Bun-less Burger Platter!

The perfect summer sharing platter for the whole family! This is gluten free, nut free and (without the cheddar slices) dairy free.

Bunless burgers

I would serve the burgers from 9 or 10 months due to chewability. Corn on the cob I wait until 12 months, the other bits are okay from 7 or 8 months depending on how comfortable you are with chewing! The tomato ketchup contains honey so replace with another sweetener like maple syrup if under 12 months.

Everything piled up on top of each other, including good helpings of the dips and caramelised onions is sooooo good! Of course my almost 3 year old likes everything separate, lols. A perfect family meal for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

We had:

  • Homemade beef burgers
  • Sweet potato toast (sliced sweet potato put in the toaster)
  • Homemade guacamole
  • Homemade tomato ketchup
  • Caramelised onions
  • Corn on the cob
  • Cheddar cheese slices
  • Iceburg lettuce
  • Plum tomatoes
  • Cucumber slices
  • Red pepper rings

Bun-less burger platter

Homemade burgers recipe

In a large bowl put:

  • ~2 cups organic beef mince
  • 1 egg
  • a generous squirt of tomato paste
  • drizzle tamari
  • half a red onion diced and already sautéed in olive oil over a medium heat
  • S&P

Mix this all together well with hands then mould into burgers. Cook on the BBQ until desired ‘doneness’.

Homemade guacamole recipe 

This was a very simple version:

  • 1 very ripe avocado
  • a good helping of fresh lime juice
  • S&P to taste

Mush everything together in a bowl with a fork.

Homemade tomato ketchup recipe

You will need:

  • 3 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • ¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Sprinkling of black pepper
  • 2 tbsps diced shallots
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste/ puree

Put all the ingredients into a medium sized pot over a low heat for 45 – 60 minutes. Remove from the heat and add to a blender (I used a nutribullet), blend until smooth. Store in the fridge for up to two weeks or freeze in ice cube trays and defrost as desired. This makes about 6 portions/ ice cubes.

Caramelised onions recipe

You will need:

  • 1 red onion sliced into rings
  • Dollop of olive oil
  • A good drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • A good few tablespoons of coconut sugar

Soften the red onion rings in olive oil for 10 minutes or so on a medium heat. Once softened drizzle on the balsamic vinegar and shake the coconut sugar evenly over the onion. Sauté on a medium heat until caramelised.

Enjoy xx

Coconut Macaroon Easter Nests

Me and my little lady made these this weekend, along with decorating our Easter tree, and she loved getting involved. They are a little healthier than your regular Easter nest and not as sweet tasting; desiccated (or flaked) coconut is the key ingredient and the nest (and egg ‘glue’) is refined sugar free. Unrefined sweeteners do at least have some beneficial nutrients… so get stuck in!

coconut easter nests3

I would still serve from around 12 months due to the sweetness but serve earlier if you feel comfortable doing so (without the mini eggs). I made them dairy free by using dairy free mini eggs but you can of course use regular mini eggs if you prefer the taste or don’t have intolerances or allergies in the family. These are also naturally gluten and nut free but do contain egg.

coconut easter nests1

The mini egg ‘glue’ is made up of coconut oil, cacao powder, coconut sugar and maple syrup. Don’t be shy when adding this to your nests as it really adds to the overall flavour.

coconut easter nests2

Coconut Macaroon Easter Nests

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 40mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Dairy free ¦ Gluten free ¦ Nut free ¦ Contains egg

Ingredients for nests (makes about 12 but could stretch to more if you make them smaller)

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1.5 tbsp. Coconut sugar (can use other sugar)
  • 1.5 tbsp. Maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. Cacao powder
  • 2.5 cups desiccated coconut

Ingredients for topping

  • 2 tbsp. Coconut oil melted
  • 3 tbsp. Cacao powder
  • ~1 tbsp. Maple syrup
  • 30 – 40 dairy free mini eggs (can use normal mini eggs)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160oC / 320oF and coat a muffin tin with a little bit of olive oil.
  2. In a large bowl combine the egg whites, sugar, syrup and cacao with a fork until everything is mixed in.
  3. Mix in the coconut. If it is very sloppy then add a little more coconut.
  4. Roll about 2 tbsp of the mixture in your hand then place into the muffin tin and lightly press a thumb dent into the middle of the nest. Repeat until mixture is used up.
  5. Bake for ~20 minutes until lightly golden.
  6. Allow the nests to cool slightly then pop them out of the muffin tin with a utensil and place on a wire rack to cool.
  7. Mix all the topping ingredients together (except the mini eggs) and drop a good dollop into each nest.
  8. Place 3 mini eggs into each nest and press gently to secure. Store in fridge for ~5 days.

 

5 super healthy lunch ideas for kiddies (and family)

When can you officially say a child is weaned?? I feel like we are almost there with our little man. He has tried lots of new flavours and textures the last month or two and will continue to do so indefinitely. At the moment he is willing to try anything so I don’t want to get stuck in a routine of serving the same foods week in week out. He is largely eating what the whole family is eating except for harder raw foods like apple (I still worry about the choking) and higher salt and sugar foods which I will continue to moderate into toddlerhood and beyond.

I’ve been trying out all sorts of thing for lunchtime, beyond sandwiches and salads, which I’ve been enjoying just as much as he has. Here is a rundown of our top 5 lunches in the last couple of months…

GOATS CHEESE & GREEN VEG FRITTATA (Gluten free, nut free, vegetarian)

goats cheese frittata 2

I would serve from 8 or 9 months due to the cheese and chewability but serve earlier if you feel comfortable doing so.

Adding goats cheese like this to a frittata takes it to another level! This was lunch for the family served with lots of salady bits and went down a storm (when I say ‘for the whole family’, this included Nana, not daddy, as he was living it up in Las Vegas at the time).

goats cheese frittata

Ingredients

  • ~3 cups sliced new potatoes
  • ~3-4 cups sliced green veg (I used asparagus, sugar snaps and broccoli)
  • A dollop of olive oil
  • S&P
  • 6 large eggs
  • dollop of pesto of choice
  • ~8cm of soft goats cheese sliced into discs

Method

  1. Put the sliced boiled potatoes on to boil for 10 minutes then add the green veggies for a further 5 minutes.
  2. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  3. Once veggies are cooked put them in a non-stick frying pan will a dollop of olive oil, salt and pepper (I would go to town on seasoning for just adults but obviously go a little easy for young children)
  4. While these are sautéing crack eggs into a jug and whisk together with the pesto. Pour this mixture into the frying pan, stir, place the goats cheese slices on top, then leave to cook through for a few minutes on a medium heat.
  5. Place pan under the grill for a few minutes to cook through and brown on top.
  6. Serve immediately with a salad.

KEDGEREE (Dairy free, Gluten Free, Nut Free)

Kedgeree 2

I would serve from 9 months due to chewability but you can serve earlier if baby led weaning or you feel comfortable doing so!

Kedgeree is a bit of a nostalgic dish for me, it (or a version of) was a staple dish served by both my mum and nan when I was growing up. Their version was meant to be served cold though, with white rice, boiled eggs, peas, capers, tinned tuna, mayonnaise and seasoning. It was (is) super yummy! This version is more of a traditional kedgeree although I do often add peas for a bit of greenery (I didn’t here, I forgot!).

Kedgeree 1

Ingredients (serves 4 – 6)

  • Dollop olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground paprika
  • 1.5 – 2 cups easy cook long grain rice
  • 2 undyed haddock fillets
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Your choice of dairy free milk
  • 4 eggs
  • Handful chopped flat leaf parsley
  • Seasoning (go easy on salt under 12 months)

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan. Add the onion and gently fry for 5 minutes until softened.
  2. Add the spices, season and stir for about a minute. Add the rice, stir well, add 2.5 cups water and bring to the boil.
  3. Simmer and cover rice for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and check the water content, if rice is sticking to the bottom of the pan, add a little more boiled water, stir and leave to stand for 15 minutes with lid on.
  4. Meanwhile, put the haddock fillets and bay leaves into a frying pan, just cover with the milk and poach for 10 minutes or until the haddock is cooked through and easily ‘flaking’.
  5. Boil the eggs for 10 minutes, or until hard boiled, cover with cold water, peel then cut into 8ths.
  6. Mix everything together gently, add the chopped parsley and serve warm. Can be served cold the following day too.

SUSHI ROLLS & SALAD (Gluten free, nut free, lactose free)

sushi sandwiches

I’ve waited until 11 months to serve smoked fish and actually didn’t give him all of these salmon rolls. All other bits are current faves! Although he does just suck the raw carrot, I am watching over him to make sure he doesn’t bite off big chunks.

Alfie made a good old mess, particularly with the beetroot, but ate the sushi sandwich rolls, cucumber and tomatoes. He sucked the hummus off the carrot sticks and had more hummus. This is served on our gorgeous Bumkins divider plate and bib with Nuby water beaker.

Sandwich sushi roll ingredients

  • smoked salmon
  • lactose free cream cheese
  • boiled beets
  • gluten free bread
  • S&P

Method

  1. Blend the boiled beats with a dollop of cream cheese, S&P as desired.
  2. Cut the crusts off the bread and roll it out with a rolling pin so it thins.
  3. For the salmon one, spread with cream cheese and lay over the smoked salmon. Roll the sandwich into a Swiss roll and slice.
  4. For the beetroot one, spread the blended mix generously over the rolled out bread and roll into a Swiss roll and slice.

EGGLESS ZUCCHINI AND SPELT WAFFLES (dairy free, egg free, vegetarian)

Eggless wafles

I would personally serve these waffles from 8 months due to the flour and chewability but you can serve earlier if you feel comfortable doing so.

I’ve been working on various egg free waffle recipes and this one is my favourite so far! You could add any grated veggie in there but zucchini (or courgette as us Brits call it!) goes nicely. As this recipe is egg free I would put your waffle maker on a slightly higher heat and cook the waffles for a couple of minutes longer as they do take a bit more time to crisp up.

Served on our gorgeous Bumkins divider plates with tomatoes, avo, salad and homemade hummus.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups spelt flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt (reduce to 1/4 or less if under 12 months)
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1.5 cups water
  • ~3/4 lg courgette grated (could use carrot of sweet potato)

Method

  1. Put all dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk together
  2. Make a well in the flour mix and tip in the oil and water. Whisk together until no lumps and well mixed.
  3. Mix in the grated courgettes.
  4. Heat waffle maker as per waffle maker instructions then add the mixture (give the mix a whisk just before pouring as this contains water the waffle can be a bit moist in places if not properly mixed).
  5. Warm through until crisp. These can be stored in the fridge for 2 days and heated in the toaster just before eating.

VEGAN BURITTO (Egg free, gluten free, dairy free, vegan, vegetarian)

Burrito 1

I would serve this kind of meal from 7 or 8 months. My Little’s like theirs deconstructed.

This is my favourite sort of lunch as it fills me up (who can just survive until snack time (3pm in our case) on a salad??) and it is full of good stuff. As I did this for the kids too I left out chilli oil. I would definitely add in for me for extra taste. We can also get some really good vegan, gluten free wraps from our local Sainsbury’s so if this is your thing take a look in your local supermarket.

Burrito 3

Burrito made up of

  1. Vegan, gluten free wrap
  2. brown rice mixed with chopped spring onion
  3. Iceburg lettuce
  4. Organic pre-cooked black beans sautéed with red onion, garlic and a little coconut milk, S&P
  5. Chopped plum tomatoes
  6. My easy guacamole – mushed avo, fresh lime juice, S&P
  7. My homemade tomato ketchup, click here for recipe: https://sproutingyumminess.com/2016/07/03/homemade-tomato-ketchup/


You can always have this without the wrap too – a delicious vegan burrito bowl right there!

Burrito 2

Enjoy xx

5 healthy & delicious (kid approved) pancake recipes!

Pancakes are such a good food for weaning, toddlers, kids, families… the recipes below all have a healthy twist and are still completely kid approved – win win.

CLASSIC GLUTEN FREE CREPES (dairy free, gluten free, contains egg)

Classic GF crepes

I would serve this pancake recipe from 7 months.

Pancake Day when I was growing up was all about this classic recipe (except my mum would have used regular plain flour and cows milk) then we could top with whatever we liked, savoury or sweet. One of my faves was (and still is) roasted courgette, aubergine, mushrooms and red peppers wrapped up in one of these. If you want to go totally traditional though it is all about caster sugar and a squeeze of lemon! On pancake day this year Alfie had his rolled up with cashew nut butter and served with banana, blueberries and avocado. Yum!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup / 100g gluten free flour mix – we use Free From Fairy plain flour (can of course use regular plain flour if not concerned about gluten)
  • 2 eggs
  • 300 ml gluten free oat milk (or milk of choice)

Method

  1. Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl until no lumps. Sit in the fridge for 10 – 20 mins.
  2. Heat some coconut oil in a non-stick pan, wipe it round with a kitchen towel then drop a ladle of pancake mix into the pan. Tilt the pan from side until the mix covers the bottom then pour the excess mix back into the bowl (this makes extra thin pancakes).
  3. Cook until it starts to bubble then flip and cook for a further 30 seconds or so. Serve immediately.

Classic GF crepes 2

 

4 INGREDIENT SWEET POTATO & SPINACH PANCAKES (Dairy free, gluten free, contains egg)

Sweet potato pancakes

I would serve from 7 months.

These went down brilliantly with my 11 month old, a good way to get some spinach in and a rounded nutritious meal in itself!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mashed sweet potato
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp GF flour
  • 1 heaped cup of chopped spinach leaves
  • pinch of salt (as desired / optional)

Method

  1. Put everything into a nutribullet (or other high speed blender) and blend until smooth.
  2. Put a non-stick frying pan on a medium heat and add a small amount of coconut oil.
  3. Spoon a heaped tbsp of the mixture into the pan and cook for a minute or two until the pancake starts to bubble then flip and cook for another minute or so.
  4. Serve immediately.

 

BLUEBERRY ALMOND PANCAKES (Dairy free, gluten free, contains egg, contains nuts)

Almond flour pancakes

I would serve from 9 months due to the almonds and the sweetness (if unsure about a nut allergy check with your doctor before serving).

These were a big hit with both kids served with almond butter, fruit, full fat natural yogurt and a little maple syrup (no maple syrup for the 11 month old due to the sweetness).

Served on our Buddy and Bear ‘clock’ plate.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups almond flour (sub with a gluten free flour mix if nut allergy)
  • 2 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • half cup almond milk (sub with other milk if nut allergy)
  • 1 large egg

Method

  1. In a large bowl mix together flour, baking powder and salt
  2. Make a well in the centre and add milk, egg & olive oil, mix together until smooth
  3. Heat a lightly oiled frying pan (I use coconut oil) over a medium heat
  4. Drop a heaped tap of the mix into the pan and allow to cook through for a minute or two
  5. Once it is bubbling flip over and brown on the other side

 

OAT AND BLUEBERRY PANCAKES (Dairy free, gluten free, contains egg, contains nuts)

2016-03-28_15.33.38

I would serve from 9 months due to the nuts (if unsure about a nut allergy check with your doctor before serving).

These are soooo good, the whole family enjoyed them. You can substitute the blueberries with raisins if you would prefer and they go down equally well, particualrly with the kiddies,

Ingredients

  • ½ cup coconut flour (sub with any GF flour of choice)
  • ½ cup ground oats (sub with ground almonds or almond flour)
  • 1 tsp. gluten free baking powder (can sub with regular)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (can sub with maple syrup)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup almond milk (can sub with other milks)
  • Handful of blueberries

Method

  1. Put all the dry ingredients into a small blender/ nutribullet and blitz for 20 seconds.
  2. Pour into a bowl and add in all the wet ingredients (excluding blueberries) and mix with a fork until well combined. Add a little more almond milk if consistency is quite tough then mix in the blueberries.
  3. Heat a frying pan with some extra virgin olive oil and drop two tbsps (approx.) of the batter, allow it to cook for a few minutes then flip to cook on the other side for a few more minutes.
  4. Repeat until all the batter is used up, it makes approximately 7 or 8 pancakes. I served with almond butter but maple syrup, fruit and fresh yoghurt would also work well!

 

COCONUT & BUCKWHEAT FLOUR PANCAKES WITH CHOCOLATE SAUCE (dairy free, low gluten, contains egg, contains nuts)

2016-02-08_22.18.02

I would serve from 9 months (without the chocolate sauce) due to the almond milk. I save introducing chocolate until the first birthday party… but this is a parents prerogative!

I do just love buckwheat flour pancakes and it tastes delicious with the chocolate sauce!

Ingredients for pancakes

  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • ¾ cup coconut flour
  • ¾ cup buckwheat flour
  • Dollop coconut oil for frying

Ingredients for chocolate sauce

  1. 3 tbsps cacao powder
  2. 1 tbsp raw honey
  3. 2 tbsps warm, melted coconut oil
  4. ½ tsp vanilla extract

Method

  1. Mix all the pancake ingredients together (except the coconut oil) until the mix is a gloopy but smooth consistency.
  2. Melt coconut oil in a pan over a medium heat and drop a tablespoon or so of the mix into the pan. When it starts to bubble (after a couple of minutes) flip it over and cook for a further minute.
  3. Repeat until the mixture is finished.
  4. In the meantime, mix all the chocolate sauce ingredients together in a bowl and toast the flaked almonds in a pan over a medium heat.
  5. Serve everything together immediately

Weaning – 9.5 months

At 9.5 months old, I feel like we are coming out of the ‘weaning’ stage with Alfie. He is now having almost all the things that his big sister has, except for some of the harder raw vegetables like carrots, peppers, tomatoes, tricky to eat fruit and processed foods… although I will be introducing harder veggies and fruit next month.

He has been a pleasure to wean, don’t get me wrong everything is totally messy 3 times a day, but he has tried so many things and enjoys most of it. Here is to the next stage and exploring even more new tastes and textures…

CREAMY CHICKEN CASSEROLE (gluten free, dairy free, egg free, contains nuts)

creamy-chicken-casserole

Serve from 9 months if no sign of or family history of nut allergy.

This dish always goes down well with adults and children and I make it in batches so I can put portions in the freezer for the coming weeks. The creaminess comes from cooking the chicken and veggies slowly in the ground almonds and stock, so no dairy is involved! Soft carrots and sweetcorn are a hit with my kiddies but feel free to add other veggies that are a favourite in your household.

Served in our Bumkins bowl with Oogaa spoon.

Ingredients:

  • 10 boneless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 large onion diced
  • 3 medium carrots diced
  • 1 litre or stock using bouillon powder (used reduced salt for under 1’s)
  • 2 cups ground almonds
  • 2 tsp mixed herbs
  • 2 tbsp tamari (drizzle more over the adults portions on serving)
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 1 cup sweetcorn
  • 2 tbsp Arrowroot powder (or cornflour) for thickening (optional)
  • S&P as desired

Method

  1. Put all of the ingredients (except the arrowroot) into a slow cooker, mix together and cook on low for 4 hours.
  2. With an hour to go mix the arrowroot in a jug with 4 tbsp. cold water and pour into the slow cooker, give it a stir and leave to cook for the remaining hour.
  3. Check the chicken is well cooked through and the sauce is to the desired thickness (and taste – add more herbs/ tamari/ S&P as desired) before taking off the slow cooker.
  4. I served with peas and gluten free pasta (could do rice). You could also sprinkle with toasted cashew nuts if your little one can chew them properly (and extra tamari for the grown ups!)
  5. Suitable for freezing

 

LENTIL COTTAGE PIE (dairy free, gluten free, nut free, egg free)

lentil-cottage-pie

Serve from 9 months and in small doses due to the lentils. See below for why…

Lentils and beans are a funny one. I like to think they are super healthy due to the fibre and protein benefits and provide more variety in my kiddies diets. But, if not cooked properly, they are difficult to digest (causing wind and stomach cramps) and can hamper absorption of vitamins and minerals, not ideal for babies in this case.

To get the most out of your lentils here are some top TIPS:

  • Cook them for a long time, slow cooking is best
  • Serve with veggies to aid digestion (avoid serving with meat)
  • Smaller or split lentils / beans are easier to digest
  • Soak dried lentils / beans for at least 48 hours (if not 72) in warm water and lemon juice.

I would try a little bit of well cooked lentils with your baby to begin with and don’t give it too often. Alfie enjoyed his portion 👍.

This particular recipe is from Naturally Sassy’s cookbook Naturally Sassy – see her website for tasty, healthy, freefrom recipes http://naturallysassy.co.uk/.

I would love to hear your thoughts on giving lentils, please let me know in the comments below 👇👇👇.

 

CAULIFLOWER TOTS (cows dairy free, nut free, gluten free, contains egg)

cauliflower-tots

I would serve from 7 months.

These were a big hit with Alfie. A great baby led weaning choice as they hold together well and are soft to munch… and only 5 ingredients! Fab!

Served in our Oogaa bowl with Bumkins bib and Innobaby teether.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower
  • A heaped tbsp of diced red onion
  • A good palmful of grated goats/ sheeps cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely ground gluten free breadcrumbs
  • 1 medium egg

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180oC / 360oF. Grease a baking tray with olive oil.
  2. Boil cauliflower florets until fork tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Drain the florets and dry well with kitchen roll. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until it breaks down into couscous size pieces. Do not overmix.
  3. Sauté the diced onion in some olive oil and add to a large bowl with the cauliflower couscous, cheese, breadcrumbs and egg. Mix until thoroughly combined and season as desired.
  4. Using your hands, scoop 1 to 2 tablespoons of the mixture and mold it into a tot shape. Place on the baking tray and repeat until the mixtures gone.
  5. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes then serve.
  6. These keep in the fridge for a good 3 days, my 9.5 month old happily eats these cold from the fridge too.

 

BEET CASHEW CHEESE SANDWICHES, BURGER, CUCUMBER + KIWI (dairy free, gluten free, egg free, contains nuts)

creamy-beet-sandwiches

Serve from 9 months if no sign or history of nut allergy (if unsure check with docs first).

This creamy beetroot cashew cheese is a hit with both my kiddies. You should give it a go in a sandwich or as a dip. A different way of serving the antioxidant powerhouse that is beetroot!

Served on Bumkins suction plate and with Bumkins baby bib.

Ingredients for beet cashew cheese sandwiches

  • 1 heaped cup of cashews soaked for 2 hours in hot water
  • 2 cups fresh water (add gradually until it comes to a cream cheese like consistency)
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup boiled beetroot (chopped into bite sized pieces)

Method:

  1. Drain the cashews
  2. Put all the ingredients into a blender then blitz
  3. Spread over bread of choice (we use gluten free)

Ingredients for burgers

  • ~3 cups ground beef (organic, grass-fed)
  • 1 egg
  • a generous squirt of tomato paste (I like them tomatoey in flavour so go overboard on this)
  • good drizzle of tamari
  • 1/2 lg red onion diced and sautéed until soft
  • S&P as desired (tiny amounts of good quality salt under 12 months)

Method

  1. In a large bowl mix all of the ingredients together until well combined.
  2. Form into mini burgers with your hands and place on a baking tray.
  3. Bake in the oven at 180oC / 360oF for 8-10 minutes (until cooked through).

 

Enjoy

Sally x

5 heathly preschool lunchbox ideas

…and all of them sandwich free! Typically my almost 3 year old will have some ‘salady bits’ like tomatoes, cucumber, olives and new potatoes and something a little treaty like raisins or homemade cookies and then the rest is up for grabs. We use our Yumbox which is absolutely perfect for a preschooler – check them out here https://www.yumboxlunch.com/.

 

PITA CHIPS, HUMMUS & SALAD W. BLUEBERRY & OAT COOKIES (dairy free)

2016-07-28_19-15-04

Ingredients for Pita Chips:

  • 1 large pita
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • pinch garlic powder
  • pinch onion powder
  • pinch salt

Increase the ingredients proportionally according to how many pitas you are preparing.

Method for Pita chips:

  1. Preheat oven to 180oC / 360oF
  2. Cut the pita into 8 wedges and place on a baking tray
  3. In a small bowl mix the oil, paprika, garlic, onion and salt and brush generously over the pita bread.
  4. Bake until golden and crispy (around 12 – 15 minutes). Allow to cool before putting in the lunchbox

Ingredients for the Hummus:

  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 1 400g can of chickpeas
  • 3 tbsps tahini
  • 1.5 tbsps fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup water, more if needed

Method for the Hummus:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200oC / 400oF
  2. Slice the head off the garlic bulb so all the cloves are showing, drizzle with olive oil, sit on some tin foil and place in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes, until cloves are soft
  3. In the meantime drain the chickpeas then pop each chickpea out of its papery skin if you have time (this makes the hummus a lot smoother in texture, I think it is worth it!)
  4. Add 3 – 5 garlic cloves (use the rest in other things or for spreading on toast with butter!), chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper to a blender and blend until smooth. Add the water bit by bit until hummus reaches desired consistency

2016-08-15_21-05-20

Ingredients for the cookies:

  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup gluten free oats
  • 1 cup dried blueberries

Method for cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 170oC / 350oF.
  2. Using an electric whisk, cream coconut oil and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat for another minute. Scrape down sides of bowl if needed.
  3. In a medium bowl soft together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  4. Mix dry and wet ingredients together.
  5. Add oats and blueberries and mix until just combined. Spoon 1 tablespoon of dough onto a baking sheet for each cookie.
  6. Bake until golden brown on the bottom, about 12 mins

 

CHICKPEA SALAD W. NUT BUTTER COOKIES (contains nuts)

image4

This is what my pre-schooler likes best – all sorts of bits to pick at. Top tip: buy tins of organic chick peas, black beans, butter beans etc. and mix them in with the salad. Many little people I know love picking them out and eating them straight.

Lunchbox content:

  • cheddar cheese
  • boiled carrots
  • plum tomatoes
  • cucumber, satsuma and chickpea salad
  • Blueberries
  • Almond butter cookies – some pre-schools don’t like the children taking in foods that contain nuts so be careful about this when packing the lunchbox

Ingredients for almond butter cookies:

  • 1.25 cups wholewheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. Baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 large egg

Method for almond butter cookies:

  1. Medium bowl mix together flour, baking soda & powder, cinnamon & salt.
  2. Large bowl mix together well the almond butter, coconut oil & sugar. Then beat in the egg.
  3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, stir then sit mixture in the fridge for 1 hour
  4. Preheat oven to 180oC / 360oF, line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
  5. Roll dough into 1 heaped tsp sized balls and push down them down onto the parchment. Use a fork to press them down further.
  6. Bake for 9-10 minutes. Let cool a little then transfer to a wire rack

 

SAUSAGE SALAD (nut free, egg free)

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Quite a lot of ‘grabbing whatever is in the fridge / larder’ in this one but she loved it and ate every last bit.

Lunchbox content:

  • gluten free, organic sausage
  • sliced kiwi
  • plum tomatoes
  • boiled peas
  • mini breadsticks
  • cheddar cheese
  • cucumber stars
  • blueberries

 

SAUSAGE SALAD VERSION II (dairy free, egg free, gluten free, nut free)

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Another really simple one that was devoured at preschool.

Lunchbox content:

  • olives
  • boiled new potatoes
  • organic, gluten free sausage
  • tomatoes
  • cucumber flowers
  • raisins

Tip: Cutting veggies and fruit into shapes is a nice way of making it more exciting and can encourage littleones to try more things. Give it a go!

 

TORTILLA CHIPS W. SALAD & A CARROT & COURGETTE MUFFIN (nut free)

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A couple of tips for an exciting lunchbox:

  • Use letter or shape cutters – it is amazing how well this goes down!
  • Make some of the elements together. We made the tortilla chips / crisps and the carrot & courgette (zucchini) muffins together. She was telling her teacher this with a big smile apparently!

Lunchbox content:

  • red pepper, cucumber & raisin salad
  • tomatoes
  • flower cheese
  • boiled beetroot ‘M’s
  • wholemeal tortilla chips (homemade)
  • organic shop bought hummus
  • carrot & courgette/ zucchini muffin (homemade)

Ingredients for tortilla chips:

  • tortillas (I used mixed seed wholemeal tortillas)
  • olive oil
  • Himalayan salt
  • hummus for dipping (optional)


Method for tortilla chips:

  1. Preheat oven to 160oC / 320oF
  2. Using festive cookie cutters press them into the fresh tortillas to create as many shapes as desired
  3. Lay them on a baking tray then brush them with the olive oil and sprinkle over the salt (so it sticks to the olive oil)
  4. Bake for ~8 minutes, allow to cool and serve. These will keep for a day or two so great for the following days lunchbox!

carrot-courgette-muffins

Ingredients for muffins:

  • 1 ½ cups almond flour OR ground almonds (can use all-purpose flour)
  • 2 tbsp. coconut flour (can use all-purpose flour)
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil (can use butter)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup grated carrot
  • ½ cup grated courgette

Method for muffins:

  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C / 350°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (almond flour through nutmeg). 3. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, maple syrup and vanilla.
  3. Add the dry mix to the wet mix just until combined and then gently fold in the grated carrots and courgette.
  4. Divide the mixture evenly among the liners, it should make about 8 muffins, and bake for 20 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  5. Let the muffins cool for 5 minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.