Category Archives: Snacks for Children

Healthy Cookie Cutter Cookies (with a sugar free option)

This recipe is an adaption of the Butternut Cookies on the I Quit Sugar blog. The original recipe was okay, but the coconut flour gives it that horrid dry mouth feel, and the recipe uses a whole jar of cashew butter. I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford to spend $6 on just one ingredient for a batch of cookies.

This adaption makes a flaky, buttery, pastry-like cookie. The girls devoured them, so that’s always a good sign.

Ingredients

  • 300g spelt flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tsp rapadura sugar (or xylitol for sugar free)
  • pinch of salt
  • 50g cashew butter
  • 100g butter (or nutlex for dairy free)
  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2.5 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180c, and get a baking tray ready
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl
  3. In a small saucepan, melt the cashew butter, butter and coconut oil. Make sure it is over a very low heat.
  4. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the butter mix, eggs and vanilla essence. Stir well.
  5. At this stage you should probably rest the dough in the fridge a little bit, but we just went right ahead and rolled it. Up to you.
  6. Roll out half the dough between two sheets of baking paper, until it is about 4mm thick
  7. Using cookie cutters, cut out the biscuits and use an egg flip to lift them gently onto the baking tray.
  8. Bake in the oven until golden brown and crispy. (Sorry I didn’t time it. We did a basic clean-up and read two books if it helps)
  9. Allow to cool on the tray

NOTE: I froze the other half of the dough so we have some ready for another day.

 

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A yummy and healthy cookie cutter cookie. Yes we added sprinkles to this batch

 

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Filed under Activities for Toddlers, Snacks for Children, Sugar free, Toddler snacks

Quick craving buster: choc-coco-nut crackers

I almost didn’t post today, as things have been so busy. Quitting sugar has still being hard today, and I finally caved and sent hubby to the shops to get some xylitol, but alas he came home empty handed. Desperate, I rummaged through the cupboards and came up with a quick treat. I didn’t have high expectations, but it was amazing. My sugar craving is totally gone and it took less than a minute to put together.

Method
Mix together a heaped spoon of natural peanut butter (I used crunchy), 1/2 spoon of cacao and 1/2 spoon of coconut oil. Spread over a plain corn thin or rice cake. Devour!

That’s it! So simple, but really satisfying. I’ll be making these for the girls to eat at snack time tomorrow. You could use any nut butter you like. Try almond for a calcium boost.

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Filed under Recipes, Snacks for Children, Sugar free, Toddler snacks

How to keep cut apple fresh

I understand the lure of convenience foods, I truly do. I try not to be all judgey on parents food choices, especially when I can see they are trying their best. One product that really irks me though are sliced apples in a packet. I feel angry at companies like this, who prey on our concerns for providing good food that kids will not bin. No one likes a soggy sandwich, and the companies that make these packaged apple slices would like you to think the brown apples are inevitable. That’s just not true.

The trick to keeping apples looking fresh and perky is stopping the oxidation process. Sounds technical? So totally not. All it takes is a squeeze of lemon, and voila! Crisp apple slices that last all day.

The method

Simply slice up your apple, and place in a bowl. Add enough water to just cover them. Then get half a lemon and give it a good squeeze. I leave them in the bowl for about 2-3 minutes. Enough time to rummage through the tupperware drawer basically. Pop them straight from the bowl into their container, and you are done. You can’t taste the lemon either. I promise.

The slices in the picture below come from 3 small apples, and I used most, but not all, of the juice from my half lemon.

It truly is that easy, and you don’t need to waste money or packaging on buying them pre-made. The other benefit is avoiding the 3 additives these companies use to keep them from going brown. Hooray for home chopped!

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These sliced apples are safe from the horror of going brown.

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Filed under Nutrition, Recipes, Snacks for Children, Toddler snacks

Fresh pineapple icy poles

Icy poles are all the rage in our house, since the discovery of the tea icy poles The other day I wanted to make some with fruit, so I whipped up these beauties. They taste great, and got a big thumbs up from Boo.

Ingredients
1 small pineapple, core removed.
1/4-1/2 cup of coconut cream
Filtered water

Method
Blend the pineapple with half the coconut cream, once it’s a liquid taste and keep adding coconut cream to taste. I find the pineapple taste intensifies when frozen, so keep that in mind. Once you have your perfect pineapple-coconut ratio, add a small amount of filtered water and blend again. Pour into moulds and freeze.

I love that this method uses the whole fruit, not just the juice, so you still get the fibre. Eat the core yourself, as it’s rich in Bromelain, a potent antiinflammatory

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Filed under Blender recipes, Recipes, Snacks for Children, Sugar free, Toddler snacks

Two ways with tea

I LOVE tea. It is an obsession with me. Not to the point where I have a fancy multi temperature kettle and know anything technical about it, mind you. Just a love for the versatile beverage, and a belief that a cuppa and a chat could bring peace to the world.

I recently visited a fellow naturopath, and have my tea love taken in an all new direction – icy poles! Yep, you read that right, icy poles. In a bid to entertain our toddlers, my mate got them some home-made icy poles. Naturally I enquired as to the ingredients, and was told they were made from tea and fruit. Genius!

So here are some ideas for my first way with tea: Tea icy poles!

Fruit infusion tea with berries

Make a strong cup of a fruit based tea. I love blue lagoon from The Tea Centre, so I make mine with that. Toss in some frozen blueberries and freeze.

Cooling peppermint and cucumber

Brew a pot of peppermint tea, allow to cool, and water down to taste. Grate some cucumber and mix through. Perfect for a hot day.

Chamomile and orange

Great for anxious kids. Brew a strong pot of chamomile, and add segmented oranges. Freeze.

If you have a young baby who is teething, you could make this without the orange. It would make a perfect teething icy pole. If bub is too young to hold this, soak a corner of a face washer in the tea and freeze. Bub will be able to manage this much easier and get cool relief from the iced corner.

Ginger and raspberry

Excellent for upset tummies and pregnant ladies. Grate fresh ginger and infuse for a good long time. Add some frozen raspberries and freeze.

My second way with tea is to make a refreshing ice tea. Those bottled versions at the shop horrify me, as they are full of sugar and additives. Make your own instead!

Brew a strong pot of your favourite tea. I always use herbals, and again the blue lagoon fruit mix is my favourite. Once cooled, add sliced lime or lemon, and some quartered strawberries. Put in the fridge to chill. Drink liberally for refreshment. The strawberries give the tea the most delicious fragrance and taste. Enjoy

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Filed under Herbal medicine, Recipes, Snacks for Children, Sugar free, Toddler snacks, Uncategorized

A rainy day in the kitchen (and a 2nd birthday cake)

Today is one of those perfect grey and rainy home days. I love rainy days; when the skies seem close and moody, and the house is a cozy, safe retreat. This one is particularly nice as its Australia Day, and that means triple J’s hottest 100 is playing on the radio.

My toddler, Boo, turns two tomorrow. I’m really struggling with this birthday as I know my baby is growing up, and soon those giggling fits and mispronunciated words will be gone, replaced with new challenges and milestones. I’m proud of my ‘big girl’ though. Everyday she surprises me with something new, and she is a curious and loving child. I am very blessed to be her Mum.

Naturally another birthday means another cake. I’m using the same cake as her first birthday. You can find the recipe here. This is a beautiful cake, and the smell of coconut and maple syrup had added another lovely layer to my blissful rainy day. This time the icing is not so child friendly though. I have done a vanilla butter cream, and used puréed blueberries as a colourant. Sadly this was much more pink then I expected, giving us a pink shark instead of blue like I was hoping for. I also used fondant (shock horror!) for the features of the shark’s face. I have never used fondant before, and I found it really challenging. I have also learned that it cannot be dyed with raspberry juice. I ended up using the juice as a paint, by applying it on top of the fondant once applied to cake. I’m not happy with the sugar based icings, but sometimes you have to pick your battles. I can’t wait for her to see her special shark cake tomorrow. She’s going to love it!

While baking Boo’s birthday cake, I decided I also felt like comfort food and a quick raid of the fridge turned up some quark close to its use-by date. Perfect for blueberry and quark pancakes. Quark is a European fresh cheese similiar to cottage cheese. Traditionally it is made without rennet. The one I get is from Barambah Organics, and is a thick creamy delicious treat.

Blueberry and Quark pancakes

1 1/3 cups quark (or ricotta)
3/4 cup of milk
4 eggs, separated
3/4 cup blueberries (frozen is fine)

Combine these wet ingredients in a mixing bowl. Only add the egg yolks for now, the whites get folded through later. Add the blueberries last.

In another bowl, sift the dry ingredients

1 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of sea salt

Add the dry ingredients to the ricotta mix, and stir until combined. Do not over mix.

Beat the egg whites, until nice and firm. Gently fold through the pancake mix in two batches.

Fry spoonfuls of the batter over a low heat, with some butter or ghee.

I had never cooked quark or ricotta pancakes before, and found it difficult to get the temperature just right. As you can see in the picture, mine were more than golden. You need a fairly low heat, not too much batter for each pancake, and to keep a close eye on them.

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Adding quark to the pancakes gives this dish some decent protein, and makes them more filling. They also taste delicious.

Enjoying a rainy day at home with my family, and baking some yummy treats is pretty much a perfect day in my book.

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Filed under Nutrition, Recipes, Snacks for Children, Sugar free, Toddler snacks

What makes a treat?

A couple of weeks ago I had to take the car to the mechanics. The required new brakes, and the mechanic we love several suburbs away, conspired to mean I had to sit and wait hours for the car to be ready. With a toddler and a new born. Oh what fresh hell would this be?

The night before I packed a bag of toys, downloaded a Justine Clarke DVD onto the iPad, made toddler snacks and braced myself for the long day ahead (it was actually only going in for a service, but it was pretty obvious the brakes were in a bad way).

The only shops and entertainment nearby were a Bunnings, a fruit store, a service station and a park. We broke the day up by starting at Bunnings. My toddler helped me chose and carry seedlings. I must write about how awesome the Bunnings staff were. Baby decided she needed a feed while there. I asked a garden centre staff member if there was somewhere I could sit and feed. She not only told me to use the comfy outdoor setting displays, but came and checked I was okay. All the staff who passed me smiled warmly and a few asked if I needed anything. What a wonderful experience breast feeding in a store. Thanks Bunnings. After feeding, changing nappies and chasing the errant toddler, we purchased our herbs and returned to the mechanics.

The next trip out was around lunch. I wanted to get some fresh food and yoghurt and head to the park. I let Boo guide me on which fruit to buy, and she chose cherries, red grapes and a mandarin. We walked over to the park and opened our bounty.

Watching the pure enjoyment on Boo’s face as she tucked into juicy mandarins, then devoured those fresh seasonal cherries was just bliss. It brings up the question: what makes a treat? Why do we associate treats with junk food? To my toddler that day, running round a park while enjoying fresh fruit was every bit as delightful as eating a chocolate bar. Maybe more, as the energy and nutrients from the fruit provided her with lasting energy, instead of the crash from the processed sugars. One of my favourite treats is a bag full of lychees. I love peeling those little fruits and feeling the burst of juice and natural sweetness. So, so good.

Maybe what we need is to redefine the idea of a treat. And fresh, seasonal fruits are the perfect place to start.

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Filed under Nutrition, Seasonal eating, Snacks for Children, Toddler snacks