Thursday, 20 August 2015

RECIPE: #InstaWeanTeamChallenge - Frozen Yoghurt & Strawberry Fingers

Despite repeated attempts, Little Dude has never really taken to strawberries. He tends to give them an exploratory lick then looks mightily disgusted and chucks them on the floor. The Very Hungry Caterpillar week has given me an opportunity to try serving them in a different way... and it worked!
Since giving him these he's actually eaten TWO chopped, uncooked strawberries. Perhaps the penny is starting to drop on just how yummy they are (they're my favourite fruit too)

60g porridge oats
20g chopped walnuts
A few generous spoonfuls of natural yoghurt
Splash of whole milk
5 medium strawberries
Optional - additional sweetner such as honey, dates, or sugar
1. Chop the walnuts and add to a bowl along with the oats (keep a few walnuts back for decoration). Pour in enough milk to make a thick porridge mixture but keep it fairly dry. 
Note - Adding a spoonful of honey, some chopped dates, or a little sugar at this stage would sweeten the fingers up a little as they come out fairly savoury. We liked them that way though :)
2. Press the oat mixture onto a lined baking tray then cook at Gas 5 for 5-8 minutes.
3. Set the oat base aside to cool
4. Once cooled, spread a thick layer of yoghurt on to the oat base
5. Decorate with chopped strawberries (I made ours into heart shapes) and walnuts.
6. Put the baking tray into the freezer for 2-3 hours until the fingers have set hard
7. Slice the fingers then return to the freezer, remove each one a few minutes before serving.

Thanks to Ezpz who provided the Happy Mats we used for this week's challenge.

Check out what the rest of the team made by visiting our Facebook Page

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

RECIPE: #InstaWeanTeam Challenge - Date & Butternut Squash Tagine

Last week I made my Healthy Lunchbox Snack (Date & Walnut Cereal Bars) using dates so for this week's challenge I wanted to do something completely different. My sister bought me a tagine a couple of years ago and I hadn't used it for a while so I decided to dust it off to make a Moroccan-inspired dish this week. I originally planned to use lamb but the supermarket only had full lamb shoulders which intimidated me a bit so I went with a vegetarian version instead. Fear not, carnivores, it's still a hearty, satisfying dish :)

4 chopped Medjool dates
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 tin cherry tomatoes
4-5 chopped walnuts
250g frozen butternut squash (cutting this stuff is my pet hate so I bought a lazy version!)
100g sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp cinnamon
A squeeze of runny honey

1. Defrost the frozen mushrooms and butternut squash (I poured boiled water over mine and left for 5 minutes or so until it was soft).
2. Slice the onion and dates, lay in the bottom of the tagine
3. Add the butternut squash, mushrooms, tomatoes, spices, sesame seeds, garlic and honey. Stir well.
4. Add a splash of water to loosen the mixture slightly
5. Bake in the oven as Gas 4 for 1 hour.
6. Eat chocolate while it cooks - optional but highly recommended! :)

I served ours with wholemeal giant cous cous and a sprinkle of sesame seeds and chopped walnuts on top. Delish!
Note - The NHS guidance is that honey should only be given over the age of one. I'm not sure if this changes if the honey is cooked but personally I always err on the side of caution and would skip it for younger babies.

Don't forget to check out what the rest of the team have made for Date Week by visiting our Facebook Page 

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

RECIPE: #InstaWeanTeam Challenge - Walnut and Date Cereal Bars

Anyone who follows my Instagram feed will know I'm a big fan of putting lunchboxes together. Filling them with varied, healthy food can be a bit of a challenge, especially when it comes to snacks. This week I decided to make something I've tried before but not perfected: homemade cereal bars. I totally revamped my recipe and was really pleased with how these turned out - they are soft, sweet fingers of pure deliciousness!

To make these...

5 Medjool dates (I used organic ones)
70g walnuts
25g sultanas
70g porridge oats
15g dessicated coconut
1 beaten egg
Coconut oil or unsalted butter for greasing the baking tray

1. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and grease very lightly with coconut oil.
2. Finely blend the nuts then tip them into a large glass bowl. Add the sultanas, coconut, and porridge oats then stir.
3. Blend the dates into a sticky paste - throw in a handful or two of oats if they start to gum up the blender like mine did.
4. Put the dates into the bowl then using a thumb and forefinger, rub them into the oat mixture as if you were making crumble. Continue until the dates are distributed evenly into the mixture.
5. Stir in the beaten egg.
6. Press the mixture onto the baking tray in a rectangular shape about 2-3cm thick.
7. Bake for 15 minutes at Gas 5, ensuring the egg is cooked.
8. While still warm, slice into finger shapes with a sharp knife. I used a pizza cutter which was the perfect tool for the job.
9. When cooled, peel the cereal bars carefully off the greaseproof paper. I will keep mine for a few days in a sealed Tupperware container... if they last that long!

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