apricot coconut squares

apricot coconut squaresapricot coconut squares

Miss G. and I did a little messing about in the kitchen yesterday afternoon and came up with these gorgeous apricot coconut squares.

The flavours were definitely inspired by last weeks apricot coconut breakfast cookies.  Grace enjoyed the breakfast cookies so much I just had to find another recipe to weave apricot and coconut into and these bars were just the place.

These little darlings are chock full of natural goodness and are a simple mix of bananas, oats, dates, natural peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla bean paste and of course apricot and coconut.  Pictured below are flaked almonds, however I decided to leave them out of the batter and replace instead with extra shredded coconut.  Doing so created a much more friendly baby led weaning texture and these squares are suitable for bubs approximately 8 months and older.  Younger bubs may find the dried apricot a little too challenging.

Thanks to the food processor the apricot and coconut studded batter comes together in just moments and can be baking away to golden perfection in less than 10 minutes.  Grace really enjoyed making these bars and made sure she was in charge of measuring the ingredients, popping them into the processor and of course turning the processor on (her favourite thing to do in the kitchen).  She also managed to flatten the dough into our prepared baking tin thanks to her pint sized rubber spatula.

Once the squares had baked to golden perfection and cooled we stirred together a little melted white chocolate with greek yoghurt and vanilla bean paste to create a luscious drizzle to adorn the cooled squares with.

Along with a few fresh strawberries these apricot coconut squares make the perfect baby led weaning morning or afternoon tea snack.

To make your own batch of apricot coconut squares simply…

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blueberry hazelnut muffins

blueberry hazelnut muffinsblueberry hazelnut muffins

During the week Miss G. and I did a little recipe testing and came up with these gorgeously golden hazelnut muffins bursting with blueberries.

Not only are these little darlings absolutely delicious but with a little tweaking we also managed to bake these babies using no sugar, just a little maple syrup for sweetness.  The maple syrup also helped to create the most amazing golden cracked crust.

The addition of hazelnut meal and yoghurt to the muffin batter also helped to create a wonderfully tender crumb and moist texture, which is perfect for little hands to pick up and nibble on.

But the most wonderful part of these muffins has to be the gorgeously juicy blueberries.  When folded through the muffin batter the blueberries leave the most gorgeous trail of blue stained juice creating the prettiest blue coloured swirls.  And once baked the tart blueberries burst throughout the crumb creating sweet caramelised jammy pockets of blueberry goodness.

These muffins are an absolute must try.  They are chock full of natural goodness, not overly sweet and full of wonderful blueberries.  And I know for a fact that any surplus muffins freeze wonderfully.  Simply wrap individual portions, pop into a freezer safe container and stash in the deep freeze for up to three months.  I often pop frozen muffins straight into our lunch box and by morning tea they’re ready to enjoy.

To create your own batch of sugar-free blueberry hazelnut muffins simply…

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apple, cinnamon & hazelnut loaf

apple, cinnamon & hazelnut loafphoto-2159

We moved house over the weekend and it was the single most stressful experience of my life.

Packing up your entire existence whilst caring for a newborn and almost two year old should be an olympic sport.

It’s tough.

Really tough.

Looking back and considering the feat, we did pretty well.

And I have to say that settling into our new home feels wonderful.

Especially the kitchen.

The first creation to emerge from my new favourite place is this wonderful little apple, cinnamon and hazelnut loaf.

Loaf cakes have become a bit of a go-to for breakfast of late.  Jam packed with fruit and able to be whipped up and in the oven in less than 10 minutes they’re a great breakfast alternative to the usual toast or cereal routine which can get pretty boring after a while.

Today’s apple, cinnamon and hazelnut loaf is not only completely delish but really good for the little ones too.  I managed to get 4 apples into this little darling, and because of the natural sweetness from the apples I used a mere half cup of brown sugar in the entire loaf.  If you’re keen to skip the sugar completely, simply replace with a half cup of maple or a third cup of agave syrup which would also work beautifully.

The hazelnut meal in this loaf is genius.  It not only creates a tender and wholesome crumb but a gorgeous earthy nutty flavour that works beautifully with the classic apple and cinnamon flavour combination.  And the smells that wafts from the oven as the loaf bakes to gorgeous goldenness is simply divine.  So much so that Miss G. kept hovering around the oven saying ‘yum yum’ until it was finally cooked.

This loaf is also the perfect texture for little ones just beginning their baby led weaning journey.  The abundance of apple strewn throughout the loaf creates a dense and moist crumb that won’t be too easily squished by little hands making it simple for beginners to hold and nibble on with ease.  Just slice the loaf into thick batons and your little one should have no trouble at all.

This apple, cinnamon and hazelnut loaf also freezes wonderfully.  Simply slice and wrap individual pieces in a little cling wrap, pop into a freezer safe container and stash in the deep freeze for up to 3 months.  Allow to thaw by simply resting on the bench or in a lunch box.

To create your own apple, cinnamon and hazelnut loaf simply…

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raspberry & pistachio loaf cake

raspberry & pistachio loaf cakeraspberry & pistachio loaf cake

I know I’ve been a little quiet lately, but I have the most wonderful excuse…

cutie pie

I’ve been busy baking this little cutie pie.

Although I did manage to post a few recipes during my pregnancy, constant morning sickness made cooking, photographing and writing about food pretty unbearable.

Now that I am feeling human once again, I am thrilled to be back in the kitchen alongside my lovely little helper to share more of our favourite baby led weaning recipes and today with our beautiful little man fast asleep Grace and I crept into the kitchen to put together this wonderful raspberry and pistachio loaf cake.

This pistachio flecked and raspberry studded gorgeously golden creation is delicious and thanks to the use of the food processor couldn’t be simpler to prepare. We had the cake nestled in the oven in less than ten minutes.  And Grace loved loved loved using the processor, anything with buttons!  If you do ever have trouble getting your little ones eating, my top tip is to get them involved in the cooking whenever possible.  Now that Grace is that little bit older she really loves spending time in the kitchen baking and preparing dinner most evenings.  And seeing her beam with pride when we sit down to eat is just lovely.   In fact her new favourite game is to name the ingredients as she quickly devours them and today was no exception.  As we sat down to morning tea with two slithers of loaf and a little fresh fruit, Miss G. recalled the ingredients giving her own unique pronunciation to most of them.

To create your own raspberry & pistachio loaf simply…

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strawberry & mandarin muffins

strawberry & mandarin muffinsstrawberry & mandarin muffins

Mandarins this time of year are simply divine.

Full of juice, amazingly sweet and perfectly packaged these little babies make the ultimate on-the-go baby led weaning snack.

Lately, a day doesn’t go by without one of these bright orange autumnal fruits finding its way into our lunch box and ultimately Miss G’s. tummy.  She absolutely adores them.

So in celebration of our go-to fruit of the moment I conjured up this batch of wonderful wholemeal strawberry and mandarin muffins.

And I couldn’t be more pleasantly surprised by the flavour combination. The strawberry and mandarin work beautifully together.  While the mandarin adds a delightful aromatic citrus zest and flavour to the muffins the strawberries provide natural sweetness which is needed due to the intentional lack of sugar in the recipe.

For a little extra goodness I also decided to replace the white refined flour with the more hearty, wholesome and nourishing wholemeal variety.

This particular muffin recipe makes 12 strawberry studded beauties and I am more the happy to say they freeze wonderfully.  Simply allow the muffins to cool completely, wrap individually, pop into a freezer bag or container and stash in the deep freeze for up to 3 months.  I often pop a muffin straight from the freezer into Grace’s lunch box and by lunch time the muffin is defrosted and ready to devour.

I know I’ve said it before but muffins, along with a little fresh fruit, really do make a wonderful baby led weaning breakfast or morning tea snack.  They’re the perfect shape for little hands to grip and nibble away on with ease and they’re gorgeously soft texture makes them an effortless snack from the very beginning of your baby led weaning journey.  In fact, if Grace has been fussy with teething and off her food I’ll often bake a quick batch of fruit filled muffins to induce her appetite once again.

To create these super simple strawberry mandarin muffins simply…

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strawberry & apple oat crisp bars

strawberry & apple oat crisp barsstrawberry & apple oat crisp bars

Oh it feels so wonderful to be back in the kitchen and baking once again.

We’ve just experienced one of the most unbelievably crazy months.

Between teething molars, tummy bugs, trips to emergency (both Grace and I), the flu, spring cleaning, redecorating the house and a family beach vacay we have been completely out of our usual routine.

The good news is we made it through and today we’re back with these totally gorgeous strawberry and apple oat crisp bars.

These bars are amazing and come from one of my all-time favourite food blogs, Smitten Kitchen.  The moment these gorgeously golden fruit layered oat bars hit my inbox I knew Grace and I had to bake them.  They’re everything we look for in a morning tea snack; they’re chock full of oats and fruit, taste incredible and are the perfect portable snack.  We made a few adjustments to the original recipe (mostly in the method so that Grace could get involved in the baking) and we also swapped the rhubarb for apple.

These bars really are a breeze to prepare, Grace and I managed to get them into the oven in less than 10 minutes and only used one mixing bowl, which is great when you’re trying to clean with an eager 18 month old chasing you around the kitchen.

Once baked, I popped a couple of the crispy golden strawberry and apple strewn bars into the lunch box and Grace devoured them alongside a little fruit for her snack at the park this morning.

To create these gorgeous strawberry & apple oat crisp bars simply…

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lovely lemon loaf

lovely lemon loaflovely lemon loaf

Todays lovely lemon loaf really couldn’t be more simple.

It so simple that Miss G. and I managed to stir the batter together and have this heavenly loaf baking away in the oven in less than 10 minutes.

And the results though couldn’t be more sublime.

This gorgeously golden loaf is not only heady in lovely lemony scent but is chock full of wholesome, totally good for you ingredients; yoghurt, macadamia nut oil, agave syrup and wholemeal flour.

Along with a little fruit, this loaf makes the perfect baby led weaning morning or afternoon tea snack and is also the perfect addition to any lunch box.

To create this lovely lemon loaf simply…

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