3 Ingredient Banana Baby-cakes

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We are well into the adventure of solid food feeding with my sweet little one and I am pleased to say that he is VERY enthusiastic about eating. ¬†His excitement when I put him in his highchair is pretty infectious. ūüôā

Being a dietitian, I of course put some thought into ensuring I offer highly nutritious foods for my baby to explore (and usually eat).

Food before one is just for fun.  Where did that tagline even come from?  Why would food suddenly become important after one but is not important before?  

I’ve heard that a lot lately that “food before one is just for fun”. ¬†It IS true that most of the nutrition for babies under 1 year should come from breast milk or formula. ¬†However solid food does have an important role too. ¬†The reason why solid food is recommended to start at around 6 months is because of a increased need for iron. In fact, the most important nutrient for babies to get from their solid food is iron!

Did you know that a baby over the age of 6 months has a higher iron requirement than an adult man?

Whoa. ¬†A baby requires 11 mg of iron in a day. ¬†That’s a lot! That’s why you might hear that it is wise to start a baby with iron rich foods and ensure they are offered those foods daily.

  • well-cooked, finely minced or shredded meat, poultry, or fish, including beef, pork, chicken, turkey, cod, and halibut
  • mashed cooked egg, lentils, beans or cooked tofu
  • iron-fortified infant cereal

Why so important?

A huge amount of brain development occurs during the first 2 years of life. Iron is vital in brain development by carrying oxygen in the blood.  Iron deficiency anemia is a real problem for babies with a recent study reporting iron deficiency anemia prevalence at between 12 and 64%.  This can have life long effects on brain development and function.

For more information on foods high in iron check out:  https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthlinkbc-files/babys-first-foods

Anyway back to the recipe. ¬†These pancakes are a serious hit on our household. ¬†My little bean ate SIX of these pancakes the other day for lunch! ¬†Whoa. They are soft, warm, easy to hold and chew. ¬†For added iron I add in 2-3 tablespoons of iron fortified infant cereal. ¬†Some people aren’t huge fans of infant cereal. I get it, it’s not a natural food….it’s definitely a food product. ¬†However it is an easy way to get some iron into your baby so I do use it in addition to other foods naturally high in iron.

These baby cakes are delicious for adults too!  I just swap out the infant cereal for some quick oats or oat flour and they are very yummy!  Very easily doubled, tripled, etc.

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Ingredients:

1 banana, very ripe, mashed

2 large eggs, beaten

2-3 tablespoons iron fortified rice or oatmeal infant cereal (oatmeal or oat flour)

Directions:

  1. Peel and mash banana in a medium sized bowl until smooth.  Add in eggs and beat until well mixed.
  2. Sprinkle in infant cereal and mix.
  3. Preheat griddle or pan on medium heat, add oil or butter to grease the surface.  Ladle about 1/4 cup amounts into pan and cook until bottom size is lightly browned.  Flip and cook other side until done.
  4. Cool and cut into fingers or small pieces for your baby.

Enjoy!

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Multi-grain Breakfast Bakes

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted. ¬†Life is a new momma is the most amazing adventure and I love it with all my heart. ¬†But man. ¬†It’s busy! ¬†Getting meals made is still a struggle on some days.

One of the local places where I get together with some of my “mom friends” and babies is this cute little coffee shop that is also a play zone for babies and toddlers. ¬†Wonderful idea! They make some delicious looking baking, most of which is glutenous of course, but they do have some amazing buckwheat crepes and these moist, delicious breakfast bakes.

I decided that I needed to figure out the recipe for these yummy morsels. ¬†It’s taken me about 6 attempts but I finally figured out a recipe that is very similar. Now I can eat these eeeeeeveryday ūüėÄ

And bonus….my breakfast is ready to go. ¬†I just heat it up slightly (or not), add some fruit and eat while my baby is munching on his breakfast too. ¬†Love it! ¬†Hubby loves it as a snack for work too.

Note: If you don’t want to buy amaranth, not a typical pantry staple I realize, just use more oats. ¬†But it’s tasty. ¬†Amaranth is a small seed-like grain that was traditionally eaten by the Aztecs, cool hey?

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Ingredients

Dry

1/2 cup amaranth

1 1/2 cup quick oats, certified wheat free if needed

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Wet

1/3 cup butter, melted

2 eggs, beaten

1/3 cup brown sugar, packed

1 1/2 cups milk or milk alternative

Zest of one orange

1 teaspoon vanilla

Toppings: sliced peaches, blueberries, chopped nuts, jam, seeds, apples, etc

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease 12 muffin tins or mini loaf pans.
  2. Melt butter and add to a medium sized bowl.  Beat in eggs.  Add the remaining wet ingredients to the bowl and whisk together well.
  3. Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Divide between muffin tins.  Add your optional toppings.  Bake for 30 minutes in preheated oven.
  5. Let cool for 5 minutes in pans, then loosen edges and finish cooling in wire racks.  Keep in the fridge for up to 4 days or store in an airtight container in the freezer for longer.

The Best GF Carrot Cake. Ever.

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We are having a lot of birthdays around here this week! ¬†My friend had a birthday on the weekend and my lovely husband has a birthday coming up in a couple days. ¬†Also exciting is waiting on the birthday of our little baby which could be anytime in the next couple weeks! ¬†We can’t wait! ūüôā

So needless to say, some cake was in order.

My friend Emily requested a carrot cake. ¬†Carrot cake and I get along fine. ¬†Well any cake for that matter (as long as it’s gluten free that is). ¬†Especially carrot cake with some tangy cream cheese frosting! ¬†On a side note organic carrots have been a delightful pregnancy craving of mine! ¬†I didn’t have a good recipe for carrot cake so I went hunting around online until I found one that looks reputable enough to try and I just put a gluten free spin on it.

This recipe is adapted from epicurious.com

Being on a dietitian blog, does that make this recipe “healthy”? ¬†I’m not a black and white thinker when it comes to food. ¬†All foods fit and for a birthday, I just wanted to make a straight up full sugar and fat birthday cake. ¬†What’s the point otherwise! ¬†But no, it’s not a recipe that you necessarily should be eating on a regular basis ūüėČ ¬†If I can award any positive nutrition points it would be for the pound of carrots that are in this cake (I use organic as they taste waaaay better than conventionally grown), raisins and ground up walnuts or pecans for healthy oils.

Yields 2 – 9 inch x 2 inch round cake pans or 1 – 9 x 13 inch sheet cake pan

Ingredients:

For the carrot cake:

2 cups gluten free all-purpose flour blend (like this one)

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

2 cups lightly packed brown sugar

4 large eggs, at room temperature

3/4 cup light flavoured oil like grape seed or canola (if not using nuts I would suggest increasing this to 1 cup of oil)

1 pound of carrots, trimmed, peeled and coarsely grated on the largest holes of a box grater or in the food processor (about 3 cups lightly packed cups)

Optional (but recommended):

2/3 cup pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped, plus more lightly toasted nuts for garnish

2/3 cup raisins

For the cream cheese frosting:

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese (regular not light)

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (or 155 grams if you have a kitchen scale)

1 1/3 cup icing sugar

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375¬įF, ensure the rack is in the middle of the oven. ¬†Prepare the cake pans by greasing the bottom and sides with butter and then line the bottoms with parchment paper. ¬†I traced the bottom of the pan on the paper and then cut out.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.
  3. Put the paddle attachment on a stand mixer if you have one available.  Add brown sugar and turn on low to break up any chunks.  Add eggs one at a time, until incorporated and smooth. Shut of mixer and scrape down the bowl and paddle.  Turn onto low and add oil in a small stream until fully incorporated.
  4. Remove the bowl from the mixer and scrape off paddle.  Add flour in 3 batches, folding in with a spatula after each addition until just incorporated.  Fold in the carrots, raisins and nuts if using.
  5. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and smooth the tops.  Bake in preheated oven until the layers are firm and the tip of a knife comes out clean.  About 40 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. ¬†Then invert the cake onto another rack, remove parchment paper and invert the cake later again so it’s right side up. ¬†Let layers cool completely.
  7. Make the cream cheese frosting when cakes are completely cool.  In your stand mixer (clean), add the cream cheese and butter and beat on a medium speed until smooth.  About 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Shut off mixer and scrape down the sides.  Add the icing sugar and vanilla.  Beat on medium, scraping down the sides as needed until light and fluffy.  About 2 minutes.
  8. To frost the cake, first start by shaving off the rounded top of each cake round (1 cm or so) to make the tops flat.  Place 1 cake layer on a large cake plate and cover with 1/3 of the frosting.  Invert the second layer of the cake on top so the bottom (flat side) is facing up.
  9. Spread the remaining frosting on the sides and top of the cake.  If you desire, sprinkle the icing with lightly toasted nuts.
  10. Keep at room temperature until cake time!  If you will be storing this for more than a day, top with an airtight cake dome and keep in the fridge.  Gluten free baking tends to go stale faster than normal baking. Will keep for 2-3 days.

Enjoy your delicious cake!

 

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The Best Veggie Burger

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 The Best Veggie Burger

I’ve searched for a long time for a good veggie burger.¬† Not just any kind with flavour but the texture has to be right, not too mushy in the middle, crisp on the outside with the texture in the middle.

This recipe was easy to adapt to gluten free with some quick substitutions that I had in my pantry anyway.  We splurged on some gluten free buns and had a gorge-fest on these high protein, high fibre, non-animal protein beauties!

Give these a whirl!  Make a big batch and then freeze the rest individually wrapped in parchment paper.

Recipe adapted from Oh She Glows

Yield: 8 burgers

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • Flax eggs: 2.5 tbsp ground flax + 1/2 cup warm water, mixed in bowl
  • 1 cup oat flour, certified gluten free (or other flours likely work)
  • 1.5 cups gluten free bread crumbs (Dry out some GF bread in the toaster oven and then processed until fine crumb)
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and roughly pureed or mashed
  • Heaping 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley (or fresh herb of choice)
  • 1/3 cup almonds, chopped (toasted if preferred)
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, (toasted if preferred)
  • 1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil or other oil
  • 1 tbsp gluten free Tamari (soy sauce)
  • 1.5 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • Fine grain sea salt and black pepper, to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp salt or a bit more)

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 Directions:

1. In a large skillet, sauté onions and garlic in 1/2 tbsp oil until soft and fragrant. Mix your flax egg together in a small bowl and set aside for at least 10 minute to allow it to thicken while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

2. Place all ingredients (except spices and salt) into a large mixing bowl and stir very well. Then add seasonings and salt to taste.

3. With slightly wet hands so the dough doesn’t stick, shape into patties. Pack dough tightly as this will help it stick together and not too thick. I made 8 medium patties.

4. Cooking methods: You can fry the burgers in a bit of oil on a skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side. If baking in the oven, bake for 25-30 mins (15-17 minutes on each side) at 350F, until golden and crisp. For the BBQ, pre-bake the burgers for about 15 minutes in oven before placing on a pre-heated grill until golden and crisp on each side. We fried them in a skillet and they were awesome.

5. Serve on a bun with all the fixin’s and a nice green salad!¬† Is it summer yet?

 

Ratatouille

IMG_1505Ratatouille.  Simply a stewed French vegetable dish.  Such a wonderfully simply yet flavourful recipe.  The key to this dish?  Fresh, local vegetables.

The flavours of the vegetable ingredients are the essential flavours in this dish. I’ve been indulging in local, organic food boxes all throughout this summer.¬† I’ve finally got my favourite vegetables all in one box….zucchini, tomatoes and eggplant.¬† Love it.

Ever seen the movie, by the way?¬† It’s charming.¬† And will make you want to make ratatouille. Moral of the story…the cook wins over a famous food critic with a traditional French peasant dish.¬† What a wonderful lesson in cooking simply.¬† https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgiK-HWKPjw

There are a lot of different ways to cook this dish.¬† I prefer it to be simple and I make it without milk ingredients….just vegetables, herbs and spices.¬† Delicious.

IMG_1527Ingredients:

Start with the freshest ingredients

  • Olive or grape seed oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 eggplant, diced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Zucchini, sliced
  • Tomatoes, sliced
  • Oregano and basil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Chop the onions, eggplant and add to hot pan with a couple tablespoons of oil.  Cook down for about 5 minutes or until starting to become translucent and tender.  Add garlic, season with fresh or dried oregano & basil, salt and pepper and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Lightly grease the bottom of a casserole dish with oil.  Add the cooked eggplant and onion mixture to the casserole dish.
  4. Thinly slice zucchini and layer over top of the eggplant mixture.  Sprinkle with oregano, basil, salt and pepper.

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5. Thinly slice tomatoes and layer over top of the zucchini.  Sprinkle again with basil, oregano, salt and pepper.

IMG_15145. Bake covered, in preheated over for 45-60 minutes or until vegetables look tender and done.

IMG_15296. Serve with hot steamed brown rice or toasted hearty bread. You may season with Parmesan cheese or your favourite sharp cheese.  I served this with crumbled toasted pecans to make it vegan.  Delicious.

Who says delicious food has to be fancy?¬† ūüôā

New Recipe Index Tab

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Check out the new Recipe Index tab located at the top of the blog page.

This will allow you to more easily scroll through and find recipes that may interest you!

Recipes are grouped into categories for your convenience.  Happy browsing!

Bibimbap (Korean Rice Bowl)

I love bibimbap (BEE-beem-bop)! I had it for the first time this summer. Thankfully I had scouted a recipe and it’s surprisingly simple to make. This recipe is basically a bowl of rice topped with veggies, meat, and often an egg. Make extra rice the night before and you have an almost instant meal.

Ingredients:
4-6 cups cooked rice
1 pound beef steak thinly sliced
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp sugar
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp grated fresh ginger (I grate mine frozen, it grates easier and keeps longer)
Sautéed vegetables (spinach, chard, beet greens, zucchini, peppers)
Steamed vegetables ( broccoli, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, carrots)
Raw vegetables (grated carrots, julienned cucumbers, pea pods)
4-6 eggs (fried, poached, or soft-boiled)
Sesame seeds, toasted, for garnish (optional)
Sriracha, for serving (optional)

Directions:
1. If your rice has been made ahead, reheat it in the microwave or in a drizzle of sesame oil in a hot skillet.
2. Combine the steak with the soy sauce, sesame oil, green onions, sugar, garlic, and ginger and let it sit while you assemble the rest of the ingredients.
3. In a hot skillet over medium-high heat, cook the meat in a drizzle of oil, tossing it quickly just until it is cooked through. Top the rice with the meat, veggies, and your egg; sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve immediately, with Sriracha at the table.

Serves 4-6

Source: Today’s Parent

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