Breakfast & Brunch

Ricotta & Sweetcorn Pancakes

We are totally pancake crazy in our house and these are so delicious at just about anytime of the day (or night!) The recipe takes minutes as you just chuck everything in a blender- blitz- and voila! I love them to serve them with my hidden veg guacamole and some fried cheese haloumi but pretty much anything goes!

Makes 6 large or 12 blini-sized pancakes

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100g sweetcorn, tinned or frozen

100g ricotta cheese

100ml milk

1 egg, beaten

50g plain flour

50g polenta

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp smoked paprika, optional

1/4 tsp salt, optional

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Place a large frying or pancake pan on the hob with a little butter and turn the heat to medium-high. Whilst heating up, place all your ingredients in a blender and blitz down to a smooth batter.

Once the butter has melted and the pan is hot, pour the batter directly from your blender into the pan (you can make 1-2 pancakes at a time depending on the size of your pan). Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the edges are set and bubbles begin to appear, and then flip and cook for a further minute on the other side. Remove and keep warm until ready to serve.

 

 

Eggy Bread [aka French Toast]

This is such an amazing recipe to start your day with but it's also a fantastic gentle introduction to egg for your little one(s)- especially when its served with a drizzle of date syrup, a dollop of coconut yoghurt and a handful of blueberries!!! I, however, personally love the savoury option- loaded with smashed avocado and smoked salmon/ or crispy bacon. It makes me hungry even thinking about it...

BLW tip: my daughter loves it when I cut the bread into fun shapes with biscuit cutters. Stars and gingerbread men for Christmas breakfast?!

Serves 1 adult or 2 small children

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1 egg, beaten

1 tbsp milk

1 tbsp olive oil

2 slices of country bread, cut thickly

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Combine the egg and milk and pour into a shallow bowl or plate with a lip. Place the two pieces of bread on the plate and allow them to absorb the mixture. After 1 minute, turn and allow the other side of the bread to absorb the mixture- it will become very soggy.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a shallow frying pan and after 2 minutes of soaking add the bread to the hot pan. Cook for 1-2 minute or until golden brown. Carefully turn over the bread using a fish slice and continue to cook for a further 1-2 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.

Baked Eggs

This is such a fantastically quick and versatile recipe that can easily be multiplied up when cooking for more than one child/adult. I've put it in Breakfast and Brunch but in fact it makes a wonderful tea too. [Note: if making for myself I just double/triple the quantities and add a sprinkling of salt before serving.]

1 egg per ramekin

combo 1:

10-15g ham, roughly sliced or shredded

1 cherry tomato, quartered

10g cheddar cheese, grated

combo 2:

10-15g smoked salmon

5g spinach, roughly chopped

1 tsp cream cheese or creme fraiche

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Preheat the oven to its highest setting. Lightly butter the ramekin(s) and place the ham or salmon in the bottom followed by either the tomato or spinach. Crack the egg on top and add the remaining ingredient. Place in the oven for 12-15 minutes depending on how set you want your egg(s). Remove and allow to cool slightly before serving with some toast or flatbread.

Super Seed & Quinoa Granola

This is a fantastic granola for all the family- full of nutrients from the quinoa, oats, nuts and seeds as well as a big dose of natural sweetness from the fresh bananas. Its essential to leave the granola in the oven to crisp up after you have turned it off otherwise you won't get the lovely crunchy texture that makes it so addictive that you'll find yourself sneaking handfuls as a quick snack! I haven't included any dried fruit as we tend to add these separately as they burns in the oven but if you wanted to add any into the mixture before storing then I would suggest two types and about 50g each.

[Note: if you can't find puffed quinoa then just use an extra 60g porridge oats.]

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140g porridge oats

40g puffed quinoa

40g desiccated coconut

40g almonds, roughly chopped

40g pistachios, roughly chopped

40g pecans, roughly chopped

40g sunflower seeds

40g pumpkin seeds

2 tbsp linseed

1 tsp ground cinnamon

3 tbsp maple syrup

3 tbsp olive oil

150g banana (about 2 bananas)

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Preheat the oven to 180oC and line a baking tray with baking parchment.

Place all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Place the maple syrup, olive oil and banana in a blender and blitz until a smooth puree. Pour the banana mixture over the dry ingredients and stir through so that everything is is evenly coated.

Spread the mixture onto the baking tray and compact down with the back of a wooden spoon or spatula. Place in the oven for 30-35 minutes, giving it a stir every 10-15 minutes. Turn off the oven but leave the tray inside for another 30 minutes to allow everything to crisp up. Remove and leave to cool completely before breaking up and storing in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks.

 

 

 

Banana & Maple Syrup Loaf

This banana cake is utterly perfect in our book- sweet, squidgy and heavenly when toasted and lathered with butter. I wish I had a picture of my daughter's face the first time she tried it- pure happiness! Slice up and store in the freezer for breakfasts or snacks.

Makes 1 large loaf

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3 ripe bananas (about 250-300g)

200ml maple syrup

3 eggs, beaten

140ml full fat milk

70ml sunflower oil

275g spelt flour

80g pecans, roasted for 10 minutes and blitzed down to a rough powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

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Preheat the oven to 170oC and line a loaf tin with baking parchment. Set aside.

Place the bananas, maple syrup and eggs in the bowl of a food mixer and beat for 3 minutes until you have a lump-free mixture. With the mixer still running, add the milk and sunflower oil and beat for a further minute until fully combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat for a further 5 minutes until smooth. Pour the mixture into your prepared loaf tin and place in the oven for 1 hour 30-45minutes or until risen and it bounces back when you touch it. Remove and place on a wire cooling rack.

[To store: wrap in foil and it will keep for 4-5 days or cut into slices and freeze for up to a month]

Chorizo & Cornbread Muffins

The creamy sweetcorn and lightly spiced chorizo in these muffins are a dream combo. Packed full of nutrients and a whole load of flavour they are fantastic for the entire family - especially as part of a delicious brunch selection. You can also make mini cornbread loaves with the mixture or they look fantastic (and ultra cute) in a bitesize format.

[Note: to keep the whole recipe gluten free just check that the chorizo you are using is GF and if you can't find any then substitute with sundried tomatoes or pancetta]

Makes 4-5 mini loaves, 6 large muffins or 12 bitesize muffins

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30g chorizo, cut into 1/2cm dice

150g sweetcorn, tinned or frozen plus a small handful for the top

30g shallots, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp baking powder

3 tbsp polenta

50g butter, softened

2 eggs, beaten

50g cheddar cheese, grated

3-4 cherry tomatoes, quartered (I like to use a variety of colours but red is fine)

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Preheat the oven to 200oC and line a muffin tin with 6 muffin cases. Set aside.

Place the chorizo in a small frying pan and fry over a medium heat until golden and crisp. Meanwhile, place the rest of the ingredients, apart from 15g cheddar and the tomato quarters, in a food processor and blitz until you have a rough puree. Pour into a mixing bowl and stir through the cooked chorizo. Divide the mixture between the muffin cases and equally sprinkle over the tomato quarters, leftover cheddar and sweetcorn. Place in the oven for 25-30minutes [Note: 20minutes for bitesize] until golden and set. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.

Store: in an airtight container for 3 days.

Perfect Everyday Porridge

I adore porridge and would quite happily have it every single morning. Its not only super nutritious, its also cheap and extremely versatile. I've listed our top four flavour combinations but its also delicious plain with a drizzle of maple syrup, a few raisins or a good spoonful of strawberry chia jam.

Makes enough for 1 porridge loving adult and 1-2 small children.

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100g porridge oats

2 tbsp flaxmeal, optional

200ml boiling water

200ml full fat milk

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Place the porridge and flax meal (if using) in a small saucepan and pour over the boiling water. Leave for 10-20 minutes for the oats to absorb the water before adding the milk and placing over a medium-high heat. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 3 minutes, stirring often, until the mixture thickens. Remove and allow to cool a little before serving.

Topping 1: Banana & homemade ‘Nutella’

1 banana, sliced- 1 tbsp ‘nutella’ -1 tbsp date syrup

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Add half the banana and the date syrup to the porridge whilst cooking and mash until it is part of the overall texture. Serve with the remaining banana slices and syrup and a spoonful of nutella.

Topping 2 : Blueberry, Almond& Honey

handful of blueberries - 1 tbsp toasted flaked almonds - 1 tbsp honey - pinch mixed spice

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Toast the almonds with a pinch of mixed spice and half the honey and set aside. Add half the blueberries into the cooking porridge so they they soften and leak into the oats. To serve, sprinkle over the toasted almonds, remaining blueberries and a drizzle of honey.

Topping 3: Cinnamon Apple & Maple Syrup

1 apple, roughly grated (or spirallised) - 1/4 tsp cinnamon - 1 tbsp maple syrup

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In a small bowl stir the cinnamon and syrup through the prepared apple. Add half to the cooking porridge and sprinkle the remaining on top before serving.

Topping 4: Blackberry & Pistachio

30g blackberries - 1 pear, grated - 1 tbsp toasted and roughly chopped pistachios - 1 tbsp honey

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Toast the pistachios with half of the honey and set aside. Grate the pear into the cooking porridge. To serve, sprinkle over the blackberries and pistachios.

 

 

 

 

 

Mix'n'Match Morning Muffins

This recipe is a must have for any busy parent- you can use a whole host of different fruit and vegetables combinations depending on what you have leftover and they are always delicious. We love them for breakfast or as a mid afternoon snack or quite frankly- straight out of the oven! There is only a little agave syrup in the recipe so much of the  sweetness in these muffins depends  on the natural sweetness of the fruit and vegetables. 

Makes 8-9 muffins

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140g spelt flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp cinnamon

200g grated ‘hard’ fruit or veg [carrot, butternut, courgette, sweet potato, apple or pear]

100g lightly mashed ‘soft’ fruit [banana, mango or berries]

30g dried fruit, chopped if large [raisins, cranberries, blueberries, sour cherries, dates, figs, prunes, apples]

30g unsweetened desiccated coconut, optional

3 tbsp olive oil

1 egg, beaten

100ml full fat milk- use coconut if you are looking for a dairy free alternative

2-3 tbsp agave syrup

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Preheat the oven to 180oC and line a muffin tin.

In a large bowl add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon. Mix well.  Add the fruit and veg along with the coconut and fold through the dry ingredients making sure everything is evenly distributed. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, eggs and agave syrup and then pour over the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

Place two 2 heaped tablespoons of mixture into the lined muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes or until risen, golden and they bounce back when touched. Remove and allow to cool before serving. 

Banana & Spelt Pancakes

Pancakes make a regular appearance in our house at the weekend and this is just one of many variations! The banana provides some natural sweetness but we always add a bit of honey too as it works beautifully with the slightly earthy flavour of spelt. If your child is under 12 months you can substitute the honey for agave or maple syrup or just leave it out!

Makes 8-10 scotch pancakes

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65g banana, mashed

65g spelt flour

65g self-raising flour

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 egg, beaten

150ml full fat milk

1 tbsp honey, optional

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Mix together the flour and cinnamon. Make a well and pour in the egg and half of the milk. Whisk until you have a lump free paste. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan heat the banana, milk and honey until just boiling. Remove immediately and whisk into the flour/egg mix until you have a batter. Cover and place in the fridge for an hour and a half to thicken.

When ready to cook the pancakes, heat a large frying pan on a medium heat and add a small knob of butter. Once melted add about 2-3 tbsp of batter per pancake [I generally pour it from a jug so its a bit of a guess!] Leave it to cook until bubbles start to appear (about 1-2 minutes) flip over with a palette knife and continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes until golden brown. Remove onto a plate and repeat until you have used all your batter.

Serve immediately with a good dose of honey or maple syrup or spread with our almond and cocoa 'nutella' or strawberry chia jam.

Coconut & Pear Bircher

This is a fantastic super nutritious dairy free breakfast option that you can prepare the night before. I think the combination of the pear and coconut work wonderfully together but use apple if you prefer and if you don't have any mixed dried berries just use whatever dried fruit you have available. This recipe is also great if you are baby led weaning as the mixture can be baked and set into little muffin size cakes that tiny hands can pick up and explore- see method below.

Serves 2 adults and 1-2 small children

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100g porridge oats

400ml tin full fat coconut milk

50g mixed dried berries

30g desiccated coconut

1/2 pear, finely diced or grated

1 tbsp maple syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla paste, optional

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Place all the ingredients in a large airtight container and stir to combine. Leave overnight for the oats to absorb the flavours and serve topped with extra pear and a drizzle of maple syrup. 

for baby led weaning: preheat the oven to 160oC and grease a 12-hole muffin. Divide the mixture between 9 of the moulds (it won't make 12) and bake for 20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely before popping out. Keep whole, slice or cut into dice before storing in an airtight container for 5 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

Mango Lassi

My husband and I fell in love with Mango Lassi whilst in India before our daughter was born and since its made a regular appearance at weekend breakfasts. Madeleine has joined this love affair- its creamy, fruity and naturally sweet- so ticks just about every box! I add a pinch of ground cardamon which we all love and gives a more authentic flavour but feel free to leave out. 

Makes 3-4 glasses

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300g frozen diced mango

150ml full fat Greek Yoghurt

250ml milk

1 tsp honey

1 tsp lime juice

2 mint leaves

pinch of ground cardamon, optional

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Place all the ingredients in a blender and blitz down until smooth and silky. [Note: you may need to stop half way and scrap down the sides with a spatula]. Remove and pour straight into serving glasses.