Sunday, October 28, 2012

Recipe: Baby's Banana Mini Muffins

I had a few bananas that were ripening faster than we could eat them so I started looking into recipes online for baby-friendly banana bread. Instead I found several variations on banana bread muffins and landed on a combination of several, along with some substitutions that a) worked with what I had in my kitchen and b) catered to my baby's health.

The result? A delish banana apple mini muffin that is SUGAR-FREE, EGG-FREE, ORGANIC and pretty much a great go-to snack. One quick comment on my organic approach: I am trying to feed my child (and in turn, the family as a whole) as many organic foods as possible. Now that we are back in our full-time home (versus our hiatus in Alaska) I am slowly turning over everything I can in my pantry to organic items. Obviously organic is interchangeable with inorganic, and it is a personal choice, as these things are typically more expensive and do not last as long as conventional ingredients. 

I plan on freezing whatever we don't plan on eating in the next couple days, and then pulling out one or two at a time and reheating in the microwave under a paper towel. Enjoy!

Baby's Banana Mini Muffins

2 Cups of Earth's Best Whole Grain Oatmeal (you can substitute any kind of flour or blended oats)

1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t ground organic cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1/4 t nutmeg (ok all I had was allspice and cloves so I went with cloves :-)...need to put that on the grocery list...)
3 very ripe organic bananas
1/4 Cup organic apple puree (just popped a few cubes out of a ziploc in the freezer!)

1/4 Cup unsalted butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray.
  2. Mix most of dry ingredients together in a large bowl: 2 Cups of oatmeal, 1 t baking powder, 1/2 t baking soda (half of what you'll need), 1/2 t of salt, and the 1/4 nutmeg/ allspice/ cloves/ whatever. Set aside.
  3. Peel and mash bananas in a medium bowl. Add the apple puree and the other 1/2 t of baking soda.
  4. Combine the banana mixture with the dry mixture, adding in the melted butter. Stir thoroughly. This will be pretty lumpy.
  5. Add heaping teaspoons into each muffin spot in your tin. Bake in oven for 15 minutes.
One quick comment: Not sure if it is my wonky oven (we have been trying to get to know each other since we bought the house in June and still aren't seeing eye to eye) or the recipe, but the muffins do not really rise and instead sink a little bit. The upside I see to this is they are perfect for a small scoop of vanilla ice cream on top if grown ups are eating these (Bugga is not eating dairy yet).

Because they didn't rise, I was sure I screwed something up (still not positive I didn't??) but they are actually delicious. I hope there are some left by the time Bugga gets up from her nap!

Friday, October 26, 2012


We spent the last several months temporarily relocated to Anchorage, Alaska from Houston, Texas for my husband's current project at work. If you know anything about geography, that's a huge difference in our way of life. Off the bat is the weather - this week it was 90 degrees in Houston while it was a sweaty 12 degrees in Anchorage. (!!!) Also, as much as Anchorage is considered "urban" by Alaskans, it is far smaller than Houston. Because of the size difference of the two cities, we had different options for baby activities each day and had to get creative sometimes.

Well, we are back in Texas, where everything is just as we left it...particularly all the moving boxes we still hadn't unpacked since we bought our house here in June. So as much as we were always in hot pursuit of baby activities in Anchorage, now they are competing with getting this house organized before the holiday season that now includes one very special holiday: Bugga's Birthday!

What I'm trying to say is that I am a little busy right now (aside from my husband still traveling quite a bit) so my posts have not been as frequent as I like, but I promise we haven't gone too far!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Parenting Support #19

Could no one have been straight with me about how hard parenting is?

You should have asked me. Notice I have ONE child.

Read more support

What is this about?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Learning About Food from my Infant

Like anyone else, there are foods I love to eat, and foods I don't care much for. For instance, there are several fruits and vegetables I have either tried and not really liked, or just didn't bother trying since they have zero allure, are rarely available, or are too complicated to prepare.

Cooking healthy food for my daughter has given me an opportunity to learn things I never knew about food. We are still going through the vast list of produce and I have already learned some things.


There are several different kinds of squash - summer, butternut, winter, acorn, and others. I've never been fond of the standard "squash" side dish you might be offered in a restaurant. Boring, blah, no thanks. Then I baked and pureed a butternut squash for Bugga. She LOVES it. And I tried it - and it's not that bad. It is a great simple sauce for pasta, mixes well with chicken, and has a nice sweet taste. I need to find some recipes to incorporate this into meals for the whole family.


Beets have always been a mystery to me. They are all the rage on salads in trendy restaurants but I've been too chicken to try them. And now I have a reason: they taste like dirt. But they are pretty, and at least now I have something to back up my distaste for them.

Sweet Potatoes

The first time I had sweet potato was in fry form. And as a lover of all condiments, I tried to eat them with ketchup. Gross. The sweet and savory combination is not my bag. My child, on the other hand, LOVES them - just like squash. They are also as flexible as squash as far as how to use them. And the other night I also revisited the fry concept, but this time just baked them in the oven with olive oil and cinnamon - they were delish!


I love pumpkin in every shape and form. In my coffee, in bread, in pancakes and of course most importantly...IN PIE!!! But I had never gotten my puree straight from the gourd until now. I am shocked how much pulp is usable from a single sugar pumpkin. I might never buy the stuff from the can ever again. The baby might also be eating pumpkin oatmeal every morning for breakfast for the rest of October as well! And guess what - she loves this too.

Still left to explore: kiwi, eggplant, lentils, parsnips, zucchini...

Parenting Support #18

Could no one have been straight with me about how hard parenting is?

This helps me on tough days.

Read more support.

What is this about?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Activity: Rainbow Rice Sensory Box

After creating a rainbow's worth of colored rice, we had a lot of fun putting it into action. I purchased a large plastic bin (don't forget the lid - this is very important!) that would allow for enough space for my daughter to literally sit inside of it, but not too big for my living room. We added a plastic scoop, some measuring cups and spoons, and a couple toys, and we had a great time.
Yes, there were times when Bugga would try to stuff a handful of rice in her mouth. This is a safe way to teach her not to do this; if she happens to eat some of the rice then there is minimal harm. I'm hoping this is great practice before we head to the beach and have to play this game with sand - blechhh.

When we are done, we can just snap the lid on and put the bin away until next time. (Or leave it closed on the floor - my kiddo likes to bang on the top of the bin when she's playing nearby.)

Here are some pictures from our activity - let me know if you decide to try this!