Snack

Feeding Babies, Entrée, Snack

FEEDING BABIES: TODDLER VEGETABLES EDITION

toddler_vegetables_01.jpg

My most frequent request is for more feeding babies posts. The consensus being: carbs, cheese, meat are no problem for their kids, but there is concern over vegetable consumption. I don't really feed babies specifically any more, but we are still not quite all eating the same thing. I am feeding toddlers, which comes with both more options and more negotiating than babies. 

Another tip I am trying to implement, which I picked up from my sister in law, is to keep snacks after lunch to a minimum. Aren't we more apt to try new things with an appetite? She only offers veggies and hummus between lunch and dinner and I've been trying to do that. If they are not hungry for that, then they can't really be *that* hungry. No bars, crackers, string cheese, or whatever your kids' most requested snacks are. When I keep throwing snacks at them in that 4-6 window when they're asking for food and I'm trying to hustle back from an afternoon activity and get dinner together, they eat about one bite of dinner because they are not really hungry. They don't want to try new things or even sit at the table. The goal is to have them come to the dinner table hungry if you want them to eat what you're eating. Do you have any other good tips? 

Some of these "recipes" seem silly to write down, but I understand that some of us, especially with tasks outside of our wheelhouse, like to just be told what to do. Below are a couple things that my kids are into lately, and sides we adults enjoy eating too.  Roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce? Yes please. Forever.


VEGGIES AND MONSTER HUMMUS

Makes about 2 Cups

Cut and prep this in advance so it's ready in the fridge when wee ones start asking you for food. The hummus will keep about 5 days before the color begins to brown. When you see how silly easy it is to make hummus at home, you can use it as a base for all sort of vegetable add ins: a cooked beet, jalapeno cilantro, roasted red pepper. I also love the one made with red lentils from Near and Far.

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces baby spinach or power greens mix
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • juice of half a lemon, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt and pepper
  • prepared carrots, bell peppers, Persian cucumbers, for dipping

Instructions

Barely wilt the greens, for just a minute, in a tablespoon of water. Set aside to cool.  Into a food processor, combine the garlic, tahini, chickpeas, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and process until smooth. Tip in the wilted greens and blend again until fully incorporated. Taste for salt and pepper. Thin with lemon juice or water as needed. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. 

Serve with cut vegetables, crackers, or as a sandwich spread. 

Toddler Vegetables . Monster Hummus . Sprouted Kitchen

ROASTED SWEET POTATO WEDGES WITH HERBY YOGURT DIP

Serves 4

I like the taco seasoning from Trader Joes, it does have some sugar, but doesn't have a bunch of other junk in it. If you are looking to just pull from your own spice cabinet, a mix of cumin and chili powder will be great alternative. Rolling them in cornstarch or arrowroot powder first, helps create a barrier to soak up the potatoes' natural moisture content and ensure a bit more crispiness. Even a very discerning toddler will not notice, but I am adding this step because I like to eat them this way :) If you have leftovers, they are a perfect addition to a breakfast burrito with some scrambled eggs, greens and shredded white cheddar. 
A dairy free option for the dip would be to use one large, ripe avocado in place of the yogurt. 

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch or arrowroot powder, optional
  • 1-2 Tbsp. avocado oil
  • 2 tsp. taco seasoning, see headnote
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 2/3 cup whole plain greek yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. well chopped cilantro (or parsley)
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400'.

Cut the sweet potatoes into wedges, no more than 1/2" thick. Toss them in the cornstarch or arrowroot to roughly coat (optional). Drizzle with the oil, toss again. Sprinkle the seasoning, toss again. Spread the potatoes in an even layer , using two pans if necessary to avoid too much overlap. Roast for 25 minutes until tender.

While the potatoes are cooking, mix up your yogurt dip. Stir together the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, cilantro and a pinch of salt and pepper. 

Toddler Vegetables . Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Herby Yogurt Dip . Sprouted Kitchen

EVERYTHING BAGEL CAULIFLOWER

Serves 2-4

The beautiful thing about cauliflower is that is doesn't have much flavor on its own, so it can go any direction. I let my kids sprinkle the seeds on and put this on their plate with a dollop of the tahini sauce or ketchup, when I'm in a pinch. It's also great mixed into some mac n cheese or into cooked brown rice and call it a complete meal. 

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower
  • 2 Tbsp. avocado or olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. everything bagel seasoning from Trader Joes or make you own*
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 large clove garlic, grated/li>
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp. water
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • tiny dash of cayenne
  • salt and pepper

* Mix 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds, 1 Tbsp. poppyseeds, 1 tsp. dried onion flakes, 1 tsp. dried garlic flakes, 1/4 tsp. sea salt and pepper.

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 425'. Break the florets off, away from the core of the cauliflower and cut the core into 1" pieces as well. Toss everything in the oil to coat. Sprinkle on the salt and bagel seasonings and toss again. Spread the cauliflower in an even layer and roast on the middle rack for 25-30 minutes, tossing the vegetables halfway through roasting. Remove to cool.

While the cauliflower roasts, mix the tahini sauce ingredients. Stir together the tahini, garlic clove, maple, water, lemon juice, cayenne and a pinch of salt and pepper. 

Toddler Vegetables . Everything Bagel Cauliflower with Tahini Sauce. Sprouted Kitchen


Print Friendly and PDF

Chocolate, Dessert, Feeding Babies, Gluten Free, Snack

CHOCOLATE CRISPY SUNFLOWER BUTTER HEARTS

chocolate_sunflower_butter_hearts_05.jpg

I love when Curran brings crafts home from preschool. I do not hang them or keep them, but I love that someone else is doing crafts and artsy things with him so I don't have to. I don't like junk or tchotchkes and I suppose crafts feel like a waste of materials and money. No offense, personal opinion, and I appreciate that other people love them but one cannot be good at all of the things. HOWEVER. My heart is not completely made of stone and I love my children so I went to Michaels (a store specifically for crafty people) last week to pick up Valentines supplies. Cards, stickers, glitter hearts, paint, heart cookie cutters, we're going for it. I really wanted to buy that $4 box of pre-made Minion cards, staple a bag of mini pretzels to it and call it done but my parents always made Valentines really special for my sister and I, so I'm going to do crafts for a minute in the spirit of family tradition. My (crafty) mom still sends us homemade Valentines. Where I do fail them in enthusiasm for crafts, I make up in cooking projects. They like to bake because they've caught on to the outcome. These sunflower butter hearts fit within all the allergy rules at preschool and my kids think cookie cutters are magical. They make a mess and push each other and the whole of it is harder and slower, but I think that is the refinement happening in me at this stage of parenting. Everything is harder with them. It just is, and when I quit fighting it and resign to things like Cleo never sleeping in the car no matter how far the drive or Curran being highly sensitive and crying easily, I give up the loosing battle for control. Instead of trying to fix it or solve it, for their sake or mine, I'm better for all of us. I'll be damned if they look back and think I didn't let them in on being in the kitchen, a place I love, because it made it harder and slower for me. Our food will be our crafts if that's how I need to do it. 

So. I applaud you if you have mini bags of pretzels or conversation hearts, but if you're up for a pretty simple, two dish cooking project, these could not be easier.

/// EVENT! ///

Hugh and I are hosting a food photography workshop in Seattle, WA on April 28+29. Tickets and a few more notes are available on the shop page. This will be our third workshop at Aran's beautiful studio and the whole experience is so refreshing for us and what we do for work. Hugh will go over light and composition and editing and I'll jump in for some styling and prep food with Aran and we get to bounce ideas off each other and learn how to be better at our craft. Basic understanding of your camera is recommended but you could just use your phone too, it doesn't really matter. We'd love you to come. Feel free to contact me with any questions at all. 

CHOCOLATE CRISPY SUNFLOWER BUTTER HEARTS // Makes 12ish

Because I know someone is thinking, "can I use all maple?", the answer is not really. Brown rice syrup is thicker and sets better than maple. It's the sweetener used in most packaged protein bars. I cut it here because I like the flavor of maple better and I wanted the hearts to be a little more tender. In short, you can go all brown rice syrup for the liquid sweetener yield, but not completely maple. They sell it at all health food stores, some conventional grocery stores or more conveniently, albeit more expensive, here
These are mildly chocolatey. If you want more, add a generous handful of chocolate chips to the mixture. 

1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup sunflower butter
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup rice crisp cereal
1 cup quick cooking oats*

* the quick cooking ones have a softer texture. The old fashioned sort will work, but have a bit of a raw taste in context as they're thicker. I'd suggest pulsing them in a blender or food processor if you go this route. 

chocolate_sunflower_butter_hearts_04.jpg

Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper. 

In a large saucepan, warm the rice syrup and maple. Add the sunflower butter and coconut oil and stir until smooth. Remove from the heat and let it cool a moment. Add the salt, cocoa powder, rice cereal and oats. Stir to mix. 
Tip the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth down the top with damp hands. The mixture will be sticky, damp hands will help. 
Let it set in the fridge for a couple hours before cutting them into squares or using a cookie cutter for shapes. 
They are best kept in the fridge, and will keep covered for 3-5 days. 

chocolate_sunflower_butter_hearts_06.jpg
Print Friendly and PDF

Breakfast, Gluten Free, Snack

NUT'NOLA

nutnola_01.jpg

Months ago, I may have mentioned that Hugh was doing the ketogenic diet? Surely you've heard of it. Most of the cookbooks at my local Costco are keto books so you know it's mainstream. He humored me and went off it for the holidays and is back to it these days. I refuse to make a third version of whatever I'm cooking, but I will compromise. How saintly of me, right? I have my current granola recipe pretty nailed down, but I gave it a spin with less sweetener and replaced the oats with more nuts. It replaces the carbohydrates with more fat, so I don't know where your nutrition paradigms lie, but it tastes good either way. You can use this as a topping for plain yogurt, oatmeal, as a snack or I used it as a crunchy bit for a green salad with arugula, red onion, and roasted butternut chunks and thought it worked perfect. I made a few notes below on seasoning options. 

NUT'NOLA // Makes about 5 cups

You can find the coconut flakes (the wide shards, not the same as shredded coconut) at Trader Joes, larger conventional grocery stores or Amazon. The kind of nut isn't as important as the yield. Swap in pecans or macadamia nuts, whatever you prefer. We use this as a breakfast sort of deal, if you want a more savory route, a dash of cayenne and some fresh chopped rosemary is a great swap, or that Everything But The Bagel seasoning from Trader Joes is pretty amazing here too, especially if you want to use these as a crunchy salad topper. 

2 Tbsp. coconut oil, warmed
1/3 cup maple syrup
3/4 tsp. sea salt
heaping 1/2 tsp. cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

1 cup raw whole almonds
1 cup raw whole cashews
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 Tbsp. raw sesame seeds
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes/chips

Preheat the oven to 325' and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
In a large mixing bowl, combine the warmed coconut oil, maple, salt and cinnamon/spice. Stir to combine. 
Give the almonds, cashews and walnuts a rough chop. Add them to the maple mixture along with the pumpkin seeds, sesame and coconut flakes. Stir everything to coat. Spread the mixture in an even layer on the baking sheet and pop in the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, stir, bake another 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove to cool completely. The nuts will crisp up as they cool. Store in an airtight container for a couple weeks. 

Print Friendly and PDF