baked french toast

baked french toastbaked french toast

Mr H. has officially started baby led weaning and he couldn’t be happier.

For the past couple of weeks he’s been so interested in watching his big sister, mummy and daddy eat and when he started to display the skills needed to self feed we couldn’t wait to get started.

So far our little guy is a huge fan of sweet potato wedges, banana, strawberries, rockmelon, wholemeal toast and zucchini fritters.

And to officially welcome Mr H. into the wonderful world of food we celebrated over Sunday brunch with this lovely batch of gorgeously golden baked french toast.

This french toast is perfect for baby led weaning beginners for so many reasons.  Firstly the recipe has no added sugar, the eggy mixture is simply sweetened with a dash of maple syrup and a good squeeze of orange juice and zest.  And because this version of french toast is baked rather than fried there is no need for any butter or cooking oil.  This method of cooking also creates perfectly textured bread that can withstand the iron grip of a baby led weaning beginner yet is soft enough to nibble on with ease.  Mr H. had no problem whatsoever gobbling up his Sunday morning breakfast along with some fresh berries.

To create your own batch of gorgeously golden baked french toast 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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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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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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mango coconut scones

mango coconut sconesmango coconut scones

I was so happy to guest post on the gorgeous children’s clothing site Sapling Child last week.  I shared one of my all time favourite baby led weaning recipes, pea & ricotta fritters.  You can find the easy peasy and oh so delish recipe here.

Other than that my day have pretty much been a whole lot of this…

happy days

Just enjoying watching these two play.

Miss G. and I did however manage to bake a gorgeous batch of mango coconut scones yesterday and I am so thrilled to be sharing the recipe.  Not only are these little babies jam packed with mango and coconut goodness but they’re so so so simple to prepare and are unbelievably delicious.  With the help of the food processor I promise you can have these darlings baking away to golden perfection in the oven in less than ten minutes.

And these scones are not only the perfect shape and texture for baby led weaning beginners but are a wonderful addition to any toddlers lunch box.

Happy cooking x

To create your own batch of mango coconut scones simply…

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pumpkin choc pancakes

pumpkin choc pancakespumpkin choc pancakes

With Halloween {& Miss G.’s birthday} just around the corner we decided to get into the spooky spirit this morning and create a gorgeous batch of pancakes spiked with cinnamon roasted pumpkin and deep dark choc chips.

And these orange hued choc studded babies are delicious.

Since our baby led weaning journey began I have created so many incarnations of pancakes/pikelets/hotcakes.  Why?  Because they’re so simple to prepare and the shape and texture of pancakes are perfect for little hands to grip and nibble on with ease, especially for beginners.  A batch of fruit laden pancakes make the ultimate fuss-free blw breakfast, lunch box addition or on-the-go snack and they also keep wonderfully in the deep freeze!

Todays pancakes are really all about the pumpkin.  Rather than boiling or steaming, I decided to smother the pumpkin in cinnamon and roast until gorgeously golden and amazingly sweet.  And once pureed the intensely sweet pumpkin added so much natural sweetness to the batter there was very little need for sugar other than a little drizzle or two of maple syrup.

But I did decide to add dark chocolate chips to the batter because what would Halloween be without a little naughty treat.   And I’m so glad I did because the warm gooey pockets of melted dark chocolate are divine and were a huge hit with Miss G.  So much so, she was fishing them out of the batter before we’d even had a chance to cook them.

To create your own halloween inspired pumpkin choc pancakes simply…

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