

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

 

Pea & Edamame Fritters (for baby led weaning and generally humans who like food!)

Pea Edamame Fritters

You all know how much I love my weekly Abel & Cole organic food delivery and last week, I got a bag of peas in their pods which was such fun. I also had some edamame in the fridge so decided to add them and make some fritters as they are great for baby led weaning and I do like to give Braxton some food he can hold with each meal even if I am spoon feeding him also.

Ingredients

Half a cup of fresh podded peas (you could use frozen if you can’t get fresh of course)
Half a cup of edamame beans (shelled)
2 eggs
1 tbsp chia seeds
4 tbsp buckwheat flour
Handful chopped parsley
Handful chopped mint
Half a lime
Some coconut oil

(see below for optional dipping sauce)

Method

Beat the eggs in a bowl and add the chia seeds.  Mix, and leave to soak for 5 minutes. While they are soaking, add the peas and edamame to a saucepan of boiling water and boil for 5-7 minutes, until they have softened but not overcooked.

Drain the peas and edamame and add them to the egg mixture then add the buckwheat flour, parsley, mint and lime. You can add a little Himalayan salt if you want or keep it salt free for young babies.

Heat some coconut oil in a pan then spoon about 2 tbsp of the mixture into the pan. It will be too runny to shape it into patties, you just have to spoon it onto the pan how it is and it will take shape. Do a few at a time but don’t fill up the pan too much, you can do it in stages. They only need around 3-4 minutes on each side and remove when they are golden on both sides.

I made a little dipping sauce to dip them into by putting quarter cup olive oil, half an avocado, 6 brazil nuts, handful pine nuts, handful of mint and some Himalayan salt into the blender.

Health & happiness,
Lauren

Raw Vegan Cappuccino Brownies

Cappucino Brownies

Perfect healthy brownies! So gooey and fudgey and delicious and amazing as a chocolatey treat for the kids that is still full of nutrients with no naughty ingredients…

Ingredients

½ cup pecans
¾ cup hazelnuts
2 cups dates, pitted and soaked in water for half an hour
1/3 cup cacao powder
2 tbsp maple syrup
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp finely ground coffee (I like Elite instant coffee) and some extra for sprinkling

Optional creamy top layer:
1 can coconut milk (full fat) – put this in the fridge for at least 4 hours before it is needed
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp cacao powder

Method

Put the pecans and hazelnuts in the food processor and blend until they make a fine meal but just before the point that they start turning into a butter.

Spoon the mixture away from the blades. Drain the dates and squeeze a little of the excess liquid off them then add them to the blender with the nuts and blend until well combined.

At this point you can either add the rest of the ingredients to the blender or you can spoon the mixture into a large bowl and mix it all in with a large spoon if you find it easier – sometimes I prefer doing it in a bowl, just make sure you mix really well.

Line a square silicone baking tray with baking paper and grease with some coconut oil then spoon the mixture in and even out with a spoon. Put it in the freezer for an hour.

For the creamy top layer: open the can of coconut milk and spoon out the creamy layer at the top. The liquid part after that can be used for cooking. Put it in a saucepan and heat on a low heat then when it starts simmering add the coconut oil, maple syrup and cacao powder and mix well until melted in. Do not let it boil.

Once the bottom layer has frozen, add the top layer, wait until it has cooled then put it in the freezer for another 2 hours.

Remove from the freezer, cut into squares and sprinkle with some more coffee. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Love and health,
Lauren

Dairy Free Fish Cakes For Baby (& you!) & The Lowdown on Omega-3

Fish Cakes

Fish cakes are a great way to get omega-3 fatty acids into your baby. The body cannot synthesise Omgea -3 so it has to come from diet and oily fish is one of the best sources for it. I am totally on board with vegetarianism, I used to be a vegetarian myself until falling pregnant, but I do find that fish-based omega-3 is the best way to get omega-3 into our bodies. Apart from being good for the heart, joints and inflammatory diseases, it aids brain development in babies, helps with their behaviour and maximises their intellectual potential! Studies have actually shown that babies with higher amounts of omega-3 from early on have better concentration skills and read better than those whose omega-3 levels were very low.

Of course, as usual, please make sure your fish comes from trusted sources. The best way to ensure high quality salmon that is low in mercury is to obtain wild salmon or if it is farmed, make sure it is farmed ‘organically’ so it is left to grow and feed naturally even though it is technically farmed.  Abel & Cole offer an organic farmed range.

You’ll see I use buckwheat flour and almond milk in this recipe. As you are probably aware by now, I don’t like to give Braxton anything refined (flours, sugars etc). I don’t give him dairy so all my recipes are dairy and gluten free, but of course still unprocessed and using only natural ingredients. Don’t be fooled by the ‘gluten free industry’; they make gluten free foods that are just as processed and full of sugar as ones that do have gluten in them. The food still needs to be natural. I feel it is healthier for his gut to eat non-refined, only natural foods and if his gut is healthy then his immune system will be too. This will reduce the chance of eczema and auto-immune diseases as well as strengthen his immune system against every day illnesses and viruses. However, if you want to, you can use normal flour and normal milk in place of the buckwheat flour and almond milk. I would try and keep these recipes as dairy free as possible if you can. Where possible, please also try and use free-range eggs. They will have way less chemicals in them for your baby to be ingesting.

These fish cakes are one of the best things for baby led weaning as when you make them they last for a few days so it’s a few meals you don’t have to think about, and they are so easy for babies to feed themselves with. I break them into a few pieces and Braxton picks them up and eats them all himself – which means mummy can rush around the kitchen clearing up so she can use his nap times to actually rest!

Ingredients (makes about 6-8 patties)

1 salmon fillet
About 5 white potatoes, peeled and chopped
A handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 egg (free-range)
Half tsp mustard powder (optional, just adds a nice bit of flavour)
Half a lemon
1/5 cup almond milk
1 tbsp buckwheat flour
Extra virgin olive oil or Coconut oil
Black pepper and Himalayan salt

Method

Steam the potatoes over a pan of boiling water. Rub the salmon with some olive or coconut oil and when the potatoes soften, add the salmon to the steamer until it is totally cooked (about 7 minutes). Remove the salmon from the pan, take off the skin and put it to the side. Remove the potatoes and add them to a bowl.

Mash the potatoes in the bowl but leave some lumps so they are not totally mashed then set aside to let them cool.

Chop the parsley quite finely then flake in the salmon, add the cooled potatoes, almond milk, mustard powder, egg and squeeze in the juice of the half lemon. Mix very well then add the buckwheat flour and add some pepper and if you want (if not for young babies) add a sprinkle of Himalayan salt and mix again.

Take a clean plate and spread some buckwheat flour over the plate and put some in your hands then take a pattie size amount of the mixture and flatten into a pattie shape, the flour will help you do this without it sticking to your hands. Put it on a clean plate then repeat the process until the mixture is all finished and all your fish cakes have been made.

Heat some oil in a large frying pan and when it is hot, add a few of the fish cakes. You won’t be able to cook them all at the same time. Cook each one for 3-4 minutes on each side.

If you don’t want to eat them all within a few days, put some of them, uncooked, in the freezer and you can then defrost them at a later date and cook them.

I hope your bubbas enjoy these as much as Braxton did!

Love & health,
Lauren & Braxton

 

Broad Bean, Sweet Potato & Cumin Plus Baby Led Weaning vs Blended

Broad bean, sweet pot, onion, cumin

How great are these Nuk by Annabel Karmel food cube trays? Perfect for batch cooking for your little ones.

So, let’s talk baby led weaning (BLW). I had intentions of doing only baby led with Braxton but when the time came (when he was 6 months), he wasn’t very good at picking food up and he started getting very frustrated. So I decided that ‘baby led’, for me anyway, means being led by your own baby. Why should I let him get frustrated just because I’d decided I wanted to do something a certain way? He was trying to communicate with me that it wasn’t working for him, and he needed some more time, but was certainly ready to eat the food, so I decided to do a mixture of blended foods and BLW.

He’s now nearly 9 months so feeds himself a lot, and he’s got so good at it! He’s even perfected his pincer grip and understands how to take a bite and keep the rest in his hand while he chews, then finish what’s in his hand when he’s ready, so I give him a lot of food that he can feed himself with, but I still spoon feed him some things as I want to make sure he gets heaps of nutrients so I’ll make a blend of veg like this one, and it’s too hard for him to feed himself with a spoon.

What I’m saying is that we do a mixture of the two. At the beginning I’d mainly feed him myself but always give him something he could hold himself with each meal; some avocado, a piece of cucumber, a piece of broccoli, some roast chicken cut in strips.

This has all worked really well for us and he most definitely has still developed when it comes to his fine motor skills and hand-mouth coordination, despite what the militant baby led weaners told me about doing a mixture!

When it comes down to it, you have to read your own baby, as they are all so different, and do what works best for YOUR baby and YOUR family. This has worked brilliantly for us and I love that we can be flexible.

I hadn’t planned to make this, but I was sent broad beans in my Abel & Cole box this week, so I decided to make this mixture and it worked really well.

Ingredients 

1 bag of broad beans (they should come in their pods, then you must take them out of the pods)
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 onion, peeled and sliced
1 tsp cumin
1 cube of homemade bone broth / veg stock or a low salt Kallo stock cube

Method

Shell your broad beans then put them, along with the other veg, into the steamer (this helps the veg retain more nutrients than boiling them).

If your stock cube is homemade and frozen, melt it in a saucepan over a low heat. If you are using a store-bought stock cube, mix it in a quarter cup boiling water.

When the veg are soft, put them in the blender with the stock and cumin and blend until smooth or leave lumps if you prefer.

I hope your baby likes this as much as mine did!

Love,
Lauren & Braxton