Archive for Kid friendly

Chewy chickpea cookies

I’m loving these high protein gluten-free cookies. They’re super easy to make, great for the lunch box and perfect for a mid morning cuppa. Warning: eating only one is a little tricky.

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The chia seeds act as an egg substitute bringing essential omegas and slow release energy, whilst also being another source of protein.

But it gets better. Chickpea flour also contains the coveted minerals selenium and zinc as well as iron, folate, calcium and others.

Before you start, factor in ~30 minutes for the cookie dough to sit in the fridge before baking. It helps concentrate the flavour, texture and lessen the spread of the cookie.

If you need them asap don’t worry – I’m pretty sure they’ll still be great cookies. I’ve also made these with whole chia and that works just fine too.

You will need:

1 Tbl ground chia (use your coffee grinder)
2 Tbl water
2 Tbl maple syrup
1 Tbl molasses
¼ C molasses sugar
¼ cup coconut oil (or rice bran)
1 tsp vanilla essence

1 cup chickpea flour
½ tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
½ C dark chocolate chips/raisins

Mix the chia seeds and water in a large bowl. Stir and let sit while you gather the rest of the ingredients.

Add maple syrup, molasses, sugar, oil and vanilla essence to the chia egg. You’ll have to stir in the oil.

Mix in the chickpea flour, baking soda and salt. Stir well and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 180.

Roll cookies and place on baking tray. Flatten with a fork (a damp fork will help this).

Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden.

Cool on wire rack. They will get chewier as they cool.

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Iron-rich truffles kids will love

And mums and dads!

Here we combine iron rich foods – prunes, walnuts, raw cacao, pumpkin seed butter + dates – for a power packed nutritious snack.

SAM_1349 (Small)

Serve these with a blueberry smoothie and you’ve got the important vit C to aid the iron absorption.

Pumpkin seed butter is my new best friend. It’s full of healthy proteins, fibre and important minerals such as zinc and iron. Lathered on a piece of rye topped with fresh watercress or microgreens and I’m a happy girl. If your small people aren’t so into it, try this recipe or use it when other nut butters are called for.

But first here’s a great after school snack idea. Dry toast pumpkin SAM_1946 (Small)seeds and sprinkle in some tamari at the end. It only takes a couple of minutes before the seeds start popping so stay close!

For the truffles you will need:

1 cup pitted prunes
¼ cup pitted dates (soak in hot water if hard)
½ walnuts
3 tablespoons pumpkin seed butter
½ tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
½ cup finely grated unsweetened coconut

Process the walnuts, dates and prunes.
Add the cacao and coconut, scraping the bowl as needed.
Add the remaining ingredients and run until fully mixed. If it’s hard on your processor, take it out and mix by hand.
Roll the mixture into little balls. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Note: you can use regular cocoa powder but raw cacao will pack in more nutrients, particularly iron.

This mixture is quite moist. You can add rolled oats or buckwheat to firm it up if you need. And try rolling the truffles with gloves on – it’s much easier!

For more iron-rich ideas for you and your kids click here.

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Pea pesto

Time on Instagram is well spent when I come across dishes as appealing as this quick cheesy pea pesto by Pepe Josephine at @pjantbased.

Photo credit Pepe Josephine

Photo credit Pepe Josephine

This is an easy option for when there’s not a lot of veges in the house but for a bag of peas in the freezer. We all have those times, right?

It makes a great pesto pasta, dip, sandwich filler, pizza topping … anything you want to lather in pesto goodness.

And the good news is peas are high in iron and basil is packed with health promoting flavonoids, oils, vitamins and minerals.

This will only take a few minutes to throw together in your food processor.

1 cup cooked peas

Juice of half lemon

3 Tbl nutritional yeast

1 clove garlic, minced

Handful basil, chopped

Salt to taste

Process and adjust. Add more water if too thick. You can also add more garlic and basil to suit your tastes.

It would be great on these gluten free noodles!

 

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Beetroot hummus

Pasta shells stuffed with cashew basil cream

 

Cranberry hazelnut chocolate bark

There’s no small amount of oil in this. I’m leaving the moderation of fat intake up to you. But it’s Christmas and this is beyond delicious. Proceed with caution.20151221_082514 (Small)

You will need:

¼ cup hazelnuts
¼ cup large coconut flakes
¼ cup cranberries

½ cup coconut oil
½ cup cacao/cocoa
¼ cup maple syrup
Pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 180.
Roast hazelnuts for ~ 10 minutes.
Remove and place between two paper towels and rub most of the skins off.
Toast the coconut flakes for ~ 3 minutes. Keep a close watch!
Rough chop hazelnuts and combine with coconut and cranberries
Melt coconut oil. Remove from heat.
Whisk in cocoa + maple syrup + salt.
Carefully stir in half the nut/cranberry/coconut mix.
Smooth onto a lined pan or sheet about 0.5-1cm thick.
Sprinkle rest of nut mix on top.
Freeze.

Remove from pan and gently peel back the paper.
Break into pieces + serve.

It will melt quickly so return to freezer if there’s any left.

Chocolate Cranberry Granola

Chocolate for breakfast is really ok.

Seriously ok in fact.

And what I love about this combo is that no one (as in smallish child) notices the buckwheat or the flaxseed. Or the fact that it’s no where near as sweet as those ‘healthy’ cereals from the supermarket.chocolate cranberry granola (Small)

And the base ingredients are cheap and full of slow release carbs, protein, B vits and omega 3s.

It’s got a little oil in it. But I’ve also made it without. Instead I used this outrageously amazing grape must from Sabato, foodies check out the photo below (it’s made from cooked grape must, cocoa and hazelnut ~ heavenly on coconut ice cream!). For an oil free version just add more water or pureed apple.

I’ve made a berry variation which comes out fabulously pink. Once you’re on a roll you could try all sorts of variations ~ apple + cinnamon, orange + cranberry.

You will need:cereal (Small)

4 cups oats
½ cup buckwheat
¼ flaxseed

½ cup dark cocoa
¼ molasses sugar
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup oil (coconut or rice bran)
¼ cup water
1 tsp vanilla essence

1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried coconut

Heat oven to 180. Oil a large baking tray.
Combine the first three ingredients together.
In another bowl, mix cocoa, sugar, syrup, oil, water and essence.
Combine, mixing well to coat the dry ingredients.
Spread on your oiled tray and bake for 15 minutes.
Stir in cranberries and coconut and bake for another 15 minutes. Watch closely.
Cool.

For the berry version sub the cocoa for berries. Whizz the berries with the other wet ingredients and sprinkle in some chopped dates.

Here’s the delicious grape must sauce.IMG_20151210_171543701 (1) (Small)

You may also like this recipe for vegan waffles

Vegan waffles

We were firmly a pancake family on Sundays. That was until our lovely American neighbours moved in across the street and we learnt about waffles.

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We’ve been cranking them out ever since.

This recipe is slightly adapted from Heather Crosby’s of Yum Universe. It’s a lot lower in fat than your standard waffle recipe so make sure you cook them well to avoid sticking.

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1 cup water/almond milk
1 ripe banana
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

½ cup chick pea flour
1 cup wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
Pinch ground cinnamon

1. Have the waffle iron heating while you prepare the batter.
2. Blend the wet ingredients.
3. Combine the dry ingredients and mix in the wet mixture
4. Using a pastry brush, coat your waffle iron with coconut oil.
6. Top warm waffles with warm berry or apple compote, sliced bananas and other seasonal fruit.

IMG_20150628_105953735 (Small)

Smokey Almonds

There are some foods that smell better than they taste. Agree?

And there are some smells and tastes that are, … well, so ingrained that to reconnect with them on any level is kinda cool.IMG_20150304_162327194 (Small)

{Can you seeing me skirting around the word bacon here? I just don’t want to have to think about how it ends up on so many plates and overwhelms most cafes on a Saturday morning}

Anyway. Liquid smoke imparts that smokey hickory taste without all the bits I don’t want to think about.

Almonds are a great vehicle for this tasty marinade … and tofu, tempeh … or almost any savoury dish my beloved thinks needs pepping up!

This recipe is inspired by those crazy cats at Thug Kitchen who can handle alot more smoke than me!

If you’re new to using liquid smoke I say proceed with caution until you get the hang of it. It’s potent.

Mix up:

1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp tamari
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp water

Coat almonds in the marinade. Bake for 10-15 minutes stirring mid way through. Keep a close eye.

Chop the almonds into salads, spreads for a smokey blast!

Pst Chopped into mashed avocado is outrageous.IMG_20150326_134903682 (Small)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go Go Goji Berry Bar

We eat a lot of bliss balls in our house. Like these ones and these ones.

But when time is short and the lunchbox calls. I ‘press’ instead of roll.2015-03-12_154504

1 C dried coconut
1 C oats
2 cups dates, chopped (soak if hard)
½ C goji berries, chopped
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 Tbl maple syrup
1Tbl water

Process all ingredients until sticky. Press into a container and freeze for a few hours. Cut into bars and store in the fridge.

6 Quick & Healthy Desserts Kids will Love

Dessert for kids is not always the icing on the, ahem, cake. Sometimes it is pure strategy.IMG_0249 (Small)

By that I mean a vehicle for extra nutrition that’s delicious and won’t have them climbing the walls at bedtime.

Think chocolate and spinach smoothie, or raspberry chia pudding.

When it comes to new foods kids can be cautious. But throw in dates, banana and thicken with chia seeds and they’re proud to share their special pud with their friends.

Keeping dessert natural cuts down on unwanted sugars, dairy products, colours and other unpronounceable ingredients. Heaven knows bedtimes can be challenging enough without extra stimulants!

Here are a couple of family favourites for busy mums who want to give their kids a healthy alternative to what the supermarket has to offer.

Be sure to serve your new treats in fabulous dessert glasses. Secondhand shops are full of them.

TREAT TIP NUMBER ONE

Turn an after school smoothie into dessert.20150227_093419

Blend non dairy milk, a banana or two, a few leafy greens and a dessertspoon of cocoa/cacoa powder.

Serve with homework.

Pour the leftover into a dessert glass. Mix in 1 tsp chia seeds. Chill.

Serve with chopped fresh fruit, coconut, freeze dried fruit sprinkles.

TREAT TIP NUMBER TWO

When bananas are cheap, buy lots and freeze them. A frozen banana blended makes a great icecream and base for other flavours.1796609_818417114851343_2104498000_n

Peach & banana blended with almond milk, 1 tsp ground flaxseed and a few cashews.

Mix n’ match fruit that’s in season and have fun with presentation.

TREAT TIP NUMBER THREE

Chocolate Avocado Mousse
File this one away for Christmas day. Grandma will have fun picking the ingredients!SAM_1771 (Small)

1-2 large, ripe bananas
1 avocado
¼ cup raw cacao powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbl maple syrup
1 Tbl water
Pinch of cardamom (optional)
Pinch of chilli (optional)
Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Serve in a pretty glass and top with berries.

TREAT TIP NUMBER FOUR
Don’t for a minute think these wee tarts are complicated. I’ve happily whipped them up around dinner time. They’ll be even better after a night in the fridge.SAM_2387 (Small)

Makes about eight shells
1 cup oats
1 cup prunes (you can use dates but you’ll have to soak them)
¼ cup cranberries

Process oats. Add prunes and cranberries. Process until the mixture sticks together.
Press into lined tart tins or similar shape. The lining helps you get them out in one piece. Chill until you need them. Carefully peel back the lining.

Fill with blueberry cream, any of the above creams or simply blend frozen berries and banana. Have fun decorating!

Blueberry cream
1/2 cup chopped raw cashews
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup of coconut water or water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground cardamom

TREAT TIP NUMBER FIVE

Peach Raspberry Crisp
5-6 peaches, sliced
Drizzle of maple syrup (apple syrup)
1 cup raspberries

1 cup rolled oats
½ tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
2 Tbl maple syrup (apple syrup)
1 Tbl waterraspberry peach crisp (Small)

Preheat oven to 180 C.
Bring the peaches & a little water to boil and simmer until tender ~10 minutes. Remove from heat and drizzle with a little maple/apple syrup to taste. Transfer to a ovenproof dish. Mix in the raspberries.

Combine oats, cinnamon, maple syrup & water together. Sprinkle on top of fruit and bake for 20 minutes. Serve with coconut yoghurt.

TREAT TIP NUMBER SIX
This comes into the category of parental self care!
Reserve for special occasions. The blueberry sauce however can go on anything.1230018_721444621215260_2628154_n

11/4 cups coconut meat
½ cup macadamia nuts
1½ Tbl coconut sugar/agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Blend until smooth.

Blueberry topping
1 cup blueberries
¼ cup maple syrup,
pinch cardamom,
lemon zest

In a small pot heat all the ingredients just until the berries are hot enough to start bursting. Allow to cool before spooning on top of coconut cream. Garnish with a few fresh berries and mint.

 

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Ice Cream Without The Extras and Why I Don’t Drink Milk

 

The best three ingredients you'll ever combine

Correction.

The best three ingredients for a sweet you’ll ever combine.

This Walnut Sauce has truly got the award for the savoury version.

choc balls

 

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Chocolate coated cookie dough truffles

oh and probably this brownie

Sugar-free sweet potato brownie