wholemeal carrot muffins

wholemeal carrot muffinswholemeal carrot muffins

It’s no secret Miss G. loves to cook and now that she fully understands her little brother enjoys her culinary creations too, she adores her time in the kitchen that little bit more.

Today, with Mr H. happily playing away on his play mat my budding little chef and I decided to stir together a super simple batch of wholemeal carrot muffins.

These muffins are not only delicious (and full of nutritional goodness) but couldn’t be simpler to bake.  Simply whisk together the wet ingredients, stir through the dry ingredients then gently fold through a couple of cups of gorgeously bright shredded carrot.  Once nestled in the oven these orange hued little darlings take just over 10 minutes to bake to golden gorgeousness and smell amazing thanks to our spice mix of cinnamon, nutmeg and ground ginger.

I also love the fact that we managed to make these muffins using no sugar.   Instead, the grated carrot adds most of the needed sweetness along with a little maple syrup.  Our gorgeous spice mix also did a lot to flavour the wholesome muffins.

Once baked and cooled, Mr H. was more than happy to tuck in.  Along with a few fresh strawberries the wholemeal carrot muffin quickly disappeared thanks to his very unique eating style.  I don’t quite remember Grace eating like this at his age but Mr H. loves to crumble the muffin and lick the crumbs off of his little hands.  It’s so cute to watch, the intense look on his face just melts my heart.

wholemeal carrot muffins

These muffins are also perfect to freeze.  Simply allow the muffins to cool to room temperature, wrap individual portions, pop into a freezer safe container and stash in the deep freeze for up to 3 months.  I often pop frozen muffins straight into our lunch box and by lunch time they are perfectly thawed and ready to enjoy.

To create your own batch of wholemeal carrot muffins simply…

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mini pea & pesto frittatas

mini pea & pesto frittatasmini pea & pesto frittatas

These mini pea & pesto frittatas are the perfect ‘go-to’ baby led weaning lunch or dinner recipe when you are low on time and energy.

They take mere moments to prepare and once nestled in the oven these little pea studded babies only take ten minutes or so to bake to golden gorgeousness.

I often bake a batch of these when dinner or lunch time has crept up and I am fresh out of ingredients and ideas of what to cook.

This recipe is also wonderful because its infinitely adaptable.  The peas can be replaced with pretty much any vegetable you have sitting in your refrigerator, I often use leftover roasted sweet potato and pumpkin which is just as delicious.  Thinly sliced asparagus is yummy too!

These mini frittatas also make a wonderful addition to any lunch box.  Chock full of vege and calcium rich cheese they are wonderfully nutritious and perfect for growing bodies.

I don’t recommend freezing these frittatas.  Once frozen and defrosted I find the frittatas texture changes to slightly rubbery and not very enjoyable.   That said, the zingy pesto and fresh basil add so much gorgeous flavour to the frittatas they vanish all too quickly.

To create a batch of these mini pea & pesto frittatas simply…

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strawberry heart scones

strawberry sconesstrawberry scones

Miss G. and I did a little Valentine’s Day inspired baking yesterday and came up with these gorgeous little heart shaped strawberry scones.

They are delish.

Chock full of fresh strawberries and laced with a good dollop of vanilla bean paste these pink hued babies smell and taste of summertime strawberries and cream.

Rather than following the traditional route I decided we’d skip mixing the scones together by hand and opt instead for the food processor.  And thanks to our favourite kitchen gadget the strawberry studded scone dough came together almost effortlessly and in a matter of just moments.

Grace had the most fun though once we started playing with the dough.  Watching her flatten the dough into a chubby disc and cut out the little heart shaped scones melted my heart.   Yes it got a little messy but it was totally worth it.  Her little face was so proud and full of excitement as she plonked the heart shaped scones onto our baking sheet.  And of course she was in charge of ‘painting’ the scones with their obligatory adornment of milk.

Once nestled in the oven the scones grew and turned the most wonderful shade of gorgeous goldenness.  And thankfully the scones didn’t take long to cool down as Grace could hardly wait to dig in.  Once cool enough I sliced a strawberry studded scone in half, topped with strawberry jam and a dollop of Greek yoghurt and my lovely little taste tester gobbled it up praising her cooking efforts.

In terms of baby led weaning, scones make a wonderful morning or afternoon tea treat.  They’re texture is perfect for baby led weaning beginners, firm enough to withstand a tight grip yet soft enough to be nibbled on with ease.  So far I have baked mango coconut scones, raspberry almond scones, carrot cake scones, and even a batch of pumpkin scones.  All recipes include a good serving of fruit (or vege) and have been gobbled up and enjoyed by little kids (and big).  Scones also freeze beautifully.  I often bake big batches of scones to stash in the deep freeze, they not only last up to 3 months frozen but defrost and reheat beautifully!

To bake your own batch of Valentine’s Day inspired strawberry heart scones simply…

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savoury muffins

savoury muffinssavoury muffins

Wanting to cram a little more vege into Miss G. after a nasty tummy bug I decided a batch of savoury muffins hiding 3 cups of gorgeous vegetables and a little cheese were needed.

And these gorgeously golden vege flecked cheesy darlings are delightful.

The golden yellow crispy crust is the perfect contrast to the tender vege flecked crumb and the combination of the sweet vegetables with the tasty cheese creates the most wonderful flavour.  Miss G. gobbled hers up still warm from the oven along with a few sticks of cucumber and a couple of halved cherry tomatoes.

Instead of mixing the muffin batter together by hand, I opted instead to use my food processor.  Firstly the grating attachment makes light work of shredding the carrot, zucchini and cheese and the blade effortlessly pulses together the batter and further distributes the vege and cheese into the crumb which is perfect for those little ones that tend to eat around chunks of nutritional goodness in their food.

If you’re looking for a batch of muffins to freeze and pop into lunch boxes during the week, these babies freeze beautifully.  Simply wrap the individual muffins in a little cling film, pop into a freezer bag or container and stash in the deep freeze for up to 3 months.  I pop the frozen muffins into our lunch box and by the time lunch rolls around they are perfectly defrosted and ready to eat.  These muffins are also a great no-fuss less-mess eating option for when you’re out and about.

Also, for those little ones just beginning their baby led weaning journey the texture of these muffins is perfect.  The muffins are firm enough to withstand a tight grip yet soft enough to be easily eaten.  When Grace was this age I used to slice the muffin into quarters and she had no trouble picking up the pieces to devour.

To create these gorgeously golden savoury muffins chock full of vege 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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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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ricotta & sweet potato pizza

ricotta & sweet potato pizzaricotta & sweet potato pizza

Keeping lunch time fun and interesting day after day can be quite the challenge.

Most days we resort to either left overs from the night before, a simple salad based sandwich or a snack plate of cheese, tomato and crackers.

Yesterday however I decided to tempt Grace into the kitchen and away from the steaming hot sandpit outside to cook an extra special lunch and we came up with these gorgeously golden ricotta and sweet potato pizzas.

These pizzas, although a lovely treat, are no way challenging to cook.  Simply smother two pita bread with a lovely ricotta mix spiked with lemon, basil and parmesan, top with sweet potato ribbons and cheese and grill.  Miss G. and I had the whipped up in less than 15 minutes.

I love making pizzas using pita bread pockets.  Even after a quick grilling they remain tender and soft making them perfect for little ones, especially those new to baby led weaning.

Grace devoured her pieces of pizza along with a simple blueberry banana smoothie for lunch before returning to the sandpit.

To create your own easy peasy ricotta & sweet potato pizza simply…

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