Zucchini Date Oatmeal – vegan and gluten free

I haven’t written a post about oatmeal in a while. I’m sure you have been dying for a new version of oatmeal the whole time. This should do the trick. This is a favorite of both by girls and they love to help make it. They can both eat dates while I chop, then my 3 year old helps me shred the zucchini. They take turns dumping in the ingredients, and impatiently wait as it cooks, and cools enough for them to eat. We rarely eat this for breakfast, but often make it for our mid-morning snack, or lunch. The girls also like it cold and room temperature so it is a stable in our snack bag. This oatmeal is sweet, cinnamony, and filled with vegetables! Everything you could ask for in an oatmeal. If you are serving it to a green vegetable averse person you can peel the zucchini before shredding.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 medjool dates, pitted and finely chopped
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini, one small
  • 11/4 cups water
  • pinch of salt
  • heaping 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 TBL hemp seeds (optional)
  • cinnamon to taste (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan combine dates, zucchini, water, and salt. Cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
  2. Once boiling stir in the rolled oats, hemp seeds, and cinnamon. Cook, stirring frequently until the water is absorbed and the oatmeal is the consistency you prefer.
  3. Serve warm.

 

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St. Patrick’s Day Green Muffins (Zucchini-Spinach, sugar free, vegan, toddler approved)

Spinach Zucchini Muffins -date sweetened
Spinach Zucchini Muffins -date sweetened

Who doesn’t love green food? Oh, yeah, toddlers. Well, except mine who things it needs to be green to be edible! These yummy muffins are packed with vegetables, take their sweetness from the dates, and are good enough I was sneaking them when my daughter wasn’t looking. These are quite green from all the vegetables and would be perfect to introduce on St. Patrick’s Day if you have a picky eater. Also perfect to bring to work to nourish you throughout the day to prepare you for your evening activities. Spread a little almond butter on these and you have yourself a meal.

Makes 12 regular muffins

 Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped dates (about 5-7 dates)
  • hot water to cover dates
  • 1 1/2 cups spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 packed cup fresh baby spinach
  • 1 TBL chia seeds
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 and prepare a muffin pan with paper liners or by lightly oiling the pan.
    2. Place chopped dates in a glass measuring cup, pour boiling water over the top just to cover the dates, and set aside to soften, about 5 minutes.
    3. In a mixing bowl combine all of the dry ingredients, flour through cinnamon.
    4. When dates are soft place them, the soaking water, coconut oil, and the baby spinach in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
    5. Pour date mixture into bowl with dry ingredients, add chia seeds, zucchini, and vanilla stirring to combine.
    6. Divide the batter evenly into prepared muffin tine and bake 18-20 minutes until tops turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean.
    7. Remove from the pan and allow to cool a bit before eating.

Simple Kale Chips

Simple vegan kale chips
20 Simple vegan kale chips

I was going to buy kale chips the other day, and then I was like  “why would I do that?” They are so simple, and quick to make at home, and wayyyy cheaper. So here is your very simple kale chip recipe. Feel free to add other seasonings of choice to jazz them up a bit, though they are delicious as is. My toddler loved them! She kept asking for the “crackers” how could I say no? The picture above is her sneaking a few as I was attempting to shot a legitimate photo. I couldn’t keep her out of them long enough to get a good picture, so you have proof these are irresistible to toddlers.

 Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of curly kale de-stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 TBL olive oil
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200F.
  2. Place the chopped kale into a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Using your hands massage the kale with the oil until each leaf is coated with oil.
  3. Place kale in a single layer (very important!) on a baking sheet, or two if needed.
  4. Sprinkle lightly with salt and bake for 15-20 minutes until the kale is crispy to the touch and the edges are just starting to brown. Start checking around 10 minutes and check every few minutes after to make sure it isn’t burning.
  5. Allow to cool before consuming.

Pumpkin Zucchini Oatmeal – Toddler Breakfast

Pumpkin Zucchini Oatmeal
Pumpkin Zucchini Oatmeal

My sweet toddler continues to eat most of her vegetables in things, primarily oatmeal and scrambled tofu, her two favorites. I used to make only her superfood oatmeal because that is all she would eat, now we are branching out to keep things fresh. This oatmeal is backed with veggies, and tastes just a bit sweet from the dates, with hints of fall with the pumpkin and cinnamon.

We, of course, have to serve oatmeal in the “fish” bowl. It just doesn’t taste as good otherwise.

This recipe makes A LOT of oatmeal. She eats a ton! For most people I would say this would serve 4.

 Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 2 medjool dates, finely minced
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 TBL hemp seeds (optional)
  • 2 TBL flax seeds (optional) cup chopped nuts or seeds (toasted if you desire)

Instructions

  1. Combine the water, zucchini, dates, and salt in a small saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil.
  2. Once the water is boiling add rolled oats, pumpkin, cinnamon, and hemp seeds if using, and cook stirring occasionally until water is absorbed, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Once oatmeal is cooked remove from heat and stir in flax seeds if using.
  4. I serve as is to my toddler, and add a touch of maple syrup to my bowl.

 

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Veggie-full Cashew Mac and “Cheese”

vegan gluten free mac n cheese
vegan gluten free mac n cheese

Here is traditional “kid food” made in a way I am comfortable serving it to my daughter. I use the gluten free noodles simply because it is a way to get different grains into her diet and the brand I choose is nutritionally dense compared to traditional dried pasta. I also add in some grated zucchini because the texture fits right in. The sauce is vegetables and nuts. How awesome is that?! Again, nutritionally dense, and very yummy. My husband and I love this mac and cheese. It tastes very similar to my other vegan mac n cheese  but uses a few different ingredients to keep it gluten free.

 Ingredients

  • 8-10 oz gluten free pasta
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 3/4 cup peeled and cubed russet potato (1 small)
  • 2 TBL sliced carrot (1 very small)
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 3/4-1 cup reserved cooking water
  • 2 TBL nutritional yeast
  • 2 TBL tahini
  • 1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp tomato paste
  • additional salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. During the last minute of cooking throw in the zucchini to soften it before draining everything together.
  3. Meanwhile:
  4. Place potato and carrot in a small saucepan and cover with cold water.
  5. Add the vinegar and 1 tsp salt to water, bring everything to a boil partially covered, and boil for about 10 minutes.
  6. Add the cashews and continue to cook until the potatoes and carrots are completely tender, about 5 minutes more. They are done when they slide off a fork that is inserted into a piece of potato or carrot.
  7. Drain potatoes and carrots reserving at least 3/4 cup of the cooking water.
  8. Transfer potatoes, carrots, cashew, and 3/4 cup cooking water to a blender.
  9. Add nutritional yeast, tahini, mustard, and tomato paste and blend until smooth.
  10. Taste, and adjust salt as needed.