Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Having a child who is fussy about food is incredibly frustrating at the best of times.
And at the worst of times? It's a bit of a nightmare.
My now 6-year-old hasn't eaten a good dinner since before he was 2.
Let that fact sink in a little.
That's approximately 1500 nutritious dinners prepared lovingly by me that have NOT BEEN TOUCHED.
If we can get him to the table, he will eat plain pasta with extra virgin olive oil, homemade pizza (no sauce and topped only with cheese, olives and tinned pineapple) and takeaway fish and chips.
The list of foods he will eat is incredibly small and shrinking by the week.
We've done feeding therapy sessions with an occupational therapist and speech pathologist, and seen a GP, naturopath, dietician and psychologist.
So where does that leave us?
Well, it leaves us trying to pack in nutrition wherever and whenever we can.
At the moment breakfast is the only decent meal he will consume in a day.
It is usually a smoothie which I cram to the brim with good stuff like avocado, chia seeds, oats, yoghurt, protein powder, nut butters, berries, greens and more. Something like My Favourite Green Smoothie but with organic full cream milk.
Lunch usually comes home completely untouched so needless to say he is STARVING when he gets home.
So that leaves afternoon tea.
I try to make it a good one!
Hiding vegetables in cakes and muffins etc is not new, but it is definitely my favourite way to increase their nutrition. These have been some of favourites:
'Apple' Crumble Slice (without any apple!)
Chocolate Beetroot Cake
Pumpkin Fruit Cake
Chocolate and Zucchini Muffins
Sweet Potato Brownies
Pumpkin, zucchini, carrot, sweet potato and beetroot all work beautifully in baked goods. Add in a good unrefined sweetener and some sweet spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla and you have a delicious sweet treat that will fill them up and give them some much need veggies.
Today I had a lot of pumpkin to use up so I whipped up this pumpkin loaf cake which I am calling a 'Spicy Golden Loaf'. It is beautifully moist with lovely warm flavours of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, orange and molasses.
A slice of this with a glass of milk will happily fill up even the fussiest tummy.
Spicy Golden Loaf
100g butter, at room temperature
100g coconut sugar
2 large eggs
1 ts vanilla extract
1 ts blackstrap molasses
zest of 1/2 orange
1 cup mashed pumpkin
1 2/3 cups wholemeal spelt flour
1 tbs baking powder
1/2 ts bicarb soda
1 ts cinnamon
1/2 ts nutmeg
1/2 ts ginger
1/4 ts cloves
Beat together the butter and coconut sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time beating until smooth.
Add the pumpkin, vanilla, molasses and orange zest and mix until well combined.
Add the dry ingredients and fold through until just combined.
Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until golden brown and the middle springs back when pressed gently.
Turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Delicious warm from the oven or at room temperature. Serve with butter.
Do you have a fussy eater?
What are your strategies? Let me know below!
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
So if you haven't already noticed, today is Valentine's Day. Happy Valentine's Day!
Do you do Valentine's Day?
We don't but it is definitely a good excuse to make something chocolatey for dessert!
I've actually been making these little bliss ball beauties for my doTERRA classes that I've been running at home and for friends.
They have been such a hit that I now make them for more special occasions too.
I've been loving experimenting with using different essential oils in cooking and baking.
Plus it's so handy to be able to add a drop or 2 of lemongrass, ginger or fennel, for example, to give a big boost of flavour when you might not have those ingredients handy.
The intense flavours of wild orange, lemon and peppermint oils pair so beautifully with raw desserts like slices and bliss balls.
I've made lemon balls and a chocolate-peppermint slice recently that were just divine so keep an eye out for those recipes soon.
Wild Orange Bliss Balls
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup dates
1/2 ts vanilla paste
4 drops Wild Orange Oil (I use and recommend doTERRA essential oils, click here to find out why)
30g dark chocolate
Zest of 1/2 orange
Place the dates and cashews into the Thermomix or high-powered blend and process to a fine crumb. Add the vanilla, salt and orange oil and process until the mixture clumps together.
Roll spoonfuls into balls and place in the fridge.
Melt the chocolate ( I do it in a small glass bowl over a small pot of hot water simmering on the stove). Drizzle over the tops of each bliss ball and top with a sprinkle of fresh orange zest.
Makes approximately 10
Have you used essential oils in cooking before? Do you have a favourite oil or recipe you would like to share? Let me know below!
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
My grandmother was a great cook. Nothing especially fancy but the sort of homemade, stick to your ribs, oh-so-tasty fare that grandmothers are renowned for.
Her jam tarts in particular were spectacular!
But it was her corn fritters that seem to have stuck in my mind most clearly.
I had gone with her and friend for a week's stay on Tangalooma, a family-friendly resort on an island about an hour's boat trip away. We were in a downstairs garden apartment with a small kitchen where we could cook for ourselves and not have to eat out all the time.
I can so vividly remember coming in from the beach all wet and sandy to the smell of corn fritters frying and then burning my tongue eating them as soon as they came out of the pan.
There's just something about that combination of sweet and salty, crispy fried outside and soft fluffy middle that I can't resist!
These days no one in my family apppreciates a corn fritter quite as much as I do but they are a family favourite nonetheless.
You can think of these as a savoury pancake and top them any way you like.
I shared on Facebook during the week that I had leftover fritters topped with some smoked trout and sauerkraut (haha I just realised as I wrote it down that it rhymes!) for lunch the next day.
My kids also love them topped with crispy bacon and maple syrup. SO good!
Gluten-free Corn Fritters
2 cups gluten free plain flour
3 ts gluten free baking powder
1/2 ts salt
1 x 400g tin corn, drained
3/4 cup rice milk
Oil for shallow frying (Olive oil, coconut oil or ghee is great for these)
Place the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and whisk together. Add the eggs, corn and milk and fold together with a spatula until well combined. (You may need slightly more or less milk than this, it seems to vary with every batch and probably depends also how well drained your corn is).
Preheat your frying pan over medium-high heat. Add enough oil to generously cover the base of the pan. When it starts to shimmer you are ready to fry.
Dollop spoonfuls of mixture into the pan and flatten out slightly. Fry for about 3 minutes then flip and fry on the other side until crisp, golden brown and cooked through.
Remove from the pan and place onto a wire rack over a baking tray. This ensures the fritters stay crisp on the bottom (nothing worse than a soggy bottom!)
Repeat with remaining mixture.
Makes approximately 16.
Are there any foods you feel really nostalgic about from your childhood?
Let me know below!