Healthy Halloween biscuits 

On account of having four huge pumpkins harvested from my mums garden we have been eating a whole lotta pumpkin this week. This morning we experimented with making pumpkin biscuits and they turned out rather tasty! These halloweeny treats are super healthy. Packed with vitamin A, protein, fibre, magnesium and probably a squillion other antioxidants and wonderful things. In fact they are practically a square meal in themselves! They are topped with dark chocolate which is a special wee treat and are mighty tasty. The kids wolfed them down, as did we! 
Healthy Halloween biscuits 
Ingredients 

  • 150g roasted pumpkin 
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • Drizzle of olive oil 
  • 50g dates (soaked)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp honey 
  • 50g oatmeal 
  • 50g ground almonds 
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder 
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds 
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds (optional) 
  • 50g of 85% dark chocolate

Method 

Cube and roast your pumpkin on a baking tray with the nutmeg and a drizzle of olive oil at a fairly high temperature for around 40 minutes. 

Turn the oven down to 180/gas mark 4 and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. 

Mix together the dry ingredients in a food processor, add the dates, pumpkin, honey and vanilla and blitz till all the ingredients are combined. The mixture will be a bit lumpy but that’s ok. You can do all of this by hand too but if you do have a processor I think it’s a bit easier. 

Take tablespoons of mixture and roll into balls, place each one on the baking tray and flatten slightly. You should get 8 small biscuits from this mixture. 

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. 

Cool on a wire rack. 

While they cool, melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of water. Once the biscuits are cold, smear each one with chocolate and place in the fridge to set for around 10 minutes. 

Enjoy with a spooky movie and a hot cuppa. 

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Sweet potato biscuits 

Since starting working again, well working for myself from home…shameless self promotion here~ (facebook.com/sadiesroomfurniture) baking has taken a bit of a back seat. I’m struggling to fit everything in, a problem a lot of parents with small children have. It’s so tough to find time for things you want and like to do. So today im having a day off from painting furniture and baking some biscuits. During the week we visited my favourite cafe, Moon and Hare in bruntsfield. I’ve mentioned here before, it’s healthy and yummy and organic and wholesome. Anyway the kids had a sweet potato biscuit. Sound weird I know but it looked delicious. I have no idea what was in it (other than the obvious sweet potato) or what it tasted like because the kids inhaled them faster than the speed of light. Seeing as they went down so well I thought I’d try and make up my own version. Arthur helped in the kitchen, we made a big mess, had fun and the biscuits came out pretty tasty too. Here is the recipe…

Sweet potato biscuits 

Ingredients 

  • 1 small sweet potato (about 200g) chopped and steamed/boiled. 
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 25g oatmeal 
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder 
  • 50g dates (soaked) 
  • 2 tbsp honey 

Method 

Preheat oven to 180/gas 4 and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. 

Mix together the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. 

In a food processor whizz up the dates, honey and cooked sweet potato. 

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Take spoonfuls of mixture and roll into balls. Flatten slightly onto the tray and score the top of each biscuit with a fork. 

Bake for 20 minutes. 

Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Apple sauce muffins

So I find baking biscuits, flapjacks and other oaty based things without using refined sugar fairly easy. There are so many delicious natural sweeteners and so many nut butters to chose from to glue everything together you can be really experimental and still end up with something yummy. This is brilliant if you are baking with little ones. Arthur loves to help chose what to bake with, he picks all his favourite ingredients (usually seeds and raisins) and tries everything first…quality control of course! In fact I think one of the main things he enjoys about helping in the kitchen is the eating part. Baking cakey type things however is not so easy without sugar. It is a pretty important component to achieve the spongey texture of cake that we are all familiar with. It is not impossible though and there are loads of great recipes out there for sugar free alternatives. I’ve experimented loads to come up with my own recipes and some have been total disasters, dense and sticky and rubbery and totally tasteless. This is always really disappointing but what is really really satisfying is when it works! And it’s not only edible but tastes as well! Yesterday we had one of those triumphs. We made some extremely extra yummy apple and sultana muffins and as Arthur would put it “we are going to eat them all up in our tummy!” Which we did, well some of them and we have some left for today too.
Apple sauce muffins 

Ingredients 

  • 50g soya butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup 
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce 
  • 100g self raising flour 
  • 50g wholemeal spelt flour 
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/4 cup sultanas 

Method 

Preheat oven to 180/gas 4.

Line a muffin tin with 8 paper cases.

First I made the Apple sauce by stewing 3 small chopped apples with a wee drop of water in a pan over a low heat. Once soft I mashed with a fork and set aside. You can also use Apple sauce pre bought and skip this stage. 

In a small bowl mix together the flours and baking powder.

In a different bowl cream together the soya butter and maple syrup. Add the egg and Apple sauce and mix thoroughly. 

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet. 

Mix in the sultanas.

Spoon into the paper cases. 

Bake for 30 minutes.

Allow to cool on a wire rack. 

Not going to lie I poured maple syrup all over mine before I ate it. This is not essential but it is rather tastey…it is a super good remember. 

Healthy movie snacks

So we just got our DVD player out the cupboard, dusted it off and decided to try a family movie afternoon. There has been so much rain recently and with it being school holidays lots of our usual toddler groups have stopped. So now seemed a good time to curl up and relive the Disney classics. Yes it’s ‘easy’ parenting but on the other hand it’s really nice to have your kids snuggled on your knee under a blanket, laughing and having fun. So obviously the obligatory snacks for all occasions had to be sourced and what better than popcorn right?…but with extras. (Ps our health visitor told me off for letting Arthur eat whole nuts, so I’ll leave that part to your own judgement call. He eats them under my supervision) 

Healthy movie snacks 

Ingredients 

  • Popcorn
  • Handful of seeds (pumpkin & sunflower)
  • Flaked almonds 
  • Whole almonds 
  • Raisins 
  • Dried mango
  • Dried apricots
  • Dried cranberries 
  • Cinnamon 

Method

Make your popcorn (or tip it out the packet) I made mine so it was unsalted then sprinkled over a little cinnamon. 

Lightly toast the seeds and flaked almonds in a pan. Once they start to pop and shine take them off the heat. 

Chop the mango and apricots.

Mix everything together in a bowl and eat! 

You can add anything to this, flakes of coconut, banana chips, nuts…whatever you have or feel like. I haven’t put amounts either because it’s just a case of making how much you like. 

Butternut squash & apple flapjacks 

Ok bear with me here! I know butternut squash might not sound like the best flapjack ingredient but believe me it works. It keeps the flapjack nice and moist, adds a little squashy sweetness, a lovely orange colour and best of all you’ve served vegetables for desert=score! My littlest monkey, Sadie has developed a rather impressive swipe action of late. I put food in front of her and whooosh the food is on the floor, the wall and the window within 10 seconds.So I decided I needed to do some baking and make something that looks like a treat, because kids don’t turn down treats right? But at the same time was nutritious. Job done, not one but got swiped off the table. 

Butternut squash and apple flapjacks 

Ingredients 

  • 125g oats 
  • 50g desiccated coconuts 
  • 1/4 cup sultanas 
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 Apple (grated)
  • 200g butternut squash (steamed & mashed) 
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 2 tbsp honey 

Method 

Preheat the oven to 190/gas 5 and line a 2lb loaf tin with grease proof paper. 

Steam or boil the butternut squash in chucks, then mash until smooth. 

In a large mixing bowl combine all the other ingredients.

Mix through the mashed squash. 

Tip the mixture into the loaf tin and press down to flatten. Sprinkle on a little extra desiccated coconut to decorate. 

Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack then cut into squares. 

Chocolate, banana & avocado muffins

Full disclosure I’ve made this recipe 3 times now in a row because I kept forgetting to put key ingredients in. The first time I forgot the honey…they tasted ok but not quite sweet enough, the second time I forgot the bloomin eggs! And hey presto third time lucky we have chocolate, banana, avocado muffins. Arthur has been a bit poorly today with a sore throat and a temperature…but he has told he in no uncertain terms that he loves my chocolate cake and he loves to drink milk AND he loves me because I am his best friend ever! Might be because I made him these tasty muffins but I’ll take it, I don’t mind. He has recently become very affectionate and expressive with his emotions. Sometimes things come out a bit muddled up as they can do when you are only 2 and a 1/2 but it’s really sweet hearing him express how he feels so confidently. Anyway I don’t know why I was failing time and again to put all the correct ingredients in but we got there in the end and these little beauties are chocolaty and tasty and healthy…hurray! 

Chocolate banana & avocado muffins 

Ingredients 

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup spelt flour
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder 
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 banana (mashed)
  • 1/2 an avocado (mashed)
  • 1/4 cup soya butter 
  • 3 tbsp honey 
  • 2 large eggs 

Method 

Preheat oven to 180/gas 4

Line an muffin tray with 8 paper cases. 

Place coconut flour, spelt flour, baking powder and cacao powder in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. 

In a spectate bowl mash the bananas and avocado. 

Melt the soya butter and honey in a pan. Then add it to the banana and avocado. Mix in the eggs then fold all these wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. 

Once the mixture is thoroughly combined, scoop into the paper cases until they are all evenly filled. 

Bake for 25 minutes. 

Cool on a wire rack. 

Share with your best friend ever and a nice cold glass of milk.

Carrot & apple juice and juice pulp cookies 

We have been away the past week on holiday to Aberdeenshire which has been wonderful. Plenty of sun, sea, sand, parks,picnics and bbq’s.I have to say I was quite disappointed to get back to reality but very pleased to see my kitchen and get baking! Seeing as I’ve not been here for a while I have a double whammy for you all. Two recipes! Both quick and easy and nut free. A few people have asked for recipes free from nuts so hopefully these will go down well. The first recipe I want to share with you is some delicious carrot and Apple juice. My son loves this, it’s bright orange which is really appealing and it has a nice subtle taste. Not too sweet but delicious enough to temp little tastebuds. Then in the spirit of not wasting good fresh food we made some super healthy cookies using the left over pulp from making the juice. I mean what could be better? Two bakes in one and you tick veg off the daily to do list. 

Apple and carrot juice

Ingredients 

  • 1 Apple (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 carrot (peeled and chopped)
  • 250ml water 

Method

Place all the ingredients into a blender and blitz till smooth. 

Pour through a sieve into a jug. Let it drip through a while to make sure all the liquid comes through 

Set aside the pulp if you are making the juice pulp cookies 

Drink your juice with a few ice cubes so it’s nice and chilled. 


Juice pulp cookies 

Ingredients 

  • 150g oats
  • 1/2 cup carrot and Apple juice pulp
  • 1/4 cup sultanas
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup 
  • 2 tbsp desiccated coconut 

Method

Preheat the oven to 180/gas 4 and line a baking tray with grease proof paper.

Simple combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir thoroughly. 

Take tablespoons of mixture and form into balls. Poo them on the baking tray then flatten into cookies.

Bake for 20 minutes then cool on a wire rack.