I’m always on the hunt for recipes that are delicious and incorporate ninja foods (to my husband’s dismay). From green cheesy scones to carrot pancakes and veggie packed pasta sauce, I’ve been doing it since my little lady was wee.
Although I was a prolific ninja-er when my tot was a baby and weaning, I’d stopped ninja-ing on a regular basis recently (except apple porridge and apple pancakes). I didn’t stop because the food wasn’t being eaten (well, other than the green scones which are now shunned because they have green in it), but because of the unhappy grumbling I heard from my other half every time he puts his fork to his lips.
But, with the lady recently starting big girl nursery I realised I had to get my act together and start getting healthy snacks for her lunch bag. So, I thought, heck, why not start ninja fooding again. And so it begins (again).
What is ninja fooding you ask… well, think of it like baking, cooking and creating with stealth health at the core of your food. Fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds all blitzed up and undetectable to the naked eye (and palate, I hope). Basically, it’s a way to get the lady (and the rest of the family) to eat something other than carbs.
It’s pretty easy to start ninja-ing. Take any recipe, add some of this, a little of that and hey presto! You can pretty much use any recipe and change it around. But, why bother figuring out proportions when there are hundreds of recipes available online (that’s my motto at least). So, off to Pinterest I went searching. (Anyone who knows me has seen my massive collection of books, magazines and clippings I possess and despite the availability of it all, I choose Pinterest first and foremost! What can I say, I’m a Pinterest addict!)
To no one’s surprise, after a very quick search, I found the perfect recipe. Super delicious sounding, easy to make and already healthy muffins. Perfect for a lunch bag or picnic.
Deceptively Delicious Toddler Muffins from Average but Inspired was the winner because it looked yummy, not only for my little one, but for me as well. (I love the idea of pumpkin spices in a muffin, especially during winter months when you need a bit of spice to warm you up.)
Another winning aspect of the recipe was that it’s didn’t look fiddly. The simplicity is great for time crunched mums and dads and is also great if you want to bake with your little tot. (When I tried to bake with the lady she got bored part-way through and started playing with the squash bottles and chip clips on the counter… as usual. But, she cracked the eggs and did a bit of stirring so hey, some good quality bonding time!)
It’s my pleasure to share with you the recipe I used, which is adapted from the original recipe. Thanks Average and Inspired for letting me share it. The lady loved it and we can highly recommend it for all of your tots out there!
(Oh, I don’t know calories, nutritional breakdown, etc. I just make’em. I don’t know anything about them.)
You’ll need the following ingredients:
- 1/2 cup of butter, softened
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar
- 2 bananas, mashed
- 1/2 squash baked and mashed OR 1 (4.5 oz) jar of baby squash (like the original recipe)
- 2 grated carrots
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup oats blitzed
- 1/4 cup flaxseeds blitzed OR (sub the oats and flaxseed for 1/2 cup of oat bran like the original recipe)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I made it up – ginger, mixed spice, all spice, tiny bit of clove, cinnamon)
- 1/2 tsp salt
And putting them together is easy.
- Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees / gas 4 and grease 12 standard muffin cups / 20 mini muffin cups.
- Cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth.
- Mix in the mashed bananas, squash, carrots and eggs.
- Stir in the flour, oats, flaxseeds, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt.
- Stir to combine ingredients, and then distribute evenly amongst the muffin cups.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Eat within two days or freeze.
They’re delicious straight out of the oven and tasty the next day. But you can just as easily freeze them and take them out for a quick and simple snack. A perfectly delicious and an excellent lunch bag filler or picnic treat.
Are you a ninja fooder? What’s your favourite snack recipe hiding goodness? Share your recipes so we can all be a bit more stealthy with our picnic treats.
どうぞめしあがれ (Douzo meshiagare) my ninja posse!