Purr-fect Pancakes

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These kitty-faced pancakes are the purr-fect way to kick off Memorial Day weekend (or any leisurely morning) to set the tone for a lazy summer ahead. After all, no one nails the art of napping quite like a cat. In sum, this fun twist on pancakes had Travis grinning.

Prepare a batch of your favorite pancakes – or  heck, just use a mix!

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We spread our pancakes with about 1 tablespoon maple syrup to help our fruit faces “glue” on.

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Add ears, noses, mouths, eyes, and don’t forget the whiskers! Ideally we would have used blueberries for the eyes, but a certain sous-chef ate them all up.

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Please share your animal face pancakes in the comments!

 

Have Breakfast Together

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All too often on weekdays, we eat breakfast in a rush and then it’s time to get everybody ready ready ready and out the door. On weekends, consider making breakfast feel extra special for your baby, even from a young age. This will help set the tone for the day and create bonding moments for your family. At almost seven months old, I can finally make Veronika and big brother Travis the same recipe – and mom and dad can enjoy this one, too!

The night before, prepare the apricot puree:

Combine 3 and 1/2 ounces dried apricots and 8 ounces water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes, until soft. Transfer to a food processor and process until smooth. Let cool, then refrigerate overnight.

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In the morning, prepare the oats:

In a saucepan, combine 3/4 cup rolled oats and 10 ounces hemp milk (we like unsweetened vanilla). Bring to a boil and continue to cook just until thickened, stirring frequently.

Ladle into bowls, varying the serving size depending on family member; that means about 2 tablespoons for Veronika and about 1/2 cup for big brother! Stir 1 tablespoon apricot puree into each bowlful.

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Now that you have your meal, enjoy each other’s company! It was a delight watching these two dine together.

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Veronika decided she liked eating clumps by hand rather than spoonfuls.

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Other meals that will fit into a Baby Led Weaning menu plus appeal to big kids include: English muffins with non-dairy cream cheese;

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Melon – cut it into strips for baby, and cubes for big kids;

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Muesli made with oats, non-dairy yogurt, and chia seeds;

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and French toast fingers!

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For a super-easy French toast, dip slices of bread in a mixture of: 1 cup hemp milk, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Cook for 4 minutes on each side and serve with raspberries.

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I also like to involve Veronika when I pause for my mid-morning snack. She loves to “share” my apple, and I always hand her my smoothie carton when I’m finished.

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Involving your baby in family meals right from the start will help set a great foundation for the years ahead.

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Pot o’ Gold Scrambles

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It was another rainy day here which meant another day where our heads were on a swivel for a rainbow.

It had us talking about the mythical pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, which made it the perfect day for this recipe from Raddish Kids!  The original was an egg-based scramble but the company suggested this fantastic vegan version.

Crumble 1 (1 pound) package firm tofu into a large bowl. Travis was impish and wanted to gobble the tofu plain – yup, I have a good vegan on my hands!

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Pat dry with paper towels.

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Sprinkle the tofu with 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and stir to combine.

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Cut the stem from a head of broccoli, and divide the florets into small pieces. Travis liked tearing up the “tiny trees.” Chop 4 to 5 slices vegan ham (such as Lightlife).

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Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the broccoli and ham; cook for 3 minutes.

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Add the tofu mixture and cook for a final 3 minutes. Thanks to the magic of turmeric, it really did look like our scramble was turning gold as it cooked! Sprinkle with 1/2 cup shredded Daiya cheddar.

To finish our pots of gold, I divide the mixture evenly among 4 ramekins. Draw a rainbow on paper and you can delight your child when they come to the table!

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As we dined, we talked about the origin of this myth, and also read the recipe’s feature on oven safety. This included a great suggestion to let kids practice opening and closing an oven when cold.

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Travis was thrilled he got to do such a grown-up kitchen task!

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So all-in-all, a great day in the kitchen!

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Easter Egg Granola Tarts

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These adorable tarts will get things off to a perfect start on Easter morning! Bake the night before and they’re ready to go as soon as you wake up.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oat
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • Plain or vanilla non-dairy yogurt
  • Fruit or food coloring for garnish
  1. Combine the oats, coconut, sunflower seeds, and flour in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Combine the agave and canola oil in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes, until warm. Drizzle over the dry ingredients, and stir to combine.
  3. Pat the mixture into 4 egg shapes on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. It will be quite crumbly, but will set as it cooks.
  4. Bake at 300 degrees F for 25 minutes. Turn off the oven but leave the pans inside with the door propped open to cool completely. You can even leave them this way overnight!
  5. In the morning, spread with the yogurt. Decorate with berries to resemble decorated eggs, if desired, or make stripes by swirling through a little natural food coloring.

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Berries-on-the-Bottom Chia Pudding

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Whip up these breakfast puddings the night before, and all you have to do on a sleepy morning is open the fridge and grab one out.

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups raspberries
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup, divided
  • 3 and 1/2 cups vanilla coconut milk
  • 1 cup chia seeds
  1. In a bowl, mash together the raspberries with 2 tablespoons maple syrup. Divide evenly among 6 (8-ounce) ramekins or jars.
  2. In a second bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons maple syrup, coconut milk, and chia seeds, whisking for about 1 minute, or until slightly thickened. Divide evenly among the ramekins.
  3. Cover and refrigerate overnight. We left ours ungarnished, bur you could add more fresh raspberries or toasted coconut on top for a pretty presentation, if desired!

Sweet Potato Breakfast Strata

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If you do the prep work for this strata the night before, all you need is 1 hour to bake it in the morning. Perfect for weekends, in sum – or heck, any weekday before school if you have early birds like I do!

Ingredients:

  • Cooking spray
  • 4 Lightlife bacon pieces, chopped
  • 1 cup peeled and chopped sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped Granny Smith apple
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 cups cubed whole-grain bread
  • 4 Ener-G eggs
  • 1 cup oat milk
  1. Heat a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add the Lightlife bacon; cook for about 4 minutes, until crisp and browned. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  2. Recoat the skillet with cooking spray and add the sweet potato and onion; cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the apple, maple syrup, rosemary, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook for a final 2 minutes, then remove from heat and return the bacon to the pan.
  3. Arrange 1 and 1/2 cups bread cubes in the bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray.  Top with the sweet potato mixture.
  4. In a bowl, whisk together the Ener-G eggs, oat milk, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pour over the sweet potato mixture. Top with a final 1/2 cup bread cubes.
  5. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours, and up to overnight.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees F for 50 minutes, uncovered. Let stand a few minutes before serving.

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And although we do like this for breakfast, it’s also great as a side at dinner! Try serving with Gardein chick’n and peas.

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Apricot-Gingerbread Oatmeal

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We woke up to snow this morning! Which meant it was the perfect morning for a loaded bowl of oatmeal to warm us up.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups oat milk
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Combine the milk, oats, apricots, walnuts, cinnamon, and ginger in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in the molasses and vanilla.

Serve warm and be cozy!

No-Cook Overnight Oatmeal

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Let’s face it – mornings are crazy, amiright? High Five magazine must know it, because Travis’s January issue featured a great recipe that kids can help make the night before. Shake up these no-cook oats, and they’re ready to go for breakfast!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup plain non-dairy yogurt
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk (we used coconut)
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Handful of dried apricots or raisins
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a jar with a tightly-fitting lid.no-cook oats (2)
  2. Seal the jar and shake – kids will love this step!no-cook oats (3)
  3. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight.

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In the morning, simply uncap the jar and voila – breakfast is served. You can serve cold like muesli, or warm it briefly in the microwave.

 

Berry Coconut Smoothie Bowl

Berry Smoothie BowlThis breakfast bowl will give a powerful boost to your kiddo’s day. I love that it’s packed with superfoods, and kids just love that it tastes good.

Ingredients:

  • 10 ounces coconut yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 2 tablespoons coconut water
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon cacao nibs
  • Strawberries, for serving
  1. In a blender, combine the yogurt, frozen strawberries, cashews, flaxseed, and coconut water; process until smooth.
  2. Divide the mixture evenly between two bowls, and sprinkle evenly with the shredded coconut and cacao nibs. Add extra berries for serving, if desired!

Breakfast Banana Split

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It’s my boy’s fourth birthday, and that calls for something a little extra special at breakfast. Ice cream sundaes for breakfast? Why not, if it’s summer and you’re turning 4! If you want to make this dish a little more everyday-friendly, replace the ice cream with your favorite non-dairy vanilla yogurt.

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 2 scoops non-dairy vanilla ice cream
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons granola
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter, warmed
  1. Cut the banana in half lengthwise, and arrange on a plate.
  2. Top the banana with the ice cream, blueberries, and granola. Drizzle with the almond butter.

Now that’s a sweet start to the day!