Since my last post, I’m happy to say that salads, all veggies and some sweets (yey!) are back on the menu. My all-day nausea is behind me, I have more energy and I am enjoying the happy-glowy second trimester phase. I have my kitchen- mojo back, which is a relief for not just me around here! There have been our challenges over the past month, but honestly compared to the beginning of my pregnancy, it all seems much easier to deal with.
The main challenge I have had lately has been not about me, but getting enough nutrition into my 20 month old toddler, now that my milk supply has dropped to almost nothing. I intended to keep breastfeeding her until she was at least two, so suddenly not having enough milk for her needs was something I had not prepared for. She is still latching on and getting a little milk, but nothing compared to what she was consuming before. Worried that she would be missing out on some vital nutrients that she would otherwise be getting from me, I tried offering her alternative milks, all of which she turned away with must distaste. I wasn’t bothered about her consuming milk from an animal, but when she refused all nut milks, coconut and oat milk (all of her favourite foods in solid form!) I needed to make sure that her food intake contained plenty of calcium and fat-soluble vitamins, so began concocting the perfect balanced recipe that bother she and myself would love.
In an attempt to make something not only nutrient-dense but also full of some her favourite foods, I came up with the idea of a flapjack, filled with some high calcium foods: figs, tahini, molasses and nuts. Each slice contains around 10% of your daily calcium allowance, as well as your daily dose of magnesium, a whopping 10g of protein and plenty of B vitimins and Folate. The idea to cover them in chocolate came by accident, as I have been completely off chocolate throughout my whole pregnancy so far, but after taking a bite of flapjack with a square of my favourite dark chocolate one day recently, I was instantly in chocolate oaty heaven, and had to make some choc-coated slices. Seriously dip them if you’re the slightest bit into chocolate.
With the perfect combination of soft flapjack and hard chocolate, sweet and earthy flavours and the bitter-sweet shell of chocolate wrapping the flavours together, these are my favourite lunch-box treat and mid-afternoon pick-me-up. They’d also make a good breakfast on the go, if you need something instant! Fern tells me these are ‘num-num’ and knowing that they are giving her a boost of calcium makes for one happy mumma.
A few notes on the recipe; You will need to pre-soak the figs in warm water for at least 30 minutes before making. You will also need a 9″9″ baking tray to press the flapjacks into. Once made, these will keep for around 2 weeks in the fridge, or can be cut and frozen and defrosted as needed. Lastly, you might want to skip the chocolate if you are serving these to toddlers, or make some with and some without, as I did!
Calcium loaded figgy flapjax
1 cup cashews
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup dates, pre soaked
1 tbsp molasses
1 tsp cinnamon
10 dried figs, pre-soaked
2 tbsp tahini
1/4 cup buckwheaties (dehydrated sprouted buckwheat) OR puffed rice/ quinoa/millet
100g dark chocolate (optional)
Place the cashew nuts into a food process or and process until very fine. Add the oats and process again until powdery. Add the dates, raisins, molasses and cinnamon and process until it looks crumbly and sticks together when you press it down with your fingers. If it seems to dry, add a bit more molasses.
Line your baking tin with cling-film or parchment paper. Remove the mixture from the bowl of the processor and split in two. Press one half into the base of your tin, rolling out firmly and evenly with a glass to get it flat. Now remove any stalks from the soaked figs and place into the food processor with the tahini. Process until a thick ‘jam’ is formed. If it is struggling to get smooth, add a little of the fig-soak water until it becomes smooth. Spread the mixture over the base with a spatula, and place in the freezer to set whilst you make the topping.
To the remaining half of the cashew/oat mixture, add the bukwheaties or puffed cereal and combine well with your hands. You could also add any other crunchy ingredients at this stage, like chopped nuts or chocolate chips. Melt the chocolate over a ban-marie, making sure not to over-heat. Once melted, remove from the heat and remove your base from the freezer ready to add your toppings.
Crumble the topping over the fig-jam, making sure that he edges are as thick as the center, then gently press down with your hands. Pour the melted chocolate over the top (or cut and drizzle/ dip one end into the chocolate) before setting until firm in the fridge.
*I’m not a qualified nutritionist so cannot give advise on the nutritional needs of little ones or pregnant women, however I simply have a passion for nutritious delicious foods and do not believe that consuming dairy products are essential for meeting the calcium requirements of children or adults. You can read more about it here and here. I’d love to hear your thoughts too! I’d also love to know some of your little-ones favourite snacks or your go-to goodies. Let me know in the box below!