Packed Pikelets (pink and green!)

Our little people eat pikelets in many forms. Mildly sweet ones (hotcakes) for breakfast are on the menu probably once a week, but more recently we have changed it up a bit and have added in a more savoury variety.

Our kids love them – Harry describes them as a cross between a hotcake and a cheese toastie …. both things he loves!! They are very filling and make a satisfying lunch, they’re nutritious – and they freeze and defrost well so you can make them in advance for lunchboxes. They even work well as a side serve at dinner time.

This recipe makes about 20 – I often double it so that I have enough left to freeze!

  • 1.5 cups spelt flour – I do half wholemeal (OR 1 1/3 cups plain GF flour and 1 tsp psyllium husks)
  • 1/2 cup heaped mixed seeds (I use pumpkin, flax and hemp)
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • pinch pink salt
  • 2 tsp GF baking powder
  • 1.5cups milk of choice
  • 30g light tasting oil/vegan butter, melted
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp aquafaba OR 1 whole egg
  • 1 cup baby spinach OR a handful steamed beetroot
  • OPTIONAL: Handful GF ham/left over chicken/corn kernels

Place the seeds, yeast, salt, paprika and baking powder into your processor/bullet/blender/thermal cooker and process until very fine (Speed 8, 6 secs, repeat if necessary).

Add in the flour and process to combine (Speed 4, 10 seconds). Then set the dry mix aside.

Blitz together milk, vinegar, aquafaba and oil in your processor/bullet/blender/thermal cooker until frothy (Speed 6, 8 seconds).

Add in the spinach or beetroot to the milk mix and blitz until the mixture is smooth (Speed 8 10 seconds, scrape down and repeat). You will have very brightly coloured green or pink milk at this point!

Add the wet mix to the dry mix and process to combine (Speed 5, 6 secs). If doing this by hand, use a whisk to beat until the mixture is well combined and light.

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If you want to add in any of the optional extras, chop them finely and fold them through here.

Spoon tablespoons of the batter into a hot, lightly greased frying pan. Cook until golden on one side until bubbles appear and then flip and cook until both sides are golden brown.

Makes about 20

Serve warm with your choice of topping – my kids love them with a slice of their cheese or a little sunflower seed butter. I sandwich them together with a little butter in the middle and freeze in a zip lock bag so they are ready to drop into lunchboxes.

Enjoy πŸ™‚

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

As the cooler weather rolls around I am SO looking forward to soups featuring weekly on our dinner menu again.

I love soups for so many reasons; they are inexpensive, fast to make, you can make them in serious bulk for quick and filling lunches during the week, you can absolutely pack them with veggies, they can help you avoid food waste by using up your veg that might be otherwise past its best and they are easy to adapt for food allergies (I have even seen vegan, low FODMAP stock powders recently!)

This is one of our favourites … With a few little tricks it is a creamy, velvety comfort soup …. With none of your normal creamy ingredients πŸ˜‰ as well as its serve of fabulous dietary fibre, it’s also got some decent fat and protein to keep you going.

  • 1 1/2 large heads cauliflower (approx 1.2kg), chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic olive oil
  • 1 medium brown onion, diced
  • 6 medium stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 400g tin butter beans, drained
  • 1 tsp dried Italian herbs
  • Pinch pink salt flakes
  • few grinds black pepper
  • 20g (about 2.5tbsp) nutritional yeast
  • 100g sunflower seed butter
  • 10 cups hot veggie stock (Massel for store bought)
  • Optional: fist sized piece of sweet potato, peeled and succeed

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add in the onion and celery.

Fry, stirring regularly until onion is golden.

Add beans, cauliflower and herbs. Sweat down for about 3-4 mins. Add sweet potato at this point if you’re using it.

Add stock and bring to simmer, roughly 15-20 mins (until you can slide a fork easily into the veg)

Add salt, pepper, yeast and seed butter then use an immersion blender until the soup is perfectly smooth.

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Makes about 10 serves. Delicious on its own or serve with fresh crusty bread of choice.

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This one tendss to separate a little if you freeze and thaw but comes back together with a good stir.

Enjoy πŸ™‚

Per serve (10 serves per pot): 115cal, 4g fat, 10.1g carbs, 7.16g protein and 3.25g fibre

Seed butter bars

I am a big fan of snacking …. I am so active that 3 meals a day doesn’t work for me. I get shaky and hungry (and maybe a teensy bit cranky!). So I always make sure that I have healthy snacks readily available.

I love my bliss balls (especially the chocolate and salted caramel) and bliss bars, but I have been trying to teach myself to not always reach for sweet tasting stuff. These bars are based on my Choc Bliss Bars … just not chocolate and not so sweet πŸ˜‰ They are fabulous source of fibre (great prebiotics for your gut health), nutrient dense carbohydrates, amazing plant based fats and even a good dose of protein. The mild sweetness comes from dates, but you’re only getting 1/3 of a date per bar, so they are working more as a binder than a sweetener.

  • 1 cup sunflower seed butterΒ (or nut butter if your diet allows)
  • 8 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1.5 cup rolled oats
  • 90g pepitas
  • 20g flax seeds
  • 20g hemp seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tbsp water

Place the sunflower seed butter, vanilla and cinnamon in your processor/thermal cooker and start mixing (speed 4). Whilst you are mixing add in the dates, one at a time through the chute at the top. Then continue mixing until the date is finely brown down and evenly distributed through the mix (Up to speed 7, for 8 seconds, scrape down and repeat).

Add in the oats and seeds and process until well combined (Speed 4 for 8 seconds, then to speed 5 for 6 seconds)

The wetness of your mix will be impacted by how runny your seed butter was and how moist your dates were, so if your mixture is not starting to clump together, add in 1 tbsp of water at a time and process again.

Tip into a lined tray (mine is 23cm x 29cm), spread out and firmly and evenly press down the mix.

Place it into the freezer for half an hour before removing and chopping in to bars.

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Makes 24 bars, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

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Enjoy πŸ™‚

Carrot Cake Pikelets

You might have already guessed …. but we are quite partial to pikelets here.

Pikelets, hotcakes, mini pancakes – whatever you like to call them, they are very popular with most kids and they are a terrific way to pack in a heap of goodies to make for a nutritious and filling snack – or breakfast! They freeze well, are portable and they are easy for little fingers to hold on to when they are learning to feed themselves.

We are enjoying these ones for afternoon tea today. They are a particularly terrific serve of long lasting fibre, with their mild sweetness coming from whole fruits. Hopefully we’ll have some left for lunchboxes!

  • 1 1/4 cup spelt flour (half wholemeal) OR 1 cup GF flour mix plus 1/2 tsp psyllium
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats OR shredded coconut
  • 1.5 tsp GF baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 1 large carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 small over ripe pear (it needs to be soft to the touch) OR 1/4 cup pear puree
  • 1/2 medium overripe banana
  • 4 medjool dates
  • 1 heaped tsp Sunflower seed butterΒ OR other nut butter

In your blender/processor/bullet/thermal cooker blitz the oats or coconut until they are a fine flour (Speed 9, 8 seconds, repeat if required)

In a large bowl mix together all of the dry ingredients, including the blitzed oats, with a whisk then set aside. (Speed 4, 8 seconds)

In your blender/processor/bullet/thermal cooker place; the carrot, banana, pear, dates, seed butter, vanilla and milk and blitz until very smooth (Speed 4 initially, then build up to speed 7 for 8 seconds, scrape down and use speed 9 for a further 8 seconds, scrape and repeat if required.

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Add the wet mix and the dry together and whisk or process until well combined and smooth.

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Place a tbsp of the mix into a hot, lightly greased frying pan. It is quite a thick mix, so you’ll need to spread it out with the back of the soon a little bit. Flip over when bubbles appear and cook until both sides are golden brown.

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Delicious served warm, on their own, with a little butter of choice or even some more seed/nut butter.

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These work well sandwiched together with a little butter as a filling lunchbox snack.

Makes about 15

Enjoy πŸ™‚

Cheesey broccoli damper

Anything ‘bready’ is likely to get the tick of approval here.

They don’t even bat an eyelid any more when the bread is a nontraditional bread colour – you know, like green πŸ˜‰

We have been doing spinach in scrolls for ages, but more recently, we’ve started to add in broccoli too. Broccoli is amazing stuff … here is what a recent BBC food report has to say about the humble broccoli:

“There have been many health claims over the years about broccoli and whether it could be labelled a ‘superfood’ or not, but its nutrient-rich profile does offer some real health benefits. Broccoli is a good source of fibre and protein, and contains iron, potassium, calcium, selenium and magnesium as well as the vitamins A, C, E, K and a good array of B vitamins including folic acid”. (Oct 2017)

It’s also thought to improve cardiovascular health and even bone mineral density.Β  Label of ‘superfood’ or not – it’s pretty great stuff!

However …. despite my great love of the tiny trees, both cooked and raw, only 2 of my 4 kiddos likes it. Bummer.

Blended up in thrown in a damper is another story though πŸ˜‰

  • 2 3/4 cup spelt flour (half wholemeal)
  • 3 tsp gf baking powder
  • 1 heaped tsp pink salt flakes
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 heaped tbsp flax seeds
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp dried Italian style herbs
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 100g broccoli florets
  • 75g spinach
  • 225mls water
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

In your blender/bullet/thermal cooker place the seeds, yeast, salt, herbs and baking powder. Process until seeds until they’re fine. (Speed 8, 8 second, scrape down and repeat).

Add in the flour and process until combined (speed 4, 10 seconds). Then set the flour aside.

Now place in the broccoli, spinach, water and vinegar, then blend, blend, blend until it is smooth (speed 8, 8 secs, scrape down Β then speed 10, 10 secs).

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Set the wet mix aside and return the flute mix to the processor. Add in the butter and pulse until the butter is evenly distributed – it’ll look a little like bread crumbs.

Add in the wet broccoli mix to the flour whilst processing (speed 4) and bring together to a dough.

Tip on to a floured surface and shape to a disc.

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Slash the top into 8 triangles and then place into a preheated 200 C oven for about 25 minutes or until well risen and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.

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Serve warm with butter of choice.

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This is a great side to have with a yummy soup, or as part of a finger food style lunch … but we often enjoy it just on it’s own!

Slice and butter and tightly wrap any leftovers before freezing – it defrosts well.

Enjoy πŸ™‚

Strawberry ice dream

This delicious dessert is like a cross between ice cream and sorbet.

It’s very refreshing and simple to make, no need for any churning, but you do need to make it several hours in advance.

We used up the last of the strawberries that we had frozen after a very over zealous ‘pick your own’ session at a local farm.

  • 3 cups frozen strawberries
  • 270ml coconut cream (Ayam)
  • 2 tbsp rice malt syrup*
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 3 over ripe large bananas

*You can of course use honey or maple syrup if you’d prefer – I choose the rice malt here not because of any mythical ‘sugar free’ properties, but because of its more neutral taste.

In your processor or thermal cooker place the strawberries. Blitz them until they are very finely chopped (almost like crushed ice) speed 4, working up to speed 8 for 10 secs, scrape down and repeat.

Add in the coconut cream, followed by the syrup and vanilla whilst processing (on speed 4), then scrape down and process again.

Add in bananas, one at a time and process until very smooth. (Use speed 6).

Pour into a dish, cover and freeze for at least 6 hours, or over night.

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Remove from freezer about 10 minutes before serving so that it is scoopable.

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If you’re after an extra special treat you can add some chocolate! We make ours by melting 4 squares of chopped dark chocolate together with 1/2 tsp of tasteless coconut oil, then just drizzle away!

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This makes enough for 8-10 serves.

Enjoy πŸ™‚

 

Carrot and zucchini chocolate cake

Chocolate cake is always welcome in our house, and it is especially welcome in muffin form for lunchboxes. I always try to add some extra goodies in to boost their nutritional value.

The carrots and zucchinis were really cheap at the markets so I decided to have a go at something different to my normal beetroot version.

These are quite a bit lighter in texture and they are very happily scoffed by all of the kids and even the biggest sweet tooth.

  • Small zucchini (approx 200g), chopped
  • Medium carrot (approx 80g), chopped
  • Medium banana, very ripe
  • 100g light tasting oil (melted coconut oil or butter works too)
  • 100ml milk of choice
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 250g spelt flour (half wholemeal)
  • 2 tsp gf baking powder
  • 120g coconut sugar
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp mixed spice

In to your bullet/blender/processor/thermal cooker place the veggies, banana, oil, vanilla, vinegar and milk. Then blitz until it is very smooth. (Start on speed 4 then build up to speed 10 for 8 seconds. Scrape down and use speed 10 for 10 seconds).

Add in the dry ingredients and mix gently until evenly combined (speed 4, 8 secs, then scraps down and repeat if required). If you’re mixing this by hand, whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl, pour in the blended wet mix and then fold together.

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Spoon into lined muffin tins and place into a pre heated moderate oven for about 16 minutes, or until well risen and the muffins spring back to gentle touch.

Makes about 14-16 and they freeze and defrost well.

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Enjoy πŸ™‚