Vegetable Fritters Galore!

Ben will quite happily eat vegetables in other things but he tends to ignore them by themselves so I thought I’d try making some fritters and see how he got on with them. They also have the benefit of making certain vegetables easier to handle as at 8.5 months he can’t yet pick up anything smaller than a sultana (and struggles with those). So far I have tried both sweetcorn and pea fritters and both have gone down well. Next on my list is some mixed vegetable fritters so I will report back on how those have gone when we have tried them out.

Sweetcorn and Cheese Fritters
Adapted from Little Grazers

Cooked and ready for eating


Ingredients

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  • 50g plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • sprinkle of paprika and nutmeg
  • 1 cup sweetcorn
  • 50g hard cheese e.g. cheddar, grated
  • Milk
  • Oil for frying


Directions

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the flour and egg.
  2. Add the sweetcorn, paprika, nutmeg and cheddar.
  3. Add the milk a little at a time until you have a thick batter.
  4. Heat some oil in a  frying pan over a medium high heat .
  5. Add a few spoonfuls of the batter to the pan.
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  6. Fry until both sides are lightly golden, flipping them over half way through.
  7. Repeat with the remaining batter.

 

Pea Fritters
Adapted from My Lovely Little Lunchbox

Ingredients

  • 500g peas
  • 3 eggs
  • 1½ cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 handful of fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Directions

  1. Place 1 cup peas aside to fold into the mixture later.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor place the peas (if frozen, they’ll need defrosting first), eggs, flour, baking powder, basil and lemon juice.  Pulse until combined.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and fold through remaining peas.
  4. Heat a lightly oiled frying pan to medium-high heat. Add a few spoonfuls of the batter to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes.
  5. Flip and cook the other side until golden brown.

 

Storage
Both types of fritters will keep in the fridge for a few days and can be reheated in the microwave. They can also be frozen then defrosted and reheated in the microwave.

 

Pitta Bread Pizzas

Ben loves all things bread-related and seems to cope very well with even fairly tough breads, such as pitta bread. Yesterday evening he had his first taste of pizza: strips of toasted pitta bread covered in tomato ragu and grated cheese. They seemed to go down well although I’m not sure how much of the topping was swallowed as he insisted on eating them with the topping side on the bottom.

 Ingredients

Pitta bread, tomato ragu and grated cheese

Pitta bread, tomato ragu and grated cheese

Pitta bread: I usually buy wholemeal pitta bread as I think they taste better. However, on this occasion the supermarket had run out so have white pitta bread.

Tomato ragu: We had a surplus of over-ripe tomatoes in the firdge so diced them and cooked in a deep frying pan with some finely chiopped red onion until both were soft. This gave quite a chunky sauce though it could be blended if you wanted something smoother. Alternatively, you could buy some passata and use that. I personally would avoid using tomato puree by itself as it can be quite salty, especially for little people.

Cheese: I used red leicester hence the lurid colour of the cheese but any hard cheese you have in the fridge would work.

Method

  1. Preheat grill.
  2. Cut the pitta bread in half and toast or put under the grill for a few minutes.
  3. Cut the toasted bread into finger sized slices.
  4. Spoon some ragu or passata on to each finger and spread out across the bread.
  5. Cover each finger with some grated cheese.
  6. Place under the grill until the cheese is golden and bubbling.

I ended up with four fingers, perfect for a couple of meals for Ben, and a couple of end pieces for the hungry mummy.

Breakfast, Baby-Led Weaning Style

Breakfast time

A happy boy eating his breakfast

Ben is now 8 months old and over the past 2 months we have been gradually introducing solids into his diet. He was exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months so having to think about preparing food for him as well as myself adds a whole new level of complexity to daily life. We have chosen to follow baby-led weaning which means that rather than spoon-feeding and starting with purees and gradually making them lumpier over time, Ben eats similar food to us and feeds himself. In some ways this is easier as there’s no need to prepare a special meal for him but it does require some forward planning as meals with sauces or that require more than a couple of teeth don’t really work.

Thankfully Ben is a very independent little boy and loves feeding himself, in fact I doubt we’d have had much success with traditional weaning as he tries to grab the spoon every time! Breakfast is the easiest, and least messy, meal of the day and generally looks something like this:

Breakfast

Porridge bites, blueberries, date, kiwi and pear and cinnamon yoghurt

One adaptation is that instead of spoon-feeding porridge, I have been making porridge bites which Ben can feed himself (while I eat my own breakfast!). Generally I give him “loaded spoons” of yoghurt so I fill the spoon and then he takes it from me, or lunges for it with an open mouth. It mostly ends up in his mouth but sometimes gets wiped in his hair or across his forehead in the process.

 

Porridge Bites

Ingredients

Only 2 ingredients required - oats and milk

Only 2 ingredients required – oats and milk

Oats: I have been using a combination of Ella’s kitchen banana porridge and normal porridge oats. It will work fine with normal oats, I only use a combination because I was given some Ella’s kitchen porridge and want to use it up.

Milk: Either breastmilk, formula or cow’s milk

You will also need several muffin or cupcake cases, depending on the quantity of mixture. I now use silicone muffins cases as I found when I used paper cases, the bites stuck to the cases.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 °C/180 °C fan.
  2. Mix together an equal amount of oats and milk.
  3. Leave to soak up any excess liquid for 5 minutes.
  4. Spoon 1 rounded tbsp mixture into the bottom of each muffin or cupcake case and flatten with the back of a spoon.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes until crisp and golden on the outside.
Porridge bites

Finished porridge bites, just out of the oven

They will keep for  2-3 days in a plastic box in the fridge but haven’t tried to freeze them so can’t comment on how well that would work.

 Variations
SometimesI replace some of the milk with homemade fruit puree, so far I’ve tried apple and blackberry puree and apple puree and both have gone down well. Apple and blackberry puree also makes the bites excitingly purple!