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.

To create your own divine little batch of banana coconut breakfast loaves simply…

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blueberry coconut cookies with dark choc drizzle

blueberry coconut cookies with choc drizzleblueberry coconut cookies with choc drizzle

Spring has definitely sprung.  Along with the gorgeously warm and sunny days comes a whole heap of much desired playtime that my kids are absolutely gobbling up.  Most days are spent in the back garden, digging around in the sandpit, playing in the cubby house or riding their little cars round and round the garden.  I absolutely love it because let’s be honest, it gives me a few extra moments of peace.

With all of the extra running around I thought the kids could indulge in a little ‘sometimes’ sweet, something a little bit special and extra sweet than our normal snacks.  Most days I try to keep snack time pretty healthy but with all of the extra activity I figure a little blueberry coconut cookie drizzled with a little dark chocolate couldn’t hurt.

That said, these cookies aren’t too bad.  Yes they are sweetened with rapadura sugar and a little maple syrup but they’re also chockfull of blueberries, oats, shredded unsweetened coconut and wholemeal flour.  And whilst the chocolate drizzled over each cookie looks quite impressive and decadent, by weight the amount is quite minimal.  I melted 50 grams of dark chocolate (that adorned over 20 cookies) and a lot of it met the baking paper rather than the cookies, especially when Miss G. was in charge of the drizzle.

As you can imagine both of my little ones absolutely adored the cookies, especially Mr H.

Mr H. wearing the little chomps messy mealtimes smock

By the end of his cookie he had completely covered himself in dark chocolate and smashed blueberry but I didn’t mind at all thanks to his Little Chomps messy mealtime smock.

This gorgeous smock (I adore the bright red colour) has been an absolute lifesaver since Mr H. began his baby led weaning journey.  Not only has my washing pile been cut in half but his clothes have remained stain free giving them a longer shelf life and saving me money yippee!

Baby led weaning is messy

I also love that the smock is completely waterproof, wipeable and machine-washable.  Following a really messy meal I simply peel the smock off Mr H. and pop it straight into the washing machine!  I have four of the gorgeous smocks (they come in the coolest colours) so that they are always on hand and ready to go!  I even keep one in the nappy bag for when we are out and about!

Mr H. wearing his Little Chomps messy mealtimes smock

Another feature I simply adore is the elastic sleeves, they are intelligently designed to cuff little wrists perfectly to stop food and drinks destroying sleeves without being too tight around chubby little arms.

Mr H. wearing his Little Chomps messy mealtimes smock

The smock comes in one size designed to grow with your little ones from 6 months to 2+ years, always remaining long enough to cover their little lap perfectly.  Meanwhile, how gorgeous are Mr H.’s baby toes…

The smock is made from a soft, breathable, biodegradable fabric that is  BPA and PVC-free.  I also love that the fabric isn’t plastic so it doesn’t distract little ones with that terrible sounds only plastic makes.

What I love most though is the messy mealtime smock is proudly designed by a beautiful and very talented Australian mum.  You can really see the thought, attention and detail that has gone into the smock to create such an amazing product.  If you’re in the market for a smock I really can’t recommend this one more.

To create your own batch of blueberry coconut cookies drizzled with luscious dark chocolate 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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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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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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apricot coconut breakfast cookies

apricot coconut breakfast cookiesapricot coconut breakfast cookies

Miss G. and I did a little baking yesterday and came up with these gorgeously golden darlings and I am so excited to share the recipe.

Not only are these babies chock full of apricot, coconut and oats but are sugar free and can be whipped up and nestled in the oven baking to golden perfection in less than 10 minutes.  And the flavour of these cookies is amazing, the vanilla bean paste and maple syrup work so beautifully with the oats to create the most incredible baby led weaning breakfast.

We ate these for breakfast this morning, along with a little fresh fig but these breakfast cookies would make the perfect addition to any lunch box and make the perfect on-the-go snack.  There not too messy either which is great for when you’re out and about.

Although I haven’t tried to freeze these cookies (they disappear way too quickly) I do think they would freeze beautifully.  Simply wrap individual portions, pop into a freezer container and stash in the deep freeze for up to 3 months.

If your little one is just beginning their baby led weaning adventure these cookies may be a little ambitious and the slightly crumbly texture may be a little too challenging.  However from approximately 8 months onwards your little one should be fine with these cookies.

To create these easy peasy apricot coconut breakfast cookies simply…

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