mighty morning muffins

mighty morning muffinsmighty morning muffins

We’re heading away for the weekend to one of our favourite island destinations in the whole wide world to watch my beautiful baby sister marry the man of her dreams.

We are all so excited but very busy.  There is so much to organise when travelling with little ones and no matter how planned and thought out I think I am there always seems to be bits and pieces I miss and last minute dashes to the store are inevitable.  Today’s mad rush involved hunting down a pair of stockings for Miss G.

Packing food for the kids is always a challenge too.  So at the beginning of the week we got busy in the kitchen and baked a whole heap of goodies to freeze and take with us.   In our lunch box we have coconut banana pancakes, delicious oat choc chip cookies, pea and mint fritters and a batch of these gorgeous golden mighty morning muffins.

These muffins really are mighty and so jam packed with nutritional goodness.  The combination of oats, sultanas, carrot and banana make them a hearty baby led weaning breakfast and will keep the little ones going well and truly until lunch time.

These muffins couldn’t be simpler to prepare simply whisk together the wet ingredients along with the banana and carrot, fold through the dry ingredients, pop into a muffin tin and bake.  This particular recipe makes approximately 15 muffins and freezes beautifully. Simply allow the muffins to cool completely, wrap individual portions, pop into a freezer safe container and stash in the deep freeze for up to three months.

To create your own batch of mighty morning muffins 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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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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wholemeal apple muffins

wholemeal apple muffinswholemeal apple muffins

Both my little darlings must be going through growth spurts because they won’t stop eating.

So far this week they have devoured a batch of vegetable fritters (will post the easy peasy recipe next blog post), an entire roast chicken, a batch of breakfast cookies and have made quite the dent in this batch of gorgeously golden and wonderfully wholesome wholemeal apple muffins.

These muffins are not only delicious but contain no processed sugar (sweetened instead with a little maple syrup and cinnamon) and are a breeze to prepare, Miss G. and I had these apple studded babies in the oven in less than ten minutes.  These muffins are also loaded with fruit, the batter contains two diced apples plus another apple sliced thinly and nestled on top of each muffin.

Once baked I opted to store the muffins in the refrigerator as they contain so much fruit and have a much longer shelf life when kept cool.  I have also had great success freezing these muffins.  Simply wrap individual muffins, pop into a freezer safe container and stash in the deep freeze for up to three months.

Along with a little fresh fruit these apple loaded wholemeal muffins make the perfect baby led weaning breakfast or morning tea and are a great addition to any lunch box.

To create your own batch of wholemeal apple muffins simply…

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apple, cinnamon & hazelnut loaf

apple, cinnamon & hazelnut loafphoto-2159

We moved house over the weekend and it was the single most stressful experience of my life.

Packing up your entire existence whilst caring for a newborn and almost two year old should be an olympic sport.

It’s tough.

Really tough.

Looking back and considering the feat, we did pretty well.

And I have to say that settling into our new home feels wonderful.

Especially the kitchen.

The first creation to emerge from my new favourite place is this wonderful little apple, cinnamon and hazelnut loaf.

Loaf cakes have become a bit of a go-to for breakfast of late.  Jam packed with fruit and able to be whipped up and in the oven in less than 10 minutes they’re a great breakfast alternative to the usual toast or cereal routine which can get pretty boring after a while.

Today’s apple, cinnamon and hazelnut loaf is not only completely delish but really good for the little ones too.  I managed to get 4 apples into this little darling, and because of the natural sweetness from the apples I used a mere half cup of brown sugar in the entire loaf.  If you’re keen to skip the sugar completely, simply replace with a half cup of maple or a third cup of agave syrup which would also work beautifully.

The hazelnut meal in this loaf is genius.  It not only creates a tender and wholesome crumb but a gorgeous earthy nutty flavour that works beautifully with the classic apple and cinnamon flavour combination.  And the smells that wafts from the oven as the loaf bakes to gorgeous goldenness is simply divine.  So much so that Miss G. kept hovering around the oven saying ‘yum yum’ until it was finally cooked.

This loaf is also the perfect texture for little ones just beginning their baby led weaning journey.  The abundance of apple strewn throughout the loaf creates a dense and moist crumb that won’t be too easily squished by little hands making it simple for beginners to hold and nibble on with ease.  Just slice the loaf into thick batons and your little one should have no trouble at all.

This apple, cinnamon and hazelnut loaf also freezes wonderfully.  Simply slice and wrap individual pieces in a little cling wrap, pop into a freezer safe container and stash in the deep freeze for up to 3 months.  Allow to thaw by simply resting on the bench or in a lunch box.

To create your own apple, cinnamon and hazelnut loaf simply…

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raspberry & pistachio loaf cake

raspberry & pistachio loaf cakeraspberry & pistachio loaf cake

I know I’ve been a little quiet lately, but I have the most wonderful excuse…

cutie pie

I’ve been busy baking this little cutie pie.

Although I did manage to post a few recipes during my pregnancy, constant morning sickness made cooking, photographing and writing about food pretty unbearable.

Now that I am feeling human once again, I am thrilled to be back in the kitchen alongside my lovely little helper to share more of our favourite baby led weaning recipes and today with our beautiful little man fast asleep Grace and I crept into the kitchen to put together this wonderful raspberry and pistachio loaf cake.

This pistachio flecked and raspberry studded gorgeously golden creation is delicious and thanks to the use of the food processor couldn’t be simpler to prepare. We had the cake nestled in the oven in less than ten minutes.  And Grace loved loved loved using the processor, anything with buttons!  If you do ever have trouble getting your little ones eating, my top tip is to get them involved in the cooking whenever possible.  Now that Grace is that little bit older she really loves spending time in the kitchen baking and preparing dinner most evenings.  And seeing her beam with pride when we sit down to eat is just lovely.   In fact her new favourite game is to name the ingredients as she quickly devours them and today was no exception.  As we sat down to morning tea with two slithers of loaf and a little fresh fruit, Miss G. recalled the ingredients giving her own unique pronunciation to most of them.

To create your own raspberry & pistachio loaf simply…

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caramelised banana dutch pancake with fresh strawberries

caramelised banana dutch pancake with fresh strawberriescaramelised banana dutch pancake with fresh strawberries

I adore everything about winter.

The cosy clothes, endless cups of hot tea and days spent with the slow cooker bubbling away in the kitchen are my idea of heaven.

The late winter sunrise also guarantees a greatly appreciated sleep in most mornings and when Miss G. finally stirs she is more than happy to huddle, snuggle and cuddle under the warm cosy covers until we finally pluck up enough courage to face the frosty morning together.

Most mornings we make our way straight to the kitchen to heat up our beloved oats with a little stewed apple but this morning I decided something a little extra special was required so we put together this super simple caramelised banana dutch pancake with fresh strawberries.

Although I have a very special place in my heart for traditional pancakes, on a frosty winter morning when immediate warming nourishment is required I much prefer the fuss free nature of the Dutch pancake.  There is no standing over a fry pan endlessly flipping pancakes, simply pour the batter over a little caramelised fruit and pop into a piping hot oven.  Fifteen minutes later a perfectly puffed and gorgeously golden fruit studded pancake emerges ready to be devoured.

Todays incarnation of our fuss free pancake included caramelised banana and fresh strawberries and really was baby led weaning winter breakfast perfection.  The texture of the pancake is perfect for little hands to hold and nibble away on with ease and when served alongside fresh strawberries and a little yoghurt, this breakfast will have your little one satisfied all morning long.

To create this winter warming caramelised banana dutch pancake with fresh strawberries simply…

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