Avocado & Banana Pancakes

avocado banana pancakes

The world goes crazy for pancakes doesn’t it? Or at least, the Instagram world does. They fill up your feed on the weekend.  “#Sundayfunday #stacksfordays” We’re no exception – fluffy american style pancakes are our go to weekend breakfast. So much so that when I made crepes instead a few weeks ago (also delicious) the kids acted like all their Christmases had come at once. Or, Pancake Tuesdays I suppose.

Ivy is getting in on the act now too. She’s nearly 9 months old. Let’s be honest; she’s not that into meals. So I’m trying to make single things she can eat that I can pop extra healthy bits into. If all else fails, she’ll always eat steamed sugar snap peas or broccoli.

Pancakes with green bits
Pancakes with green bits

She has been enjoying mashed banana and avocado sucked off toast soldiers or wedges of bagel, so I decided to incorporate the avocado into a bastardisation of the Banana Pancakes I’ve been making for years.

I know we keep being told that basically the only reason millennials can’t afford to buy houses is their instance avocado consumption so I may be dooming Ivy’s future already. I mean government policy, greedy banks and developers have nothing to do it it. No, nothing at all…

instagram-avo-banana

Avocado & Banana Spelt Pancakes

  • 90 grams of spelt flour – I used wholemeal
  • 1/2  teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of almond milk (125ml)
  • 1/2  cup of natural yoghurt (125ml)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 a banana, mashed
  • 1/2 an avocado, mashed

Sieve the dry ingredients.

Combine the wet ingredients.

Whisk them together!

Cook these on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes a side. I used a little coconut oil on the pan before each batch.  These took longer to cook than regular pancakes – I think the avocado made them quite squidgy so they needed a lower heat and longer time to firm up.

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Berries & yogurt = always a good option

I find pancakes wonderfully adaptable, using whatever flour, milk or yogurt I have.  This “recipe” made 11 – which I think is a USP for any recipe, using approximately 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake.

Ivy ate two for lunch and I had 1, just to taste them. This left me in the awkward position of having eight to share between three hungry boys after school (playdate). One did suspiciously ask what the green bits were – but none of them stopped eating when I came clean – winner!

Incidentally if you are looking for more baby led weaning recipe information, I bought the Baby Led Feeding cookbook a few months ago. I can’t recommend it enough – there’s some really helpful ideas in there. Like I said, she’s not into full meals yet, but I’ve been dipping into the lunch recipes. Hats off to the Mexican Bean Stew recipe which is super quick to make and packed full of healthy beans and corn. I’ve made that several times, along with the Cheesy Cauliflower Baby Bites which the whole family love.

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Baby Led Weaning: The Third Time Around And A Muffin Recipe

Baby led weaning

Here I go again on my own…goin’ down the only road I’ve ever known….

We’re on our third go round now with baby led weaning. In the seven years since I first began, it’s gone from a weird choice, unheard of by public health nurses and greeted wide eyed by fellow parents of babies to a very acceptable option for starting your baby on solids. Far more prolific bloggers than I have emerged in the field and had cookbooks published. Which is handy for me – even with a 6 month old I can regularly be heard saying “oh I’m just out of the baby mode for so long y’know…” as I wrack my brains to think what I’m supposed to do with her next.

stokke tripp trapp
All three ready to go.

Anyway, she turned 6 months old while we were on our summer holidays in France. Before we went I tried her with a couple of foods that would be common allergens (namely egg, strawberry and tomato). We didn’t want to find ourselves looking for directions to the doctor and trying to remember our gauche from our droite in a panic. We have no real family history of allergy but a good friend has a baby who reacted badly to egg recently so there’s no harm in approaching these things with a degree of caution.

We spent a couple of weeks just getting her used to picking up foods, and trying a variety of flavours. There was no particular consideration given to cooking suitable meals, as – say it with me:

food-under-one-is-for-fun-blur

She chewed away on torn up croissants, nommed wedges of juicy sweet peaches frozen in a silicon feeder, waved around preloaded spoons of natural yogurt and sucked the life from some pasta with tomato sauce.

baby led weaning

For the third time, I knew this approach was for me. I guess I’m doing myself a disservice by saying it’s the lazy mum’s approach. For a start, nobody could call me lazy now it’s school holiday time and I’ve three kids with me around the clock. Also she’s trying a good variety of food, and she’s still breastfeeding lots. Right up until the point she started solids I was able to look at her chubby thighs and wrist rolls and think “I made all of that”. A lovely friend declared to me “your one body is running 2 full bodies, I think it’s pretty miraculous. Have a sit down” (So I did.)

Anyway, we’re back now and without the pressure of the school runs, we’re getting quite into the swing of things. She’s about 6.5months and I’m still keeping it basic but she enjoys sitting up with us at the table and does her patented arm flap at the sight of food.

The simplest things I’ve given her are slices of avocado, steamed carrots, steamed broccoli, sweet potato wedges, scrambled egg and mashed banana or avocado on toast.

I did break out my trusty baking tins though, to try out savoury muffins. I used to make delicious spinach and feta ones when the boys were little but neither will eat feta now so I made these instead. You can sub out the veggies, and replace the sweet potato with more cheddar – I just didn’t want them too salty yet so kept the cheese content low.  I also always use frozen spinach for baking, just defrost it in the microwave first and squeeze out the excess water.

Spinach muffin

Spinach & Cheese Muffins

  • 2 medium eggs
  • 150ml milk
  • 75g butter, melted
  • 50g grated cheddar cheese
  • 50g grated sweet potato
  • 75g spinach
  • 1/4 red pepper, diced
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 175g self raising flour
  • 75g wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 TSP Marigold boullion (I use the low salt one)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180c.
  2. Whisk the eggs in and stir in the milk and melted butter. Mix in the grated cheese, sweet potato,  spinach, tomatoes and diced pepper.
  3. Finally, sieve in the flour and bullion. and mix just enough until all the ingredients have combined.
  4. Divide the mixture between the 12 muffin cases and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. A skewer will come out clean when they’re done.

These freeze really well and are great for bigger kid lunchboxes too.

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You can catch a lot of what I cook on Instagram, especially on my Stories. (There’s Follow buttons on the bottom of the page on mobile and on the right on desktop)
And now that baby is actually going to bed a regular time, there should be lots more to come right here on the blog. Stay tuned while I regain my BLW mojo!

All hail the humble chickpea

nyom

I had to post about these Crispy Chickpeas ‘toot sweet’ they are such a revelation. In fact I have just removed the second batch in as many days from the oven. We are noted fans of the chickpea here at Properfud Towers, so there’s always a few tins in the cupboard.

One blog I love to read for general parenting stuff, recipes and an overall relevance to any family working on a budget is Wholesome Ireland. The other day she featured this recipe for Crispy Chickpeas. They are a complete no brainer to make, so when I saw it I knew they’d work in our house – last night I threw in a tray of them while cooking a roast vegetable tart, then this evening I put more in with an oven-baked risotto.

Yep, we’ll have a few of them

I snacked on them with a bottle of beer last night, had them in a salad today for my lunch and then shared the remainder with the kids this evening while we waited for dinner. It’s a great way to add a healthy protein kick to something and also to try out different heat tolerances with children. It also tests the pincer grip of the 11 month old pretty well.  Caítríona used harissa spices which I didn’t exactly have. It’s an easy enough blend to concoct though. I added a few shakes of ground cumin, turmeric, garam masala, cayenne & chilli flakes to mine.

Clearly we are big baby led weaning advocates here, but as you can see, these are of a roundy shape that some among you may deem a choking hazard.  Obviously use your own judgement as to whether your baby is ready for these and don’t let them eat them unsupervised.  Any that were slightly larger, I squished slightly between my thumb and forefinger before giving to Theo.

Tomorrow I’m going to mash a few in with Dominic’s tortilla wrap for his playschool snack. If I leave any…

Who’s in charge?

Baby is!  I’m in charge of what he’s offered, but the ball is in his court when it comes to consumption. No poking or prodding a spoon into a clamped shut mouth. Just offer, and then don’t take it personally either way.

I’ve mentioned it over and over, but it’s really a point that needs to be hammered home when you take this approach – food under one is just for fun!

The one thing I’ve really noticed so far with Theo is that if he doesn’t feel like eating, he just won’t. In that regard I love baby led weaning because I’m not stressing over the fact that he was into breakfast but not into lunch or dinner. It’s not necessarily what we’re offering him, but whether he even feels like eating at all at that particular time.

I'll have a bit of this then.
I’ll have a bit of this then.

I wrote last summer about how Dominic had gotten into sandwiches. We send in a wrap, a small bagel, or a wholemeal sandwich with cheese & turkey in his lunch bag each day he goes to playschool. But it was never something he wanted as a baby – he used to look at them as a puzzle, something to pull apart and examine .

Today after a hectic morning at a local playcentre it was toasted sandwiches on the menu for lunch. I made Theo a little sandwich with the crusts off and he loved it. Crusts off so he didn’t just fill up on them, not because he couldn’t have them. He grasped it tight and it went straight in. I know well enough by now he would just let it fall to the ground and go back to gnawing a plate it if he didnt feel like eating.

I just put some cream cheese & some cheddar in it. I don’t think we’re ever going to have calcium issues in this house so it would be nice to veer away from cheese! I’m thinking avocado would be good, anything that “sticks” the sandwich together basically. Today was a bit of a hmm what’s in the fridge day.

I’d love to hear suggestions for a super healthy baby friendly sandwich filling?

Jill

Falling at the first hurdle, or a helping hand?

You’d think there wouldn’t be so many surprises the second time round. The learning curve with weaning of any kind is steep, as much for parents as for junior.

hey! this was a good plan mama
hey! this was a good plan mama

I can’t remember how Dom took to pre-loaded spoons.  But I know that he did master them, by a couple of weeks later than this stage with Theo.  In fact there’s a very cute video here. I’ve racked my brains and can’t think how it started, so I just went ahead and handed Theo a spoon  with an assortment of items (not at the same time) – porridge, bananacado, thick soup, and more often than not he flips the spoon and sticks the handle in his mouth.  So this evening, with a lack of anything else for dinner to give him, and parent no.2 not home I decided he could  have some of my massamam curry, with tofu, butternut squash and of course potato.  I use the Thai Gold brand of paste, which I’ve blogged about before here.

The pieces were in small cubes, and we’re not in pincer grip territory yet, so I thought I’d try the pre loaded spoon again. I gave it a wee mash up, to a good soft but lumpy texture, and added some natural yogurt to cool down the spice. FLIP off went the curry across the table and the spoon went in upside down.  I had a little lightbulb moment, he doesn’t know what he’s missing! I put some on the spoon, coaxed open that little mouth and SPOON FED him.  I did this 3 times with small amounts, then he shrieked when I took the spoon away.  You want it that bad baby?  Help yourself!  And he did, roaring indignantly each time I took the empty spoon back from him.

The spoon: it contains yummy stuff.  He just didn’t realise it.

Jill