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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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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wholemeal lemon, ricotta & chia muffins

wholemeal lemon, ricotta & chia muffinswholemeal lemon, ricotta & chia muffins

I adore winter.  It truly is my favourite season.

As the days shorten and the weather turns frosty there is nothing I love more than retreating home to spend long lazy afternoons nestled by the kitchen bench slow cooking beautiful cuts of meat or baking up a storm.  Filling our home with hearty warming dishes during these frosty winter months delights me like no other.  I treasure these precious moments with my little family and love nothing more than spending an evening snuggled under a warm cozy throw watching movies and sipping my favourite glass of red.

There is, however, one down side to my love and adoration of winter and that is the nasty colds and flus that always seem to come with it.  The last two weeks have been hijacked by one very nasty flu and unfortunately my little babies felt the worst of it.  After lots of cuddles, a little pain relief, plenty of rest and a good dose of pumpkin soup I am very happy to say we’re all well and truly on the mend.

That said, to ward off any future winter born bugs I’ve been incorporating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables into our diets as well as a gorgeously green smoothie most mornings (I’ll be sharing our smoothie recipe next week).  I’ve also made a conscious effort to incorporate as many healthy ingredients into our baking repertoire as well.  My latest love is H2CoCo’s delicious organic virgin coconut oil.  I’ve been using it in lieu of olive oil when I cook and have even managed to incorporate it into our baked goodies including these apricot pistachio quinoa bars and blueberry banana and chia loaf.

wholemeal apple muffins

Today’s wholemeal lemon, ricotta and chia muffins also use the organic and 100% raw and natural oil.  The coconut oil not only provides the muffins with gorgeous moisture to create a very tender crumb but gives the muffins a slight coconut flavour that works beautifully with the lemon and ricotta.  The kids absolutely adored them for morning tea and gobbled up a muffin each along with a few sliced perfectly ripe strawberries.

To create your own batch of wholemeal lemon, ricotta & chia 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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zucchini pancakes w’ tomato & basil salad

zucchini pancakes w' caprese saladzucchini pancakes w' caprese salad

These zucchini studded pancakes spiked with fresh basil and lemon zest make the perfect baby led weaning simple supper, especially when served alongside our beautiful caprese salad.

And these gorgeously golden pan fried babies couldn’t be simpler to prepare.  I was easily able to whip these up with my two little cherubs dancing around my feet in well under 15 minutes.  Simply whisk the wet ingredients into the dry, add the shredded zucchini, basil and lemon zest and get frying.

To serve alongside our pancakes I decided to put together a family sized super simple caprese salad because after a naughty mother’s day lunch we were all in need of a good hit of nutritional yumminess.  This salad is a simple arrangement of ripe juicy tomato slices, pieces of creamy bocconcini and torn basil leaves drizzled under a light blanket of pesto lemon dressing.

If you’re looking for a meat free dinner idea I really can’t recommend these pancakes enough.  They are light, fluffy and totally scrumptious.

To create your own batch of zucchini studded pancakes and tomato basil salad simply…

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raspberry swirl teacakes

raspberry swirl tea cakesraspberry swirl tea cakes

To celebrate the arrival of Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge we did a little princess inspired baking and came up with these raspberry swirled teacakes.

These pink hued babies are absolutely delicious and a complete breeze to prepare.  My little princess and I stirred these darlings together and had them nestled in the oven baking away to gorgeous goldeness in less than ten minutes.  To accompany the teacakes we rippled a little of our raspberry sauce throughout a tub of vanilla bean specked greek thick yoghurt.  The combination of teacake, raspberry swirled yoghurt and fresh berries creates a lovely little dessert fitting for any princess.

We made a few changes to the original teacake recipe to ensure these raspberry swirl teacakes are also full of nutritional goodness.  We opted for wholemeal flour instead of regular plain, we also added a cup of almond meal which is high in protein, low in carbohydrates and low in sugars.  We also left out the white sugar and instead sweetened our batter with a half cup of maple syrup instead.

In terms of baby led weaning these little teacakes make a wonderful treat when served alongside a good dollop of yoghurt and a handful of fresh berries.  The shape and soft texture of the teacakes also make them wonderful for baby led weaning beginners.  Mr H. had no problem demolishing his teacake for morning tea.  These teacakes also freeze beautifully.  Simply wrap individual portions, pop into a freezer safe container and stash in the deep freeze for up to three months.

To make your own batch of pink hued raspberry swirl tea cakes simply…

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