Raised from Scratch

growing up outside the box: alternatives to processed food and television

Pumpkin Mascarpone Dip September 1, 2012

Pumpkin Mascarpone Dip

½ cup mascarpone Italian cream cheese

¼ cup pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)

½ t. – 1 t. pure maple syrup

½ t. ground cinnamon

¼ t. ground ginger

2 apples, cored and sliced (Pink Lady apples are my favorite for snacking)

Mix pumpkin, maple syrup, cinnamon and ginger together in medium bowl (1/2 t. maple syrup is enough for me because pumpkin and mascarpone are both naturally sweet, but if you prefer it a little sweeter adjust to taste). Add mascarpone and blend briefly until fully incorporated. Serve with sliced apples.

Looking for another way to use extra pumpkin puree? Check out my Peachy Pumpkin Smoothie recipe!

 

Cardamom Almond Butter Snack Bites August 28, 2012

Here’s a kid approved super easy health snack I created this week. I love making nut-butter snacks because they’re easily transportable, filling, and relatively mess free. It’s also great to see my two year old daughter excited about eating nuts and seeds which contain so many important nutrients. Both flax and sunflower seeds are a good source of protein, calcium, iron and fiber. Also great with a banana for breakfast on the run!

Cardamom Almond Butter Snack Bites

½ cup sunflower seeds (roasted, unsalted)

½ cup oats

¼ cup flax meal (ground flax seeds)

½ t. ground cardamom

¼ t. cinnamon

2 ½ T. pure maple syrup

½ cup almond butter

Combine all ingredients in medium sized bowl and mix well. Pour out batter onto plastic wrap, form log about 12” long, wrap all sides and freeze for 30 minutes. Remove from freezer and slice into ½” pieces, or to desired size. Store in refrigerator.

Makes 24

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Gluten Free Coconut Rhubarb Muffins August 24, 2012

Filed under: Gluten Free,Healthy Snacks,Muffins — annalope @ 3:40 am
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GF Coconut Rhubarb Muffins

1 cup oat flour

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut

1 1/2 t. baking powder

1/8 t. sea salt

1/4 cup cane sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 t. ground cinnamon

2 T. milled flaxseed (aka flax meal)

1/2 cup applesauce

1/2 cup full fat plain yogurt (if using sweetened yogurt I suggest cutting down on the cane sugar)

1 t. vanilla extract

2 cups rhubarb, chopped 1/4 inch thick

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly oil muffin tin or line with baking cups (I made 9 large muffins and 12 mini muffins).

In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients (flour – flax meal), then add applesauce, yogurt, and vanilla and mix well. Fold in chopped rhubarb. Batter will seem stiff compared to a typical muffin batter – it’s okay, don’t add additional liquid.

Fill muffin tins at least ¾ full (muffins don’t rise much) and bake at 350° 18 minutes for mini muffins / 25-28 minutes for large muffins. Cool on wire rack.

 

The Toddler Sushi Roll August 20, 2012

I could eat sushi every day of my life…but since I can’t afford sushi bars or exposing my body to so much mercury on a regular basis, I’m getting creative making sushi rolls at home. This tofu teriyaki roll is perfect for snacks, play dates, and picnics because it doesn’t require dipping in additional soy sauce – the tofu is already marinated so the roll is adequately salty on its own. A helpful hint for feeding sushi to toddlers: don’t slice the rolls, just leave it whole or cut the roll in half and give it to them burrito style. It’s hard to fit a full piece of sushi in a young child’s mouth, and we all know biting it in half just results in the other half spilling on our laps or the floor, but giving them a full roll allows them to bite off only as much as they can chew. Happier bellies, cleaner floors.

Tofu Teriyaki Sushi Rolls

Ingredients:
1 package marinated tofu (recipe below)
6 sheets Nori seaweed paper
2 cups cooked and cooled short grain brown rice
3 large carrots, sliced into 1/4″ strips and steamed (leave raw if you/your child like them crunchy)
2 avocados, sliced

To assemble:
Place 1 nori sheet on a dry counter or cutting board and spread with a thin layer of cooled brown rice, leaving at least 1/2″ border at the top free of rice so you can seal your sushi roll. Make a horizontal line across the rice with the tofu, carrots and avocado, then tightly roll, and seal the roll by dipping your finger in cool water and running along the seaweed section without rice, then roll completely and allow to sit a couple minutes before slicing. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Sorry, if I’ve done a bad job explaining how to roll sushi, there are plenty of tutorials with photos and videos online 🙂

*You want to use tofu which has been frozen (left sealed in package) and then thawed for maximum absorption of marinade

Teriyaki Marinade:
1 package extra-firm tofu, frozen and thawed
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1/3 cup tamari soy sauce
2 T. granulated sugar
1 T. toasted sesame oil

To prepare tofu —
Gently squeeze the thawed tofu over a sink to remove excess moisture and cut into large, long strips, suitable for sushi making. In a saucepan, combine the stock, tamari, sugar and sesame oil. Bring to a boil, add the tofu, and cook 5-6 minutes over low heat. Turn off the heat and let sit for 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.
— Teriyaki Recipe from “Color Me Vegan” cookbook by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

 

Peachy Pumpkin Smoothie July 2, 2012

Peachy Pumpkin Smoothie

2 peaches, sliced and frozen

1 banana, peeled and frozen

½ – ¾ cup pumpkin puree*

2 cups almond milk

1 T. soy protein powder

¼ t. ground ginger

¼ t. ground cinnamon

1 T. maple syrup

Blend all ingredients until smooth. If fruits are frozen no ice is needed.

Makes 32 ounces (4 small smoothies)

*For the pumpkin puree you can use canned pumpkin, or make your own with leftover winter squash such as pumpkin or butternut. I had some extra roasted pumpkin in the house when I first created this recipe. To make a puree I blended the extra cooked pumpkin with a little coconut milk until it reached a smooth consistency.

 

Goldfish Rant January 10, 2012

Filed under: Healthy Snacks,Rants — annalope @ 8:42 pm
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Ready for a brave confession?

I am anti-goldfish.

Everywhere children are present, seemingly every play date my daughter and I attend, every picnic, every diaper bag, these little munchable monsters are invading, and I sometimes feel pretty helpless to stop their plans of taste bud domination.

Over-reacting you say? Those cute smiley fish are a processed food containing 10% of an adult’s daily suggested sodium intake in one serving. They are low in sugar, offer some protein and are free of preservatives last I checked, so it’s true there are plenty of things on the market that would be worse for our kids. But just because something is acceptable doesn’t make it ideal, and there are so many alternative snacks to offer our children to help them expand, rather than limit, their scope of foods that register on the happy mouth radar. Fresh fruit, smoothies, mini sandwiches, cooked sushi, hummus, quiche bites, tortilla pinwheels…let’s make it a goal to get more creative when it comes to offering snacks!

A mom reminded me at a play date today (where my daughter kept asking for more and more goldfish) that kids want what other kids eat. Every parent knows this is pretty much a guarantee — your child will try to steal whatever the other kids are eating around him. It made me realize that one of the reasons Ella, 27 months old, is not a picky eater is because she rarely eats communally with other children outside of snack time. At home and at restaurants she eats what we eat and we order off the adult menu for her. I don’t want to deprive her (okay, I DO want to deprive her of junk-food), and I do let her have a few handfuls of goldfish when they are around, but I do it grudgingly. Don’t get me wrong — I  do willingly and happily offer my daughter treats on a fairly regular basis. She went trick-or-treating this year and tasted a lollipop for the first time (the rest of the candy never made it out of their wrappers and she never missed it). She grew accustomed to little nibbles of homemade fudge or cookies on a nearly daily basis at Christmas time. We order pizza from time to time (pizza in Chicago is not to be missed after all), and I love how excited my daughter gets sharing a cup of gelato with me using those dainty little spoons.

The real point of this rant is not just that goldfish are lacking in nutrition to make it a suitable daily snack; it’s that we parents are missing an opportunity to serve nutritious foods to our children in the company of their peers. Play dates are the perfect time for them to form positive attitudes toward healthy snacks and to learn to accept variety in their diets! Serving the same cracker day after day after day suggests to a child that it’s okay to want salty junk food all the time, and that it’s not unreasonable to expect the exact same food every time they’re hungry. If we put extra effort and forethought into what we are buying and preparing for those malleable taste buds when foods are first being introduced, chances are we’ll save ourselves a lot of arguments as the toddler becomes a potentially picky eater.

My heart sinks just a little every time I enter a house and see the ubiquitous goldfish bowl. The damn fish just stare up at me with that knowing, triumphant smile. “Go ahead,” they say, “try to explain to your toddler that a happy, brightly colored fish that delivers crunchy bliss should be passed up for the hummus”. It might be a losing battle, but I’m not done fighting it yet.

 

Mini Pumpkin Bran Muffins with Chocolate Centers January 3, 2012

These make a tasty snack or a healthy dessert if you make them with chocolate centers. And since nothing is more satisfying than warm chocolate coating your mouth and making an appearance all over your child’s happy face, I recommend serving them before the chocolate hardens. They are delicious and perfectly sweet enough sans chocolate should you worry about your child eating nothing but the chocolate center (surely you realized this possibility, yes?).

Mini Pumpkin Bran Muffins with Chocolate Centers

1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour

 t. baking soda

1 t. baking powder

¼ t. fine sea salt

1 t. cinnamon

1 t. nutmeg

1 t. cardamom

¾ cup oat bran

¼ cup brown rice syrup

3 T. pure cane sugar

15 oz pumpkin puree

2 whole eggs

¾ cup unsweetened  applesauce

Handful of large bittersweet chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare mini muffin tin by lightly coating with butter or oil.In medium bowl sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Add oat bran to flour mix.

In large bowl combine all remaining ingredients except chocolate chips, whisk until well combined. Add flour and bran mixture, stir to combine. Fill miffin tins ¾ full with batter and place a single chocolate chip in the center of each muffin cup.

Bake 12-14 minutes. Cool in pan 2-3 minutes, then move to cooling rack to cool completely.