Kale Chips

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Did you know that only 4% of Australians get enough veggie everyday?
It’s really important to introduce children to their vegetables, but we all understand how hard it can be. Just remember to keep trying and introduce them in different ways without pressure.

I would also suggest registering for the Try for 5 challenge by Nutrition Australia. When you sign up, you receive emails with loads of tips on how to incorporate veggies into your daily meals!

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In light of the Try for 5 challenge, I also decided to share my easy recipe for kale chips. If your child likes food with a crispy texture, why not give this a try!

Ingredients

1 bunch of kale
2 tbsp olive oil
salt
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
any other herbs or spices

Method

 

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line 2 oven trays with baking paper.

Wash the kale and trim the leaves off the stem. Tear the leaves into even pieces (don’t make them too small as they will shrink) and dry thoroughly with kitchen paper. A salad spinner will be handy for this.

Mix oil, salt, cheese and other spices in a bowl and add the kale. Toss to coat.

Spread the kale evenly on the baking paper and bake for 10-15 minutes (swapping trays in between) or until leaves are crisp but not burnt.

I was amazed at how crisp the kale was, though I thought there could have been more cheese! 😀

-R.L.

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No Recipe Nutritious Snacks Ideas

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Source: Flickr

I bet we’ve all seen those amazingly complicated snacks that parents prepare for children, which require hours in the kitchen.

The fact is mums and dads are terribly busy, and though those snacks may look amazing, many people just don’t have the time.

So I thought I’d sort a list of quick nutritious snacks that require minimal preparation or can be easily bulk prepared before hand. These yummy, yet quick ideas will keep your kids satisfied without you reaching out for processed snacks and drinks!

  1. Fresh fruit (probably the quickest option)

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    Source: Pixabay

  2. Pure nut butter + toast
  3. Roasted nuts + dried fruit
  4. Veggie stalks (bell peppers, cucumber, carrots, celery) + hummus
  5. Yogurt + berries
  6. Cup of milk + cocoa powder (remember to choose the ones with no sugar)
  7. Cheese + crackers
  8. Oats + milk
  9. Cheese + toast
  10. Peas + corn + butter
  11. Fruit + Nut butter
  12. Boiled eggs (these can be pre-cooked and kept in the fridge for a few days) + salt & pepper OR soy sauce
  13. Smashed avocado + canned tuna + crackers
  14. Baked sweet potato chips
  15. Seaweed (try to get ones that aren’t flavoured to skip the sugar & flavourings)

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    Source: Pixabay

  16. Roasted chick peas or broad beans
  17. Popcorn (buy natural ones and slightly flavour them yourself w/ butter or salt)
  18. Fruit & yogurt popsicles
  19. Homemade fruit smoothie (bananas, dates, cooked sweet potato/pumpkin are all good natural sweeteners)
  20. Edamame beans (The frozen ones only need 2-3 minutes in the microwave and they taste great salted or eaten as they are)

 

If you have any other good suggestion, please comment and let me know!

-R.L.

Peanut Butter Berry French Toast

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As fancy as this may look, it’s actually a really simple recipe that you can whip up in less than 15 mins (maybe longer if the kids are helping). The ingredients don’t have any fancy ‘superfoods’ and can be easily accessed from your local supermarket. I don’t use any added sugar in this recipe, but you can add some honey or your own sweetener if you wish. If you want to go for something natural, pairing this with bananas it also great!

I used blueberries because I happened to have some, but you could always change them to any berries that are in season, or even bananas.

Ingredients

2 slices of wholewheat toast (or any toast of your choice)
1 large egg
1 tbsp milk (you can skip this to make it dairy-free)
handful of berries
nut butter (I used peanut butter, w/o added sugar & oil)
pinch of cinnamon (optional)
natural yogurt (try to look for ones w/o added sugar)
butter

Method

Beat the egg, milk and cinnamon together in a shallow wide bowl. Spread the peanut butter onto one side of the toast and dunk the other side into the egg mixture.

Heat some butter in a fry pan (I used non-stick) and place a piece of toast into the pan, peanut butter side facing up. Throw a bunch of blueberries onto the toast and place the other piece of toast on top, pressing them together with a spatula.

When one side has browned nicely, carefully flip the stack over and pan fry the other side. Use a spatula or press the two pieces of toast together, or do what I did and put a plate on top.

Cut the toast in half to serve. Top with yogurt, more berries, nuts, cinnamon or anything you like.

This recipe is definitely not just for kids. Double or triple the portion for a lovely weekend family breakfast!

-R.L.

 

Zucchini Almond Fritters

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These gluten-free almond zucchini fritters are quick to whip up and amazingly tasty! Adding the almond meal not only helps the fritters stick together, they also add a natural sweet taste. They are really simple to make, so I would always recommend getting the kids involved.

Ingredients
1 medium zucchini
20g almond meal
1 egg
a pinch of dried basil
salt
black pepper
extra virgin olive oil

Method

 

Coarsely grate the zucchini, add a pinch of salt and set aside. Meanwhile, beat the egg and add mix in the almond meal, basil and black pepper.

Squeeze out as much water as possible out of the zucchini with your hands and kitchen paper if required. It’s OK if there’s still a bit of moist, but do try your best to get the water out because it will prevent the fritters from falling apart.

Add the zucchini to the egg mixture and fold together.

Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat with olive oil. Once the oil is hot, scoop the mixture onto the pan, lightly pressing into a  1 cm thick round patty. Cook the zucchini fritters for 2-3 minutes on each side or until they are slightly browned.

Serve warm, topped with yogurt, avocado, or anything you fancy!

-R.L.

Turmeric Rice

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Turmeric rice is a great way of adding flavour to your normal rice. Traditional turmeric rice often calls for many more spices, but when you’re short of time, I think this version is sufficient for an amazing result.

When cooking rice, you can always mix different grains, such as beans, lentils and various types of rice. This can introduce a wider range of foods and nutrients into your child’s diet and get them used to different food textures!

Ingredients
brown/mixed grain rice  3 cups
water  4.5cups (or your usual amount of water)
turmeric powder  1 tablespoon
cardamom powder
star anise  2 cloves

Method

Rinse the rice and fill with appropriate amount of water. Add the turmeric and cardamom powder and lightly mix with a spoon before adding the star anise.

If your rice requires soaking, do so after adding the spices. I think this lets the flavours get in a bit more. I often like to soak my rice for 2 hours, but it really depends on your personal preference.

Cook rice in a rice cooker. When done, remove the star anise and loosen the rice with a spoon. Cover and leave on warm setting for 10 minutes.

Serve rice warm or leave to cool before storing in an air-tight container in the fridge.

-R.L.

Father’s Day Special: Rosemary Soda Bread

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Happy Father’s Day to all the amazing dads out there!!

Why not wack up this super simple soda bread together today. It will take less than 20 minutes to prepare and around 40 minutes in the oven. No proving and waiting for hours. All it involves is mixing, which means it’s very kid friendly.

This recipe draws from Jamie Oliver’s Rye Soda Bread, but I used Greek yogurt (not to be confused with Greek style yogurt) instead of normal natural yogurt. I also added dried rosemary to give it that extra boost, the kitchen will smell so nice while it’s baking. If you happen to grow spices in the garden, why not get the kids to help pick them. You can also change the spices around depending on what you fancy!

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Ingredients
250g wholewheat flour
100g rye flour
50g rolled oats
1 teaspoon bi-carb soda
1 egg
275g Greek yogurt or 300g natural yogurt
roughly 2 tablespoons dried or fresh rosemary

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper.

In a large bowl, mix the flours, oats, bi-carb soda and rosemary together. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and yogurt together and then add it to the flours. Mix with a wooden spoon until you start to see a dough form. It’s normal for it to be slightly moist.

Lightly flour your hands and shape the dough into a round disc, around 3-4 cm deep. Use a knife to draw a 1 cm deep cross on top of the dough and then lightly dust the top with flour.

Bake the dough for 40-45 minutes and watch the dough magically rise! You can check whether it’s done by tapping on the bottom of the bread, it should sound hollow.

Cool on a rack and serve warm with anything you like (My personal favourite is smashed avocado). Any leftovers can be put in the fridge for 2-3 days, and can be warmed in the oven for breakfast, lunch or even afternoon tea.

-R.L.

Super Easy Banana Bread

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Getting kids involved in the kitchen is a great way for them to get to know new foods and fiddle around with them.

This banana bread is really easy to make and its sweetness comes purely from the bananas. Feel free to let the kids help out, and you can always change the toppings and flavours to open kids up to new textures and tastes.

Ingredients
50g wholewheat flour
50g almond meal (equal amounts of rye or wholewheat flour also works fine)
1 teaspoon  baking powder
1 medium ripe banana
2 eggs

Optional Add-ins
Berries
Nuts & seeds
Cocoa powder
Matcha powder
Ground cinnamon
Ground ginger
(the list is endless….)

Method
Preheat the oven to 180 Celsius. Line a small baking pan or an oven-proof container with baking paper.

Sift the flours, baking powder into a large bowl. If you’re planning you add some flavour, such as cocoa powder, do so now and mix well. In a separate bowl mash the banana with a fork, add the eggs, and beat them together.Add the wet ingredients to the flour and mix well.

Pour the mixture into the pan and even it out with a spoon or spatula. Top with nuts, fruits or anything you like and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

Slightly cool it on a rack and enjoy warm.

Leftovers can be put in the fridge for a few days, but trust me, they won’t last that long.

-R.L.