Continuing our woes of the feeding issue variety, I have been so exhausted at feeding my Bug. She eats like a teenage boy, but always the same foods. She is very set in her ways and it will take a miracle to change that.
So in my quest to keep her healthy, I have resorted to hiding foods in foods. I know, I know, that isn’t a good way to do it. I know. And I don’t believe in hiding foods, they should build a relationship with the food.
BUT, you knew there would be a but didn’t you? But, I have tried and tried everything. she has had encounters with just one of the foods we have introduced hundreds of times. Hundreds. Not kidding. And her responses to that one particular food (carrots, in this case) has gotten better. She has gone from screaming and having a meltdown if she sees it, barely letting mommy and daddy eating it, to just refusing to acknowledge it, or smelling it and saying bleh, or flinging it far enough away from her that she will relax enough to eat her preferred food.
Moming is already difficult, but I have a kiddo who eats NO fruit or veg in its original form. She will drink a strawberry smoothie, but won’t eat a strawberry. She loves banana cloud cookies, won’t touch a banana. And don’t even get me started on rice! She will eat rice, not any that I’ve ever made, just the rice from 2 Mexican restaurants. I have even gotten the recipe from one of them! (its a small town and I bribed them with cake) and still she won’t eat rice from anywhere but those two places. WHY?!
So in my desperation I have learned ways to supplement her growing body with nutrients she isn’t getting from her incredibly limited diet (granted, not as limited as others I personally know, but compared to Six, it’s very limited). And thanks to plant-based dietitian Auntie Fred, we have a direction to go with this.
I grind up Dr. Fuhrman’s Pixie Vites into our whole grain pancake mix that also has peanut butter powder and flax meal in its already whole grain mix, I sneak flax meal into her cereal and call it cereal dust, I make banana cloud cookies that are literally 4 ingredients and are so fluffy and yummy, I make sweet potato smoothies, I get her pure green juice from our local health food store (yup she will drink orange and green and pink smoothies but refuses to try any actual foods that color….if I knew why I’d tell ya!).
So I have had another trick up my sleeve, besides the beet cookies and smoothies, I ALWAYS have a stockpile of muffins in my freezer. Some days she eats half a dozen of them, sometimes she just wants one. But almost every single day for the last three-ish years she has had these muffins.
I try to rotate them, but her favorites as of the last six months have been banana chocolate chip, and carrot-apple-zucchini muffins.
I know I got the original recipe for the carrot-apple-zucchini muffins from someone online, and I would love to give credit where credit is due….however, I no longer have the original recipe and I have changed so much I cannot reverse-search it. So one day when I come across it again, I will give credit to my inspiration for this amazing recipe that could very well be the reason Bug is not anemic like mommy.
Bug’s Carrot, Apple, and Zucchini Muffins (Vegan)
1 1/2 tablespoon flax meal mixed with 4 1/2 tbsp warm water, set aside for 5 minutes
1/4 cup applesauce
1 over ripe banana, mashed up well
1/4 cup spun honey (spun honey is the best IMHO, but regular clover honey will work fine)
2 granny smith or pink lady apples, peeled and cored. grate one fine and one regular on a box grater. Squish out as much of the juice from them as you can.
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup soy milk
3 small carrots, grated finely (about 1/2 cup…I rarely measure exactly anymore, I make them so much!)
1 small zucchini, grated and squish out as much of the juice from them as you can (about one loose cup).
2/3 cup old fashioned or rolled oats
1/2 cup almond meal
2+ cups flour (I use a combination of unbleached flour and whole wheat pastry flour)
- Preheat your oven to 375 and grease or line a (jumbo) muffin tin. I use a ceramic muffin tin that has larger muffin cups than a standard tin.
- Mix up your flax and water and let that set out.
- Grate your apples and carrots and zuke, remember to squish out as much juice as you can, set them all aside for a minute.
- Combine the dry ingredients brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, oats, flour and almond meal in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a bowl with a hand beater or a stand mixer, combine flax/water mixture, applesauce, honey and soy milk and mix on a low speed till everything is nice and combined evenly.
- Slowly add in the dry mixture and about halfway through this add your apples, carrots and zuke. Then add the rest of the dry. Don’t over mix though, mix till there is no more dry bits showing and then stop!
- Fill up your muffin tins…I can’t really tell you how many this makes because it depends on the apples/carrots/zuke you use and the size of the tin and if you had to add more/less flour than me, so fill up as many muffin cups as you can and bake for around 20 minutes, or till a toothpick inserted in the center of one of them comes out clean.
These muffins freeze great and are amazing served warm with a little bit of (Earth Balance) butter and some (Bradshaw’s) spun honey.
I have five gallon ziploc bags in my freezer from gwama’s 2016 zucchini harvest so I am able to make this year -round with ingredients I know and trust. I LOVE that Bug loves these so much, I love them too…how do you think I know they are best served warm with butter and honey? Ha!
So when Bug asks for a muffin, I will happily defrost one or six for her, but I will still feel a tinge of guilt for hiding foods that I desperately want her to eat by themselves.
Progress is progress though, I have to remind myself of a few years ago when we had to hide the bananas because the sight of them in our house would cause a level-5 meltdown, now she will go and get them when we are shopping, but still won’t even lick one.