Sweet Potato, Kidney Bean & Roasted Pepper Patties

As usual, thanks to my lovely friend Deepa at GirlBoyFoodBaby. Her baby led weaning recipes are always so inspiring and easy and use the best ingredients. I love being able to collaborate and join forces with other gentle-parenting and health-focused mummas to make the best food for our babies. Luckily for Deepa her little one (only 10 days younger than Brax), actually eats well, whereas I make all these things for Brax and he just looks at them then throws them on the floor.

I’m trying not to get stressed about his lack of interest in food as I know that it can happen to babies from 12 months. Babies who loved food before then often go off food and it can last for a while. This happened with us, pretty much around 11/12 months and although it’s getting a little better, he’s still not a great eater. It’s not that he’s fussy with flavours, he just isn’t interested in food. Apart from bananas – loves bananas!

Anyway, regardless of the fact that Braxton didn’t eat these, hopefully your babies will. And if they don’t, do what I did and eat them yourself!

They are so nutritious and full of perfect ingredients for babies.

Ingredients

2 peppers (I used red and yellow), very finely chopped
About 4 sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
2 tin / carton organic kidney beans
1 cup tomatoes, blended
Juice of half a lime
Handful coriander, chopped
Handful parsley, chopped
Pinch of ground black pepper
Pinch of paprika
Pinch of Himalayan salt (omit for young babies or if you don’t want any salt in there)
Tbsp ground cumin
Tsp turmeric
Tsp nutritional yeast
1/4 cup cornmeal

Method

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees.

Roast the peppers on a baking tray.

Cook and mash the potatoes then add them to a bowl with the kidney beans and mash, leaving some small lumps.

In a small separate bowl, combine the tomatoes with all the spices and nutritional yeast. Mixing the spices in the tomatoes helps liquid spread them evenly in the burger mix.

Add the tomato mixture to the potato mixture then add in the roasted peppers and mix well until everything is combined well and the batter is thick, sticky paste (a good couple of minutes or so). It will seem a bit moist, but thats fine. Add the cornmeal and mix into the batter until well mixed.

Put the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes then shape into patties on a lined baking tray using a spoon and press down and bake for 25 minutes. Then flip them. They’ll still be a bit tender at this point, so flip gently, but will firm up much more by the end. After flipping, cook them 10 more minutes on the other side. Let cool 10 minutes before eating, as they will firm up even more. They should be crispy on outside and slightly moist and chewy on inside.

These freeze really well. Just par bake for 25 minutes then freeze. Then cook for 20 minutes once out of the freezer.

Thanks to Deepa for this one!

Love & health,
Lauren

Sweet Potato & Spinach Slow Cooker Curry

sweet-pot-spinach-curry

Mid-week meals are all about ease and convenience, without it being convenience food as such. Everything we have at home is fresh and cooked from scratch but that doesn’t mean it needs to take hours to cook; with a slow-cooker you just shove it all in and come back to it when you want to eat it. The only time-consuming thing that still stands is the peeling and chopping… sorry, I can’t change that for you (or for me, unfortunately!)

I apologise in advance to my Indian friends for what I am labelling as ‘curry’; I know this isn’t exactly an authentic curry, but let’s just call this a Jewish curry! It’s fast, easy, and filled with fresh ingredients and spices.

As those of you who have followed me for a while know, Braxton has had spices in his food since I started weaning him so he’s very used to these flavours.

Ingredients

1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
4 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 large white potatoes, peeled and diced
1 can full fat coconut milk
1 cup organic vegetable stock
Half tsp garam masala
Half tsp curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Half a bag of spinach

Method

The inside bit of my slow cooker is hob-safe which means I can brown the onions and garlic in coconut oil over the hob first without dirtying another pan, which is the whole point of using a slow cooker; ease. If yours doesn’t have this feature just brown the onion and garlic in a frying pan first, then add them to the slow cooker.

Now add the rest of the ingredients except for the spinach, give it a bit of a stir and turn the slow cooker on.

About an hour before you’re going to serve, add the spinach and mix it in. The heat will make it wilt into the mixture.

Love & health,
Lauren

Epic Chocolate Birthday Cake – Gluten, Wheat & Dairy Free

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PLEASE READ INSTRUCTIONS ON THIS ONE OTHERWISE IT WON’T MAKE SENSE

Here it is–Braxton’s EPIC (if I do say so myself) chocolate birthday cake. So, this is the same recipes as Grandma’s Birthday cake, except I made 3 of them so I could tier it, and I forgot to sprinkle cacao over the top. But also, I decided not to use the avocado mousse topping like I used in the other one because I didn’t think it would hold out of the fridge for the day, which this cake needed to be able to do. I did want it to be super decadent so I used 70% dark chocolate, so the frosting does have sugar in it. The cake bases themselves don’t have any refined sugar, and I used an organic, fair-trade, 70% dark chocolate.

OK so it has a bit of sugar (which we NEVER have at home), but it was a one off and it was actually so worth it because it was amazing. No one could believe that it was dairy and gluten free.

I made the same cake in a smaller version for Braxton’s cake-smash cake.

INSTRUCTIONS: Now, I wasn’t sure it would be a perfect mixture if I just tripled the mixture from my original recipe, so–and yes this does make it more time consuming so totally up to you if you want to give it a go tripling it!–I made the mixture 3 separate times. So when reading the ingredients below, you have to do those measurements 3 separate times. 

For the frosting you only need the measurements I give you as is.

Right, here it is!

Ingredients – remember, do the measurements below, 3 times

Cake bases:
150ml extra-virgin olive oil
50g raw cacao powder
125ml boiling water
2 tsp vanilla extract
150g ground almonds
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch Himalayan salt
150g Natvia or coconut palm sugar
3 free-range organic eggs

Chocolate Ganache:
500g dark chocolate
The cream from the top of 4 cans of coconut milk (full fat), room temperature
2 tbsp Natvia icing sugar (if using standard Natvia, grind it in a coffee or spice grinder)
The cream from the top of 2 cans of coconut milk, chilled

Method

Preheat oven to 170° and grease 3 25cm springform cake tins. Line bases with baking paper and grease with coconut oil.

Sift the cacao into a bowl and whisk in the boiling water with a fork until you have a smooth, chocolatey, still runny paste. If you have a Kitchenaid or electric whisk with its own bowl, do it in this; it will make it extra creamy. Whisk in the vanilla, then set aside to cool.

In another bowl combine the ground almonds with bicarbonate of soda,  baking powder and salt.

Put the sugar and olive oil into a bowl and beat together with the electric whisk for about 3 minutes, then add the eggs one at a time, with a slow speed so it aerates. After the 3 minutes, add the ground almond mix, and mix until incorporated.

Finally, add the chocolate mix slowly until combined and pour into the prepared tin.

You can do all of this with a handheld whisk, a fork and spoon if you don’t have a Kitchenaid but using one will just make the mixture a bit creamier. I have done it with and without and was nice both times – just a bit fluffier with!

Bake for about 30 mins. The sides should be set but not burnt and the top centre should still look very slightly damp.

Repeat this two more times with the other cake tins. I also put them in the oven separately so I could make sure they didn’t under-cook, but you can try and put them in all together if you want.

Remove the cake from the oven. Leave to cool for 30 mins before removing from the tin.

While in the oven make the ganache:

Heat the coconut cream in a saucepan over a medium heat. Remove from the heat just as it comes to the boil. Put the chocolate pieces in a heatproof bowl, pour the coconut cream over and stir gently with a wooden spoon until the chocolate has melted and you have a smooth, thick ganache. (If some of the chocolate still hasn’t melted, add boiling water to the used pan and put the bowl on top until it melts).

Whisk in the Natvia icing sugar. Transfer 8 tablespoons of ganache to a separate, smaller bowl. Put both bowls in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Remove the smaller bowl of ganache from the fridge. Add the chilled coconut cream (discard any remaining watery liquid) and whisk with an electric mixer until it is a pale, milk chocolate shade and mousse-like in texture, with the consistency of double cream. Hold back one large spoonful of this and add it to the ganache in the fridge. Leave in the fridge.

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Go back to the pale mixture and now spread over the tops of two of the cakes, leaving a 1cm gap around the edge of the cake. Place the two cakes with the ganache, one on top of the other, then add the third one on top.

Remove the remaining ganache from the fridge and gently mix so the paler one is incorporated into the darker one spread over the cake, and using a palette knife, spread over the sides and smooth down until the whole cake is covered. The cake should now be completely covered with ganache, with no sponge visible.

Dust with raw cacao powder and decorate with strawberries if desired.

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Love & health,
Lauren

 

Thank you to Dairy-Free Delicious for the ganache recipe.

 

 

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

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