Sunday, January 27, 2013

Healthy cookies for toddlers

Not surprisingly, I read a lot of blogs, mostly mom/parenting blogs. There are a few that I read daily, and Hello Bee is one of them. It's a compilation blog from lots of moms/parents and brings a wide variety of perspectives. I especially like reading the posts about feeding your baby. Lately I've been really into healthy toddler recipes and bento box ideas.

Juliet has always been a great eater and she likes almost everything. I've been striving to feed her really healthy food since she started eating solids 6 months ago. We buy mostly organic (this is a new thing for us) and I make the majority of her food homemade.  Now that she's eating less purees and more table food, we mostly feed her what we eat, but I'm always looking for new, healthy things for her to try.

These pumpkin and oatmeal breakfast cookies looked good, and best of all I had most of the ingredients in my pantry. What I didn't have I substituted.

Pumpkin and Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies (recipe adapted from Hello Bee)
Makes approximately 2 dozen breakfast cookies
Ingredients 
1 – 15oz can of pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 t. vanilla extract
2 T. pure maple syrup (the original recipe calls for raw sugar)
1 1/2 c. old-fashioned oatmeal, dry
3/4 c. flour (I subtracted 2 tablespoons of flour and added wheat germ), this is totally optional.  The original recipe calls for 3/4 cup flax flour, which I didn't have.
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
Dash of ground cloves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1. In a medium bowl combine pumpkin, egg and vanilla until blended
2. Add spices, oatmeal and flour/wheat germ and mix well to combine
3. Using a large, 2T. sized cookie scoop, place onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet about 2″ apart. Flatten cookies slightly just so they’re not rounded over and are about 1/2″ thick
5. Bake in a 350 degree oven for ~15 minutes until set and holding together well
So here's the deal with these cookies.  They don't really taste like cookies. When I think of a cookie I expect a lot of sweetness, but as you'll see in the recipe, there is no sugar at all. The only sweetness comes from pure maple syrup.  I thought these cookies tasted ok, but they were a little bland.  
The true test was Juliet, and she loved them. She ate two for breakfast this morning.  The cookies are super chewy and soft, so I broke them into pieces and she couldn't shovel them in her mouth fast enough.  I had to say "slow down honey and remember to chew!"  

So based on that, I would say these cookies were a success.  I have them frozen and plan to take out one or two a couple times a week to serve with breakfast or as a treat/snack.   

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Homemade baby food: green beans

Ok so homemade baby food is definitely not pretty but this is my life lately so it's making its way onto the blog.    

As a way-too-busy working mom, I thought I wouldn't have time to make Juliet's food. But I've found time and it's been really easy. 

Juliet loves green beans, they are one of her favorites right now, along with squash and pears.  She hated avocado (she made the funniest face, gagged and spit it out).  So far I've made homemade squash, plums, carrots and green beans.  I have no problem buying store-bought baby food, but thus far have stuck with organic (I like Earth's Best and Plums products).  The veggies and fruits I've made homemade have not been organic, but most have been from farmers' markets.  I do prefer feeding Juliet homemade purees because it's cheaper and I like knowing exactly what she's eating and for the most part, I do think homemade purees taste better than store bought (yes, I do taste all her food).

These green beans were from the Minneapolis Farmers' Market.  They were super tasty and the batch made enough to fill an entire ice cube tray (one serving is typically 1-2 ice cubes worth).

The recipe is super simple, here it is:

Homemade pureed green beans

Ingredients/equipment

One bunch green beans, ends trimmed
Food processor (or blender or immersion blender of fancy baby bullet)
Pot and steamer

Preparation

Fill water just over the steamer, add green beans.  Steam for about 15 minutes or until very tender.  Let cool.  Save the cooking liquid.

Transfer beans into the bowl of the processor, process until very smooth, adding the cooking liquid until you achieve the consistency you want (for Juliet I make it extremely smooth with quite a bit of liquid).

Green beans can be a little stringy, so I push the puree through a fine mesh sieve, but you can skip this step if the puree is nice and thin. 

Divide evenly in an ice cube tray and freeze.  When frozen completely, store in ziplock storage bags or in airtight container.

I hope your little one enjoys!