Organic CocoBerry Mini Muffins – Gluten, Dairy & Guilt Free

The world has gone nuts for coconuts. Coconut oil for salad dressing, coconut flesh as ice cream, the list goes on. Here in Australia, the organic/raw/super healthy way of eating is fairly new. Not new new but it hasn’t quite taken off as it has in Europe and America. Over the last few years, I have grazed with this way of eating but not quite taken a big chunk of it by dedicating our whole life to it. The other day when when my three year old asked for a snack (probably the upteenth time that day) I realised I have been giving a mixture of healthy (rice crackers) and not so healthy (processed cheese) when I could take control, put in extra effort and make it all as healthy as possible. So I felt guilty.

The next day at the grocery store, I decided to buy ingredients to make guilt free snacks for Ava that she can eat without anyone feeling guilty about it. I was looking for spelt flour as she had had it in quiches and quite liked it. But instead I found something more exciting… Organic Road Coconut flour (I love it when you can find organic at the supermarket).

Armed with the mighty coconut flour and a new found confidence, I googled several recipes that incorporated these assets. Many of the ones I found were either too complicated or time consuming. With a toddler and a baby, I do not have the luxury of time. So I constructed my own recipe, made them dairy free, and named these CocoBerry Muffins.

I don’t usually brag about my cooking, but husband and daughter chowed them down.. And I was so pleasantly humbled when a few of my friends (some of them super health nuts) asked for the recipe after seeing the photos on FaceBook. So here it is, I hope it works for you and your family. It is certainly a great feeling being able to offer my daughter such a guilt free, homemade snack!

CocoBerry Muffins
(Makes about 9 cupcake sized muffins)

Preheat oven to 175’C
Line a muffin tray with cupcake cases or pre-cut square baking paper

1/2c organic coconut flour
1/4tsp baking powder
Sprinkle of sea salt

1/3c melted organic coco oil or olive oil
1/2c maple syrup/honey (couldn’t decide so I mixed the two!)
4 eggs at room temperature
1tbs rice milk
1tbs vanilla extract

1c chopped fresh strawberries

Mix together the dry ingredients before adding the wet ingredients.
Mix really well, in either a stand or hand mixer.
Fold in strawberries and divide into cases.

Bake for 20 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

photo 1

Smells amazing even before it went in the oven!

photo 2

Sprinkles are optional!

photo

Going down the Organic Road

LoveS

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A Calm Mum’s Must-Try Toddler Recipes

You may own myriads of recipes already, passed down through family members, or archived from multiple different sources. There are so many out there, and if I could, I’d try them all! However, not only can making toddler meals be time consuming, it can be disappointing when bub doesn’t like it after all the trouble you’ve gone through!

As referred to in my last post, mealtimes can be smooth sailing when you know how (probably more important than what bub likes) your toddler likes his food.  In most cases, bub will enjoy his food better when mushy or saucy. The following recipes are helpful for the transition from toddler meals to adult meals. You know.. that period when you’re short on time and wish bub can eat chicken tikka masala with the rest of the family!

I try to buy organic where I can but if not, these meals are still be jam-packed with nutrition… and are pretty much one-pot-freeze-able-wonders. But best of all, bub will love them!

Risoni in Veggie Broth

3/4 cup risoni
1/2 zucchini, peeled and diced into 1cm cubes
50g sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1cm cubes
500ml water
1tsp good quality stock (Vegetable or Chicken)
Sprinkle of parsley

Method

Cook risoni in a pot of boiling water for 10-11 minutes

In another pot, cover zucchini and sweet potato with water and bring to boil. Cook until tender – cubes should fall apart with the press of a fork. Lower heat. Do not drain – the water is part of the nutrition!

Drain risoni and add to the cooked pot of veggies. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine and gently smash the vegetables (watch out for spatter!)

Stir in stock, parsley and a splash of water if required. The consistency should be soft, chunky with a bit of broth. Cool thoroughly prior to serving.

Easy Tuna Tomato Risotto

1 cup arborio rice
90g canned tuna in spring water, drained
1/2 onion
1 clove crushed garlic
200g chopped tomatoes (canned or fresh)
50g frozen corn kernels
50g frozen peas or fresh broccoli
500ml vegetable stock (or water), heated
1tsp olive oil
1/2tsp butter
Sprinkle of oregano
Parmesan for sprinkling

Method

Heat olive oil and butter in a saucepan. Cook onions and garlic until soft. Add rice and stir to coat each grain. Add stock and cover. Cook for 12 minutes, but check after 10. Stir well and add more stock if required.

Once cooked, stir in the chopped tomatoes, corn and peas. Cook for a further 2-4 minutes, until veggies are soft. Stir in tuna and oregano and heat through.

You may wish to mash up the risotto if bub is a young toddler.

Serve with parmesan.

There you go – a couple of easy, nutritious meals for bub that’s yummy enough for the whole family and easy enough to whip up! Hope you enjoy them.

LoveS

A Calm Mum’s Guide to Toddler’s Eating

Food fussiness amongst toddlers is a common issue. I’ve heard many mums complain about their toddlers not eating fruit, veg, or not eating full stop. It can be frustrating not knowing what to do or why they won’t eat. There are unbelievable amounts of information and tips out there for getting your little ones to eat. But is it too much information? If we could change our method of feeding, what would we do differently? Surely even the kids know what we’re up to by now.. hidden veggies in bolognaise? C’mon we’re on to you! Why can’t we just put a bowl of carrots and peas on the plate and have our children eat it happily? Well.. would we eat it?

There could be a myriad of reasons as to why kids are fussy eaters. One reason, according to many experts, is too much cow’s milk could suppress a child’s appetite which can lead to some nutrient deficiencies such as iron. They also recommend that children aged 12-24 months should drink no more than 500-600ml of dairy milk per day. I’ve seen for myself the affects of kids who drink too much milk – they crave a lot of red meat, some even prefer them under done!

Whilst I’m no expert in children’s diets or eating and the following tips are merely my opinion plus a bit of research, I can say that my 22 month old Ava does eat everything I put in front of her. She even says “Mmm… Yum” before gobbling up her meal.

Samie’s Toddler Tips on Eating

1. Have a routine.

2. I started feeding Ava homemade pear puree at 4 months and introduced her to new flavours every week for a couple of months. Ava’s foods are always homemade – no additives and usually organic.

3.  She would always have her solids first, before drinking her milk.

4. I introduced the same food in different textures, half mashing/half puree-ing, before completely graduating her to mashed foods at around 6-7 months.

5. By 12 months, there is an obvious pattern in her eating – she liked things soft, chunky is fine, as long as it is soft. She also likes her food to be coated in liquid of some sort. So if she didn’t like broccoli, I would make them softer, if she didn’t like potato mash, I would add more milk. And I started making risottos for her – it’s soft, creamy, easy one-pot wonders and freezes well!

I think it is important to learn from your toddler and to listen to her needs. Rather than give up because she’s not eating her veggies, knowing her better will help you understand the meaning of the issue. I know this may be harder for working mums, but get a report from the daycare teacher, or babysitter to get a better idea of bub’s eating habits.

6. In addition to listening, speak to your toddler. I tell Ava what she’s eating and get her involved in the cooking process, “Ava, should we add some yummy corn to this?” “Wow.. look at the colours of the carrots, peas and tomatoes in here!” “Would you like to smell the basil/garlic/onion?”

I strongly believe that early eating habits sets the standard for future eating habits. Having said that, I have never made a big deal of how carrots, for example, are good for her. Of course it’s good, that’s why I give it to her. We are the role models and toddlers will respond to what we say is good.

7. No matter how well a toddler eats, there will be moments where they will simply refused to eat. To this I would say to Ava in a CALM tone of voice that unfortunately she will have to remain in her chair until she eats. And that I will not respond to her whinging until this happens. Guess what? With a bit of persistence, it worked! I couldn’t believe she understood me!

8. Another important eating habit – save the lollies, ice cream, chocolate! Dessert for Ava is 3 parts Greek yoghurt to 1 part flavoured yoghurt. Naughty treats once in a very rare while is okay, but they should never be used as a bribe!

9. These steps may not work for every mum and all toddlers are different. The key is to be consistent, patient and forever nurturing. I once read an empowering thought that I have used as my mantra – “You are the best person for your child”. Let’s aim for that!

Sample menu of Ava’s daily meals at 22 months –

Breakfast: Oatmeal with sliced banana and dollop of honey; a small drink of (enriched) soy milk
Morning tea: One pear; drink of diluted apple juice
Lunch: Tuna risotto with onion, mushroom and tomato; drink of water
Afternoon tea: Cheese and rice crackers with a drink of soy milk
Dinner: Spaghetti bolognaise, banana and yoghurt; drink of water
Pre-bedtime: Warm cup of cow’s milk

Throughout the day snacks if hungry: sultanas, fruit, cheese, rice crackers

Watermelon YUM

Mmm.. Apple!

Mmm.. Apple!

Making food fun!

Making food fun!