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

Double Decker Banana Cake

double-decker-banana-bread-2

It has taken a while, but I have definitely perfected my banana cake recipe (it’s slightly different to my banana bread) although I seriously underestimate my amazing new oven and every recipe seems to need 5 minutes less than in my old oven so the sides are very slightly overdone. I wanted to make this one a bit more exciting than plain banana cake as we were entertaining so I halved the mixture and added cacao to one half to create a double-decker effect. I hope you love it as much as we all did – it got eaten pretty quickly!

Ingredients

4 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 heaped tbsp. coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp chia or flax seeds
4 tbsp filtered water
1 cup buckwheat flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla bean syrup or vanilla extract
¼ cup almond milk
3 tbsp cacao powder
1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips (optional)

Method

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

Mix the chia or flax seeds in a small bowl with the water and set aside so it can set.

Mash the bananas in a large bowl and add the coconut oil and maple, then add the chia / flax mix and mix well.

Now add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.

Move just under half the batter into another bowl and add the almond milk, cacao powder and vanilla, and, if using, mix in the chocolate chips.

Pour the plain batter into the loaf tin then add the chocolate batter on top. I made it a double-decker but if you want a marbled effect you can cut through the batter with a knife so that the top layer sinks down to the bottom layer in places.

Slice a banana length ways and add to the top of the cake and put it in the oven for 35 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean.

Leave on a wire rack to cool then turn out of the loaf tin onto a plate.

Delicious served with peanut or almond butter!

Enjoy!

Love and health,
Lauren

 

 

Blueberry Porridge Bars for Baby Led Weaning

 

Blueberry Porridge Bars BLW

Ok guys, I don’t have time to write a super long post today but been looking for things to give my baby that he can feed himself as we’ve started on solids and I’m trying to do as much baby led weaning as possible. So instead of porridge these are basically porridge, but baked! With organic blueberries for antioxidants, acai for extra super-duper anti-oxidants and chia seeds for extra protein.

Porridge Bars

Ingredients

320g organic jumbo oats
1 punnet of blueberries
250ml almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
100ml maple syrup
1 tbsp. chia seeds (optional)
1 tsp acai berry powder (optional)

Method

Preheat oven to 180c and grease a square silicone baking tray with coconut oil.

Add the oats, almond milk, vanilla and maple to the food processor until it’s all combined. Once combined add the blueberries, acai and chia seeds and pulse until the blueberries are evenly distributed but not all totally mushed (some of them can be mushed!)

Spoon it into the cake tin and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Wait until completely cool before you slice into bars.

These will last for a maximum of 4 days before they start growing other stuff!! Keep in an airtight container. I usually make mine on a Sunday and Wednesday is the last day I can use them.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

White Chocolate and Flaxseed Blondies

White chocolate flax blondies

I love an afternoon snack with a matcha latte, and especially as I’m breastfeeding, I need extra energy but I have to make the effort to eat healthy snacks with great nutrients in them so I added flaxseeds to this one for omega 3 essential fatty acids – essential when breastfeeding. These went down a treat in my house and unfortunately I wasn’t left with many for myself!

Ingredients

1 tbsp coconut oil
50g cacao butter
3 tbsp organic natural peanut butter
3 eggs
Pinch Himalayan salt
2 tbsp flaxseeds
70g coconut palm sugar
2 tbsp pure maple
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g ground almonds
Vegan white chocolate chips

Method

Preheat the oven to 160. Line a square silicone baking tin with baking paper and grease with coconut oil.

Melt the coconut oil and cacao butter in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan with boiling water. Once it’s melted, add the peanut butter and stir until it all melts in together.

Remove from heat and set aside.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl and once beaten, add the coco palm sugar and whisk with a fork until totally combined. Then add the salt, vanilla and maple and mix.

Add the peanut butter mixture and mix well, then add the ground almonds and flax and mix until combined.

Flatten the mixture out into the prepared baking tin and put in the oven for 20-25 minutes. In my oven it only needed 20. You want it to be moist but cooked through but don’t overcook otherwise it will go dry.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Black Rice with Roasted Butternut, Spring Onion & Pumpkin Seeds

Black rice

In parts of Asia, black rice was given the name ‘forbidden rice’, as it was reserved only for royalty due to its health benefits. It is very high in fibre and antioxidants and is a super anti-inflammatory.

Add to that some butternut squash which is also an anti-inflammatory (and because the contrast of colours look so great!) and some spring onion and pumpkin seeds for calcium, and we have a winning dish.

I bought this black rice ages ago and only got round to cooking it now and this dish is really delicious and so easy to make.

Ingredients

125g organic black rice
2 spring onions, chopped finely
1 butternut squash, chopped in small squares
Handful of pumpkin seeds
Extra virgin olive oil
Organic, natural maple syrup
Balsamic vinegar
Himalayan salt

Method

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.

Put the rice in a saucepan and cover generously with boiling water and put on a high heat. Once the water starts bubbling, stir, turn the heat down to low and put the lid on. Keep an eye on it. It should take around half an hour to cook.

Peel the butternut squash and cut into small squares. Place on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and a bit of salt, mix well, and put it in the oven for half an hour.

Once the rice is ready, take it off the heat and put it in a bowl. Add the butternut, spring onion and pumpkin seeds.

Drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar, no more than a tablespoon, and drizzle with some maple syrup, then add a pinch of salt, stir, and serve. Can be eaten hot or cold.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Overnight Oats with Mulberries

Overnight Oats Mulberries

It’s Vitamin K central round my house! As you have probably gathered from my recent posts, I am upping my natural intake of vitamin K in the last eight weeks of pregnancy to prevent having to give my baby the injection after birth. Mulberries are the highest natural source of Vitamin K so I’m stocking up! And what better way to have mulberries than in their natural form, to sweeten up my overnight oats. This was a really delicious breakfast bowl, I’m stuffed! And so satisfied.

Ingredients

1 cup gluten free, organic, rolled oats
2 cups almond milk
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tsp maple syrup (optional)

Toppings:
Handful of dried white mulberries
1 banana, chopped
A sprinkle of desiccated coconut

Method

Simply put the ingredients (excluding the toppings) in a bowl, mix well, cover, and leave in the fridge overnight. You don’t need to add the maple syrup, just depends how sweet you like it.

When you’re ready to eat it, add the toppings. Simples!

Enjoy,

Love,
Lauren

Lunchtime Quinoa Salad (in preparation for the week)

Quinoa salad

Stuck on what to make as a healthy lunch? I also find quinoa salad to be such a good, easy and healthy option and today I made a HUGE batch of it which means it will last me until at least Wednesday. Cooking healthy food does take time and preparation, but this took me ten minutes to make and I’ve now got lunch for a few days. You can add homemade tahini with it or have it with other hot, steamed veg on top, on its own, or with any meat or fish-based protein if you like, although quinoa is a complete protein so you don’t actually need it if you don’t want it.

I always use whatever vegetables I have to hand so just use whatever you have in the fridge!

Ingredients

1 cup organic quinoa
1 red or orange pepper
1 red onion
1 fennel
7 chestnut mushrooms
1 tin organic sweetcorn
1 courgette (zucchini), spiralized
1 lemon
Himalayan salt and black pepper

Method

Make the quinoa as per the packet instructions.

While it’s cooking, chop all your veg up into small pieces.

Once the quinoa is ready, let it cool a bit before adding it to the bowl of veg, mix well with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

TIP: if you want more flavour add a tsp Bouillon to the quinoa while it’s cooking.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Buckwheat Waffles

GF Waffles

I have this problem at the moment: I want nothing more than to have a lie-in on the weekend but my belly wakes me up and tells me it needs food! So I left my husband in bed this morning and went to make us both some yummy, guilt-free waffles. This is a variation on the last batch of waffles I made (which you can see here), as these ones are not vegan. They are, however, gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free and simply delicious 🙂 fun to make with the kids too. (The cleaning of the waffle iron is not such fun though!)

Ingredients

1 cup buckwheat flour
1 and half tbsp coconut palm sugar
1 and half tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch salt (I used Himalayan)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup almond milk (can also use coconut milk, hemp milk or oat milk)
4 tbsp vegan margarine or coconut oil, melted but at room temperature
2 eggs
1 tbsp maple syrup

Toppings of choice: I used maple syrup and almond butter

Method

Preheat the waffle iron as you want it extra hot.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl: buckwheat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt & cinnamon.

In another bowl mix the wet ingredients and whisk together: milk, eggs, margarine and maple.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry and mix really well, making sure all flour is incorporated from the bottom of the bowl.

Pour the batter onto the hot waffle iron and leave for around 10 minutes, or until you can see they are crunchy on the outside. This recipe makes 4 waffles, and my iron holds two at a time so I put the first two in the oven on a low heat to keep them warm while I made the next two.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Raw Chocolate & Coconut Mousse

Chocolate Coconut Mousse

Pregnancy has got me craving something sweet after a meal (or all the time?!) and although I am totally happy with my 80%/20% lifestyle in which, during the 20% I allow myself to eat out, have the odd pizza or have a processed chocolate bar, I have to remember that my continued remission is not something to take for granted; it is a product of continuous maintenance on my part and that maintenance comes in the form of diet and homeopathy. If I get slack on either one I could see the arthritis coming back at any point and now, more than ever, with a baby on the way, I need to make sure that I stay strong and healthy, especially because carrying extra weight could also impact my joints if they are not kept healthy and supple enough. It is constant work, this keeping healthy business, but I can’t think of anything more worth it.

Sometimes people say to me, ‘we can’t afford to eat organic’ or ‘I don’t have time to make those meals’. In some cases this is very true, but a lot of people who say these things to me would happily go out on a Saturday night and spend £150 on a meal, or buy a new pair of shoes, or spend the evening in front of the TV. There is nothing more precious than our health and prevention is better than cure so ditch the dinner out and save yourself some money and put it towards buying organic, and spend an extra hour in the kitchen once or twice a week preparing fresh lunches and snacks like this one here. I have to sacrifice many things to be able to afford organic food, superfoods and my supplements, and it shouldn’t just be a case of ‘well that’s ok because you had a disease but I don’t’. Because if you ever get diagnosed with something, from arthritis to cancer or the millions of others that people suffer from, you will wish you did all you could to prevent it, for you and your children. There are ways around EVERY SINGLE HEALTH ISSUE, you just need to be willing to work hard enough and remember that a lifetime consuming the chemicals that are found in every single thing you eat or drink that isn’t organic, WILL lead to disease. Don’t do it to your bodies, not in this day and age when there are so many options. Enjoy an organic, superfood lifestyle! And if you need any help getting started, feel free to drop us a line so we can help.

Ingredients

Chocolate mousse layer:
Half cup pecans
1 frozen banana
Half an avocado
Half a cup of almond milk
1 heaped tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tsp maple syrup
Half tsp vanilla extract

Coconut mousse layer:
2 frozen bananas
The cream from the top of a can of organic coconut milk (save the watery part for cooking)

Optional toppings:
Raw cacao covered goji berries
Desiccated coconut

Method

You will need a high speed blender to make the ‘ice cream’ from bananas. I use a Vitamix.

Put the pecans in the blender and blend well until they form a fine meal. Then add the banana and blend until smooth, followed by the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Add this to fill just over half a small glass.

Wash the blender out then add the 2 bananas for the coconut layer until smooth but not melting, then add the coconut cream and blend quickly so combined but not melting.

Add this to the top of the chocolate layer then top with your choice of toppings. I used cacao covered goji berries and desiccated coconut.

I hope you all enjoy this as much as my husband and I will enjoy it after our dinner tonight!

Love,
Lauren

P.s. I had some leftover from the coconut layer so I used this as a milk / yoghurt replacement with my homemade granola this morning. Was lush!

Coconut mousse granola

Chocolate Maca Chia Pudding

Chocolate Chia Maca Pudding

People are constantly looking for healthy and easy to make alternatives to artificial, cardboard-like breakfast ‘cereals’ and toast. We are the biggest lovers of breakfast here at Two Kitchens! We have more breakfast recipes on our site than any other recipes.

This one is amazing for the whole family. It is packed with chia so it is full of bioavailable plant-based, organic protein, has maca powder in it so gives instant but long-lasting natural energy, the raw cacao is another source of plant-based protein, the almonds in the almond milk add calcium and you can add whatever fruit you like to it for more fibre and fruit intake. I added bananas but you can add strawberries or other berries too. The kids will honestly love this, you can send them off to school knowing they have been given the best start to the day and if you make enough, you can save some as a snack or even dessert for after dinner – so versatile!

Ingredients

1 cup almond milk
3 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp maca powder (I use Organic Burst)
1 heaped tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tsp organic maple syrup or other natural sweetener of choice
1 banana, sliced
Small handful organic vegan chocolate chips (optional)

Method

Put all the ingredients except the banana and chocolate chips into a saucepan and heat gently over a low heat. It will seem dry at the beginning but eventually it will all melt into itself, just keep stirring. You want it to heat but not boil as boiling chia seeds will take the goodness out of them but we still want them to soften and swell.

Once it’s ready, transfer to a bowl, wait for it to cool then leave in the fridge for half an hour. Alternatively you can make it the night before and leave in the fridge overnight. The chia will then swell even more and be softer.

Transfer to a glass or any bowl of choice and top with your favourite toppings.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren