My baby girl has been eating solid food for over a month now, and my love, appreciation and passion for food is on over drive! I knew that when the day Fern delved into the world of foods, it would heighten my awareness of what I, and therefore she was eating. I want to create really healthy habits and associations with foods for her, without setting any strict rules or fear around food. I want her to have such a varied diet of home made dishes, fresh fruits and vegetables and homegrown produce that she feels joy and pleasure from everything we make and eat together. I know that one day she will want to eat ice cream with her cousins, be given sweets from well-meaning friends and share feasts full of less-healthy foods with reckless abandon. All of this is part of life and all is fine. Though when we are at home, in our normal routine and surrounded by all of the locally available wonderful ingredients that we are, I want to share with her my love for real home cooking and natural ingredients. I want her food to be food that I would want to eat myself too! So my journey into creating Ferns first foods began here. It started with her green smoothies and finger foods or fruit and veggie sticks which she seemed to enjoy with much delight. Now as she is eating more and more, I wanted to make her something packed full of nutrients in the form of a soft light cake which she could feed herself. It needed to be dairy-free and sweetened only by fruit, with nutrient density from our free-range organic eggs, protein rich grains and some extra good fats thrown in for good measure. I had all the specifications ready, now time to make this babies breakfast cake baked!
I call it Breakfast cake as it is basically all of the things I like to eat for breakfast all put together into a tasty cake. What more could be more perfect when you want a quick and easy breakfast, mid-morning or afternoon snack or healthy desert? Oats, fruits, eggs, seeds and a touch of sweet and spice is what my mornings are made of. I kept this cake as low on added sweetness as possible as it as made specifically for my 7 month old baby, but you could up the date/apple syrup or add some honey or maple syrup if you wanted a sweeter treat. That being said, I feel it is sweet enough, especially for a breakfast meal. Feel free to switch around the fruits/veggies for things like pears/ pumpkin/raspberries/figs, use different spices and use whichever kind of milk you prefer.
Makes 1 medium loaf or 12 muffins
1 cup oats
1 cup quinoa flakes
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
3 medium apples/carrots or a mixture, grated
1/2 cup blackberries
2 cups almond milk
2 tbsp date/apple syrup (or honey/maple syrup, add more to taste)
Preheat the oven to 180 deg C. Mix the first 6 dry ingredients in a bowl. Whisk the eggs and add the milk and date/apple syrup. Mix well the pour over the dry ingredients. Add the grated apples/carrots and berries and mix well. Grease a cake or loaf tin with coconut oil (or as I do, use a silicon flexible tin) and pour the mixture in. If making into muffins, use muffin cases or silicon moulds.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before slicing.