Pumpkin and Apple Slices

These pumpkin and apple slices are a great way to get extra veg in to your child’s (and your own) diet.

Since becoming a mum I’ve been exploring ways to get more veg into children without them realising it’s there! I’m fortunate that my little girl is very good at eating healthily, however I’m very conscious that this might not last forever. So whilst I’m making the most of it, I’m also including hidden veg so when the day comes when she gets more fussy I hopefully have a head start. So far these pumpkin and apple slices have been going down a treat, she loves them!

I’m also a big advocate for not giving children unnecessary sugar and whilst I’ve gone as far as keeping my daughter completely added sugar-free for 2 years, I don’t expect everyone else to. Whilst keeping her diet sugar-free I don’t want her to feel like she is missing out, so I often make her sugar-free cakes.

Now that she is getting older, I am starting to relax my take on sugar because I don’t want her to grow up thinking that she needs to restrict certain foods and in turn create a child who secretly binges. So, these pumpkin and apple slices are a great next step as they only have 2 tablespoons of maple syrup in the whole cake.

Recipe adaptations

These pumpkin and apple slices are dairy-free and made without any added fat and can easily be made vegan by replacing the egg with 1 small mashed banana. If you don’t have access to pumpkin, then they work equally well with butternut squash instead.

Nutrients

Pumpkins are good to keep your heart healthy, keep your cholesterol down and keep your vision tiptop. They are packed full of vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A and C, antioxidants and potassium.

Ingredients:

  • 170g grated raw pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 120g apple sauce (I leave the skin on, remove the core, chop and stew apples with a bit of water)
  • 2tbsp maple syrup
  • 115g self raising flour
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp mixed spice
  • 60g coconut
  • 60g raisins

Method:

  1. Heat the oven to Gas mark 5/190degrees
  2. Grease a 7” square tin, I use a silicone one so it doesn’t need greasing
  3. Whisk the apple and honey together in a food mixer.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well
  5. Spoon into the tin and bake for 40mins

If you liked this recipe why not check out more of my healthy toddler snacks

Vegan Fruit Scones

These vegan fruit scones are super quick and easy to make. Until recently I’d never made scones, and then inspired by a holiday in Scotland I decided to make cheese scones for my toddler. When they came out of the oven they looked and smelled delicious, however, I was unable to eat them due to being lactose intolerant so I decided to play around and came up with these vegan fruit scones.

I tested them on my baby yoga class and at my mini retreat and they went down a treat! I served them with my heathy chia jam and some coconut cream. To make the coconut cream I simply got a can of coconut milk, placed it in the fridge for a couple of hours and then scooped the thick cream off the top of the milk.

These vegan fruit scones have no added sugar they are simply sweetened by the dried fruit and you can use whatever dried fruit you have, raisins, sultanas and apricots work well. This makes them a great snack for toddlers too.

Ingredients for Vegan Fruit Scones:

Makes 14 mini scones

  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 40g melted coconut oil
  • 140ml almond milk
  • 50g dried fruit

Method:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7
  2. Line 2 baking trays with grease proof paper
  3. Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl
  4. Melt the coconut oil and add to the flour
  5. Use a spoon to mix the coconut oil into the flour until it has the consistency of fine breadcrumbs
  6. Add the dried fruit and stir well
  7. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in a little bit of the milk
  8. Using your hands fold in the milk, keep adding the milk and folding until you have a dough, the dough will be slightly wet
  9. Place the dough on a chopping board or clean surface that has been dusted with flour
  10. Knead the dough for a couple of minutes
  11. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it is about 2cm thick
  12. Using a biscuit cutter cut the dough into scones
  13. Place the cut dough onto the baking trays, leaving enough space between the scones for them to expand
  14. If you have any dough edges left you can knead them again, roll them out and cut more scones
  15. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes
  16. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy

If you’ve enjoyed this recipe why not check out my other vegan recipes?

Delicious Banana Bread

I love this delicious banana bread, it is great when I feel like I want a piece of cake but not a sugar high. It’s also great for toddlers too!

Due to my M.E. I’m very sensitive to sugar so when I eat something sugary I get a real high followed by a crash that makes me need to sleep.

This delicious banana bread is great as it is free for refined sugar, and the wholemeal flour provides slow release carbs alongside the walnuts which provide both protein and omega 3.

The original recipe came from The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook by Gill Rapley and I amended it slightly to make it dairy-free.

I first started making this recipe as my little girl would eat any vegetable, fruit, carbohydrate and even lentils that you put in front of her but she wasn’t keen on protein other than yoghurt and cheese. This recipe was a great way for me to get her to eat some egg and walnuts.

Ingredients for the Banana Bread:

Makes 12 mini loaves or one big one

  • 100g whole meal self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp ground mixed spice
  • 40g melted coconut oil
  • 50g raisins
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 50g walnuts
  • 1 egg

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4
  2. Line a loaf tin or mini tins with grease proof paper. I like to use silicone mini loaf tins as they don’t need to be lined
  3. Sift the flour and spices into a bowl
  4. Melt the coconut oil in a pan and add it to the flour, stir well
  5. Stir in the raisins
  6. In a hand blender blitz up the walnuts until they look a bit like bread crumbs
  7. In a separate bowl mash the bananas, stir in the egg, until well combined and then add the walnuts
  8. Fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients
  9. Spoon into the tin/s and bake, big loaf for 45 mins, small loaves 20 mins or until a skewer comes out clean
  10. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy

Store in an airtight container or the banana bread can be frozen. If you are making a large loaf slice it before placing it into the freezer.

If you’ve enjoyed this recipe then why not check out more of my toddler friendly snacks I’d love to hear how you get on, so add a photo and comment below.

Classic Houmous Recipe

I love houmous, I think I could eat it until it came out of my ears! This houmous recipe is quick and easy to make and is super versatile. It can be made with different beans or you can add spices to change the flavour.

I have to confess I don’t tend to make houmous very often, I usually buy it, I’m not organised enough to remember to make it in advance! It is a great snack to have in the fridge for all the family. My little girl loves it so when I need a quick snack for her I grab it out of the fridge and give it to her with some breadsticks. I aim is to get more organised and make houmous more often as the shop bought brands are quite high in salt.

Variations

I’ve played around a lot with houmous recipes to try and get a consistency and taste that I like. I have found the best way to get a smooth consistency is to add a splash of water, especially as personally I prefer it not to be too oily. I’ve recently experimented with cooking the garlic first so that it isn’t as bitter as raw garlic and this works really well.

The garlic can be roasted in the oven but if the oven isn’t on then I find the easiest way to do it is in a pan. Leave the garlic cloves whole and crush them with the skin on. Place them in a frying pan with a splash of olive oil and toss them regularly until they are soft. Remove the skin and then add to the food processor.

Most of my clients don’t have tahini in their homes and if they do it often goes off before they have had a chance to use it. Therefore this version of houmous uses toasted sesame oil instead.

Houmous Ingredients:

  • 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas
  • 2 gloves of garlic
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil (or 1 tbsp of tahini)
  • 1 small handful of parsley
  • splash of water

Method:

  1. Roast the garlic in a little olive oil, either in the oven or in a pan (as above)
  2. Add all the ingredients to a blender and blitz until well combined
  3. Add more water if the consistency isn’t smooth enough for your liking

If you’ve enjoyed this recipe then why not check out more of my healthy snack ideas

Vegan Guacamole

This vegan guacamole recipe is super easy to make and tastes delicious. During our baby yoga sessions we talk about weaning and the importance of encouraging children to try lots of different flavours from a young age.

This guacamole is perfect as the avocado makes it nice and creamy whilst the basil and lime give it flavour. I love to add a couple of drops of tabasco sauce to mine which goes down a treat with my one year old!

However, when I made it for my baby yoga class to try I omitted the tabasco so as not too put any of the children off!

Avocados are fantastic for babies (over 6 months) and toddlers as they are very nutrient dense and have a high fat content which will help to fill them up. In addition the cream texture is usually a hit with most babies. I like my guacamole to be smooth but you can make it chunky which is a great way to encourage your baby to try new textures if you have started with purees.

You can buy guacamole from most supermarkets, however they often include preservatives and are filled out with other ingredients such as rice flour and salt. Personally I think it is so easy to make that I would never bother buying it, especially as most brands include milk based ingredients and vegan versions seem to be more expensive.

Guacamole isn’t just for babies either it works fantastically with my chicken fajitas recipe too.

Guacamole Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 lime (juice)
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • Small handful fresh basil
  • Few drops Tabasco sauce (optional)

Method:

  1. Remove the skin and pip of the avocado
  2. Place the avocado in a blender with the tomatoes,basil and lime juice
  3. Blend until combined

If you’ve enjoyed my guacamole recipe then why not check out more toddler friendly recipes or more of my vegan recipes.

Chocolate Fudge Drops

I created this recipe for healthy chocolate fudge drops as I frequently get asked for ideas to help people with sugar cravings. More often than not sugar cravings in the evening are due to habits that we have formed. This can be due to a number of things from feeling like we deserve a treat after a stressful day to not eating enough and still being hungry.

As a result, these delicious chocolate fudge drops are packed full of protein and healthy fats to give you an energy boost and a sweet treat in one go.

I’m happy for my toddler to eat them too as they have no added sugar. They are quick and easy to make and don’t require any baking! Making them perfect to make whilst keeping an eye on my toddler!

Not only are they tasty they are fantastic if you are breastfeeding to keep your energy levels up or in the early days of long nights with your baby!

Ingredients for Chocolate Fudge Drops:

Makes 20 (depending on size)

  • 9 Medjool dates
  • 3 tbsp Coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp cashew butter
  • 2 tbsp cacao

Method:

  1. Put the dates into a small hand mixer and blend until they are finely chopped
  2. Melt the coconut oil, then leave to cool a little bit
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients to the blender and mix until combined
  4. Roll the mixture in to small balls and place on a lined baking tray
  5. Refrigerate for an hour to allow the balls to set

Variation:

I like to mix these up a bit and a great way to do this is to make with peanut butter instead. Simply add an extra tbsp of coconut milk and replace the cashew butter with peanut butter.

I’d love to hear how you get on with this recipe so leave a comment below. Alternatively click here for more of my healthy treats.

Vegan Chocolate Fudge Drops, packed full of protein with no added sugar

Avocado Chocolate Brownie – Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free!

These avocado chocolate brownies are always a winner! They are packed full of vitamins and minerals and are gluten-free and dairy-free. The brownies do contain maple syrup so try to avoid going all out and eating the whole tray in one go!

Ingredients:

Makes 9 (depending on size)

  • 1 avocado
  • 50g coconut oil (melted)
  • 120ml maple syrup
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 35g coconut flour
  • 110g cacao
  • 1 tsp bicarb
  • 50g pecan nuts

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 175C
  2. Whisk avocado until smooth
  3. Add the egg and whisk until well combined
  4. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract and egg
  5. Combine the coconut flour, cacao and bicarb in a bowl and stir well
  6. Gradually add the flour mixture into the blender with the avocado mixture until well combined
  7. Roughly chop the nuts and stir into the batter
  8. Place in a lined tin and bake for 30 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean
  9. Leave to cool and then cut into 9 squares