Recipe: These sugar-free baby mince pies are all kinds of good
This week, we welcome Guest Blogger, Aileen Cox Blundell, who shares her unique and nutritious recipes. These baby mince pies are a perfect, healthy treat for all the family over Christmas. Aileen’s recipes follow the baby led feeding approach, which encourages children to eat by themselves.
I started using the baby led feeding method when my now thirteen-year-old daughter, Jade, was a baby. At seven months old my very strong-minded daughter decided she didn’t want to be spoon-fed, she wanted to feed herself. No matter how much I tried, she simply refused to eat unless she was allowed to put it in her mouth herself.
I eventually just gave up on the struggle and decided to let her feed herself. I decided to start making soft, easy-to-manage and super-healthy foods like muffins with kale or spinach and frozen smoothie ice pops. While messy initially, it worked.
The philosophy behind baby-led feeding is that cooking and eating should be both delicious and fun. All of my recipes use healthy, natural ingredients, no processed foods and no refined sugar. These bite-sized meals allow babies to feed themselves, creating a positive relationship with food right from the very start. So no spoons, no ‘here comes the airplane’ attempts and no purées. Children learn to chew their food from the beginning, before they even have teeth, rather than letting a purée slide into their tummy.
While she had the odd ‘I don’t like it cause its green’ moment; Jade grew up loving all foods, from sushi to spinach to cheese. I now use baby led feeding with my youngest son Oscar, and it’s going great.
Sugar-free baby mince pies
What's in them:
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1 Cup fresh blueberries (100g)
1 Cup dried raisins (150g)
1/4 Cup finely grated carrot
4 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
4 Medjool dates, finely chopped
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 Teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon
Zest of 1 clementine
1 Cup plain flour (120g) + extra for dusting (replace with buckwheat flour for gluten-free)
80g Butter (replace with coconut butter for dairy-free)
3 Tablespoons water
How to make it
- Pre-heat oven to 180ºC
- In a bowl sieve your flour, then add the butter and using your fingers rub into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add your water (1 tablespoon at a time) and using your hands mix into the flour and butter until it resembles a dough that sticks together.
- Roll on a floured surface until thin and then use a small circular cookie cutter to shape out 24 mini circles.
- Place these into your greased mini muffin baking tin and refrigerate until you are ready to add your filling
- With the remaining dough cut out 24 stars and leave in the fridge until your read to use.
- Heat coconut oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and then add all the fruit filling ingredients.
- When the mixture starts to bubble turn the heat down and simmer for about 10 minutes or until it almost resembles a jam like mixture. Allow to cool slightly before adding to the pastry.
- Remove pastry from the fridge and add a heaped teaspoon to each one.
- Place the star on top and then bake for about 20-25 minutes. the star should be slightly golden and the filling bubbling.
- Allow to cool fully before serving.
Aileen Cox Blundell is a mother of three who runs her own graphic and web design company, Sweet! Aileen’s passion for healthy, nutritious and sugar-free foods led her to begin creating her own recipes for her family. Aileen is also an advocate of baby-led feeding, which allows babies and young children to take control of their eating by encouraging them to self-regulate and be more experimental with different types of food. Find her gorgeous recipes at www.babyledfeeding.com and you can find her on Facebook and on Instagram or Twitter.