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

Holy Macaroni! and Cheese

My husband and I are big eaters. We love food and can eat pasta by the pot. Whilst I have rather detailed dietary requirements, Mark will try just about anything. And our Ava.. well she’s a toddler who will eat anything (thankfully we are a pretty healthy bunch!)

Because I don’t eat most meats (nothing on 4 legs), I tend to not cook it at home. I make many chicken dishes but try to cook meat-free where I can.. to Mark’s dismay. And while Ava may eat anything.. anything has to be very tender and never dry. So really.. even though we all love food, we all have different preferences! However there is one foolproof dish that is a family fave –

Mac and Cheese (2 versions)
I personally prefer version 1 as I find the crust will turn golden faster and crunchier. But version 2 is a great filling, last minute meal where you can use up all those leftover pastas at the bottom of the jar!

Version 1 with cheese-y sauce

500g Organic macaroni or shells

1c milk (full cream if feeling extra indulgent)
1 1/2c light cream
1 3/4c grated tasty cheese
1/4c mozzarella cheese

1/2c grated tasty cheese (extra)
1/4c parmesan cheese (optional)
1/3c breadcrumbs

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 180’C.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water. Pasta needs to cook 2-3 minutes longer than al dente.

In a medium saucepan, combine milk and cream. Bring to boil and stir occasionally. Add cheeses, stir and immediately take saucepan off the heat. The cheeses will melt naturally and without curdling. Cover to prevent skin from forming on the surface.

Drain pasta and toss with cheese sauce.

Put desired amounts of mixture into ramekins or a small baking dish for your toddler.

Generously season the remaining mixture and transfer into a large baking dish.

Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and extra cheeses and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.

**For a super fast meal for bubba, skip the baking – they will love it either way.
**Ramekins make great single serve portions of food for toddlers. They freeze-able and come in many sizes, creating different portion serves for growing bubs. Plus they are great space savers!

Golden Yumminess

Version 2 with white sauce

400g short pasta

60g butter
2Tbs plain flour
1c milk

1c grated tasty cheese
1/4c parmesan cheese (optional)

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 190’C.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water. Pasta needs to cook 2-3 minutes longer than al dente.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter and add flour. Stir until butter bubbles. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the milk. Return to the heat and continue to whisk until sauce simmers. Keep an eye on it as sauce will thicken fast!

Drain pasta and toss with white sauce.

Put desired amounts of mixture into ramekins or a small baking dish for your toddler.

Generously season the remaining mixture and transfer into a large baking dish.

Sprinkle with the cheeses and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.