Infant Iron Muffins

Eli enjoying his iron muffins with grapefruit (citrus increases iron absorption!)

Eli enjoying his iron muffins with grapefruit (citrus increases iron absorption!)

As I’ve mentioned before, I started Eli on a hybrid of BLW. I have a little issue with messes, so baby cereal wasn’t really on my radar for a BLW item. While he was getting some red meat and spinach, his iron intake was pretty minimal. I am breastfeeding, so by 6 months he really needed an iron supplement. I did introduce some spoon-fed iron-fortified cereal, but there were so many other real foods I wanted to give him, that I decided to get him an iron supplement. Well, until he tried the supplement – and proceeded to vomit it everywhere (and stain his cute PJs). So, back to the iron cereal, right? Wrong. Turns out I can’t make it thick enough for him anymore – if it’s thin, he gets mad he can’t chew it and just plays with it in his mouth, spitting out most of it. And he’s started to grab the spoon to feed himself. Which works great when something solid is on the spoon, but not so great when it’s a runny mess. But then it hit me – make infant cereal muffins. I did a little search and there are a few people out there who have done it already, but none of them put iron supplement in theirs. I asked an RD friend who confirmed I could cook with the supplement, so I was set. The end result – nothing you’d buy in the store, but perfect for Eli. It was bland (which is what you want for infants) and had a strange greenish-brown color, but it didn’t taste much like iron and he loves them. I put them in mini muffin tins, so he is able to handle the whole muffin all by himself. Each one has about 75% of his daily iron needs, so I’m satisfied with not having to force feed him any other iron supplements. I kept 5 out for the week and froze the rest, with the plan of just taking them out when I need them.

 iron muffins (4)Baby Iron Muffins
Makes about 30 mini muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup baby cereal (I used happy bellies multigrain)
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 15oz-can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup butter or coconut oil
  • 15ml liquid iron supplement

Directions

  1. iron muffins (3)Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray
  2. Mix cereal oats, baking soda, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl.
  3. Cream butter and eggs in a large bowl. Mix in pumpkin, applesauce  and iron supplement together. Fold in dry ingredients.
  4. Spoon batter into each muffin cup. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the edges are pulling away.

Notes
– I noticed that these took awhile for the center to be completely done. Be sure the tooth pick comes out clean! If you used instant oats instead of old fashioned you might have better luck – let me know if you try this!

– Technically babies aren’t supposed to have eggs until 1 year – use at your own risk.

Advertisements

Black Bean Brownies to Die For

blackbean brownies

These owey-gooey brownies are possibly the most delicious thing I have ever tasted. They are rich, fudgey, and moist. And what is even better – they are made with black beans so you can actually say they are healthy. I don’ think it gets any better than this (and I swear this isn’t only coming from a pregnant woman!). J took them to work and didn’t tell anyone that they were made with black beans. they were gone in an hour and everyone was raving about them all day. The people he works at aren’t your typical “health nuts” and would probably haven’t given them a shot if they knew they contained black beans. Let’s just say their lunches occasionally consist of a bag of doritos, little Debbie snack, and a mountain dew. You get the idea.

If you have dietary restrictions, these may be the recipe you’ve been waiting for. They are gluten-free dairy-free, egg-free, and vegan. Usually when I see that list I run and hide and think there is absolutely NO WAY they could taste like a real brownie – but they do!

Black Bean Brownies
Recipe slightly modified from Chocolate Covered Kate

blackbean brownies2

Ingredients

  • 1 15-oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
    (be sure they are gluten-free if you need)
  • 1/2 cup honey
    (use maple syrup or agave if you are vegan)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup add-is: chocolate chips, caramel pieces, nuts, etc… whatever you are in the mood for.

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 9″ x 9″ pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Combine all the ingredients except the add-ins into a food processor and blend until completely smooth (about 2 minutes).
  3. Stir in the other add-ins. Pour into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes*. Let cool completely. Enjoy!

*the original recipe says only 15-18 minutes. I did 18 minutes but the toothpick was still coming out with moist batter. I thought maybe it had to cool and would firm up, but after 20 minutes of cooling they were still the consistency of under-cooked cookies. I put them back in for 5 or 10 more minutes (I can’t remember….sorry!) and then they firmed up perfectly. I think the difference is when you use oil vs coconut oil. The coconut oil is solid at room temp and makes items more dense. If you choose to use coconut oil, then you can expect them to finish closer to 15 minutes, where canola oil users can expect them to finish closer to 25 minutes.

Peanut Butter Bean Bars

The second I saw these blondies I had to make them. Then I reminded myself that all thing in moderation and I decided to wait a few weeks. Well worth the wait. These dense, delicious treats taste nothing like beans and completely like peanut butter cookies. This is the perfect way to sneak in extra fiber and nutrition while also cutting out unnecessary starch. You’re family will never guess these are grain-free.

peanutbutterbeanbars3

Delicious Peanut Butter Bean Bars
Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen’s Flour-less Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies

Ingredients

  • 1 (15oz) can garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 ts baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup chopped nuts*
    the original recipe called for chocolate chips but I wanted something less sweet. You can use anything here, or omit this all together. 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a small square baking pan (8″ x 8″) with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, chop the nuts if they are not yet chopped. Remove and set aside.
  3. Spray the food processor with cooking spray (lightly). Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor and process on high  until the batter is smooth (this took about 5 minutes).
  4. Add nuts and fold in with a spatula.
  5. Spread mixture into the baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned and pull from the sides.
  6. Cool in the pan completely. Cut into 12 squares. Enjoy!

Note: if you want to make edible cookie dough or cookie dough dip, stop after step 4. The dough is completely safe to eat at this point. Perfect for pregnant moms-to-be who miss their raw cookie dough 🙂

Lemon summer squash olive oil bread

I love quick breads. The tender crumb and sweet flavor leave me thinking “just one more piece.” I usually make zucchini bread and pumpkin bread throughout the late summer and winter. This year we haven’t been getting much zucchini; instead, we are getting boat loads of patty pan squash. I found this summer squash bread recipe on pinterest and knew it would be the perfect trial run for patty pan squash bread.

I never used to make dishes with lemon – sweet dishes were always cinnamon-spiced or chocolate. A few years ago my naive palate found a delicious poppy seed lemon cake and I was hooked instantly.  Few things are as delicious as freshly baked lemon quick bread. I hope you enjoy this wonderful treat!

2013-08-10 14.10.34Lemon Summer Squash Olive Oil Bread

Bread Recipe From Dula Notes
Note: I did not make the lemon crunch glaze but you can visit the link above if you’d like to add it.

Ingredients

  • 1 C. all-purpose flour
  • 1 C.  whole wheat flour
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. ground ginger
  • 1/4 t. freshly ground nutmeg
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 C. granulated sugar
  • 1 C. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 t. pure lemon extract
  • 2 1/2 C. grated summer squash (about 2 small or 1 medium summer squash)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray 2 loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Grate summer squash and place between 2 towels to remove excess moisture
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  4. In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, and olive oil. Beat well on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add lemon extract and mix until incorporated.
  5. Add the dry ingredients while beating on low. Once combined, increase to medium speed and mix for 30 seconds. Mix in grated squash until combined.
  6. Divide between the 2 prepared pans. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the top begins to crack and the sides pull away.
  7. Remove from baking pan after 5 minutes of cooling and move to a cooling rack.

The loaf is very moist with patty pan squash, so I stored it in the refrigerator after a day. Since it makes 2 loaves, I recommend wrapping one in plastic cling wrap and putting it into a freezer bag. Store in the freezer for up to a few months.

Lemon Walnut Cake with Berries [gluten-free]

Flourless Walnut Cake with Lemon Frosting and Fresh Berries
Adapted from Simply Recipe’s Flourless almond cake

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs, separated into 4 yolks and 4 whites
  • 1/2 tsp pure lemon extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup white sugar, divided into 1/4 cup and 1/4 cup
  • 1 1/2 cup ground walnut flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder (freshness counts!)
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Fresh berries

    Frosting:
  • 1 8-ounce package of neufchatel cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pure lemon extract
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Directions

  1. Separate the eggs directly from the refrigerator; they separate better then cold. You need the egg whites to be room temperature when you use them later, so separate them first, place the egg yolks in a medium bowl and the whites in a large bowl. 
  2. Preheat over to 350F. Place a round of parchment paper on the bottom of a 9″ cake pan. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.
    **Using a springform pan can help make removing the cake from the pan much easier. I did not and my cake wouldn’t come out in one piece 😦
  3. walnut cake2Add lemon extract and 1/4 cup to the egg yolks. Beat well until smooth.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk flour, cinnamon, and baking powder. Add to the egg yolk bowl and beat until smooth. Your mixture will be thick (see picture).
  5. With clean beaters that are room temperature, begin beating the egg whites on low speed. Slowly increase the speed to medium until you see bubbles. At this point, add a pinch of salt and the vinegar. Continue to beat, but now on high. The egg whites with now appear white instead of clear and will start looking thicker. As they increase in volume, sprinkle 1/4 cup of sugar to help stabilize. Continue to beat until “soft peaks” form. These are when you stop the beaters and lift them out the egg white mixture will peak up and then fold back on itself. I tried to take pictures, but this is a much better resource.
    walnut cake - egg whiteswalnut cake - egg whites 3walnut cake - egg whites 6

 
walnut cake - egg whites 9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Fold the beaten egg whites into the almond mixture, one large spoonful at a time. After a few spoonfuls you will notice the egg whites are “lifting” the dense batter you started with.
  2. Carefully pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 35 minutes. Let cool. To help remove the cake from the pan, use a knife around the edges.
    walnut cake - baked
  3. To make the frosting, beat neufchatel cheese, powdered sugar, lemon extract, and lemon juice. If the batch makes more than what you need, you can store the extra in the refrigerator.
  4. When the cake is cool, frost with lemon frosting and top with fresh berries.

walnut cake - mini (3)

Unfortunately, my cake crumbled to pieces when I tried to remove it. My solution? Press the nice, light cake into cupcake paper, add lemon cream, and top with berries You could eat it like this, but I wanted to see if I could get it to form together, so I baked it at 350F for 15 minutes. It worked well, but the cake is fine, so be sure to eat it with a fork, even though it is a cupcake.

Looking for some other ideas to use up your summer berries? Check these out:

White balsamic custard tart

Strawberry shortcake shooters

Roasted Summer Fruit Pizza

Summer Berry Tartlets

Kale Brownies

image (1)

When I heard kale was in our CSA last week, I wasn’t sure what to think. It has a less than appetizing flavor raw and an odd texture when cooked. I had tried kale chips before, which are super tasty, but not ideal when making a bunch of kale at once (they are easy to burn and need to be eaten fresh out of the oven). Last year I pinned a recipe for kale brownies, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to try this recipe. The original recipe was a little heavier (and more unhealthy) than I wanted to make. I search around some more and noticed that really all people seemed to do was add blended/pureed kale to their standard brownie recipes.

I’ve posted before about a delicious No Pudge Brownie recipe that is fat-free and relatively low-sugar. These brownies are great, and not just as a “healthy” brownie recipe. When I worked at the hospital, we made these for a local rural county fair a few years ago. We walked around and asked people if they wanted to try one. We didn’t say we were dietitians or that the brownies were healthy – we just asked if they wanted to try a brownie. They were a hit! People were shocked to find out they were actually quite healthy.

Fast forward to the kale – I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to try kale brownies. The result was actually pretty good. I could smell the kale, which wasn’t really that great, but they seemed to taste good! I noticed that when they sat at room temperature the smell of kale was extra strong. The solution? Freeze them. This solved the problem completely and made for a super tasty cold treat. Next time I make them I am going to cut them up into bite-size pieces and freeze them as “Brownie Bites.”

Kale Brownies

Ingredients

  • image (2)3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour (half white, half whole wheat)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup non-fat plain yogurt (no added sugar or artificial sweetener)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 large bunch of kale

image (3)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8×8 pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Wash kale and remove woody stems. Tear or chop up the kale and place in a food processor. Pulse kale into small pieces. Puree kale.
  3. Add plain yogurt to the kale mixture and push kale down so none of the kale is stuck on the sides. Puree until smooth.
  4. image (4)Add egg whites and vanilla. Puree until smooth.
  5. image (5)Mix all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Be sure to mix so all ingredients are evenly distributed.  Add dry mixture to food processor and pulse until evenly distributed.
  6. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  7. Remove and let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and finish cooling on a drying rack.

Best Oatmeal Cookies Around

100_1442

I posted about these cookies back in 2009. They are hands-down, the best cookies I have ever eaten. What’s even better? They are hands-down the easiest cookies I have ever made. Healthy +  Delicious + Simple – what more could you ask for??

I have an unhealthy love for dried fruit and nuts, so we don’t tend to keep them around the house. Because of that, I have started to make these cookies without the add-ins and they are just as tasty. I also thought the original recipe was a little too sweet, so I modified the sugar a bit….well, half, so not just a bit. Don’t worry, they are still very sweet (even without the add-ins)!

Delicious and Nutritious Oatmeal Cookies
Ingredients:
– 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
– 1/3 cup all purpose flour
– 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/2 cup butter, softened
– 1/2 cup brown sugar
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 1 egg
– 1 1/2 cups oats

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix flours, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add vanilla and eggs; mix well.
  4. Slowly add the dry mixture to the butter mixture, beating on low. Beat until well mixed (and then place the beaters on high to get the rest off).
  5. Add oats and mix well with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
  6. Drop dough onto a cookie sheet; leave about 2″ apart.
  7. Bake 8-10 minutes, until edges are golden.

Avocado meets Chocolate

That’s right – avocado and chocolate, together at last. When I saw this recipe on Two Peas and Their Pod I thought of the overly ripe avocado sitting in the refrigerator and new I had to make these. I had been keeping the avocado to put in my hair as a conditioning treatment, but this seemed like a much better use of those monounsaturated, heart-healthy fats. These vegan-friendly cookies are fudgy heaven and taste nothing like avocado. I would describe them as a mix between a fudge brownie and a soft cookie.  The best part of all? They are actually good for…so good for you that I give you permission to have them for breakfast 😉

I modified the original recipe, so I can’t really say how the original would turn out. My modifications included:

  • I used whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour, which increased the baking time. This increased the fiber and lets you count your cookie as a whole grain 🙂
  • I used 1/2 cup avocado instead of 1/4 avocado and 1/4 coconut oil. I am not 100% sold on this coconut oil craze and I didn’t have any on hand. I think the entire avocado makes it healthier since it is loaded with monounsaturated fats.
  • I cut the sugar in half
  • I omitting the chocolate chips (I didn’t have any on-hand).

Below is the recipe I made.

Avocado Chocolate Cookies

image (2)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup mashed, ripe avocado
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup almond milk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray 2 baking sheets with non-stick spray, or cover with parchment paper.
  2. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa to a medium bowl. Mix well.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the avocado and sugar until smooth (no gritty pieces!). Add the vanilla extract and beat well.
  4. While beating on low, add 1/2 the flour mixture. Once mixed well, add the milk and the remaining flour mixture (beating on low the entire time). Mix until the flour disappears.
  5. Using a tablespoon, form balls and place on the prepared pans. Flatten the balls slightly. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until set on the edges.
  6. Let the cookie cool on the pan for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Let cool completely.

I found that these taste better the next day. By all means, try them fresh out of the oven, but wait to make your final judgement until the next day. Enjoy!

 

Banana Bars

A few months ago I posted about the most delicious Banana Oat Muffins. Not only are they delicious, but they are probably the easiest muffins I have ever made. I think my favorite thing about these muffins is that they use those over-ripe bananas that you need to find something, anything, to do with so you don’t need to throw them in the garbage.

photo (4)

We started to run low on my last batch, so last weekend I decided to make some more. I tripled the recipe, so I could keep them in the freezer for whenever we need a snack. I also wanted to try to cut the sugar and egg content. Sugar is just a sweetener in this recipe, so cutting it out shouldn’t change the texture. Eggs, on the other hand are what help keep the bars together, so it is risky to cut them out without a replacement. One option is to just use egg whites instead of the whole egg. Another option. is to substitute with some flax seed or chia seeds. I had chia seeds on hand, so I opted for the later option. After I mixed everything up I realized it would take all evening to make these one muffin tray at a time. I decided to try making these into bars and they worked great.

Super Simple Banana Bars

Bulk Recipe

Ingredients

  • 7.5 cups of old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tbsp baking soda
  • 3 cup of fat-free plain yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp chia seed
  • 9 ripe bananas

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and spray 2 baking pans with cooking spray.
  2. Place oats in a food processor and pulse until they are very fine chunks – not quite flour, but very small pieces. Pour into a large bowl. Add the baking powder, baking soda, and sugar. Mix well.
  3. Place the remaining ingredients in the food processor and process until well blended.
  4. Divide batter evenly between the two pans.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top and edges are lightly browned (I did 25 minutes).
  6. Let cool for 5 minutes and then carefully transfer from the pan to a cooling rack. Cut into bars once cool.
  7. If you plan to  freeze them, individually wrap them with plastic cling wrap and place into a freezer bag or large plastic container.

Homemade Girl Scout Samoas

These are not healthy. At all. But this recipe is one of those things that when you see it you can’t NOT do something about it.  The recipe is by Just a Taste, which I found on pinterest. Oh, how I love pinterest – I am pretty sure I’d be a much better med student if it didn’t exist…but my belly, husband, and blog would not be nearly as happy. Save this for a rainy day and enjoy in moderation.

Homemade Samoas Girl Scout Cookies