banana coconut mini loaves

banana coconut breakfast loavesbanana coconut breakfast loaves

As the spring sun begins to rise earlier and earlier each day so too do my little ones.

Our days now officially begin the moments the first rays of spring sunshine sneakily peak through the cracks of the curtains.

I don’t mind too much though as we’ve been making the most of these early mornings either by going for a gorgeous walk in the beautiful sunshine or spending the first hour of the morning nestled by the kitchen bench baking up a storm.

This morning we opted for the latter and decided to bake a special batch of banana and coconut loaves chockfull of deliciousness.

These banana and coconut mini loaves couldn’t be simpler to prepare, they come together in mere moments with very little effort and all in the one big mixing bowl.  Miss G. had the best fun mashing the bananas!  And thanks to the loaves being so cute and teeny tiny they take no time at all to bake.

Baby led weaning is messy

These mini loaves are taken to the heights of deliciousness thanks to the adornment of a scrumptious layer of banana, coconut, cinnamon and sprinkle of rapadura sugar.  Once baked this layer of goodness caramelises to gorgeous goldenness and fills the house with most divine aromas of comforting banana and cinnamon.

This recipe creates 12 mini loaves so please feel free to cool half the loaves, wrap individual portions and pop into a freezer bag or container.  They will keep beautifully in the deep freeze for up to 3 months and make a wonderful addition to any lunch box.

In terms of baby led weaning, these loaves are very easy for beginners to pick up and nibble on.  The loaves texture is firm enough to withstand tight little grips yet soft enough to be nibbled on.  These loaves are sweetened thanks to the lovely combination of mashed banana and a half cup of rapadura sugar.  However, a lot of sweetness and flavour also comes from the fragrant ground cinnamon and vanilla bean paste so if your bananas are especially sweet, please feel free to half the amount of sugar.

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raspberry coconut cookies

raspberry coconut cookiesraspberry coconut cookies

Yesterday my sweet little helpers and I had the pleasure of spending the entire afternoon in the kitchen.  Not only did we manage to make one gigantic mess but we stirred together these gorgeously golden raspberry and coconut cookies.

And I have to say these cookies are absolutely delicious.  Chockfull of nutritional oats, shredded coconut and wholewheat flour and sweetened with a mix of rapadura sugar and maple syrup these little babies are not only delicious but a great little treat to pop into the lunch box.  The original recipe called for 1 cup of rapadura (or coconut sugar) I cut this amount in half and only added a half cup of sugar to the dough but on tasting the cookies I think the sugar could be cut down further, so if you’re that way inclined please feel free to do so.  1/3 cup or even 1/4 cup of sugar would suffice.  Also if your unable to find rapadura or coconut sugar, brown sugar can be used too.

Thankfully these cookies only take 10 or so minutes to bake to gorgeous goldenness, because as they bake the most gorgeous aromas of coconut, maple syrup and caramelised raspberries waft from the oven and certainly get tummies rumbling.

In terms of baby led weaning, the texture of these cookies makes them perfect for blw beginners as they are soft enough to nibble on with ease yet firm enough to withstand tight little grips.  Mr H. smashed his way through one of the cookies, along side a fresh strawberry for afternoon tea.

Although I haven’t tested it myself I also imagine these cookies would freeze and thaw beautifully.  So if you do go ahead and bake  a batch please feel free to wrap the leftover cookies, pop into a freezer safe container and stash in the deep freeze for up to three months.

To create your own batch of raspberry coconut cookies simply…

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strawberry & pistachio flapjacks

strawberry & pistachio flapjacksstrawberry & pistachio flapjacks

These gorgeously golden flapjacks studded with gooey sticky sweet strawberries and shards of bright green pistachio are delish.

Chock full of rolled oats, sweetened with maple syrup and bound together with the help of two bananas and a grated apple these flapjacks are a wonderful baby led weaning snack full of nutritional yumminess.

The little ones and I have baked flapjacks a few times over the last month, adding different fruits and nuts to keep these oaty darlings interesting.  So far this strawberry and pistachio flapjack combination is our favourite with blueberry and coconut a very close runner up.

Traditional flapjacks contain quite a bit of sugar and butter which helps them to stick together and form firm bars.  This recipe with far less sugar and butter is less dense and the bars can be a little crumbly.  This however didn’t stop Miss G. and Mr H. from demolishing them.  Harry used his iron grip to crumble the bars into smithereens then slowly and thoughtfully picked and snacked his way through the strawberry studded rubble.  Also, I picked any whole pistachios off of Mr H.’s bar.  If your little one isn’t yet eating nuts feel free to use equal amounts of shredded coconut, or finely ground the pistachios in a food processor.

To create your own strawberry & pistachio flapjacks simply…

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wholemeal grapefruit & coconut muffins

wholemeal grapefruit & coconut muffinswholemeal grapefruit & coconut muffins

Miss G. is absolutely obsessed with baking muffins at the moment.

So much so, at bath time she insists on having a muffin tray in the bath with her so she can practice pouring her bath water batter into the muffin moulds.  It’s so cute but I must confess it makes finishing up bath time quite the battle.

Not to disappoint my keen little baker any further I decided we’d keep the muffin enthusiasm rolling on and bake these super simple wholemeal grapefruit and coconut muffins.

She was absolutely delighted and I think you will be too.

These muffins are delicious.  The grapefruit zest provides the muffin crumb with the most incredibly fragrant citrus flavour that works oh so perfectly with the shredded coconut and the juicy segment of caramelised grapefruit nestled on top takes these muffins to the highest heights of deliciousness.

We used our beloved H2CoCo organic virgin coconut oil once again in these muffins and I’m so happy we did.  The coconut oil not only helps to create a deliciously moist and tender crumb but also helps to echo the flavours of the shredded coconut even further.  This organic coconut oil has quickly become our go-to baking oil.

wholemeal apple muffins

These wholemeal grapefruit coconut muffins are perfect for baby led weaning beginners.  Even though the muffins texture is slightly crumbly, little ones are still able to grip large pieces of muffin and nibble on the other end with no problem.  I served the muffin alongside a few slices of fresh apple and Mr H. demolished the lot – making quite the mess in the process.

If you’re going to make a batch of these muffins I would recommend freezing half – I did.  Just be sure to allow the muffins to cool to room temperature, wrap individual portions in cling film and pop into a freezer safe container.  They last a good 3 months stashed away in the deep freeze and they’re a fabulous additions to any lunch box.

To create your own batch of wholemeal grapefruit and coconut muffins simply…

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wholemeal lemon, ricotta & chia muffins

wholemeal lemon, ricotta & chia muffinswholemeal lemon, ricotta & chia muffins

I adore winter.  It truly is my favourite season.

As the days shorten and the weather turns frosty there is nothing I love more than retreating home to spend long lazy afternoons nestled by the kitchen bench slow cooking beautiful cuts of meat or baking up a storm.  Filling our home with hearty warming dishes during these frosty winter months delights me like no other.  I treasure these precious moments with my little family and love nothing more than spending an evening snuggled under a warm cozy throw watching movies and sipping my favourite glass of red.

There is, however, one down side to my love and adoration of winter and that is the nasty colds and flus that always seem to come with it.  The last two weeks have been hijacked by one very nasty flu and unfortunately my little babies felt the worst of it.  After lots of cuddles, a little pain relief, plenty of rest and a good dose of pumpkin soup I am very happy to say we’re all well and truly on the mend.

That said, to ward off any future winter born bugs I’ve been incorporating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables into our diets as well as a gorgeously green smoothie most mornings (I’ll be sharing our smoothie recipe next week).  I’ve also made a conscious effort to incorporate as many healthy ingredients into our baking repertoire as well.  My latest love is H2CoCo’s delicious organic virgin coconut oil.  I’ve been using it in lieu of olive oil when I cook and have even managed to incorporate it into our baked goodies including these apricot pistachio quinoa bars and blueberry banana and chia loaf.

wholemeal apple muffins

Today’s wholemeal lemon, ricotta and chia muffins also use the organic and 100% raw and natural oil.  The coconut oil not only provides the muffins with gorgeous moisture to create a very tender crumb but gives the muffins a slight coconut flavour that works beautifully with the lemon and ricotta.  The kids absolutely adored them for morning tea and gobbled up a muffin each along with a few sliced perfectly ripe strawberries.

To create your own batch of wholemeal lemon, ricotta & chia muffins simply…

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apricot & pistachio quinoa bars

apricot & pistachio quinoa barsapricot & pistachio quinoa bars

Earlier this week my lovely little helpers and I also managed to bake these gorgeously golden apricot and pistachio quinoa bars.

These bars are absolutely delicious and another adapted recipe I picked up from the gorgeous Donna Hay Magazine, Fresh and Light.  I am so happy I picked up this magazine, it has all of Donna’s usual stunning food styling plus an array of new, healthier ingredients that I am so delighted to have discovered.

These apricot and pistachio studded quinoa bars are made up of a few of my new found favourite ingredients like quinoa flakes, buckwheat flour and rice malt syrup and they couldn’t be simpler to prepare.  Simply toast the quinoa flakes, quinoa, coconut and almonds and mix these thoroughly with the rest of the lovely ingredients.  After a quick trip to the oven these bars a golden and set and once cooled ready to be cut into squares and served alongside a slice of apple or two for a lovely little snack.

Get better protection & a faster clean-up with a Little Chomps Messy Mealtime Smock

Get better protection & a faster clean-up with a Little Chomps Messy Mealtime Smock

Although Mr H. (nine months old) chomped through his bar containing crunchy pistachios and almonds with little issue I would only recommend serving these bars to little ones who are well versed in eating crunchy style muesli or oat bars.  I’ve served home made crunchy oat bars to Mr H. for the past couple of months so his eating style has developed to that of being able to chomp away on nuts strewn through bars quite easily.  If your little one isn’t yet up to eating nuts you may want to give these raspberry oat bars a try instead.

To create your own apricot & pistachio quinoa bars simply…

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blueberry, banana & chia loaf

blueberry banana and chia loafblueberry banana and chia loaf

I’m so sorry for the short post but both my babies woke up sick this morning so I’m completely flustered managing runny noses, sniffles and awful sounding coughs.

This loaf however is gorgeous.  Using my new favourite ingredients buckwheat flour and coconut sugar the depth of flavour and texture of this banana and blueberry studded loaf is divine.  And although this loaf does take a good hour or so to bake to gorgeous goldenness the batter can be stirred together in mere moments and requires no heavy machinery just a trusty wooden spoon.

Say "yay!" to less washing with a Little Chomps Messy Mealtime Smock

Say “yay!” to less washing with a Little Chomps Messy Mealtime Smock

If you’re looking for a hearty, fruit filled, nutritional loaf to fill little bellies with this darling loaf is just for you.  Oh this recipe is also suitable to freeze, so feel free to stash surplus slices in the deep freeze!

Now, back to my sick little darlings.

Happy baking beautiful mama’s. X

To create your own lovely little blueberry banana and chia loaf simply…

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