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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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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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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jam drop cookies

jam drop cookiesjam drop cookies

These gorgeously golden jam drop cookies are absolutely delicious thanks to my new found love, buckwheat flour.

Buckwheat flour is rich and nutty and creates the most wonderfully textured cookies.  And despite its name, buckwheat flour doesn’t actually contain any wheat, making it a wonderful gluten free flour alternative.  Buckwheat flour can be found at some major supermarkets or most health food stores.

I also love these cookies because the dough comes together in mere moments.  It’s as simple as popping all of the ingredients into a big bowl and giving it all a good mix.  Miss G. had the best fun stirring these babies together and enjoyed rolling them into little balls even more.  I did however take over once the jam had to be added to the centre of each cookie as my lovely little helper was hell bent on emptying the entire blueberry jam jar onto one cookie.

The texture of these jam drop cookies make them perfect for baby led weaning beginners.  And although they have the most wonderful crunchy outer layer, the inside of the cookie is tender enough to be gnawed on without breaking up too badly.  My little Harry had the best fun devouring his for morning tea alongside a few slices of apple.

Being free of refined sugar, eggs and gluten these jam drop cookies also make the perfect addition to any lunch box.

Unfortunately I haven’t had the opportunity to test whether these cookies freeze well, they disappeared way too quickly but given the texture and ingredients I imagine they would freeze and defrost with little issues.

To create your own batch of gorgeously golden jam drop cookies simply…

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wholemeal blueberry pikelets

wholemeal blueberry pikeletswholemeal blueberry pikelets

These wholemeal blueberry studded pikelets are absolutely delicious and made even more amazing when smothered in our homemade blueberry sauce.

I decided to whip these up for the kids morning tea early Tuesday morning as it was a little too cool for our usual morning walk and let’s just say the natives were getting restless.

Whenever I’m out of ideas to keep the kids happily entertained I always retreat to the kitchen.  With Grace perched on the kitchen bench and Harry nestled beside in his high chair they are happily entertained stirring, mixing, cracking eggs and baking for an hour or so.

These blueberry pikelets with blueberry sauce were a huge hit.  Not only did they keep the kids entertained whilst we stirred and cooked the blueberry studded batter but they gobbled them up ferociously once just cool enough.

The combination of the yoghurt and wholemeal flour in this recipe creates the most lovely and tender pikelets.  This lovely texture however can make the pikelets a little more tricky to flip.  My advice is to cook the pikelets over a low-medium heat and to cook them nice and slowly.  Once bubbles start to appear on the surface of the pikelet it means the pikelet has started to cook throughout the centre and is ready to be gently flipped.  I made flipping a little easier on myself by not overloading the pan, spacing the pikelets 3-4 centimetres apart and by using my trusty metal spatula.

Our blueberry sauce was a last minute idea I had and I have to say I’m glad that we went to the effort.  Not that I can really call it an effort.  We simply popped the blueberries, maple syrup and a dash of water into a saucepan and cooked over medium heat for a few minutes, just until the sauce had thickened slightly.  Once cooled, I drizzle and swirled the blueberry sauce through a pot of thick and creamy greek yoghurt and topped each pikelet with a dollop.   The kids gobbled them up and even asked for more.

These recipe yields approximately 24 pikelets so I decided to divide the cooked pikelets into two and freeze half.  To freeze, simply wrap individual portions (2 pikelets in each) in a little clingfilm, pop into a freezer safe container and stash in the freezer.  The pikelets will be fine nestled away in the deep freeze for up to 3 months.  To defrost, I simple remove them from the freezer, allow to thaw and if needed pop them in the microwave for 15 seconds or so just to reheat.  I find packing a lunch box so much easier with a freezer full of homemade baked goodness.

If your little one is just beginning their baby led weaning journey pikelets are a great recipe to begin with.  Not only are they made with wholemeal flour and contain very little sugar (if you wish, please feel free to replace the brown sugar with equal amounts of maple syrup) but they’re also chockfull of fruit and the perfect shape and texture for blw beginners.

To create your own batch of blueberry spiked wholemeal pikelets simply…

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