2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp organic whole milk (you can use coconut or nut milk if you prefer)
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup diced mango (anywhere from 1/2 mango to whole mango, depending how big)
- Preheat oven to 400F, 200C, Gas Mark 5
- Mix together eggs, maple syrup, coconut oil and milk
- Add baking powder to coconut flour then slowly combine with wet ingredients
- Mix the batter really well with a hand mixer then spoon in mango
- Pour batter into muffin cups or straight into tin. It should make 10 muffins. Bake for 20 minutes. The muffin should have a spongey bounce to it when it’s done
Mango muffins was the first bake I attempted when baby Number 1 came along. Some people LOVE baking. There are thousands of books about baking; 9 out of 10 people would probably prefer dessert to an entrée; The Great British Bake Off is possibly the most popular reality show on TV. I, however, do not like baking! It requires precision, and I much prefer winging it. However, the ingredients found in most store bought muffins, pastries, cookies and cakes are – let’s face it – appalling. They’re filled with processed flours, sugar, additives, preservatives, industrial oils, E-Numbers, etc. These ingredients aren’t good for anyone, especially tiny digestive tracts, but for some people it’s the only lifestyle they now know. Suggesting to a Baby Boomer to avoid the packaged products sitting on their supermarket shelf is like throwing sand in the wind. Gens X & Y have been pretty well scuppered by food and marketing also. But our babies – they have hope! People are becoming more educated about food and more aware of choices we need to make to live a healthy life. It’s my absolute passion to help people understand good food choices. Our babies – they don’t have the choice yet, so as a parent, it’s my responsibility to make the healthiest choice I can – for them! So, I made myself find the patience and precision for baking, and with that I can feel good about my girls enjoying a clean, sweet treat.
1 cup nut butter or seed butter
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup coconut oil
1.5 cup dry rolled oats
3 tsp raisins
50 g of 70% dark chocolate bar or 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- Combine the nut butter, maple syrup, coconut oil and raisins in a pot and melt on a low-medium heat, stirring as it melts. This should take 2-3 minutes
- Add chocolate and allow to melt for about 30 seconds. Turn the fire off and stir in the oats
- Pour into a baking dish lined with parchment paper. If you don’t have parchment paper, just grease the dish with coconut oil. It’ll make the brownies a little more difficult to remove from the dish, but a little patience and power, and you will do it
- Freeze for 1 hour. Once set, remove and cut into squares. Store in the fridge
I like this recipe because it’s a sweet treat made with natural sugars, no flours, no baking (which I tend to avoid because it’s so precise) and it reminds me of my favorite cookie – oatmeal and raisin. The ingredients make up a great toddler snack loaded with essential fats, protein and slow releasing carbohydrates. The dark chocolate, as we all know and justify daily, is not only an antioxidant, but also contains nutrients that are essential to our energy cycle as well as our body’s natural relaxation ability – it even contains a decent amount of fibre. It’s one of the healthiest and tastiest treats I’ve tasted in a long time – nutrient dense and no blood sugar spike. Great for the whole family, and definitely toddler approved!
3 tbs Greek yogurt
3 tbs hemp seeds
1 tbs desiccated coconut
1/4 cup coconut water
- Cut the papaya in half, discard the seeds and scoop out the flesh
- Deseed the cherries
- Add all of the ingredients into a blender, NutriBullet or whatever blending method you prefer. Blend
Dad has been training hard lately, so I’ve been creating post-training smoothies to supply a good hit of glucose to transport energy to the muscles, protein for muscle repair and electrolytes for rehydration. This formula is also perfect for a toddler smoothie, especially in the summertime when extra hydration is needed. The protein in the smoothie with slow down the release of sugar from the fruit, creating a more stabilized source of energy, and keep the body fueled for longer. It’s a great early morning or mid afternoon snack.
I had an idea of how this smoothie would taste when I was making it, but it actually came out better than expected. Drinking it made me feel like I should be dancing in the sun, on a white sandy beach, in the Caribbean islands. Thanks to my little Caribbean Dream smoothie, for that lovely memory recall…
3 cups of juice (not from concentrate)
1 cup of water
3 tbs Gelatin
- Mix the juice and water together. Pour one cup of the juice mixture into a bowl and sprinkle the gelatin. Let it sit and form a solid texture
- Heat the remaining 3 cups of juice mixture on medium-low heat for 5-7 minutes
- Whisk the heated mixture into the gelatin then pour into a glass or ceramic baking dish
- Let it set in the fridge for 2 hours
Being in control of what goes into your child’s body is so important these days. There are small changes that we can make to our food approach to give us more control. Preparing homemade and healthy snacks is a good starting point. Little tykes typically need three meals and two snacks a day. It’s important to remember that snacks should be small meals – not junk – but finding healthy, balanced snacks that isn’t fruit is really difficult. Preparing homemade jello, using grass fed gelatin, is a winning 5 minutes of your time.
There are many myths about gelatin associated with store bought Jell-o. I can’t say for sure how true they are, but I can say that store bought Jell-o is very low on the list of natural, healthy snacks for kids. However, jello made with gelatin, sourced from grass fed cows, using quality fruit juice is a wonderfully nutritious snack or dessert for your child. I will blog about gelatin and its benefits soon, but for now just know these basic facts: gelatin is a pure protein, so mixing it with fruit juice will help to balance blood sugar, preventing your tiny human from having sugar tantrums. AND, here’s a big selling point, gelatin contains an amino acid called glycine which is well known for its calming and sleep promoting properties, so maybe serving up this Mellow Jello might have a positive outcome for your toddlers sleeping patterns!
Try these flavors: grape, cherry, orange & mango, strawberry & pineapple, apple
1 cup dates
1/4 heaping cup of macadamia nuts (see note below)
1/4 cup of finely chopped fresh cherries (or you can used dried cherries)
2 tbs desiccated coconut
1 tbs coconut oil
30 grams 85% dark chocolate (this is just over 1/4 bar of Lindt dark chocolate – about 3 squares)
- Blend the dates and nuts in food processor until it forms a paste
- Mix in 2 tbs desiccated coconut into the past and then form the paste into a smooth rectangular bar. I find it’s easier to do this on a large flat surface and then transfer into a small baking dish
- Sprinkle the bar with salt
- Add a layer of chopped cherries on top of the bar
- Melt the coconut oil in a small pan
- Add chocolate to melted coconut oil and melt, stirring slowly
- Slowly drizzle chocolate over the bar and then sprinkle with desiccated coconut
- Freeze for 1 hour. Transfer to the fridge for 20-30 minutes before eating so the cherries can thaw
My lovely in laws always come to our house bearing fruit. Recently, they brought a punnet of fresh Kent cherries. After a few days, I found about 10-12 cherries lurking around in the fridge, so I decided to make a treat. What better combination than cherries and chocolate! These squares were devoured in minutes! I managed to sneak one tiny square past the crew, and the rest were polished off by Dad, Number 1 & 2.
Macadamia nuts are wildly underappreciated, in my opinion. I love these nuts, and they are a favorite of Number 1 as well. They are just the right side of sweet, and they are naturally oily, which is great for this recipe because it helps to bind the squares together. Kids need essential fats in their diet – and including macadamia nuts is a great way to get the wonderful monounsaturated fats in them.
Cherries & Chocolate: For us older folk, cherries and dark chocolate should be part of our daily intake. They both have supreme antioxidant capacity, meaning they help scavenge free radicals, and protect us from oxidative stress which can trigger disease and speed up aging. For the little ones, the cherries will naturally sweeten up the dark chocolate, as chocolate that is 85% will be a tad more bitter than sweet, but also contain better health properties.
Macadamia nuts are becoming more popular lately, but if you don’t have them to hand, you can use cashews. If you’re avoiding nuts, substitute with tahini.
2 1/4 cups of dates
1.5 cups of cashews
1/2 cup of macadamia nuts
2 tbs cacao powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp water
- I blend the cashews first, using the nut grinder on the NutriBullet. I aim for a powdery consistency, but this step is probably not necessary
- Add cashews, macadamia nuts, dates, cacao, vanilla and water into food processor and mix for approximately 30-45 seconds
- Take the mixture out and place on a cutting board. Form it into one big rectangle, then cut into squares
- Chill in the fridge for an hour – serve. I keep my bites in the fridge but you can store them room temperature as well
These bites are very well loved in our house. I came up with this recipe because I found all of the gluten free, dairy free bars I was buying would get dropped half way through eating by Number 2, and they never quite satisfied dad. Making my own gives me portion control, not to mention I get a lot more bang for my buck.
Macadamia nuts are wildly underappreciated, in my opinion. I love these nuts, and they are a favorite of Number 1 as well. They are just the right side of sweet, and they are naturally oily, which is great for this recipe because it helps to bind them together. Kids need essential fats in their diet – and including macadamia nuts is a great way to get the wonderful monounsaturated fats in them.
1 large handful of spinach
1 ripe pear, peeled and cored
2 tbsp Greek yogurt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp honey
1/4 cup of water
- Combine all of the ingredients into a blender or NutriBullet and blend. Make sure spinach and pear are cold so the juice is lovely and refreshing
- Voila – drink!
If you’re having trouble getting veggies into your little one, this is a great way to sneak in some green leafy vegetables. Spinach or Kale can be used, as they are both fairly tasteless leaves. Both are loaded with amazing nutrients that are great for bones, immunity, skin and eyes. My girls down this for an 11am snack and it keeps them going, usually running around the park, until lunch at 12:30pm. It’s easy to prepare; you can keep in the fridge in an air tight jar (use an old glass jar) and take it with you when you’re out and about, or as an after school snack. Give it a good shake before drinking. It makes about 7-8oz.