mighty morning muffins

mighty morning muffinsmighty morning muffins

We’re heading away for the weekend to one of our favourite island destinations in the whole wide world to watch my beautiful baby sister marry the man of her dreams.

We are all so excited but very busy.  There is so much to organise when travelling with little ones and no matter how planned and thought out I think I am there always seems to be bits and pieces I miss and last minute dashes to the store are inevitable.  Today’s mad rush involved hunting down a pair of stockings for Miss G.

Packing food for the kids is always a challenge too.  So at the beginning of the week we got busy in the kitchen and baked a whole heap of goodies to freeze and take with us.   In our lunch box we have coconut banana pancakes, delicious oat choc chip cookies, pea and mint fritters and a batch of these gorgeous golden mighty morning muffins.

These muffins really are mighty and so jam packed with nutritional goodness.  The combination of oats, sultanas, carrot and banana make them a hearty baby led weaning breakfast and will keep the little ones going well and truly until lunch time.

These muffins couldn’t be simpler to prepare simply whisk together the wet ingredients along with the banana and carrot, fold through the dry ingredients, pop into a muffin tin and bake.  This particular recipe makes approximately 15 muffins and freezes beautifully. Simply allow the muffins to cool completely, wrap individual portions, pop into a freezer safe container and stash in the deep freeze for up to three months.

To create your own batch of mighty morning muffins simply…

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raspberry oat bars

raspberry oat barsraspberry oat bars

I did the unthinkable yesterday and ventured solo to Ikea with my two lovely little cherubs.

By some miracle they both behaved (very uncharacteristically) like angels.

So I took advantage of their great moods and shopped, shopped and shopped whilst Harry giggled at Grace as she pushed him in the trolley through the maze of furniture and homewares.

We did stop halfway though for a lovely snack and my little shoppers were so happy to munch on these raspberry oat bars I’d packed into our lunch box.

These bars are delicious and couldn’t be simpler to prepare.  Just pop the ingredients into a food processor and blitz.  Once the batter is nestled in the tin gently press a few raspberries into the bars and bake for 20-25 minutes or until gorgeously golden.

This recipe makes 16 bars that will vanish all too quickly.  They really are delicious.  And did I mention this recipe contains no eggs and no sugar!  These bars are instead sweetened by a couple of ripe bananas and a handful of mejool dates.  The vanilla extract and ground cinnamon also provide the bars with a good hit of gorgeous flavour.

The texture of these bars is soft and squishy yet firm which makes them wonderful for baby led weaning beginners as they will withstand their tight grip.

My little ones also enjoy these bars for breakfast.  I serve them alongside a little fresh fruit and they are gobbled up in no time.

To create your own batch of raspberry oat bars simply…

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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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caramelised banana dutch pancake with fresh strawberries

caramelised banana dutch pancake with fresh strawberriescaramelised banana dutch pancake with fresh strawberries

I adore everything about winter.

The cosy clothes, endless cups of hot tea and days spent with the slow cooker bubbling away in the kitchen are my idea of heaven.

The late winter sunrise also guarantees a greatly appreciated sleep in most mornings and when Miss G. finally stirs she is more than happy to huddle, snuggle and cuddle under the warm cosy covers until we finally pluck up enough courage to face the frosty morning together.

Most mornings we make our way straight to the kitchen to heat up our beloved oats with a little stewed apple but this morning I decided something a little extra special was required so we put together this super simple caramelised banana dutch pancake with fresh strawberries.

Although I have a very special place in my heart for traditional pancakes, on a frosty winter morning when immediate warming nourishment is required I much prefer the fuss free nature of the Dutch pancake.  There is no standing over a fry pan endlessly flipping pancakes, simply pour the batter over a little caramelised fruit and pop into a piping hot oven.  Fifteen minutes later a perfectly puffed and gorgeously golden fruit studded pancake emerges ready to be devoured.

Todays incarnation of our fuss free pancake included caramelised banana and fresh strawberries and really was baby led weaning winter breakfast perfection.  The texture of the pancake is perfect for little hands to hold and nibble away on with ease and when served alongside fresh strawberries and a little yoghurt, this breakfast will have your little one satisfied all morning long.

To create this winter warming caramelised banana dutch pancake with fresh strawberries simply…

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banana choc muffins

banana choc muffinsbanana choc muffins

Tummy bugs, teething and the sniffles.  Yep this pretty much sums up our life for the past couple of weeks.

Poor little Miss G. has seen it all.  Just as the little trooper managed to get over one ailment she was barraged with yet another.

Between the tears, runny noses, sore gums and high temps there were no real food opportunities to share.  Grace’s appetite all but vanished.  The only bits and pieces she managed to eat were butter on toast, a few crackers and a little fruit here and there.

Thankfully our bouncy, bubbly, full of beans bubba soon returned, along with a mammoth like appetite and I couldn’t have been happier.  After mentally calculating the number of meals she had missed I instantly hit the kitchen to stock up once again on her favourites meals and snacks and the first cab off the rank were these gorgeously dark banana choc muffins.

I adore this muffin recipe.  Not only is it sugar-free and chock full of wonderful banana , it truly is one of the simplest recipes around.  Grace and I managed to stir them together in less than 5.

And the results are sublime.  The banana strewn throughout the deep dark choc muffins is delicious.  Not only does it create a moist and tender crumb but the banana flavour works beautifully with the cocoa.  I’m also really digging the macadamia nut oil, it adds a rich buttery flavour and is jam packed with goodness.

To create your own batch of these gorgeously dark banana choc muffins simply…

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cranberry pecan oat bars

cranberry pecan oat barscranberry pecan oat bars

With a busier than usual weekend coming up, this morning we decided to get a little uncharacteristically organised and prepare a few lovely little snacks for the lunch box to keep us satisfied whilst on the road.

Along with an easy peasy batch of blueberry muffins and sweet corn fritters, Grace and I stirred together this gorgeously simple batch of cranberry pecan oat bars.

I love these cranberry pecan oat bars.  Not only are they sugar free and chock full of amazingly nutritious bananas, dates, oats, cranberries, coconut and pecans but they couldn’t be simpler to prepare thanks to the muscle of a food processor.  Miss G. and I were easily able to whip these bars up and have them baking away in the oven in less than 10 minutes.

And these gorgeously golden bars make the perfect baby led weaning snack.  They are firm enough to withstand tight little grips whilst soft enough for little mouths to nibble on with ease.  Grace had no trouble demolishing the chopped pecans strewn throughout the bars, however if you think your little one isn’t yet up to the task simply leave them out.

To create these gorgeous cranberry pecan oat bars simply…

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banana date loaf

banana date loafbanana date loaf

We’re definitely the kind of family that has to have a baked goodie of some kind perched on the kitchen bench each and every day.

For us, it just doesn’t feel like home without a fresh batch of muffins or fruit loaf nestled on the kitchen counter ready to be devoured.

Pre baby our baked goodies were more often than not based on the traditional concoction of sickening sugar, heart stopping butter and overrefined white flour.  Yuck.

However since beginning baby led weaning and wanting to feed Grace lovely little nutritious and delicious treats my baked goodies have been given quite the health conscious make over.  Butter has been replaced with healthier oils like coconut, macadamia or olive.  Sugar has been kicked out and replaced with naturally sweet fruit (banana is our favourite) or agave syrup and overrefined white flour has been replaced with almond meal, wholemeal or spelt flour.

And todays banana date loaf is the perfect example of my new baking style.  Both free of sugar and gluten this little darling is not only totally good for you but absolutely delicious.  This loaf is gorgeously sweet thanks to the banana and dates and heady in the scent of cinnamon and almond.  The almond meal also provides the loaf with the most wonderful moist texture.  Miss G. loved this loaf for morning tea alongside her usual yoghurt cup and raspberries.

To create this sugar-free and gluten-free gorgeously golden banana date loaf simply…

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