Broccoli Cheese Muffins

Broccoli Cheese Muffins

Thankfully, our little cub still loves broccoli… for now. She will eat steamed brocoli dipped in yummy sauces or butter, blended in smoothies as well as mixed into baked goods. These Claire’s Little Tot’s adapted broccoli cheese muffins are an easy way to get broccoli in your little ones diet.

Not all mornings are created equal. On this particular morning, the cub wanted nothing to do with our recipe. We got creative and invited all her “friends” to cook with us. Cooking isn’t really worth it unless it’s fun! And cooking is always more fun with friends!

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We started our cooking session by lining up all our toys to watch! The cub cut the broccoli in to little pieces, and then we finished the job chopping the broccoli with a big-kid knife.

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In goes the flour and the crowd cheers!

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We added all the dry ingredients and then Anna (from Frozen) wanted to stir, too! Team effort is important around here.

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Grandma DiDi’s turn to stir! The cub says, “Say Cheese.”

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Now it’s time to add the wet ingredients. This time Olaf is coming in for the assist. You can never have enough help.

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After Grandma DiDi helped stir the ingredients well, the cub (and her baby doll) helped scoop the batter into the muffin tin. We popped them in the oven while the cub and all her friends waited patiently for the muffins to bake.

BC9Ding! Cooked to perfection.

 

Broccoli Cheese Muffins

 

Ingredients

  • 8 oz of wheat flour
  • 5 oz grated cheese (we used shredded cheddar but any cheese would be good)
  • 1 small head of broccoli, chopped
  • 6fl oz of milk (I use whole milk)
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1tsp salt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F degrees
  2. Cook the broccoli until tender (boil or steam) and mash with the back of a fork
  3. In a bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, cooked broccoli and cheese
  4. Add the oil, beaten egg, milk and mix well
  5. Spoon the mixture into a well-greased 12 hole muffin tin  (the consistency should be a moist, sticky dough that is quite thick)
  6. Bake for around 30 minutes or until golden
  7. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Once cooled, store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days and eat cold or, if we’re at home, I reheat them for 30 seconds in the microwave. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months, just take them out when you need them and reheat once defrosted.

 

Options: Chopped kale, spinach, swiss chard, carrots grated zucchini or other types of squash can be substituted. Get creative with flavor. If your little one likes it, add onion, garlic, etc.

Emoji Ice Cubes

Emoji Ice Cubes

Who doesn’t love an Emoji?! And better yet, when they are used to add wholesome ingredients to your little one’s diet.  The cub loves juice (preferably the extra sugary kind), so we thought it would be fun to make juice ice cubes that she could add to her water that didn’t have all the added preservatives and sugar!

Engaging a child’s senses is the key to discovery. Drawing a child’s attention to the five senses and discussing them increases their understanding of, and communication about, the world around them. These ice cubes engage four of the five senses. They smell like fresh fruit, they look fun with funny faces and turn her clear water different colors, they feel cold (brrr!), and taste delicious.

We made two kinds of ice cubes. Apple cucumber and beet strawberry.

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The cub started by washing the apple and the beet.

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Next up, we started chopping and prepping all the ingredients for the blender. She soon discovered how fun an apple corer can be and pushed extra hard to finish the job.

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Surprise! Look what’s left!

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With her Curious Chef (kid safe) knife, the cub cut up the cucumber. We’ve been practicing and it shows! She’s really getting the hang of it.

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We added the cucumber and the apple to the blender to mix. Puree until smooth.

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We decided to fill half the Koji Cool Moji ice cube mold with the cucumber and apple mixture and the other half with the beet and strawberry mixture.

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The cub couldn’t wait to drink the leftover cucumber apple puree. She left Grandma DiDi to cut the strawberries.

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Back to work! After gulping down her juice, the cub is ready to do her part by cutting the strawberries. Grandma DiDi peeled and chopped the beet and added it to the blender. Emery added the strawberries and they were ready to mix.

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Into the ice cube mold it goes!

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Leftover beet and strawberry mixture didn’t stand a chance with this girl! Gulp, gulp, gone! We popped the ice cube mold into the freezer and let them set for 2 hours.

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Once frozen, the cub picked her favorite faces to add to her water. Healthy and fun water – it’s a win/win!

 

Emoji Ice Cubes

 

Ingredients

  • Apple
  • Cucumber
  • Beet
  • Strawberry
  • Water

Directions

  1. Wash all fruit and vegetables well
  2. Apple and cucumber blend:
    1. Cube equal portions of apple and cucumber and place into the blender
    2. Puree until smooth and pour into ice cube trays
    3. Add water, if necessary
    4. Note: Cute ice cube shapes and designs will enhance the taste!
  3. Strawberry and beet blend:
    1. Peel and chop beet and add to blender
    2. Slice the strawberries into quarters and add to the blender
    3. Puree until smooth and pour into ice cube trays
    4. Add water, if necessary
  4. Freeze for two hours and enjoy!

NOTES:

Use the proportion of each fruit or vegetable that you feel will entice your child to consume it. For example, we used about 1/3 of the medium-sized beet (raw) with about 1 1/2 cups of strawberries. Beet is a strong flavor and we wanted the strawberry taste to be up front. Possibilities are endless when thinking up new combinations.

Other optional additions: Honey, agave, spices or herbs of your choice

 

Sweet Potato Flatbread

Sweet Potato Flatbread

The Kitchen Cub is not a huge fan of potatoes, unless it’s a french fry, so when we came across this recipe from Feasting on Fruit, we were eager to see if she would like it.  Sweet Potatoes are high in Vitamin A and C. They also fill up a growing toddler, something we try to stay on top of to avoid meltdowns. 😉

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The cub started by helping Grandma DiDi peel and chop the sweet potatoes. She then added them to the pot with a little water so Grandma DiDi could but on the stove to boil. While the potatoes cooked, we started on the dough.

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The cub added tapioca flour, quinoa flour (recipe calls for gluten free flour which we will try next time), salt and baking soda(cinnamon and sugar if you’re doing the sweet version) to a bowl. Measuring and pouring ingredients in a bowl are a fan favorite for the cub.   cub9

We added the cooked sweet potatoes after they pureed in the blender. Take turns stirring the mixture and watch as it starts to look like dough.

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The cub wanted to feel the texture and help mix it into dough.  We talked about the consistency and how bread is made from dough.

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Grandma DiDi helped form it into a perfect dough ball and the cub patted it for a finishing touch. We took a knife and cut it into 6 equal pieces.

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We laid down parchment paper and lots of flour and started to roll out each piece. Using a rolling pin was extra fun for the cub.  We also tried just patting them out in-between our palms like you’d make a tortilla. Both methods worked.

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Heat a nonstick skillet pan and cook the flatbreads for approximately two minutes.   Transfer to a bowl and cover with a dampened towel to keep warm.

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Or you can dig in right away like the cub!

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We thought the flatbreads would be more fun cut into shapes.  We grabbed a couple cookie cutters and got creative!

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It was The Kitchen Cubs’ consensus that the shapes tasted the best, especially if you dipped them in pure maple syrup.  The heart shaped peanut butter and banana sandwich was a big hit and didn’t need to be “dipped” at all!

Sweet Potato Flatbread

 

Ingredients

  • Potato Puree
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 1/2 cup water

Dough

  • 1 cup of the sweet potato puree above
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 cup gluten free flour blend
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Sweet version: 2 tbsps of coconut sugar + 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Savory version: 1 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Potato puree: Peel and roughly chop the sweet potato.
  2. Transfer to a medium saucepan, add the water, and boil till tender. Do not drain.
  3. Puree the potato and cooking water in a blender till smooth. Transfer to another bowl (or back into the pot) and wash your blender immediately.
  4. Dough: Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  5. Add 1 cup of potato puree.
  6. Mix/knead to form a slightly stick dough. If it is too sticky, add 1/4 cup more gluten free flour.
  7. Divide into 5 – 6 balls.
  8. Roll out each ball between two piece of wax paper to about 1 cm thickness.
  9. Heat a non-stick skillet to medium-high heat.
  10. Place a flatbread in the pan and cook for 1 to 1.5 minutes or until bubbles start to show. Flip, then cook for another 1 to 1.5 minutes on the second side. There should be some brown spots on each side.
  11. Remove from heat and place in a bowl under a damp towel to keep them soft while you cook the others.
  12. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat as mentioned above.
RECIPE NOTES
For a gum free version, either use a gum-free GF blend like the King Arther Gluten Free Flour Blend or use 1 cup of brown rice flour instead of the GF all purpose. I still prefer the texture with the GF blend, but the brown rice flour version is still fairly soft and pliable.

Nut Butter Date Bites

Nut Butter Date Bites

I recently took a trip to visit my family in Northern California. On that trip I was able to catch up with all my cousins who also have little ones of their own! As we sat at the park while our kiddos played, one of my cousins, Lea, who also happens to be a registered dietician, was feeding her one-year-old these date bites. I tried one and loved it, and knew The Kitchen Cub would, too.

You can read more about the amazing work my cousin does for the Bariatric community here.

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After the dates soaked for an hour, we started by having the cub help us take the pits out of the dates and chop them up. This is something she loves to do!

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She’s extra careful and working on watching her fingers while she chops.

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The cub helped us add all the chopped dates to the food processor. Next, in goes the oats.

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Then the chia seeds.

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And lastly, the nut butter. We used Trader Joe’s Mixed Nut Butter, which is a mixture of different nut butters. You can use peanut butter, almond butter or any nut butter you fancy.

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Put the top of the food processor on and pulse the mixture until it forms a ball of dough and all the ingredients look blended.

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Transfer to a bowl and start scooping.

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Grandma DiDi shows the cub how to roll them into balls between her palms. The cub is fascinated by this process!

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“Now I try”, says the cub! She was so proud of her work. After you have rolled all the dough into balls, store them in the refrigerator.

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But don’t forget the best part – eat one!

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As you can see these are SIMPLE and easy to make. They are full of protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, Omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, iron and calcium! They are easy to pack up for a snack and taste delicious!

 

Nut Butter Date Bites

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dates
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tbs chia seeds
  • 2 tbs nut butter (Can be mixed, peanut, almond, cashew or any nut butter you like)

Directions

  1. Soak the dates in water for an hour.
  2. Remove pits and chop dates.
  3. Add dates, chia seeds, oats and nut butter to the food processor.
  4. Pulse the mixture until it forms a dough and all ingredients are mixed together.
  5. Transfer the dough to a bowl and start rolling the mixture into small bite-sized balls.
  6. Once you’ve rolled all of the dough into bite-sized balls, eat one, then store the rest in the refrigerator.