It can often be a struggle to get babies and toddlers to eat their veggies for a variety of reasons. But mostly commonly what I see is that babies and toddlers are offered plain/bland veggies. Although some may like that, I find that most do not. Babies like flavor just as much as adults do. AND adding flavor encourages them to be a more adventurous eaters as they get older. That's where these little patties come in! They are flavorful, veggie rich and nutrient dense! The nutritional yeast adds a cheesy flavor and an excellent source of B vitamins. The garbanzo flour adds protein and fiber, but most importantly acts as the binder to keep these veggie patties together. These patties can easily be adapted with different herbs/spices and cauliflower can be used in place of broccoli. Toren especially enjoys these patties with Karam's Garlic Sauce or hummus. I am sure pasta or marinara sauce would also be tasty.
Makes 12 patties
Time: <30 minutes
2 cloves garlic
1 small head of broccoli (florets only, ~15)
3-4 medium crimini mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup garbanzo/chickpea flour (Bob's Red Mill)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (I used large flaked)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder
~3 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon grass-fed butter/olive oil for frying
Place the garlic cloves into a food processor and process until finely minced. Add the broccoli florets, mushrooms, and oregano. Process until finely minced and sticking together. In a separate medium bowl mix together the garbanzo flour, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and baking soda. Stir in the broccoli mixture with a spatula. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture sticks together without being too wet, ~3 tablespoons.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add butter (or olive oil). Once melted and sizzling reduce heat to medium low. Using a tablespoon add the broccoli chickpea mixture to the pan, making ~ 12 patties. Flatten with spatula and cook for 3-4 minutes, then flip and cook another 3-4 minutes.
Serve warm (not too hot) or room temperature with Karam's Garlic Sauce or hummus.
Note: Store patties in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The patties also freeze well and can be briefly reheated in microwave (~15 seconds). Make sure to let them cool before serving.
Nutrition (for 2 patties): 57kcal, 2.3g fat, 6.5g carbs, 3g fiber, 3.3g protein.
If you like chocolate and enjoy roasted nuts, then these little bites of heaven are for you. Whenever I offer one of these truffles to friends or family they always ask me, "Are you sure there is no sugar in these?". My answer is always, "Yes, it's just nuts, cacao, and dates!". I chose to use two different cacao powders. The extra dark cacao powder gives the truffles that rich dark chocolate flavor, but I didn't want it to be too rich, so I used regular cacao powder as well. Depending on your preference, or what you have at home, you can make your own personalized cacao blend. The cacao nibs give the truffles a little crunch (which I love). These truffle bites are the perfect little whole food treat that all will enjoy, trust me. You might as well make a double batch while you are at it! My favorite way to eat these truffles is to pair it along side a cold glass of unsweetened almond milk or a cup of hot green tea.
Make 12 Truffles
Time: ~ 1 hour (including 45 minute cool time)
1 heaping cup raw nuts (hazelnut/almonds, walnuts/pecans, cashews)*
8 medjool dates, pitted
1 tablespoon extra dark cacao powder (I got mine at Whole Foods)
1 tablespoon organic cacao powder (I used TJ's organic cacao powder)
1 tablespoon raw cacao nibs
Generous pinch sea salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place nuts on baking sheet and roast for 8 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer to a plate, and allow to cool completely, about 30-45 minutes.
Once the nuts are cooled, transfer the nuts to a food processor and add the pitted dates, cacao powders, cacao nibs, and generous pinch sea salt.
Process until the mixture sticks together when pressed between fingers, about 1 minute. Roll into even balls and store in an airtight container. Store in fridge or freezer. They are softer when stored in fridge and a bit firmer when frozen (my personal favorite).
*My favorite nut combo is a blend of walnuts, hazelnuts, and cashews.
Getting your little to eat greens can sometimes be difficult, especially early on when they do not have the pincer grasp down yet. This recipe combines two superstars broccoli and spinach carefully blended with naturally sweet onion and sweet potato to round out the slight bitterness of the greens. I love to make baby egg pancakes with this mixture. Toren absolutely loves them and is able to use his pincer grasp to eat them on his own. This way not only is he getting his veggies, but also his choline and active vitamin A from the egg yolk! Plus, for some reason Toren isn't a big fan of scrambled eggs lately, but total digs the egg pancakes (see below for instructions on making an egg pancake). Usually, Toren eats one egg pancake throughout the day.
Makes 10 Servings
Time: ~ 20 minutes
1/2 sweet potato (tan/white)
1 medium onion, peeled, and cut in halves
2 cloves garlic
10 florets broccoli
1 cup packed baby spinach
2 tablespoons salted grass-fed butter
2 tablespoons Great Lakes Hydrolyzed Collagen
Peel the sweet potato and coarsely chop. Add to steamer basket along with onion, garlic. Steam for 5 minutes and add the broccoli florets. Steam for another 10 minutes or until all the veggies are fork tender.
Meanwhile steam/cook the spinach in the microwave for 1 minute or until bright green and tender. Place the potato, onion, garlic, butter and collagen into food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Then add the broccoli and spinach and process until smooth. Add a little freshly ground pepper. Pulse to combine.
Transfer to a baby food freezer tray, cover, and freeze. Once frozen transfer to a silicone ziplock bag or glass mason jar and keep frozen.
To thaw simply remove one serving and leave in a bowl in the fridge overnight or quickly microwave for 15-30 seconds. Prior to serving make sure to test the temperature to make sure it is not too hot for baby.
Nutrition (per serving): 45kcal, 2.4g fat, 4.3g carbs, 1.2g fiber, 2.3g protein.
Baby Veggie Egg Pancake
This is a breakfast staple around our house and is great for older babies and toddlers. However, not all purees work because they have too much water. Avoid using the pre-made baby purees because the pancake will just stick and burn. Use the Broccoli Spinach Baby VEGGIE BLEND or the Apple Butternut VEGGIE BLEND for good results. Toren usually eats a couple slices of his egg pancake with a side of fruit like kiwi or berries. We refrigerate the leftovers for an easy protein throughout the day.
Makes 1 serving
Time: <5 minutes
1 cube of a VEGGIE BLEND, thawed (the Broccoli Spinach and Apple Butternut work well)
1 pasture-raised egg, beaten with a fork
Mix together the egg and the thawed single serving of a veggie blend of your choice. Meanwhile preheat a small cast iron pan over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of butter or ghee, and once hot add the egg mixture. Reduce heat to medium low, cover with a lid, and set timer for 3 minutes.
Remove lid, turn off heat, and let egg pancake sit another minute or two. Transfer to a plate, cut into slices, and serve once cooled.
Nutrition (per 1 egg pancake): 155kcal, 5g carbs, 1.2g fiber, 11.5g fat, 8.5g protein
I hope you enjoy my creative, flavorful, and nutrient dense approach to whole foods cooking. All recipes are gluten free.