Category Archives: Baking

Eat Well for Less: Healthier cheesecakes.

Cheesecake. It’s tasty, but it can be pretty high in calories. Now whilst I totally do not advocate calorie counting regularly, I do like having healthier alternatives to foods like this that mean I can make them without it being an extravagance.

So here is the much asked for recipe for those cheesecakes we made on Eat Well for Less. I made this for Christmas and it made a great lighter dessert.

Here is the video clip of Gregg, Chris and I in action making it.

 

Here is the recipe in all it’s glory.

Healthier Cheese Cakes
Yields 12
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
174 calories
14 g
59 g
11 g
4 g
5 g
53 g
93 g
7 g
0 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
53g
Yields
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 174
Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g
17%
Saturated Fat 5g
26%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 59mg
20%
Sodium 93mg
4%
Total Carbohydrates 14g
5%
Dietary Fiber 1g
5%
Sugars 7g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
8%
Vitamin C
1%
Calcium
4%
Iron
4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  2. 60g/2¼oz honey
  3. 120g/4½oz porridge oats, gluten-free, if required
  4. ½ tsp ground mixed spice
  5. 300g/10½oz fat-free Greek-style yoghurt
  6. 300g/10½oz lighter cream cheese
  7. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  8. ½ lemon, zest only
  9. 1 tbsp stevia
  10. 1 tbsp light soft brown sugar
  11. 1 tbsp cornflour
  12. 2 free-range eggs
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 170C/150C Fan/Gas 3½. Lightly grease a 12-hole muffin tin with some oil.
  2. Put the remaining oil and honey into a saucepan, heat until warm and runny.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the oats and mixed spice until completely coated.
  4. Divide the oats between the muffin tin holes, pressing down on the mixture to make a solid base.
  5. In a large bowl, mix together the yoghurt, cream cheese, vanilla extract, lemon zest, stevia, sugar and cornflour. Mix the eggs into the cream until smooth. Spoon evenly between the muffin holes on top of the oats.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until just set. (They should still wobble a little.) Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  7. Carefully remove the cheesecakes from the tin and top with fruit of your choice.
  8. Serve immediately or transfer to a sealed container and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Notes
  1. Truvia is fine to use in this recipe or you could swap the Stevia for another sweetener of your choice.
Adapted from BBC Food
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calories
174
fat
11g
protein
4g
carbs
14g
more
Adapted from BBC Food
Dietitian UK https://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/
A word of caution – these are portion controlled but very tasty, so you need 11 friends to share them with 😉 

Peanut Butter Cookies and Smart Snacking.

Snacking sensibly for me is a must. I need bucket loads of reliable energy to get me through my day. An average day for me involves 3 kids, much pilates and 1-2-1 dietetic clients. I don’t sit still for long, so crashing mid afternoon is not an option, especially as that’s the school run and my hungry time of day. So one thing I teach my clients and work on myself is balancing my snacks.

Yes fruit is fabulous, however it doesn’t keep me full for long or sustain my energy. So I pair it with protein or a wholegrain, higher fibre carb. Or if I’m feeling outrageous, I mix all three.  For me it is not about the calories or the macro’s but the balance. 

Satiety is the feeling of fullness that persists after eating. It affects the length of time between eating events and possibly the amount of energy consumed at the next. Protein  is filling and can help stabilise blood sugars. Fibre rich foods require more chewing so psychologically take longer to eat, they can displace other energy rich food and slow gastric emptying. 

Some of my favs:
Apple, cheese and oatcakes
Dried apricots, almonds and 25g dark chocolate
Oatcakes with nut butter and banana

Then there are these peanut butter cookies. Perfect with fruit and they take just 10 mins to bake. These make me feel like the perfect mum on those days I manage to whip the mix up before the school run and have them ready 10 mins after the kids walk in the door! Better still the kids can make them – I haven’t let them loose on this recipe yet.

 

Peanut Butter Cookies
Yields 8
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
175 calories
13 g
23 g
11 g
7 g
2 g
38 g
75 g
5 g
0 g
9 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
38g
Yields
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 175
Calories from Fat 98
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g
17%
Saturated Fat 2g
10%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 23mg
8%
Sodium 75mg
3%
Total Carbohydrates 13g
4%
Dietary Fiber 3g
11%
Sugars 5g
Protein 7g
Vitamin A
1%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
4%
Iron
6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 100g peanut butter
  2. 150g granola
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1/2 tsp baking powder
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients together.
  2. Bake at Gas Mark 5 for 10 minutes.
  3. Store in an airtight tin, they are best eaten on the day.
Notes
  1. I used my own homemade granola (recipe on the blog) which is wheat free and gluten free if you tolerate oats or use gluten free oats.
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calories
175
fat
11g
protein
7g
carbs
13g
more
Dietitian UK https://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Nutty Granola – a lower sugar version.

My children love granola as a topping for their yoghurt, but often the shop bought versions are super sweet and the lower sugar options are pricey. In my mind making my own sounded like a faff, hence it’s not something I’ve investigated… until I started making a new flapjack recipe and didn’t get the consistency quite right. You know when you know it isn’t right but you keep going regardless. Silly me. As an experienced flapjack maker (and eater) I should have know better. Flapjack intuition.

So when Miss K tried to pick up and eat said flapjack and it crumbled to smithereens we needed a quick rescue as I’m not one to throw away food. Turns out it makes an amazing granola. Sweet enough but not super sweet. I’ve worked  out the nutritional info as about a 30g serving. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nutty Granola, a lower sugar version.
Serves 20
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226 calories
19 g
0 g
15 g
7 g
2 g
45 g
22 g
4 g
0 g
12 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
45g
Servings
20
Amount Per Serving
Calories 226
Calories from Fat 127
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15g
23%
Saturated Fat 2g
11%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 22mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 19g
6%
Dietary Fiber 3g
12%
Sugars 4g
Protein 7g
Vitamin A
9%
Vitamin C
1%
Calcium
4%
Iron
10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 250g oats
  2. 150g almonds and cashews chopped
  3. 75g sunflower seeds
  4. 50g dried apricots, chopped
  5. 75g honey
  6. 75g margarine
  7. 75g peanut butter
Instructions
  1. Grease and line a baking tray.
  2. Heat the honey, margarine and peanut butter (I used the microwave) until it is melted.
  3. Mix in the oats, nuts and sunflower seeds.
  4. Press into the tin and bake at Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes.
  5. Stir and break it up, bake for another 5 minutes.
  6. Cool and store in an airtight container such as a kilner jar.
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calories
226
fat
15g
protein
7g
carbs
19g
more
Dietitian UK https://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/
This is one of those foods to watch your portions and to eat with enjoyment. I’m a huge believer in having some sweetness if you fancy  and not depriving yourself. I’m trying to model this and teach the children. My boy has a sweet tooth so this granola enables him to have the sweetness but also get a good balance of nutrition in.

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A healthier cake – Courgette and sultana (wheat and lactose free).

Each year my love of growing vegetables, well grows. I had a dad who had very green fingers and grew a lot of the vegetables for the small hotel my parents ran. In the summer months our bath water was often emptied by buckets into the vegetable patch! My Sri-lankan grandmother has the greenest fingers in the family. Her windowsills were often covered in seedlings and she would disappear into the garden at mealtime to pick “greens” to make into a family favourite dish. A meal of rice and curry is not right without “greens”. 

One of my first successes was courgettes. Most years I get a good crop, apart from last hear but I blame the baby for that 😉

This year however I have 2 plants that are exploding with monster courgettes and a bountiful supply is on its way.  Follow my instagram stories for pics of the garden and how I cook them.

Personally I love courgettes. Roasted, in a stir fry, ratatouille, on pizza…. only issue is that Miss K and the J boy are not so keen. So it’s been a season of finding ways to encourage them to eat them. I don’t like to hide vegetables so I do tell them it’s in there, once they have tried some. Here are my top ways that they like and eat:

  1. Courgette cake. This has gone down so well. I’ve been making it and freezing it. Recipe below. 
  2. Courgetti. Not because we want to be on trend but because it works. Spiralising courgette, cooking with garlic and lemon juice is a winner. 
  3. Grated courgette in bolognaise, risotto or pretty much any dish!
  4. Roasted and blended with tinned tomatoes for a pasta sauce. 

Hubby and I love a courgette curry so that’s also on the menu but I have to make the children something different on those nights! 

So here is a lovely courgette cake recipe. You really won’t taste the courgette and I’ve lowered the sugar content for you too, it works out at 3g sugar per slice but some of this is the yoghurt and courgette.  Per 100g it is 3.6g sugar so a much healthier alternative to many other cakes. 

I made this for a family party recently and it went down really well! 

Courgette and Sultana Cake (Wheat and Lactose Free)
Serves 12
Easy to make, reduced sugar recipe and includes plenty of yummy courgette.
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
177 calories
22 g
31 g
8 g
4 g
1 g
82 g
68 g
3 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
82g
Servings
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 177
Calories from Fat 70
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
12%
Saturated Fat 1g
4%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 31mg
10%
Sodium 68mg
3%
Total Carbohydrates 22g
7%
Dietary Fiber 1g
5%
Sugars 3g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
2%
Vitamin C
9%
Calcium
3%
Iron
3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Wet ingredients
  1. 350g courgette
  2. 2 eggs
  3. 85ml rapeseed oil
  4. 2 tbsp natural yoghurt
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract
Dry Ingredients
  1. 300g plain wheat free flour (I used Aldi's own brand)
  2. 1 tsp cinnamon
  3. 1 tsp mixed spice
  4. 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  5. 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  6. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  7. 140g sultanas
Instructions
  1. Grate the courgette.
  2. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4. Grease and line a loaf tin.
  3. Mix together all the wet ingredients.
  4. Add the flour and carefully mix in.
  5. Now add the remaining dry ingredients and mix.
  6. Pour into the loaf tin and put in the oven.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes uncovered and then cover the top with foil to prevent it burning.
  8. This cake takes 30-40 minutes in my oven, I recommend checking it by inserting a skewer and seeing if the bottom is cooked. You don't want to have the bottom too soft (I've made that mistake for you!).
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calories
177
fat
8g
protein
4g
carbs
22g
more
Dietitian UK https://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

What are your favourite courgette recipes?

Chocolate Granola Baked Apples

Granola is one of those foods that I could easily eat quite a lot of, though I tend to not eat it as a cereal but add it to dishes. I love the crunchiness and the variety it gives to transform your simple fruit and yoghurt into something more exciting. However granola is usually high in sugars and the amount of fruit, nuts and seeds is surprisingly low. If you have the time you could of course make your own, but you have to watch it carefully when it bakes. With my current tribe of small people I would be sure to burn it! 

So I was most delighted to be sent a pack of granola to try out, especially when it was chocolate granola. Such a hard life. 

Lizi’s granola is something I’ve recommended to some clients in the past due to it’s low sugar content and low glycaemic load (GL). The GL is a measure of how much a portion of a food affects your blood sugars. The GL for this granola is 6.6 for a 50g serving. Generally a low GL foods is one under 10 and you want to keep your GL to under 100 per day. So this granola is definitely a good option if you want a not too sweet, crunchy hit with a chocolately taste. It uses dark chocolate (which I love), some may say there is the added benefit of polyphenols and antioxidants but at only 5% dark belgium chocolate you won’t be getting much per 50g serving.

Here is how we enjoyed the granola – baked apples with chocolate granola. Instantly renamed big gruffalo crumble by the toddler boy. He calls any fruit crumble a gruffalo crumble, completely my fault for starting that one. 

“Now my tummy’s beginning to rumble, my favourite food is gruffalo crumble”

Chocolate Granola Baked Apples
Serves 4
A quick, simple dessert that is great to perk up your midweek meals.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
166 calories
32 g
8 g
5 g
2 g
2 g
196 g
4 g
22 g
0 g
2 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
196g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 166
Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
8%
Saturated Fat 2g
11%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 8mg
3%
Sodium 4mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 32g
11%
Dietary Fiber 5g
21%
Sugars 22g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
4%
Vitamin C
14%
Calcium
2%
Iron
3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 4 apples
  2. 4 tsp raisins
  3. 4 tbsp granola
  4. 1 tbsp butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5
  2. Cut the apples in half and cut out the core, this will leave a hole you can now fill.
  3. Fill the apples with the raisins, dot with a little butter and press the granola over the top.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Serve with Greek yoghurt if wanted.
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calories
166
fat
5g
protein
2g
carbs
32g
more
Dietitian UK https://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/
 Disclaimer: This granola was sent to me to review, this is not a dietetic endorsment but simply my own views on it. 

 

 

Carrot and Parsnip Cake

I’ve had a hankering for carrot cake for a few weeks after a conversation on social media about a bumper crop of carrots leading to recipes for carrot cake being posted. So when carrots were on offer and hubby came back with 3 bags of them plus 2 bags of parsnips it was suddenly my opportunity. Seriously, there are only so many things you can do with parsnips, so I thought why not try them in a cake. In that moment it felt like probable madness, however actually, you know what? The parsnips add a real kick to this cake. A warm earthiness and nuttiness that really adds to the sweetness of the carrots.

My main critic will always be my husband. He isn’t fobbed off as easily as the children, he has a sweet tooth and isn’t pulled in by any of the latest health trends or superfoods. So I tried him on one. He gave me the “what is it” quizzical expression which I interpret as “What the heck is the crazy woman now trying to give me”. To be fair, you can’t blame him, I am experimental in my approach and a fair few of these experiments just don’t work out. Upon trying it his response was “Actually that’s not bad”. Now for hubby that is a compliment. He isn’t overflowing with expression and excitement like me, thankfully or our house would be even more crazy! So this “Not bad” really meant “I wasn’t expecting it to taste nice but it is pretty good and I like it”. He agreed it was actually the parsnip that made it.

This cake is moist, light and a little to easy to eat. With 250g vegetables in it, it may feel pretty nutritious but you would have to eat a lot of cake to get a portion of veggie in! Having said that these will contain some vitamin A, some calcium and iron, so as cake goes, it is a good option. 

 

Carrot and Parsnip Cake
Yields 24
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121 calories
13 g
23 g
7 g
2 g
1 g
38 g
173 g
3 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
38g
Yields
24
Amount Per Serving
Calories 121
Calories from Fat 59
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g
10%
Saturated Fat 1g
3%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 23mg
8%
Sodium 173mg
7%
Total Carbohydrates 13g
4%
Dietary Fiber 1g
3%
Sugars 3g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
22%
Vitamin C
2%
Calcium
5%
Iron
4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 150ml Rapeseed Oil
  2. 60g Brown Sugar
  3. 3 Eggs
  4. 150g Carrots (2 large)
  5. 100g Parsnips (1 large)
  6. 300g Doves Farm Self Raising Flour
  7. 1 tsp Mixed Spice
  8. 1 tsp Cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Peel and grate the carrots and parsnip.
  2. Mix the oil and sugar together. Add the eggs and mix.
  3. Next add the grated vegetables and slowly add the flour and spices in.
  4. Pour into a greased and lined loaf tin.
  5. Bake at Gas Mark 5 for 30-40 minutes.
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calories
121
fat
7g
protein
2g
carbs
13g
more
Dietitian UK https://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Pear Rock Cakes, no added sugar.

It’s been a week of pretty awful sleep. That saying about “They saved the best till last” is not true when it comes to sleeping babies. The third baby is the worse sleeper! However she also gives the best cuddles and is super cute with it, so I can’t be cross with her.

When I don’t sleep well I tend to :

  1. Walk around in a bit of a brain fog, yet still be functional for work – how does that happen?
  2. Want to poke out the eyes of anyone who has a baby that sleeps through the night.
  3. Loose some of my words. My 6 year old is good at finding them for me. “I’m just making…..ummm, ummm” “Breakfast Mummy?” “Yes, that’s the one”. 
  4. Get creating in the kitchen. I’ve no idea how but cooking and baking helps restore my sanity.

So on a cold, fuzzy headed Sunday afternoon I was flicking through my recipe notebook and stumbled upon rockcakes. Rockcakes seem to be one of those recipes that people make in school or when they are learning to bake. I think they need a come-back. Super easy to make, which means the children can help, there is little that you can go wrong with and you are left with a mountain of tasty snacks for your week.

I’ve adapted the usual rock cake recipe by adding in fruit and upon tasty the mix I decided it was sweet enough for our palates. Try a bit of it before you add in the eggs and see what you think as you can always add in a little sugar to taste. Doing it this way will hopefully mean you don’t go OTT on the sugar content.

My kids were happy bunnies and rewarded me by playing nicely with minimal arguments all afternoon. I love the subtle pear hint in these. Perfect for tbe after school munchies, which happens to co-incide with my cuppa and snack time 🙂 

Dietitian UK: Pear Rockcakes

Pear Rock Cakes
Yields 20
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
116 calories
17 g
29 g
5 g
2 g
3 g
45 g
9 g
5 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
45g
Yields
20
Amount Per Serving
Calories 116
Calories from Fat 41
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
7%
Saturated Fat 3g
14%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 29mg
10%
Sodium 9mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 17g
6%
Dietary Fiber 1g
4%
Sugars 5g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
3%
Vitamin C
2%
Calcium
3%
Iron
2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 100g butter at room temperature
  2. 250g flour (I used Doves Farm Plain Gluten Free Blend)
  3. 2 tsp baking powder
  4. 1 tsp mixed spice
  5. 1 soft large pear, peeled and chopped
  6. 1 soft ripe banana, mashed
  7. 100g raisins
  8. 2 eggs
Instructions
  1. Rub the butter into the flour.
  2. Now add the baking power and spice.
  3. Add in the wet fruit. the pear should break down easily if you are using a stand mixer or food processor.
  4. Now mix the raisins in gently.
  5. Add in the eggs, one at a time.
  6. Taste and add sugar if needed, I found it wasn't necessary.
  7. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5, line and grease a baking tray.
  8. You should end up with a soft dough.
  9. Take dessert spoons of the mixture and gently shape into rounds.
  10. Place onto a greased, lined baking tray.
  11. Bake for 15-20 minutes until they are lightly browned on the top.
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calories
116
fat
5g
protein
2g
carbs
17g
more
Dietitian UK https://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Easy Peasy Star Biscuits

So when your toddler asks to make star biscuits, you can’t really say No. I’m not a fan of my kids having too much sugar so we always are on the look out for ways to reduce the sugar content of our baking, here we have used just a little apple juice and it worked well. A plain biscuit but you could add spices to it and make it your own. The plain biscuits are good for weaning too.

I used a greek yoghurt topping so the kids could decorate their biscuits which they loved. You need to only decorate the ones you aret going to eat there and then. Store the rest in a tin and the topping in the fridge. The decorating was a good after school activity and make your own snack session.

 

Easy Peasy Star Bicuits
Yields 20
Simple, low sugar star biscuits that you can add spices to and make your own.
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67 calories
8 g
1 g
3 g
1 g
1 g
19 g
4 g
0 g
0 g
2 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
19g
Yields
20
Amount Per Serving
Calories 67
Calories from Fat 30
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g
5%
Saturated Fat 1g
3%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 1mg
0%
Sodium 4mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 8g
3%
Dietary Fiber 1g
3%
Sugars 0g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
3%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
1%
Iron
1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 100g wholemeal or rye flour
  2. 100g plain white flour
  3. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  4. 75g margarine
  5. 75ml apple juice
Topping
  1. 1 tbsp Greek yoghurt and 1 tbsp cream cheese mixed with a dask of milk
  2. sunflower seeds
  3. chopped dried fruit
Instructions
  1. Weigh out the flour and baking powder.
  2. Rub the butter into the flour and baking powder mix.
  3. Add the apple juice and mix to a dough.
  4. Roll out on a floured surface.
  5. Cut and put onto a greased and lined baking tray.
  6. Bake at Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes.
  7. Eat as they are or top with the Greek yoghurt mix.
beta
calories
67
fat
3g
protein
1g
carbs
8g
more
Dietitian UK https://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Healthy Oaty Cookies

My kids love to get involved in the cooking. Usually they see my cooking, draw up a stool and join in. Yesterday we had a rare afternoon at home. The summer has been full on outdoor fun, so being torrential rain the kids came up with a plan “Mummy lets make biscuits”. Normally I would be pretty up for this plan, but yesterday, unusually,  I was feeling the lure of the sofa… However, I am a huge believer in getting children cooking young and as they had intiated it this time, I really couldn’t refuse. A quick flick through some reciipes for inspiration and we decided on adapting a River Cottage recipe. 

This was a total cop-out on my behalf as it was so quick to make so I still got some sofa time, curled up with a freshly baked cookie and a cuppa. Extra bonus is our snack tin is topped up for at least a day (these dollops of goodness are going fast).

I adapted the recipe using prunes to sweeten, a banana to replace some peanut butter and omitting the raisins on request. It ended up being a great way to use up the claggy bit of peanut butter at the end of the pot. 

Happy kids, freshly healthy cookies, a huge train track and mummy got 15 minutes of peace, which is what weekends are all about. 

 

Healthy cookies1

 

Healthy Oaty Cookies
Yields 12
Super fast, healthy, squidgy cookie recipe.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
132 calories
15 g
14 g
7 g
5 g
1 g
39 g
93 g
2 g
0 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
39g
Yields
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 132
Calories from Fat 59
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g
11%
Saturated Fat 1g
6%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 14mg
5%
Sodium 93mg
4%
Total Carbohydrates 15g
5%
Dietary Fiber 2g
7%
Sugars 2g
Protein 5g
Vitamin A
3%
Vitamin C
1%
Calcium
2%
Iron
5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 150g peanut butter
  2. 100g prunes, finely chopped
  3. 1 medium ripe/over-ripe banana
  4. 1 medium egg
  5. 50g oats
  6. 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 3.
  2. Measure out the peanut butter.
  3. Chop the prunes finely and break the banana into chunks.
  4. Mix together, then add the egg and mix.
  5. Now add the oats and bicarb and mix.
  6. The mixture will be very sticky, place spoonfuls onto a greased baking tray.
  7. Flatten slightly with the top of a spoon.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
beta
calories
132
fat
7g
protein
5g
carbs
15g
more
Dietitian UK https://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Why you should cook with your kids

I’ve been baking with my kids since my eldest was 18 months. With one child it is messy, with more than one it is carnage. It takes 4 times as long, involves multiple conversations, explanations and shouts of “no, not yet”, there is a kitchen to clear up and children too… however I am convinced it is something we should all be doing.

Why? Here are my top reasons.

  1. It teaches children about measuring, volume, pouring, hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Jobs like rolling pastry, cutting out shapes, measuring the flour, stirring and pouring in milk are all good to try.

Dietitian UK: Why you should cook with your kids 1

  1. They learn about safety in the kitchen. My 5 years old has her own knife and know how to safely chop the vegetables and how to carry sharp knifes. Learning about the oven, the hob and even the big kitchen appliances can be interesting to small ones and teaches them how to be safe in the kitchen.
  2. Children may find it less intimidating and stressful to try out new foods whilst you are preparing them or after they have cooked them. My boy went through a tricky stage with vegetables, then I discovered he would eat lots when helping cut them up for the dinner. So every night he helped prepare the veggies with me! 
  3. It gives them a sense of achievement and success. My kids always look full of happiness and pride when I remind them they helped cook a meal.

Dietitian UK: Toddler cooks Healthy Spag carbonara

  1. Cooking seems to be a dying out skill. It isn’t really taught at school so the only way your children will learn is at home. I come across a lot of people who don’t know how to cook, or have no confidence in the kitchen. Letting your children learn whilst at home teaches them a valuable skill for life.
  2. It is a chance to talk about healthy eating and role model healthy lifestyles to your small ones. We look at different foods, talk about how they are made/where they come from and look at how they look inside, how they cook and different ways to use them. For ages my boy thought Peppa Pig was related to an actual pepper 😉 Watch out though as age 3 my girl was proudly able to tell people when they ate bacon that it had come from a  pig and told the pigs at the farm they made tasty sausages! 
  3. You can use cooking as a whole education. Colours, shapes, counting can all be part of the process! 
  4. In our family, it can be that all important catch up time, where we chat and hang out. 

Dietitian UK: Why you should cook with your kids 2

  1. It occupies them! I have a girl with a very active mind, she needs activities to do, so she cooks with me.
  2. Hopefully, they will be able to cook you dinner when old enough!! I cannot wait for this!

So if you don’t cook with your children, I hope I have given you some reasons why you should 🙂