Baking with vegetables is a genius idea for three wonderful reasons - added nutrition, natural sweetness and moisture. Carrots, in particular, are the perfect addition to cakes, muffins and breads. I created these whole grain, omega-3 fatty acid-rich, refined sugar-free, spiced carrot muffins to make my mornings less stressful, more nutritious and delicious.
This past rainy weekend brought with it an intense chocolate craving and my stash was out. In a moment of desperation, I whipped up these ‘laddoos’ or energy balls with the only chocolate I had on hand - raw cacao . I wasn't expecting fireworks but boy oh boy were these AMAZING. Packed with protein, iron, calcium, fiber, anti-oxidants and a host of other nutrients, these cardamom chocolate energy balls have become toddler's favorite snack.
Chia means 'strength' and chia seeds are a superfood for good reason. They are high in calcium - 2 tablespoons contain 180 mg of calcium, the same as 4oz of milk! They also have plant-based omega-3 fats, quality protein, fiber and anti-oxidants. They are a great addition to smoothies, salads, breakfast bars and puddings. Here, they marry beautifully with coconut milk and fiber, protein and calcium-rich rolled oats for a decadent pudding that takes seconds to prepare.
In the way that is typical of toddlers, my 2 year old has, out of the blue, boycotted his staple morning oatmeal. I am a big believer in a nourishing, warm bowl of porridge for breakfast, especially in the cooler months of the year, so I started rummaging around my pantry frantically for an alternate solution. Enter semolina! Made from ground durum wheat and yellowish in color, it's richer in iron and protein than wheat - having used it in the Lebanese Sfouf we shared recently, I had some lying around so decided to give it a go. It's been three days and it's all toddler wants. And naturally, he calls it 'Goldilocks’ Porridge' <smile, wink, heart slightly melting>
I woke up from a nap yesterday with an intense muffin craving. It's been a week of clean eating so I didn't want to sabotage myself and toddler with added sugar nastiness. I decided to create 'healthy' muffins with oats, bananas, spices, and NO WHITE SUGAR. These are definitely gently versus cloyingly sweet but they absolutely hit the spot. I made them again for breakfast today and given toddler and papa's reaction, I'll be adding them to the 'healthy family favorite' list.
These pancakes are real nutritious powerhouses you can feel good about devouring.
Containing spelt, also known as 'The Grandfather of Wheat', is an ancient grain and wheat's healthier distant cousin. Spelt has more nutrients per calorie than wheat and because it still has gluten, albeit a more easily digestible form, it can be swapped into any recipe calling for wheat without really compromising texture. Spelt is rich in niacin (vitamin B3) which is important for energy metabolism, among other functions. It is a good source of minerals like copper, iron, zinc, magnesium and phosphorus as well as the trace mineral manganese which helps regulate blood sugar, thyroid function and bones. Spelt has loads of soluble fiber and is easier to digest than wheat. The complex carbohydrates in spelt are of the good kind -- known as mucopolysaccharides, they can boost immune function! Chia seeds are a true superfood filled with fiber, protein and omega-3 fats which are anti-inflammatory and have a plethora of beneficial effects including aiding neuronal and eye development as well as lowering triglycerides in the blood and boosting heart health. Kids don't mind them for they are teeny tiny and undetected in most recipes.
Spelt, also known as 'The Grandfather of Wheat', is an ancient grain and wheat's distant cousin. Spelt has more nutrients per calorie than wheat and because it still has gluten, albeit a more easily digestible form, can be swapped into any recipe calling for wheat, without really compromising texture. Spelt is rich in niacin (vitamin B3), which is important for energy metabolism, among other functions. It is a good source of minerals like copper, iron, zinc, magnesium and phosphorus as well as the trace mineral manganese which helps regulate blood sugar, thyroid function and bones. Spelt has loads of soluble fiber and is easier to digest than wheat. The complex carbohydrates in spelt are of the good kind -- known as mucopolysaccharides, they can boost immune function! Spelt has a nuttier flavor than wheat so I actually like it more, taste-wise. The bit of white flour makes for a fluffier and lighter texture than 100% spelt.
Quinoa is a genuine superfood, containing essential vitamins like Riboflavin (B2) which helps energy production in the brain and muscle cells, important minerals like iron, magnesium and manganese and twice the fiber of most grains. Rare for plant-based protein, quinoa contains ‘complete’ protein encompassing all 9 essential amino acids, making it a perfect, protein-rich grain for kids. Combined with dried apricots which are a great source of fiber, vitamins A, C and iron and bananas which have a load of fiber, vitamins and minerals such as potassium, this quinoa porridge is the perfect power breakfast or baby puree.
Pears are a superb source of a class of polyphenolic compounds called flavonoids which can promote heart health and help prevent Type 2 diabetes and cancer. The skin of pears contains a large proportion of its flavonoids so I suggest buying organic pears and leaving them unpeeled for toddlers and older kids. Pears also contain Vitamins C and K and are a great source of fiber.
The content on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. We do not claim that any of the spices or recipes we discuss are a substitute for modern medicine or will cure you of a disease or ailment. Please consult with your doctor before introducing spices or any new foods mentioned on this site to your baby or kid if you are concerned about their reaction to them.