Category Archives: yummy breakfasts

Avocado & Caramel Breakfast Smoothie

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FullSizeRenderThis creamy breakfast smoothie is a regular in our household and one that you really must try out the next time you buy avocados. Not only is it super healthy and downright delicious, but I had Keya asking me for ‘some more please’ when she was done. Doesn’t it just warm your heart when your child genuinely appreciates what you cooked for them? It is such an easy recipe to whip up on a busy weekday morning and a great way to feed avocado to a child who might otherwise resist eating plain avocado. I added a small pinch of cocoa powder for a richer brown colour. Feel free to leave this out if you want 🙂

Nutrition report: Avocado is a hi-fiber superfood rich in Vitamin B &K, Potassium, Folate and Copper. It is a great source of mono unsaturated (good) fats and is great for good hair and skin health. Full fat cow’s milk is rich in calcium, protein and vitamins.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1-1/2 cups of cold full fat cows milk
  • 2 tbsp Honey + 1 tbsp brown sugar / OR / 2 tbsp of store-bought caramel syrup
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder, sifted (optional)

To make:

  1. Peel, de-seed and scoop the flesh of one ripe avocado into your blender. Add a few spoons of milk and puree till super smooth.
  2. Add the remaining milk , honey and brown sugar and sifted cocoa powder (if using) and blend till nicely combined.
  3. Pour into your childs favourite glass and serve cold 🙂

Enjoy!

 

 

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Keya’s favourite Butterfly French Toast

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IMG_4586Hmm. It has been a rather long time since my last post. But boring you guys with the sad story of how every blogger faces writers block (sometimes for days weeks ok fine, months!) is not going to be fun, so I am going to dive straight to this super-easy-super tasty breakfast recipe for toddlers, pre-schoolers and pretty much anyone who likes to have some fun with their breakfast 🙂

The first time I shared photos of this recipe with friends, they all asked me where I got my uber cute butterfly mold/ cutter from… A ha! There is no mold. It is a slice of regular whole wheat bread that I simply shaped with my fingers 🙂 This is hands down Keya’s latest favourite-est weekend breakfast. It is bread dunked in a delicious egg-cinnamon mixture and fried in a small knob of melted butter. I highly recommend adding the orange zest as it tastes SOOO good! Decorate your cooked french toast with some berries and Voila! you have a healthy, gorgeous looking breakfast!

Nutrition report: Whole wheat bread is an excellent source of fiber and carbohydrates. Eggs are one of the few foods considered to be a complete protein, because they contain all 9 essential amino acids. They are also rich in Iron and Vitamins A,D & E. Cinnamon is rich in magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, and potassium and helps fight common colds and coughs.

 

Untitled-1 copyIngredients:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 tsp brown or white sugar
  • Salt, one small pinch
  • Finely grated orange zest (optional)
  • 2-3 slices whole wheat bread
  • Small knob butter (salted or unsalted)
  • Strawberries, blueberries to decorate
  • 2-3 toothpicks, cut in half
  • Honey to drizzle over if needed

 

 

 

To make:

  1. Whisk the egg in a bowl. Add the cinnamon, sugar, salt and orange zest together in a bowl and whisk until well combined and the mix is smooth and lump-free.
  2. Place a slice of bread on your work surface and pinch the sides as shown in the photo above to create the butterfly shape.
  3. Heat a non-stick fry pan and add a small knob of butter and swirl it around to melt it. Dunk the bread into the egg mixture and press down allowing it to soak in a bit of the egg mix. Turn it over to soak the second side.
  4. Working quickly, transfer the bread into the frying pan carefully- try not to splash! Fry the first side and flip it over to cook second side. Repeat with remaining slices.
  5. While the bread cooks, prepare the strawberries by removing stems and slicing in half.
  6. Transfer the cooked bread to a plate and decorate the wings with strawberries. Use blueberries to make the body. Stick toothpick halves into 2 of the blueberries to make the antennae.

Drizzle over a little bit of honey if desired and serve immediately 🙂 Keya likes this best alongside a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice 🙂

 

Buckwheat, Coconut & Banana Pancakes

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photo 1 (2)Those who have been reading my blog might notice that once I try out a new ingredient for Keya I tend to become a teeny-tiny bit obsessed with coming up with different ways to serve it to her 🙂 First it was Quinoa, now its… (drumroll)… Buckwheat!

I’ve recently become fascinated with vegan & gluten-free recipes because they’re opening up a whole new range of ingredients for me. Not saying buckwheat is a food only vegans and / or gluten-free folks enjoy, but it definitely (based on my reading) features more often than not on their blogs, websites and cookbooks.

Having grown up in India, I am familiar with a wide variety of grains – jowar(sorghum), bajra (pearl millet), ragi (finger millet), oats, dalia (broken wheat) to name a few. Although buckwheat flour, aka kuttu ka atta is used in northern India to make delicious roti’s I somehow heard about it for the first time only after we moved to Singapore. I was surprised to know it existed in Indian cuisine, but then again it is entirely possible to spend your whole life in India and not know about certain ingredients that may be very common in one part of the country but unheard of in the other!

Nevertheless, it is a fantastically healthy, supremely tasty super seed (YES! it isn’t a grain although the name suggests it might be!) and its definitely something I was very excited to introduce to Keya (and her dad & me ofcourse!).

Cooking enthusiasts like your’s truly, have a compulsive need to keep tweaking recipes each time they make them. This morning as I pulled ingredients together for Keya’s usual buckwheat & banana pancakes, I added some coconut flour to the batter… and the result was a super moist, coconutty – banana flavour …SO delicious!! And oh, if you don’t have any coconut flour, no worries! Use coconut milk powder instead!

Nutrition Report: Buckwheat is high in fiber and contains Iron, Niacin, Folate and even Vitamin K. Bananas contain fiber and potassium and are also high in Vitamin B6, Vitamin C and Vitamin B2. Eggs in the recipe ofcourse are rich in protein, iron and Vit. D.

photo 2 (2)Ingredients: (makes 8-9 mini pancakes)

– 3/4 cup buckwheat flour

– 2-3 tbsp coconut flour /or/ coconut milk powder

– 1/2 tsp sugar + a pinch of salt

– 1/2 tsp baking powder

– 1 med. banana, mashed

– 1 egg, beaten

– 1 tbsp olive oil / or / melted unsalted butter

– milk, as required to make the batter (approx. 1/2 to 3/4cup)

optional additions: chopped walnuts / chopped dried coconut flakes / raisins

photo 3Method:

1. Measure out and mix together all the dry ingredients in a bowl (buckwheat flour, coconut flour or powder, sugar, salt & baking powder). If using add the finely chopped nuts / coconut flakes to the bowl and stir to distribute into the dry mix.

2. In a seperate bowl whisk the egg till pale yellow and add the mashed banana and olive oil into it.

3. Make a well in the dry mix and pour the egg-banana-oil mixture to the middle and whisk gently. This will be an extremely sticky mixture. Add the milk in slowly in batches whisking after each addition till a smooth thick batter is achieved.

4. Heat a non-stick pan or skillet. Ladle the batter onto the hot griddle. Allow it to spread our naturally into a little circle (about 3or4″ dia). Lower the heat to medium and cook till the wet top side of the pancake sets and small holes appear. Flip and cook on the second side.

5. Stack up the cooked pancakes on a plate. Drizzle with some honey and dot with a knob of butter. Garnish with some fresh strawberries if you have any and watch your kid(s) squeal (mine did!) and excitedly dig in!  🙂 Happy eating!

Quinoa & Vegetable Cheela

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photoCheela” is the Indian version of a savoury pancake. It is extremely versatile in terms of the ingredients that one can use and when made with little or no oil, is a super healthy breakfast, brunch or lunch option for kids and adults alike.

The traditional cheela that my mum makes is primarily made with besan or chick-pea flour, green chillies and spices. It is typically pretty spicy and can be a bit greasy if your not careful with how much oil you add while cooking it. Inspired from a recipe that my friend Preeti shared with me for buckwheat flour cheelas, I tested out the cheela using Quinoa flour as that is what I already had. The results were finger licking good! Keya loves her Quinoa cheela with a bowl of chilled plain yoghurt to go with it!

The range of vegetables that one can add to a cheela helps you flavour them differently, as well as sneak in vegetables that might not be your toddler’s/ child’s favourite but are super good for them.  The ones that I usually mix into the batter are – grated carrot, broccoli or cauliflower, cabbage, very finely chopped french beans and onion. How you combine these is totally upto you. I usually add a little olive oil or ghee to the batter, so I dont really need to add any to ‘fry’ them as they cook. For folks in Singapore, Bob’s Redmill Quinoa flour is available at Mustafa and Cold storage. Also – I add a little chickpea flour to the batter as it helps to keep the cheela from breaking when you flip it during the cooking.

Last week, I finally managed to buy some buckwheat flour (Bob’s red mill brand sold at Cold storage & Mustafa). The recipe works just as perfectly with Buckwheat the only real difference is the colour – the buckwheat cheela is a rich dark brown colour and takes just a wee bit longer to cook that the Quinoa cheela. 

Nutrition report: Quinoa is packed with fiber, calcium, iron and folate and is a fantastic source of vegetarian protein.  Shredded veggies pack in loads of flavor and vitamins. Buckwheat flour is gluten-free. It is a good source of protein, b-complex vitamins and minerals such as copper and magnesium which are important for the production of red blood cells. Much like quinoa, buckwheat is a good source of dietary fiber.

Ingredients (makes 2 to 3, 6″ cheelas):

– 2-1/2 heaped tbsp quinoa flour OR buckwheat flour

– 1/2 tbsp chick-pea flour (besan)

– 1 tsp cumin seeds

– a small pinch of carom seeds (ajwain)

– a small pinch of turmeric powder

– 1 tsp each of grated carrot, grated broccoli, grated cabbage & finely chopped onion,

– few sprigs of coriander, finely chopped

– 1 or 2 tsp of plain yoghurt (optional and can be avoided for a slightly crispier cheela)

– 1 tbsp light olive or vegetable oil

– salt, to taste

– water, as needed to create a thick cake-like batter

photoMethod:

1. In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients one by one in the above mentioned sequence, with water at the very end to create what should be a thick, kind of sticky looking batter.

2. Heat a non-stick frying pan or griddle on medium heat. Ladle abt 2-3 tablespoons of the batter onto the hot pan and help it spread out a little bit to form an approx 6″ round (avoid the temptation to spread it out too much, as it might break when you try to flip it over..) Cover the cheela and allow it to cook till the top sets and the first side is nicely browned.

3. Flip to cook the second side till that is browned to your liking as well.

Serve immediately along with a bowl of chilled yoghurt or ketchup. Enjoy!

Quinoa Pancakes with Orange zest

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photo 1As a working mum Monday to Friday is about following a schedule for Keya like clockwork. It’s the only way to not let the endless list of chores, errands and to-do-list for work related commitments overwhelm me. But  this also means a standard breakfast menu for Keya through the week. Eggs & orange juice, Fruit with yoghurt and Oats are the items Keya’s nanny is comfortable putting together for her through the week while I am away at the office. Weekends are the only real time where I can indulge Keya in one of her favourite breakfasts – Pancakes, that I usually make using home-made Oat flour. I was keen to experiment with Quinoa but finely ground Quinoa is a bit tricky to achieve using a food processor*.  So when I found organic Quinoa flour at Mustafa centre, I resolved to experiment with this wonderful ingredient.

I mixed Quinoa flour with the remaining standard pancake ingredients – eggs, milk, vanilla and baking powder to make a smooth batter. The batter tasted rather nutty and for a minute I was unsure if K would like it. So I added a teaspoon of brown sugar (use white if that is what you have at hand) and some orange zest, from the peels of the Orange I had juiced for her to drink with breakfast. The flavour combination was fantastic, and sure enough a big hit with my little foodie 🙂

*Indian dry grinders or  spice grinders will yeild better results for grinding hard seeds like Quinoa at home… and yes, Quinoa is infact a seed, not a grain… Something I myself learnt recently too!

Nutrition report:  Quinoa is packed with fiber, calcium, iron and folate and is a fantastic source of vegetarian protein. Eggs in the pancake are a great source of protein, calcium and iron.

 

photo 4Dry Ingredients:

– 1 cup Quinoa flour

– 1 tsp each : baking powder, ground cinnamon and brown/ white sugar

– 1 tsp fresh orange zest (from 1 orange)

Wet ingredients:

– 1 egg, whisked

– 1/2 to 3/4 cup milk

– 1 tsp vanilla extract  +  1 large tbsp Olive oil

Toppings:

– Butter and Honey or Maple Syrup

 

To make:

1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together. Set aside.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients.

3. Gently pour the wet mix into the dry and stir to make a smooth batter. If you find the batter a bit sticky add a little splash of milk to get it smooth.

4. Heat a non-stick pan on medium-low heat. Pour a small amount of batter on the pan. The batter spreads itself a little bit and then sets into a round. Wait for little holes to form on the top side and then flip the pancake to cook on 2nd side.

5. Stack up the cooked pancakes on a plate. Top with a knob of butter and drizzle on honey or maple syrup.  Serve along side some freshly squeezed Orange juice and then sit back and happily watch it all disappear into a greedy little baby’s belly 😀

 

photo 3

 

Avocado & Cheese Omelette

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12 (1)I owe the regular readers of this blog and friends who text/ call me for baby food ideas- the biggest apology. I’ve been telling a number of you about new recipes that I plan to post “this coming weekend” and dint make true of my promise.  Put simply – I went through a phase where the recipe ideas flowed but I had a case of serious writer’s block. But this afternoon, I’ve made a promise to myself — block or no block, recipes I shall post.

Avocado’s are considered as among nature’s most perfect food. It is also on the list of ideal first foods that a lot of nutritionists recommend for babies as they’re high in good fats that help in the healthy development of your baby’s brain and central nervous system.  They’re loaded with vitamins, contain important minerals such as potassium, calcium.

I introduced Keya to avocado’s in mashed form mixed with banana’s or steamed peaches at around 6 months of age. She loved the creamy texture but as she began to teeth, lost interest in it as she preferred food she could gum instead.

Let’s admit – although Avocado’s are packed with great stuff, its hard to tempt a curious toddler with its mild flavoured mash – at least that’s the challenge I have faced in the past few months. I started baking using avocado recently but have been trying to use it in something which was more routine – and then it hit me! The answer had been right before my eyes!

Mashed avocado in scrambled eggs or cheese omelette is AMAZING!  I’ve made 2 versions of this recipe – one, adding the mashed cado’s into the whisked eggs before cooking – for a proper avocado omelette. Another, of topping a cheesy omelette with fresh avocado slices. Both are equally delicious with only real difference being that the incorporated cado omelette has a slight greenish tinge.

Feel free to stir mashed avocado or pre-made thawed avocado puree into scrambled eggs just as they begin to set… I’ve tried that too, but haven’t taken a photo of that yet.  If you’re baby is under the age of 1 and you prefer to avoid the egg whites, just scrambled egg yolks and avocado will work just as well. Add a dollop of cream cheese (if available) and you’re good to go.  For toddlers and older kids I’d even recommend adding a few spoonfuls of avocado puree into your pancake batter…yum!

Nutrition report:  Great source of protein, calcium, multi-vitamins, potassium and iron.

BTW – Something is messed up with the wordpress text formatting … I am aware that some text appears larger than the rest and I have no idea why.. Please bear with me till I have it figured out and fixed.  Thanks!

Ingredients:

– 1 large Egg  (or only egg yolk for babies under 1)

– 1/2 a mashed avocado (Mash remaining avocado with a squirt of lime juice and freeze. For 1 egg yolk use abt 2 tsp of avocado puree)

– 2 tsp of grated cheddar cheese / OR / 1-2 tbsp of cream cheese

– Pinch of cracked black pepper. Salt is optional (as we’re using cheese)

12 (2)Method: (For Avocado Omelette)

1.   Heat a non-stick pan. Drizzle a wee bit of oil and swirl it around a little. 

2.  While the pan heats, whisk the egg with a fork till light and fluffy.  Stir in the mashed avocado and the cheese. Season with pepper.

3.  Pour the egg-avocado-cheese mixture in the middle of the pan and allow it to spread out into an omelette. Cook on a medium heat till the        top has set, flip and cook for a minute on the second side. DONE! 

Method: (For Scrambled eggs with avocado)

1.   Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat. Drizzle a dab of unsalted butter and swirl it around a little.

2.  While the pan heats, whisk the egg with a fork till light and fluffy. Add the cheese and mix well.

3.  Pour the egg mix into the centre of the melted butter (borrowing Ina Garten’s trick for fluffy scrambled eggs). Lower the heat and gently stir the eggs as they start to set.

4.  Add the mashed/ pureed avocado into the pan jusssst as the egg mix starts to set. Stir gently to evenly distribute the avocado into the eggs. Turn off the heat once cooked. Season with black pepper and DONE! 🙂

Baby’s Vanilla- Egg Custard

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photo 1A few mommy-pals of mine have been asking me for ways to offer eggs to their babies. Much like them, I have faced a situation where K got really bored of mashed boiled egg (yolk only till she turns 1), and scrambled egg. I have started to add these to her cerelac of late, when I am pressed for time as plain ol’ cerelac just doesn’t seem like enough nutrition for my active little monkey.

Home-made custard is another novel way of offering your baby eggs. Commercial custard powder is mostly cornstarch, so I prefer to steer clear of it… and with how easy this custard is to make – it hardly counts as effort… even for the sleepiest mommy on a sunday morning (like me!) Keya just laps this up when I serve it mixed with grated strawberries and blueberries 🙂

Nutrition report: Rich in Iron, Calcium, and Protein and Multi-vitamins from the added fruit.

Ingredients:

– 1 cup cow’s milk

– 1 egg yolk

– 2 tsp cornflour

– 1.5 tsp Sugar

– 1 tsp Vanilla extract ( 1.5 tsp if you want to camouflage the egg-iness further)

photo 2To make:

1.  In a saucepan, bring the milk and sugar up to a gentle simmer.

2.  While the milk heats, whisk the egg yolk and cornflour together in a bowl. Pour a little milk (1/4 cup) of the warm milk into the egg mixture and whisk till smooth.

3.  Pour the egg-cornflour-milk mixture back into the rest of the milk in the saucepan. Add the vanilla. Bring the custard up to a full boil while whisking continuously to avoid lumps. Keep stirring till the custard thickens (it will further thicken as it cools).

4.  Pour the custard into a jug/ bowl. Use a mesh sieve if you have any accidental lumps.

Cover it with plastic wrap – such that the plastic wrap touches the surface of the custard. This prevents the custard from forming a ‘skin’ on top as it cools. Chill the custard in the fridge till its time to serve.

This is delicious served with fresh fruit like – berries, bananas, apples, peeled oranges and also grapes!  Feel free to make this more “apple-y” by mixing some applesauce into the custard before you add fruit pieces. 

Enjoy!  🙂