Category Archives: toddler

Butternut Squash Ginger Soup & the 5:2 diet

Soups deliver such concentrated nutrition, even the little girl is amenable to soup even if it is a few mouthfuls, I can be assured that my homemade soup is full of natural goodness.

Butternut Squash is one of my (many) favourite vegetables, with its dense, orange flesh, it is delicious and sweet with a nutty flavour.  I have wrestled with many a Butternut Squash and have now found the perfect peeler for the tough outer skin thanks to a visit to Lakeland, so now its less challenging and faster to prepare too!

Carrots can be used instead of the Butternut Squash or a mix of both is good too, soup has so many variations and each has their own place within each season.  Although this year the seasons have gone a little awry with snow in April here!

Butternut Squash Ginger Soup is satisfying and filling on my 5:2 fast diet days.  And just in case you haven’t heard about this yet, the 5:2 Fast Diet was brought to us by Dr Michael Moseley when he was researching the health and longevity claims for the BBC2 Horizon programme Eat Fast and Live Longer – for 2 days a week you aim for 500 calories for women and 600 for men.  I have got this down to a fine art now & can easily get around the 500 calorie mark with soups on the menu, I’ve gone a little soup loopy but they are just so easy and delicious, plus you can use up any lingering vegetables from the fridge so less waste!

I make up a pot which will last for the couple of days fasting and is extremely low in fat and calories.  The addition of Ginger gives the soup an interesting zing and warmth.  On non-5:2 days I add crème fraîche, chilli flakes and black pepper which lifts the flavours even more!

For my pot of soup, some of which can be frozen too, popped in ice cube trays for easy access to soup for kiddie meals, I used around 600g of butternut squash, I did weigh it for the benefit of this blog post but usually I just use a medium Butternut Squash.

 

Prep time:  15 mins

Cooking time:  20 minutes

Ingredients

half a tsp butter – I use unsalted
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
about an inch of root Ginger
600g Butternut Squash, peeled, deseeded and chopped into small cubes
1 litre of homemade vegetable stock
black pepper, optional

Method

Gently fry the Onion, Garlic and Ginger for a couple of minutes in the butter then add a few tablespoons of water to steam fry for another 2-3 minutes. 

Add the Butternut Squash and steam fry for a further 5 minutes.

Add the Vegetable Stock, I make my own which increases the nutritional value of the soup too, see my blog post on Stock.

Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the Butternut Squash is soft and tender.

Cool, then blend in a liquidiser. 

Nutritious and delicious.

Quick Nutritional Info

Butternut Squash – Vitamin A, C, E, B-complex – folic acid, vitamins, B1, B2, B3 and B6. Iron, zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.

Ginger – anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, carminative, anti-microbial properties.  Potassium, manganese, copper, and magnesium.

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

Avocado Two Cheese Quesadilla

I’m on a quest for quick and easy snacks and light lunches that I can share with the ND toddler.  We both love pancakes, cheeses and Avocado and putting them altogether between tortillas and making Quesadilla was certainly a hit with both of us, must make one each next time, amazing what such a small person can pack away!

Avocado‘s have many health benefits, they are rich in monounsaturated (good) fats, vitamin A, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, E, Folic Acid and Potassium.  Phytonutrient compounds found in avocados, such as polyphenols and flavonoids have also been found to have anti-inflammatory properties. 

Quesadilla’s are so easy to make, hardly any “cooking” involved, just assemble, using the fillings of your choice.  I used a mix of Cheddar and Gruyère and added some black pepper and a little chilli seasoning to the Avocado, delicious and nutritious too.   If you don’t have an electric griddle, fry the tortilla’s until the cheese starts to melt then carefully turn over and fry for another couple of minutes.

.

Quinoa Cookie-Cakes

 
 
 
 
 
 

These Quinoa Chocolate cookie-cakes are soft with a cake like texture rather than a hard biscuit.  You can add dried fruit or chopped nuts for more crunch but they are so good just as they are with chocolate!

I bought some Coconut sugar recently, I was intrigued to see how it worked in my baking, I tasted it first to see how sweet it was and was pleasantly surprised to find it far less sweet than white or brown sugar.

 

Coconut sugar is a healthy alternative sweetner that has a lower glycemic index than cane sugar, agave or honey.   It is especially high in minerals including potassium, magnesium and zinc, as well as vitamins B2, B3 and B6. 

The addition of Quinoa makes these little cakes protein-rich and with a little bit of chocolate a delicious treat at tea time, breakfast time or any time!
Great healthy toddler snack too, mine loves them.
Ingredients

125g unsalted butter – softened
75g coconut sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg100g wholewheat plain flour
75g plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup cooked and cooled Quinoa (easier to measure in cups)
50g sugar-free dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Method

Pre-heat your oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4.

Beat the softened butter and Coconut sugar until pale and creamy.  Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat in until well combined.

In another bowl, combine the wholewheat flour, plain flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and ground cinnamon.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a few tablespoons at a time and mix in until fully combined.  I used my hand mixer.

Stir in the cooked Quinoa and chocolate pieces to the cake batter and fold in until just combined.  These cakes are a great way to use up any left over Quinoa.

Pop small dollops of the dough onto your baking trays, I prefer to brush a smear of  butter over mine for biscuits or cookies, a tablespoon or teaspoon size whichever you prefer and flatten down a little.  Space evenly apart.

Bake at 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4 for about 12-15 minutes until the edges of the cakes are slightly browned.

Cool for a few minutes before transferring onto a wire rack.

I would normally use 70% dark chocolate in my recipes but I’m linking this post up to We Should Cocoa – The January Challenge where our remit was to come up with something that contains chocolate but is sugar-free including the chocolate. 

 

Nutritional Info:

http://nutritiousdeliciousness.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/quinoa-mother-grain.html
.

Vegetables in Disguise

I really love tomato based sauces, I can find a use for a tomato sauce in so many dishes that we eat.  The one I make the most at the moment is the vegetables in disguise version for my toddler girl, she eats plenty of fresh vegetables but occasionally when she is fussy this sauce packs a lot in! 
My personal recipe goes something like this:

Take a good glug of olive oil and gently fry a medium onion with a small clove of crushed garlic, I see some slicing of garlic in recipes but I prefer the good, intense garlic taste that crushing gives a dish.  Toddler ND is well used to garlic and onions in her food thankfully as we eat a lot of them!

Next grate 2 medium carrots, ½ a large courgette or 1 small one and a 2″ chunk of sweet potato and saute with the onions and garlic for a few minutes without browning. 

Add chopped tomatoes, I really love Sainsbury’s Polpa Fine, they are just right in texture, the 500ml box is perfect for this recipe, but if I have a glut of tomatoes I will roast some the day before, whiz them up a little in the blender and use those.  Even if I don’t have a glut I will often use fresh tomatoes, just depends how fast I need to whip this up!

Then add around 200ml of vegetable stock (I make 300ml in case I need a little extra), I like the Kallo brand, its gluten free too, a teaspoon of tomato puree and ½ teaspoon each of basil and oregano completes the dish. 

Simmer for around half an hour, then freeze into small batches and either add to other dishes or add rice to make mini toddler “chilli” with kidney beans or pasta for a “bolognaise”-type meal.   This recipe is ideal for toddlers as it makes a lovely sweet sauce but is chock full of vegetables in disguise!

For us, I use the same recipe, rehydrate sun-dried tomatoes in boiling water,  saute in olive oil and another clove of garlic (I love the aroma of freshly crushed garlic so much I could dab it behind my ears!), add to the sauce and whiz it up till smooth.  I like to freeze this so I have a quick rich sauce that can be defrosted fast and have other ingredients thrown in, prawns being a favourite of mine.  It is great on its own though run through olive oil coated pasta.  Simple, very tasty and full of goodness.  Season as you wish with black pepper or whatever you love!  Bon Appetit!

Nutritional Info:
Onion – B1, B6, Folic Acid, C, Chromium, Copper, Manganese, Molybdenum, Phosphorus, Pottasium, Iron, Selenium, Sulphur Compounds,  Flavonoids, Fibre –  rich in Quercetin
Garlic – Manganese, B1, B6, C, Phosphorus, anti-viral, anti-bacterial , selenium, calcium, copper
Olive oil
Tomato – Vitamin A, C, E, K, B1, B2, B6, Folic Acid, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Iron (little), Lycopene, Lutein, Phosphorus, Zinc
Courgette – Vitamin A, C, Manganese, Potassium, Magnesium, Vitamin K, Folate
Sweet Potato – Beta carotene, B1, B3, B5,B6, C, E, Biotin, Folic Acid, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Phosphorus, Selenium, Zinc, Fibre

Carrots Beta-carotene, Vitamin A, B-complex, E, K, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese and phosphorus.