August 12, 2015

FIAO 5:11 - Feeding The Twins - New Recipes!

We're six months into our Baby Led Weaning journey (although I'm pretty sure after a year we can just call it eating) and these girls are beasts! They eat pretty much everything I offer them and love trying new foods. I started running out of ideas of things to try a few weeks ago when we had covered pretty much every whole fruit, vegetable and grain out there. Once they started napping better and were able to play by themselves for a bit I started experimenting with new recipes for them. Some of them have been big hits, others not so much and sometimes my cooking skills (or lack thereof) leave something to be desired, but so far it's been fun.

Here are some of the recipes I've tried, where I found them and how they went!

Spinach Banana Mini Muffins

From Tribe Magazine - Spinach + Banana Healthy Breakfast Muffins

I just made these (about 8 hours after I posted this blog) and they are THAT good that I rushed to the computer to update and add this recipe. If you have ripe bananas and spinach you need to go to your kitchen and make them right now. Apparently they freeze well but I'm not sure we'll find out since the girls gobbled up two each and CJ and I both ate two as well. They are bomb.

  • 3 small ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups unbleached white flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons plain whole milk yogurt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease muffin pans (I did 24 mini and 6 regular size)
  2. Add the first seven ingredients to a blender (banana, applesauce, vanilla, spinach, syrup, coconut oil, egg) and blend well
  3. Mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt) in a large mixing bowl
  4. Pour blender mixture into dry ingredients and mix slowly until thoroughly moistened
  5. It will be very thick like pancake batter. I added 2 tablespoons of yogurt to loosen it up a bit.
  6. Spoon into muffin pan until half full
  7. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes (mini) and 17 minutes (regular)
  8. Enjoy!

Cottage Cheese Banana Pancakes

From My Little Gourmet - Mini Oatmeal Cottage Cheese Banana Pancakes

These were a huge hit! They love cottage cheese anyway and I love that they get the added protein from it. The banana and vanilla added a nice sweetness so no syrup is needed even for us adults.

  • 1 cup old-fashioned or quick cooking oats
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • coconut oil for cooking
  1. Add all the ingredients to the blender and blend well
  2. Heat a griddle over medium heat, add coconut oil
  3. Pour batter into pan in any size cakes you want. I did a few different sizes - big ones for us adults and smaller ones for the littles. I ended up with about 16 mini and 8 large.
  4. Enjoy!

    Broccoli-Cauliflower-Sweet Potato-Cheddar Tuna Cakes

    Adapted from Little Grazers - Broccoli and Cheddar Patties

    They LOVED these. They were relatively easy to make but took a while longer than I would have liked because I had to steam all the veggies separately. I altered the original recipe by adding tuna and cauliflower for some extra nutrients and omega-3s. Even better, they freeze so well! The recipe made about 8 large and 10 smaller cakes. I just take them out of the freezer and toss them in the toaster oven for a few minutes.

    • 3 sweet potatoes, cubed
    • 2 cups of frozen broccoli 
    • 1 cup of frozen cauliflower
    • 1 cup of strong cheddar 
    • 1 can chunk light tuna, drained
    • black pepper
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • vegetable oil for baking
    1. Steam the sweet potato, broccoli and cauliflower. 
    2. While those steam, shred the cheese and drain the tuna
    3. Give the veggies a rough chop then mix with cheese and tuna, add pepper and let cool
    4. Preheat oven to 400 and grease a baking sheet with oil
    5. Add the egg and mix well
    6. Form into cakes. I did a few different sizes. I ended up with about 30 overall.
    7. Place on greased baking dish and brush tops with oil
    8. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through 
    9. Enjoy!



    Turkey-Apple-Spinach-Carrot Meatballs

    Adapted from From Momma Always Knows - Turkey Meatballs With Veggies
    and From Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life - Mini Turkey Apple Meatballs

    Jules loves these, Viv wasn't so sure but she's getting there, trying a little more every time I offer them. I omitted the egg as we only had two left and they came out fantastic!

    • 1 lb. ground turkey
    • 1 apple, grated
    • 1 carrot, grated
    • 1 cup spinach, chopped
    • 2 tbs. milk
    • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
    1.  Preheat oven to 350 and grease baking sheet with coconut oil
    2. Add all ingredients to large bowl and use your hands to mix will
    3.  Form 1 1/4 inch balls. This makes about 36.
    4. Bake for about 12 minutes
    5. Enjoy!

    Easy Homemade Chicken Fingers

    From Planning With Kids - Homemade Chicken Nuggets

    Don't be fooled by the smile!
    Ugh. These girls do not like chicken. I go out of my way to get the best I can find - local, free range, organic if possible (read: expensive!) and they just look at me like I'm crazy no matter how I try. The only times they've eaten it is when I've added it to quesadillas or when it's crock pot shredded chicken.I thought for sure this recipe would be a hit but they each took a few bites and tossed them aside. No matter, Mama is a former chicken finger addict so I gobbled them up myself!

    • 2 chicken breasts
    • 1 cup organic whole milk plain yogurt (we always have Stonyfield on hand)
    • 2 tbs coconut oil, plus extra for cooking
    • 1 cup Italian seasoned Panko bread crumbs
    1. Pound out chicken and cut into thin strips. I made 12 decent sized chicken fingers with 2 breasts.
    2. Preheat oven to 375
    3. Mix coconut oil into yogurt
    4. Dredge chicken in yogurt
    5. Dredge chicken in breadcrumbs
    6. Grease baking sheet with coconut oil and drizzle oil on top of chicken
    7. Bake for 30 minutes turning over halfway through 
    8. Enjoy!


    Zucchini Carrot Fritters

    From Just a Taste - 5 Ingredient Zucchini Fritters

    Not a hit. Not at all. I'm not sure why, they resembled the veggie patties that they loved but they didn't have cheese. They must have sensed this because they didn't even touch them the first three times I offered them. The fourth time I gave them a choice between rice and beans (another thing they don't love) and the fritters and they begrudgingly chose the fritters. Once again, Mom and Dad loved them though!

    • 2 medium zucchini
    • 2 carrots
    • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
    • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
    • Coconut oil for frying
    1. Shred the zucchini into a large bowl and sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 10 minutes.
    2. Shred the carrots into a separate bowl
    3. Squeeze out as much liquid from the zucchini as you can. I just held handfuls over the sink and squeezed.
    4. Add the flour, eggs and carrots to the zucchini
    5. Coat a frying pan with coconut oil and heat over medium-high
    6. Using a spoon or your hands form a ball and drop into pan, pressing lightly to make a patty. I ended up with about 12 large patties but they were hard to flip so next time I'd try for 15-18 smaller ones.
    7. Cook for 2-3 minutes and carefully flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes until golden brown
    8. Transfer to plate lined with paper towels and continue with the rest of the mixture
    9. Enjoy!

    Banana Avocado Muffins

    From Savvy Saving Couple - Better Avocado Banana Muffins

    They loved these! I was a little leery as they came out a bit more dense than I would have thought they would be (but I am terrible at baking too) but they were delicious and the girls were able to eat big chunks of them around 10.5 months. They get better every time I make them too. The last time I added chocolate chips to half the batch for me and CJ.

    • 1 large ripe banana
    • 1 large avocado
    • 2 cups flour
    • 3/4 cup sugar (I omitted this and added vanilla)
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 pinch of salt
    • 1/2 cup reduced fat milk (I used almond milk)
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 tsp vanilla
    1. Preheat oven to 375
    2. Mix flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a small bowl
    3. Mash avocado and banana in a large bowl
    4. Add milk, eggs and vanilla and  mix well 
    5. Pour in flour mixture and form a batter
    6. Pour into greased muffin pan filling half full - this recipe made 12 muffins
    7. Bake for 15-20 minutes
    8. Enjoy!

    Blueberry Spelt Pancakes

    from The Whole Grains Council

    These things were a pain the butt to make as I've never worked with spelt flour but once I figured out how to let the batter rest and not stir it they plumped up a bit. The second time around I did a lot better and we all love them. Compared to wheat flour, spelt is higher in both fiber and protein and full of nutrients like niacin, iron and zinc.


    •  2 cups (7 ounces) whole spelt flour
    • 2 tablespoons (7/8 ounce) sugar
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 3/4 cups (14 ounces) milk
    • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter, melted
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla (optional)
    • blueberries

    1. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl
    2. Mix melted butter, milk and vanilla
    3. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix well
    4. Let mixture stand for 15 minutes to thicken
    5. Heat a lightly oiled or non-stick pan over medium heat
    6. Pour batter into pan by 1/4 cupfuls. I ended up with about 16 medium sized pancakes.
    7. Drop in blueberries 
    8. Cook for about 2-3 minutes and flip carefully, cook for one more minute
    9. Enjoy!

    Black Bean Spinach Quesadillas

    This is the one recipe I created myself. If there's one thing I've mastered over years of picky eating it's quesadillas. I actually used to make them to trick myself into eating veggies with added peppers, broccoli, spinach and beans. I knew they would love it and sure enough it quickly became one of their favorites, once I felt confident enough to give them tortillas! I'm not sure why I was so worried about it, for some reason I thought they would struggle with biting and chewing them, but they got it down quick and devour them. I mash up the beans so they can't see them (otherwise they wouldn't eat them) and dice up the spinach and cover them with cheese.

    • 2 Whole Wheat tortillas
    • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
    • 1/2 cup black beans
    • 1/2 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
    • coconut oil for frying 
    1. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add a dab of coconut oil
    2. Shred the cheddar cheese
    3. Mash the black beans
    4. Chop the spinach
    5. Spoon the black beans onto half of a tortilla and spread to cover
    6. Top with shredded cheese and chopped spinach
    7. Fold tortillas in half and fry for 3-4 minutes a side
    8. Cut into triangles and serve with salsa or sour cream

    Crockpot Applesauce

    From Cooking ala Mel - Slow Cooker Applesauce (No Sugar Added)

    I had no idea how easy it was to make applesauce until I tried it! They gobbled it up!  I can't wait for fall to get local apples and make huge batches to freeze!

    • 10 medium apples (I used Fuji)
    • 1 cup water
    • dash of cinnamon
    1. Peel and chop apples into chunks
    2. Add to crockpot and mix in water
    3. Add a dash of cinnamon
    4. Cook on low for 4-5 hours
    5. Blend with immersion blender and serve! 

    I've never been much of a cook, only in the last few years have I expanded my reach beyond pasta and sandwiches but having two litttle ones to cook for makes it so worth it and I am loving trying out all these recipes I've pinned on Pinterest over the years!

    What's your favorite recipe that I should try next?


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