Healthy Baby Pancakes

This is our go-to healthy pancake recipe. Perfect for a cold rainy morning like this! I always have them on hand for Turner. Everything I make him has a healthy spin on it. I’m not ready to give him anything that will upset his perfect little system!

It’s just like any other pancake recipe, but with a few substitutions. Sometimes I’ll use buttermilk or goat milk instead of almond milk. I also substitute apple sauce for the banana if I don’t have them on hand.

I use a 1/4 cup measuring cup, filled halfway, to pour the batter onto the skillet.

Once they start to bubble, about 3 minutes, I flip them and cook for another minute or two.

They come out perfect! I make a bunch so I can freeze some to have on hand at a moment’s notice. Although, he eats them like crazy, so they don’t last long! Hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Healthy Baby Pancakes
Makes 18-20 small pancakes

1 1/4 cup Almond Meal
1/4 cup Spelt Flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 ripe banana, mashed
3 eggs
1 cup almond milk
1 Tbsp maple syrup
coconut oil

Mix together both flours, baking soda, and cinnamon. In a large bowl, mash banana and whisk in eggs, milk, and syrup. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk until combined.

Preheat your skillet over medium heat. Use a paper towel to spread a thin layer of coconut oil on your skillet. Use a 1/4 cup measure, filled up halfway (about 2 Tbsp), to scoop out batter and pour onto skillet. Cook pancakes for about 3 minutes, or until bubbles start to form. Flip and cook about 2 more minutes. Serve warm or let cool completely, and store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

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Healthy Birthday Cupcake

Our little Turner is ONE! It’s hard to believe it. I feel like he was just born yesterday! He has made this the best year of our lives! I planned a construction party to celebrate and made him his very own “healthy cupcake” (I’m not quite ready to give him sugar). He absolutely LOVED it! He didn’t miss the sugar at all!

Cupcake
Makes 3 cupcakes

1 cup almond flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup grated zucchini
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp coconut oil, warmed to liquid
1/2 tsp vanilla

Chocolate Avocado Icing
1 ripe avocado at room temperature
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3 Tbsp maple syrup
3 Tbsp coconut oil, warmed to liquid

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all cupcake ingredients in standing mixer and mix until combined. Line three cupcake molds with paper liners. Use an ice-cream scoop to drop the batter into each cup. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool completely. Either store in airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or leave at room temperature to eat the day of.

In the meantime, add the avocado flesh, cocoa powder, maple syrup, and coconut oil to a high speed blender (or food processor). Blend until well combined. Add to piping bag and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Take out the morning of to soften. Once the cupcake is cooled, decorate with icing. Enjoy!

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Fall Is In The Air!

It hit me today, as I perused Pinterest, that I’m not the ONLY person getting excited for fall!! There are so many pins for fall meals and decorating  scattered throughout the pages. Although it’s still hot and humid here in Charleston, the mornings are cooling off a bit. Turner and I are actually able to sit on the front porch in the mornings without breaking a sweat!

Fall is my favorite time of year. The food is comforting, the bugs start to retreat, and I can pull out all of my boots! Fall also means more crock pot meals. As you know, Stew and I plan our menu on the weekend and do all of our grocery shopping for the week. This makes preparing dinner way less stressful. Stew usually gets home by 6 on week nights, and I have dinner ready so we can eat, go for our walk, and get Turner in the bath by 7. Lately, I’ve been finding that I’m just not in the mood to cook once 5:00 roles around. So, this week, I’m planning things that I can just throw in the crock pot or prep ahead so I don’t have to do much each night. I’ve had a few requests to share my menu and grocery list, so here we go!

Menu
Saturday: Grilled Chicken w/ Winter Slaw
Sunday: Mongolian Beef w/ Barley
Monday: Frozen Fish with Sweet Potato Fries
Tuesday: One of my frozen meals (My friends and I exhange frozen meals once a month at our supper club so we each have 3 homemade meals in the freezer that we can pull out at a moment’s notice. It’s a life saver!)
Wednesday: Turkey and Black Bean Tacos
Thursday: Chipotle Beef Chili
Friday: DATE NIGHT!

**NOTE: I cut the recipes down if they’re for a large group! Also, some items I already have, so I don’t add them to my grocery list.

Baby Food: I make two big batches of veggies and fruit for Turner’s lunch and dinner for the week. In addition to his pureed food, I give him finger foods like local cheddar cheese with his yogurt in the afternoon, whole grain waffles with his oatmeal for breakfast, and even some bites of grilled cheese. This is what his week will look like.

Breakfast: Oatmeal with apples and cinnamon. I peel and cut up an apple into tiny pieces and boil it for the last few minutes. Then, I stir in some cinnamon.
Lunch:  Grilled Cheese bites with Eggplant, Pear, & Plum Puree.
Snack: Local Greek Yogurt (sold at Whole Foods)
Dinner: Pureed butternut squash with apple and cinnamon (peeled, cut up, steamed, and blended).

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Grocery List:
Frozen Tilapia Filets
Frozen Sweet Potato Fries
Ground Turkey
Stew Meat
Kale
Riddichio
Brussels Sprouts
Lemons
1 Eggplant
2 pears
2 plums
1 bag organic granny smith apples
1 Butternut squash
1 Green Pepper
1 onion
Yogurt
Cheddar Cheese
Tortillas
Seeduction Bread (Whole Foods)
1 can low sodium black beans
1 can low sodium pinto beans
1 can low sodium red kidney beans
1 28 OZ can fire roasted tomatoes
1 can chili in adobo

Happy eating and enjoy your holiday weekend!

PicShells

 

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Eggplant, Pear, and Plum Puree

My lovely friend, Cara, and I were trading baby food recipes a few weeks back. She said that eggplant and pear was a favorite in her house. I never thought of that flavor combination! I bought an eggplant and a few pears the other day. We had some plums in the house that were starting to get soft, so I decided to mix them in! It turned out delicious. I’m seriously thinking of starting a baby food business!

Whenever I make baby food, I always use organic. Turner has such a perfect little system, I don’t want to junk it up! To me, it’s worth the extra few bucks. I also have a little potato brush that I use to clean all of his fruits and veggies before I peel them. I like to be extra safe.

My recipe calls for the pear to be steamed. I only did that because it was hard as a rock! If it was super ripe and soft, you could just peel it, cut it up, and throw it in the blender with the cooked eggplant. The plums were very soft. So I just peeled them, cut them up, and threw them in the blender without cooking them. I really think your little ones will love this! Let me know what you they think!

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Eggplant, Pear, & Plum Puree 
Yields 2 cups
1 medium eggplant, washed, peeled, and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pear, washed, peeled, and cut into chunks
2 plums, washed, peeled, and cut into chunks

Fill a large steamer basket with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil. In the meantime, peel and chop the veggies and fruit. Place the eggplant and pear in the steamer basket (Note: if you have a very ripe pear, you don’t have to cook it. You can just peel and blend once you’re done cooking the eggplant. My pear was rock hard, so I steamed it). Cover and let boil for 15 minutes, or until eggplant is easily pierced with a fork. Pour the cooked veggies and fruit into a large blender (I used a Vitamix). Add the plum pieces and blend until smooth. I blended it on high so that the little seeds in the eggplant were pulverized. Hope your munchkin enjoys!
*Remember to introduce one new fruit or vegetable at a time for at least 3 days to ensure that there are no allergies.

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Sweet Potato, Corn, & Apple Puree

I am all about making Turner amazing food! He is such a foodie already! I’ve been making all of these great concoctions that I’ve wanted to share but haven’t had time to photograph! His absolute favorite is kale, apple, and carrot puree with a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg. I threw in a little barley last night and he gobbled it up!

He’s been eating a lot of the same veggies lately, because I usually give him what’s in season. Today, I wanted to create a new combo. I already had some organic granny smith apples and corn from our farm share that I needed to use. We took a trip to Whole Foods to see what looked good! We found some nice sweet potatoes that I thought would pair perfectly! He’s had all of these separately, but not in one puree. So home we went to steam away!

I know it seems daunting to make homemade baby food. But, if you make a HUGE batch over the weekend, you have baby food for the week! When I make a big batch, I keep about 3 days worth in the fridge and then freeze the rest in these baby food trays. Each cube is about 1 oz. I pop a few out into a tupperware overnight to defrost in the fridge. That way, I have a few more servings ready to go!

When I make a big batch of food like this, I throw everything into my giant steamer basket and then into my Vitamix.
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It makes cooking things like this a lot easier! The main difference between the vitamix and other blenders is the tamper (big black thing used to smash everything down). I use it to mash all the food down while it’s blending so that everything gets incorporated. It’s definitely expensive, but it’s worth the investment! Hope your little ones enjoy!
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Sweet Potato, Corn & Apple Puree
Yields 4 to 5 cups (depending on size of potatoes)

3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 ears corn,shucked and cut off the cob
2 granny smith apples, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Fill a large steamer pot with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil. In the meantime, peel and chop the veggies and fruit. Place all of the pieces in the steamer basket. Cover and let boil for 20 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Pour the cooked veggies, fruit, and cinnamon into a large blender (I used a vitamix), and blend until you reach your desired consistency. If you want a thin purée, use a bit of the steaming liquid to thin it out.If you are not using a vitamix, you will want to stop every so often to scrape down the sides of the blender. Hope your munchkin enjoys!

*Remember to introduce one new fruit or vegetable at a time for at least 3 days to ensure that there are no allergies.

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Baby Food Oatmeal

Turner is over 6 months old! He has been SUPER hungry (growing boy), so I had to amp up his food a little. I never gave him rice cereal. I went straight to veggies around 5 months. I got the OK from my ped before doing that. So far he’s had peas, avocado, zucchini, asparagus, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, turnips, rutabaga (not a fan), banana, apples, and apricots. I introduced one food at a time for about 4 days to make sure he wasn’t allergic. I basically picked a veggie that came in my farm share and turned it into baby food. That way I knew it was in season, fresh, and organic! My go-to food when I’m feeling lazy is avocado. I always have them on hand. If I don’t want to steam anything, I just peel and blend up an avocado with a little water and BOOM baby food.

Instead of buying cereal in the store, I make a big batch of this oatmeal to mix with his veggies and fruits. I use the baby bullet to grind organic steel cut oats. I’m sure you can grind them with your blender or food processor, but I haven’t tried that so can’t guarantee the same results! What you’re looking for is a flour like consistency. I only use 1 Tbsp of oatmeal to 2 Tbsp fruit or veggies. IMG_0952

 

Baby Food Oatmeal
Makes 4 cups oatmeal

1/2 cup organic steel cut oats
4 cups water

Use the mill blade of the baby bullet to grind the oats to a fine powder (I’m sure you could use a food processor too). You are looking for a flour like consistency. Bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. SLOWLY pour in the oats as you whisk the entire time (if it clumps up, pour it in the blender after cooking to make sure it is smooth). Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, whisking occasionally. After 15 minutes, take the lid off, and simmer 5 more minutes. Whisk occasionally. Scoop 1 or 2 Tbsp (depending on your baby) into each individual baby bullet cup or other baby food cup with lid. I only use 1 Tbsp of oatmeal to 2 Tbsp fruit or veggies. Mix the veggies or fruit with the oatmeal while it’s still warm. Store in the fridge in airtight containers for up to 1 week.

Freezing Instructions-Use ice cube trays with lids to freeze individual cubes of oatmeal. Each cube is about 1 oz. Once they’re frozen, pop into a ziplock bag and label with the date. They last about 3-6 months in the freezer. To defrost, put in a cup with lid in the fridge a few nights before you plan to use it. OR you can put it in a ziplock back and place in a bowl of water to defrost. This recipe fills about 3 ice cube trays.

 

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Protein Breakfast Cookie

I call these cookies, because they’re just as good. But there’s really nothing “cookie-like” about these, other than their shape. They don’t have butter, sugar, flour, or anything “cookie-like” in them! They ARE, however, full of protein and flavor. They’re the perfect option for a quick snack or a breakfast on the go.

Having a small baby and a full time job makes it difficult to get a good meal in. Turner is getting much better with age. I can sit him in his high-chair while I cook, and he just watches me. But I definitely still have a million things to do in a day! So this is my go-to breakfast or snack! 

 

Protein Breakfast Cookie
Yields 6
The perfect on-the-go breakfast or snack!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 medium ripe banana, mashed
  2. 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  3. 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  4. 1 heaping Tbsp almond butter
  5. 3/4 cup quick cooking oats
  6. 1/2 cup almond meal (I used Trader Joe's brand)
  7. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  8. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  9. 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  10. 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  11. 1/2 cup diced apricots
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Mash banana in a small bowl with a fork. Add to standing mixer. Add applesauce, syrup, and almond butter to the banana and mix until well combined. In a separate bowl stir together oats, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, chia seeds, and cinnamon. Turn mixer on low and add in dry ingredients. Fold in apricots (you can add other things like raisins, dried cranberries, dried apples, sunflower seeds, etc). Use a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop to place mounds of dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 17-18 minutes until outside starts to brown and they are cooked through the center. Recipe makes 6 large cookies. Store in airtight container in fridge for 4 days or in freezer up to 4 months.
Little Baby Watson http://littlebabywatson.com/
 

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