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
- Handful of seeds (pumpkin & sunflower)
- Flaked almonds
- Whole almonds
- Dried mango
- Dried apricots
- Dried cranberries
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.
Yesterday I had my mum visit, always great to have help with the kids and she brought me some beetroot from her garden too…score!
I love beetroot it’s one of my favourite veg. They are great for you too, they are high in protein, fibre and folic acid. When I was pregnant with Sadie I was obsessed with smoothies made from beetroot, carrot, apple and loads of ginger. Beetroot actually has the highest sugar content of all vegetables so although you might not associate them with baking they are actually great for cakes. Their sugar is released slowly do you don’t get that high then crash as with refined sugar. These chocolate brownies were quite experimental but they came out really well, nice and thick, sweet and chocolaty. We spread almond butter on the top which i think was a delicious addition but you could enjoy them as they are. My big helper Arthur helped to make them while my little helper, Sadie ‘tidied’ the Tupperware cupboard and between the two of them trashed my kitchen. But hey it was raining outside and everyone was entertained.
- 1/3 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 cup oatmeal
- 1/4 cup cacao powder
- 1tsp baking powder
- 250g raw beetroot (grated)
- 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 desert spoon yoghurt
- 3 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 190/gas 5 and line a 20cm round cake pan with greaseproof paper.
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz till smooth.
Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 25 minutes.
These tasted great with almond butter spread on top.
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
- 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
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.
So my kids aren’t too keen on green vegetables (with the exception of green olives) only Orange and yellow veg are acceptable. I assume it’s because veg of these colours are sweet….sweet potato, carrot, squash, sweet corn are all ok…as long as they are cooked in the correct manner of course. Oven roasted or in a soup but never steamed and never raw! Sounds delicious I hear you say. Yes oven roast veg is great, occasionally, oven roast veg every other day gets a little boring. So if there’s any way I can get away with serving vegetables in a different format I’m delighted. So for lunch we made scones full of veggies and I even managed to sneak in a red pepper which is not one of usual approved food types. Hurray.
Super dooper cheese & veg scones
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- Sprinkling of black pepper
- 1/3 cup veg purée (roughly 1/2 a small sweet potato, 1 small carrot, 1/4 of a red pepper)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup grated cheese
- 100ml milk
Preheat the oven to 204/gas mark 6 and line a baking tray with grease proof paper.
Make your purée by steaming or boiling the veg and then puréeing or mashing them.
In a large mixing bowl combine all the dry ingredients.
Mix in the butter with your fingers.
Add the cheese, veg purée and milk and mix with a butter knife.
Form into a large ball, then on a floured surface flatten it slightly.
Cut into 8 triangular scones.
Bake for 18 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack.
We enjoyed ours with butter and 100% fruit spread.
So this recipe was Arthur’s idea. This afternoon he said “I know mama let’s make a big cake for Sadie and I can eat it!” Hmm ok I’m sure she’ll appreciate that. Anyway I asked what we should put in the cake and he told me carrots and chocolate. So we made some carrot and chocolate cakes and they are pretty delicious. They were pretty quick and easy and filled some time on this rainy day. And of course once you’ve baked cake there is always washing up to do and my boy loves to skiddle in the sink and soak the kitchen….who doesn’t?
Chocolate carrot cakes
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 cup oatmeal
- 3 tbsp cacao powder
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/3 cup grated carrot
- 2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 190/gas 5.
Line a cupcake tray with 6 cupcake cases.
In a large bowl mix together the coconut flour, oatmeal, cacao powder and baking powder.
Melt the coconut oil in a pan over a low heat.
With a hand blender blitz the grated carrot, honey and coconut oil until they form a smooth mixture, then add to the dry ingredients.
Mix in the eggs and combine thoroughly.
Spoon the batter into the cupcake cases and bake for 20 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack.
We ate ours spread with some set honey…delicious.
Watermelon is fruit of the month in our house. The kids love it and it’s such a great way to keep them hydrated in this hot weather. Chilled In the fridge it’s refreshing and a great pre dinner snack. When I suggested to Arthur that we make watermelon ice lollies I think I blew his tiny mind! Watermelon and ice lollies together to make watermelon ice lollies….Amazing!!!! The only problem was the agonising wait for them to be frozen. I tried to suggest we wait for tomorrow to eat them but as soon as those words came out my mouth I realised that was a horribly cruel idea as tomorrow is ages away when your two. So we tucked in as soon as they were just just just frozen enough to eat.
Watermelon ice lollies
- 250g watermelon (chopped)
- 50g mango (chopped)
- 25g raspberries
- Small handful of fresh mint
- 100ml water
Place all the ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth.
Pour through a sieve to get rid of the pulp.
Pour the liquid into ice lolly moulds and freeze overnight.
It is bloomin hot!!! I think it’s never been so hot in Scotland, our flat has skylights in the kitchen and the hall and it feels like we live in a green house. I’m finding it very hard to cook or bake at the moment without feeling like passing out from heat stroke. I did however galvanise myself yesterday to bake some biscuits for toddler group. I’m calling them nippy ginger biscuits as Arthur tucked in really enthusiastically only to discover that all the ginger made his tongue hurt. “Oh nooooooo!!! Nippy mummy nippy.” Sadie however was completely un phased by their spiciness and I personally think what is the point of a wimpy ginger biscuit? So these come with a toddler warning. If your little one prefers a milder taste you can just put half the ginger in no problem. But if your feeling daring whack the lot in and enjoy!
Nippy ginger biscuits
- 130g plain flour
- 75g coconut oil
- 3 tbsp honey
- 3 tsp ground ginger
Preheat the oven to 180/gas 4 and line a baking tray with grease proof paper.
Mix together the flour and ginger in a large mixing bowl.
Melt the coconut oil and honey in a small pan over a low heat then pour into the flour.
Mix together into a ball of dough.
Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.
On a floured surface, roll out and using a cookie cutter make the biscuits.
Place on the tray and bake for 12 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.