It’s really really really (did I say REALLY) difficult to fit into a modern world when your kids have gluten and dairy intolerances. I mean it’s not like they have an Anaphylactic episode if they eat dairy or gluten so it’s not easy justifying your motives to the children and others when we are not at home. People look at you as if you are a bit crazy when you try to explain it. I’m not surprised that many parents are reluctant to try altering their kids diet to fight things such as Eczema or behavioural issues, or they do try but end up giving up. When I see how much my kids benefit from avoiding processed foods and food containing gluten and dairy I am inspired to keep going. I hope that by sharing what I learn along the way inspires you guys to feed your kids healthier too.
This is our current go-to treat for the kids. I stumbled upon a similar recipe while looking for dairy free options to send to school with my kids (i.e. in place of yoghurt) and changed it to suit us. They loved it. (I love it – it is delicious – it tastes just like a chocolate yogo but without all the nasties – yum!)
I make it in my Thermomix – it takes 7 minutes and cooks itself, but it is also really quick and easy on the stove. (Both methods are included below)
You may wish to make double as there won’t be much left over! (this provides for a small can of ‘Ayam’ brand coconut milk and is enough to give my 3 kids some with fruit for dessert and makes 2 small portions to take to school)
I hope you enjoy 🙂
The Shrinking Hubby’s Dairy Free Healthy Chocolate Custard
(GF, DF, RSF)
- 270g Full Fat Coconut Milk (or 1 cup)
- 40g Water (or 2 Tablespoons)
- 1 Free Range Egg
- 1/3 cup Coconut Sugar (or Rapadura Sugar)
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 tablespoon Arrowroot (Tapioca Flour) (or gluten free Corn Starch)
- 1 1/2 tablespoon Cacao Powder
If using a Thermomix:
Place all the ingredients in your mixing bowl and cook for 6-7 minutes, 90 degrees, speed 4
If not using a thermomix:
Mix the arrowroot flour (or cornflour) and water together. Add to a saucepan with the other ingredients and whisk briskly over a medium heat for a few minutes until custard thickens to your liking. It will thicken quickly as it heats up and will continue to thicken as it cools
For a vanilla custard, you can omit the cacao. Both versions are divine! Serves 4 but recipe is easily doubled. It is delicious served with berries for dessert or even breakfast!
This keeps well for a few days in the fridge too – so if there are any leftovers the kids can take to school in little containers.
Today’s guest post has been written by my friend and cooking mentor, Robyn Goldin. Robyn is amazing in the kitchen and her beautiful boys’ voracious and varied appetites is a credit to her clever cooking and creativity.
Last week I made Robyn’s Double Chocolate Muffins and they were wolfed down by my entire family! Absolutely delicious, they are gluten-free, nut free (so perfect for school lunches), and refined sugar free. I made mine with coconut milk rather than yoghurt so they were dairy free too.
They are rich but make a popular treat – I hope you enjoy!
Mimi’s Double Chocolate Muffins
I am delighted to have been asked to guest-blog on The Shrinking Hubby this week and share one of my kids’ favourite recipes!
I thought I would start by telling you a little bit about myself. I am not a chef or a nutritionist, I call myself a ‘professional eater’ who loves to cook. For as long as I can remember I have loved food. Most of my memories are centred around food as it was an integral part of my childhood. My parents are both excellent cooks and I grew up eating wonderful, interesting food.
I only started cooking at the age of 23 when I got married and I didn’t really have much of an idea about what I was doing. But I was once told that if you can read you can cook, and so I set about following recipes from the pictures that took my fancy! I vowed not to be scared to try something new and so my love of cooking began.
Cooking became my passion, and I started Mimi’s Kitchen in 2012 after many requests to share my recipes. I have the pleasure of sharing my love for cooking with many people through cooking classes (both adults and children) and catering for small occasions.
Most importantly, I am a mum (or Mimi as they call me) to 3 very busy and hungry boys. Sometimes if feels like my sole purpose in life is to feed them and I have made it a bit of a mission of mine to ensure they learn to eat a wide variety of foods. Recently I have been interested in introducing them to foods that are lower in refined sugar and as wholesome as possible, in the hope that the higher the quality of what they consume, not only is it healthier but it will keep them fuller for longer.
I try to include my boys in as much of the preparation as I can and they all really enjoy watching the process and eating the spoils. I find that the more involved they are, the more likely they are to try something new.
I made these Double Chocolate Muffins the other day. I find the minute you tell kids there is chocolate in it, they will eat it without hesitation! Little do they know there is so much other goodness in these muffins for them. My kids loved them and they even tasted great the next day as their texture changed and became quite fudgey.
I hope you all have a go at trying these muffins. Let me know what you think. You can find me on Facebook – www.facebook.com/cookinmimiskitchen or Instagram @mimiskitchen_ or my blog www.mimiskitchen.org
Mimi’s Double Chocolate Muffins (gluten, dairy, refined sugar and nut free)
Today’s guest-post is written by a friend of mine Mandy Sacher of Wholesome Child, who is a qualified nutritionist specialising in children’s health.
As a busy mother of 3 young children (8, 5 and 4 years old) who are very fussy eaters, I struggle to come up with healthy and varied options at mealtimes that actually get enjoyed. As Mandy explains in her article below, Salmon is a wonderful super food that can really benefit the health of our children. She has shares some great tips on how to include more salmon into your family’s diet. You will also find below my recipe for The Shrinking Hubby’s Miso Poached Salmon and Noodles our go-to favourite salmon recipe – one of the few dinners that gets demolished every time. I hope you enjoy this post!
How To Get Your Kids To Eat More Brain Boosting Salmon
By Mandy Sacher of Wholesome Child
Salmon is a super brain boosting food for babies and children. It is rich in omega-3-fatty acids (DHA and EPA) which are essential for developing brains. These types of oils are found in breast milk and are always added to infant and follow-on-formulas. Recent studies show that children whose diets are rich in these essential fatty acids achieve better results at school – especially in the areas of reading and memory performance. Evidence has also shown that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and related behaviour/learning disabilities are more likely to have diets which are low in omega-3’s and would benefit from increasing their DHA levels.
Not only are these essential oils important for brain health, they are also crucial for healthy eye development and strong immune systems as they ward off inflammatory childhood diseases. One of the best ways to ensure they are getting enough of these fatty acids in their diets is to bump up their salmon intake. However, when choosing salmon – especially for babies and small children – it is important to take note of where it comes from and how it is fed. Many farmed salmon are fed pellets which contain genetically-modified grains and fats such as soy, corn and canola oil. Synthetic dyes may also be added to their feed to give their flesh that attractive pink colour and there is a widespread use of antibiotics and other chemicals which are not found in high quality premium grade salmon such as wild salmon or organic salmon.
Most parents reading this article are thinking “I am aware of the health benefits of salmon but how do I get my children to eat more of it?” Here are Wholesome Child’s Top 10 ways to get kids to eat more salmon. Many of these recipes are perfect for healthy lunchbox meals.
- The Shrinking Hubby’s Miso Poached Salmon with Noodles (see below or click here for recipe)
- Coconut crumbed salmon nuggets with dipping sauces such as home-made tomato sauce, tzatziki or beetroot hummus.
- Spelt pasta spirals with creamy salmon and cheese sauce (great for winter, if your school does not heat food up send in a thermos).
- Tasty salmon hamburger patties served on a sourdough spelt bun or in a wrap.
- Savoury salmon and veggie mini- muffins.
- Home-made cooked salmon sushi rolls.
- Goat cheese, pumpkin and salmon mini-quiches
- Rice paper rolls with cooked salmon and buckwheat soba noodles.
- Salmon sandwich: layer sandwich with flaked salmon, crème fraiche, Dijon mustard and sweet potato puree
- Salmon Shepherd pies are a great alternative to meat.
- Salmon lasagne with plenty of vegetables.
So which is the best salmon for kids? Many parents who are concerned about mercury levels, taste (compliance – getting their kids to eat it) prefer organic salmon to commercially farmed salmon and wild salmon.
Organic Norwegian Salmon is reared in the ocean in their natural habitat and there are 50% less salmon per habitat than non-organic salmon. They are free to eat natural occurring food sources within the ocean that flow into their estuaries and they are reared on 100% organic feed, which is fit for human consumption (100% sustainable). There are no pesticides, no chemicals, no synthetic dyes and no nitrates. It’s really important when recommending fish for pregnant women, infants and children that we know exactly what the mercury, dioxin and PCB levels are and where our salmon come from.
About The Author:
Mandy Sacher is a paediatric nutritionist and health writer, who sources quality products for her clients. She has had over 15 years of experience in the health industry and is the founder of Wholesome Child – helping parents to feed their children RIGHT from the start!
Mandy stocks the best quality organic salmon and is located in Rose Bay, Rozelle and delivers to St Ives on Tuesday.
You can find out more about Mandy at her website www.wholesomechild.com.au, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Wholesome-Organic-Salmon or you can contact her at email@example.com
The Shrinking Hubby’s Miso Poached Salmon With Noodles
What you will need:
- 1-2 fillets organic salmon
- 1/3 cup of good quality brown rice miso paste (found from organic health food shops or whole food shops)
- 1 packet Vietnamese Rice Pad Thai Noodles (or you can use buckwheat or soba noodles – adjust cooking time according to instructions.)
- A couple handfuls green beans (topped and tailed)
How to pull it together:
- Bring a medium-sized saucepan to the boil.
- Add the miso paste and using a whisk mix together well.
- Add the rice noodles (which generally take around 8 minutes to cook or if using different noodles adjust cooking time accordingly). Cook for 2 minutes.
- After 2 minutes, add the salmon fillet/s to the miso and noodles. Cook for 4 minutes.
- After 4 minutes add the beans and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Dish out into bowls, ensure to add a couple of ladlefuls of nutritious miso broth to the mixture and serve.
Notes: For a more grown up version – this is delicious drizzled with some tamari, a little sesame oil and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. You could also add some chilli oil for a kick.
We all know that being a Mum is not easy ! I put a few feelers out there amongst some of the mums I know and on my Facebook page to ask what they find hardest about motherhood, and resoundingly the biggest challenge for most busy mums is definitely lack of time. At whatever stage you are with your parenting – be it babies and toddlers or school-aged kids, life seems to get busier and busier as time goes on. What often happens unfortunately, is that we tend to put ourselves last in the pecking order. In honour of Mothers Day in Australia next weekend and for all the busy mums out there, I thought I would share some of my favourite tips for making some more time in your day. I hope that you manage to spend some of this extra time on yourselves! I am also sharing a new yummy pancake recipe so that your loved ones (or even you!) can spoil yourself with a delicious, healthy and comforting breakfast next Sunday. They are Thermomix friendly but you could use a food processor or blender just as easily. Don’t you think they would be yummy to have in bed with a cup of tea and the Sunday papers next weekend? Hint .. hint ..!
Here are just some of my suggestions to increase some time for yourself during your busy day:
- Prioritise! Decide what really matters to you and organise yourself so that you can make time to fit those things in.
- Get up an hour earlier and factor some time for yourself– walk, run or even meditate. If you find it hard to get motivated for morning exercise, make sure you have a plan so you know exactly what to do when your alarm goes off. Set your clothes out the night before, fill up your drink bottle and put it next to your keys. Download some music to make your walk/run more interesting. Make a commitment by writing it in your diary or organise to meet up with a friend so you will be more motivated to go.
- Go to bed an hour earlier. The best time to get your important sleep is before midnight and everything is so much better when you are well rested (plus if you have an early night it makes it easier to wake up the next morning!)
- Don’t be afraid to ask those close to you for help if you are struggling! If you need a little time-out, your partner could watch the kids for so you can go for a walk or have a relaxing bath.
- Be clever in the kitchen – pack school lunches the night before, when you buy fruit chop it and pack it up straight away so it’s easy to grab in a hurry, freeze sandwiches in bulk, make more at dinner and freeze half/ or have for lunch the next day. Do big cook ups on the weekend so you don’t have to worry about it during the week. Cook batches of chicken, hard boiled eggs, quinoa, rice etc and keep on hand in the fridge so you can quickly pull together healthy meals. There are some great gadgets out there that are designed to make your life easier in the kitchen. The Thermomix (or thermo-type appliances) or a slow cooker can really save time. Try my Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks, my Chicken and Eggplant Bake or Greek Inspired Shepherds Pie which are all easy to make double of and all freeze beautifully.
At the end of the day we should be grateful that our lives are so full – those little people might be hard work – but they are more precious than anything! Happy Mothers Day!
The Shrinking Hubby’s Almond Meal Pancakes
– Serves 4 –
What you will need:
- 1 1/2 cups Almond Meal
- 1 1/2 teaspoons aluminium free baking powder
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 organic free range eggs
- 1 1/4 cup water
- Organic butter or coconut oil for cooking
- Fruit, yoghurt and/or organic maple syrup or honey to serve
How to pull it together:
Put all the ingredients in your Thermomix or food processor and blitz for about 30 seconds speed 9/10 until well blended and of a consistency you are happy with. You may wish to experiment with the amount of water you use depending on how thick you like your batter.
Heat a large frying pan, add a dollop of butter (or coconut oil) and let it melt. Spoon out the batter (I did 3 small pancakes at a time). Watch carefully and when nicely browned, flip and cook the other side until ready.
Serve as you like – Some suggestions are: fruit, organic maple syrup, raw honey, almond butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon or a dollop of greek yoghurt.
One of the things I would like to achieve this year is a happy balance when it comes to dinner time. Of course some nights it is too hard to sit down as a family with work commitments, extra curricular activities (ours and theirs) and life in general. However by by feeding the kids early and then cooking a separate meal for Andrew and I, I feel that a) we are missing out on connecting with our kids and b) I am working twice as hard as I need to! The problem is that Andrew and I really haven’t been eating the same food as our kids. We love our vegetables and chili and sophisticated flavours and as a rule tend to avoid starchy carbohydrates at night. They love their simple food such as gluten free pasta, potato and rice. They are also super fussy and likely to turn their noses up at most meals I put in front of them which makes it very frustrating. So I have decided to create a new section on this website dedicated to family friendly meals that can be adapted to please mum and dads and the kids without too much angst.
First off the rank is my Bolognese (or Bolognaise if that’s the way you spell it!). I made this sauce the other night (see the recipe below). I don’t like cooking bolognese in my Thermomix but I find the Thermomix is brilliant for chopping the onions and garlic and getting the vegetables to the exact consistency that I like. I have noted where I used my Thermomix below.
For the children I serve it on top of gluten free pasta with a sprinkling of lactose free cheese (my 5 year old is lactose intolerant). My 8 year old however tried Parmesan for the first time the other night (not being put off by the smell) and loved it – an excellent surprise! They say persistence is the key (sigh) …
I served ours on a bed of zucchini noodles (see how I make my zucchini noodles below). I didn’t even heat the noodles, I just topped with the hot sauce and then with an avocado and caper salsa (see below).
The Shrinking Hubby’s Bolognese
This makes an enormous batch of bolognese sauce. Enough to feed a family for a good 3-4 nights. I freeze some in family sized portions and some in ice cube trays for a quick mid-week kids dinner on the fly. Don’t be alarmed if it seems like it will be too watery, it thickens up beautifully over the cooking time.
What you will need:
- 1 Kg grass-fed beef mince
- 1-2 tablespoons Olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic (or teaspoons of good quality organic minced garlic – I like the Spiral brand)
- 1 largish brown onion
- 2-3 cups vegetables – whatever you have in the fridge really. I like to use carrots, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli and mushrooms depending on what I have.
- 2 bottles of organic passata sauce (I use 690 gram jars or about 25 ounces). *Passata is a tomato puree
- 1/2 cup red wine (optional)
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- Dried herbs e.g Italian herb mix (there are many available), paprika, dried oregano
- 2-3 bay leaves
- Salt and pepper
1. Chop the onions and garlic (if using a Thermomix throw onion and garlic in and blitz for 3 seconds speed 5).
2. Finely chop the vegetables, or place the vegetables in a food processor and blitz until chopped to your liking. (if using a Thermomix throw veggies in and chop for 5-8 seconds speed 5-6 depending on how finely you like them chopped.
How to pull it together:
Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot. When oil is hot add the onions and garlic and a generous sprinkle of sea salt, turn down the heat and saute for about 5 minutes stirring frequently. When onion is well cooked, add the meat and cook until browned. When meat is cooked, add the vegetables and 1/2 cup of red wine (if using), 1/2 cup red wine vinegar and 1/2 cup tomato paste. Stir through until well combined.
Add both bottles of passata. Fill the empty bottles with water and add both bottles of water at the same time (it will seem like a lot of sauce but will reduce during the cooking time). Add a generous amount of herbs (italian herb mix, paprika, dried oregano) and 2-3 bay leaves). Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour covered. Stir from time to time adding salt to taste if required.
You can serve with pasta or zucchini noodles topped with fresh parmesan.
How to prepare your Zucchini Noodles
What you will need:
- 3 zucchinis/courgettes per person
- Sea salt
- Olive oil
- a vegetable spiraliser
Create the zucchini noodles using a vegetable spiraliser. Place noodles in a colander, sprinkle liberally with good quality sea salt and drizzle with a splash of olive oil. Toss and let sit for about 30 minutes. You will find a lot of liquid leaves the noodles which means that they can shrink quite a bit.
I have tried many spiralisers to make vegetable ‘noodles’ and the GEFU Spiral Slicer Spiral Fix is by far the easiest and most effective I’ve used.
If you like the idea of Zucchini noodles and want more inspiration I have used Zucchini noodles previously with the delicious Dina’s Tomato Sauce here and my Salmon with Pesto Zucchini Noodles here.
Caper, Avocado and Tomato Salsa (serves 2)
Combine in a small bowl 1 tablespoon salted baby capers (well rinsed), 1/2 avocado diced, 1/4 cucumber diced, 1/2 tomato diced. Toss with juice of 1 lime, sea salt and pepper.
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