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Baking With Babies Recipe Rhymes Series: Apple Orange Celery Salad

2 Feb

This salad was a common dish on the table when I was growing up, especially with roast beef on Sundays, and it’s one of my favorites.  The flavors blend well enough and the fruits make enough juice that no dressing is necessary.  It’s also ridiculously simple, so this rhyme is quite short, but fun to sing.  That, of course, makes it that much more fun to eat.

The tune for this one is from a Korean children’s song called 동, 동, 동대문 (Dong, Dong, Dongdaemun).  If you want to hear it, this link has an embedded video of kids performing it.

Apple Orange Celery Salad:

An apple, orange, and stick of celery
An apple, orange, and stick of celery
Chop them up and mix them in a bowl –
A salad, so yummy!


Baking With Babies Recipe Rhymes: French Toast

1 Feb

Did this one yesterday with Caterpillar.  “A measured cup” is simply one cup.  There is a “normal” and a vegan version of the rhyme.  If you do the vegan version, use a very ripe banana (no green, all yellow, with a few brown spots), and make sure to mash it well.  Use cow milk if that’s what you do or (if you are like me) whatever non-dairy milk you prefer (almond, coconut, rice, hemp, flax, whatever).   Cinnamon and vanilla are to taste, and cook on a medium-low heat, greased skillet until the slices are brown and flip easily.  This should do about eight slices of (possibly gluten-free) bread.

I can’t eat milk or eggs, so I use the vegan version and eat something high-protein  – bacon or sausage on the side, or peanut butter on top.  Ooh, I should try this with cashew cream!

To the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”:

“Normal” version-

Crack an egg and beat it up,

Add milk from a measured cup,

Cinnamon, vanilla too

Mix it all until you’re through.

Dip some bread in, then you can

Fry the slices in a pan.


Vegan version –

One banana all mashed up,

Milk poured from a measured cup,

Cinnamon, vanilla too

Mix it all until you’re through.

Dip some bread in, then you can

Fry the slices in a pan.



Baking With Babies Recipe Rhymes Series: Basic Bread

31 Jan

I made up this recipe rhyme a while ago, and just recently dug it up again.  Caterpillar and I had a grand time baking today, and it was really nice to be able to recite this and reference where we were in the process.  She was a lot more patient through the whole thing knowing which step we were at and what would come next.  I’m kind of inspired to come up with more of them, so stay tuned if you like things like this.

(You are welcome to print this off and use it with your kids, but if you like this enough to share it with others, please give credit and link back to here,  thanks!)


How To Bake Bread:

One cup of water, warm to the touch.

Two cups of flour, but not too much!

A big pinch of yeast to help it rise,

Another of salt, just the same size.

A spoonful of oil, and then use your brawn

To stir it together ‘til the lumps are all gone!

Cover it up and let it start to rise,

Then leave it alone ‘til it’s doubled in size.

Shape your loaf however you make it.

Let it double again, and then you can bake it!

When the crust is light brown, carefully take out your treat,

Let it cool for a bit, then it’s ready to eat!

If you do use this with your kid(s), make sure to have something for them to do while the bread is raising.  A half hour show is about the right length of time, or read books or play games together, but have something to keep impatience from becoming too much of a problem.

Also, this is basically a scaled down version of The All-Purpose Bread Recipe found here, and the details of what you can do with the dough can be found at that link.  It could turn into anything from a loaf of bread to cinnamon rolls, pizza, or even pitas if you wanted.  If you want to make an even smaller batch, you could give your kids half-cup measuring cups to use (I do this if Caterpillar is making her batch of bread alongside my bigger batch for the family).  Try to let your kids do as much of the work as they can get away with, but grown-ups will obviously have to do any oven work.

Don’t worry about being too precise with the measurements – let the pinches and the spoonfuls be just that.  The ingredients all have a fairly decent margin of error, and most kids aren’t worried about getting a “perfect” loaf – they just want to have fun and end up with something they can eat at the end.

Brazil Nut Anytime Cookies (gluten free, egg free, dairy free, paleo, vegan)

26 Jan

So, I can’t eat anything almond right now.  I apparently overdid the almond flour and almond milk over the holidays, and now my body is sensitized to them (stupid leaky gut. . .).  Almond milk was my favorite, but I’ve been playing with hemp, rice, hazelnut, sunflower, cashew, coconut and any other different kinds of non-dairy milks, so that’s not too bad.  I did miss the recipe for “Anytime Cookies” from the Eat Like A Dinosaur cookbook by Paleo Parents (I highly recommend that book to any parents who want to cook healthy foods with their kids or for anyone dealing with gluten sensitivities, regardless of age).   Unfortunately for me, a lot of their recipes for “sweets” use almond flour.  At a friend’s suggestion, I adapted the recipe for use with Brazil nuts instead of almonds.

Please note that I am not vegan (I can’t have milk or eggs, but I eat meat), or paleo (I eat plenty of different grains), nor do I have issues with gluten myself (I’ve got friends who do), but I like that this is a fairly simple and extremely healthy, guilt-free cookie.  The dough is excellent to snitch on before baking (my daughter asked me to dish up a bowl for her to eat with a spoon, which I had no qualms about).  The cookies are quite tasty when cooled, but they don’t taste very sweet when they are warm from the oven, so wait before you pass judgement.

So, without any further ado, here is the recipe for:

Brazil Nut Anytime Cookies (gluten free, egg free, dairy free, paleo, vegan)

  • 3 packed cups ground Brazil nuts (around 20 ounces, I’d guess?  I forgot to weigh them, but it took all of one 1 lb bag and part of another)
  • 1 apple
  • 1 ripe banana (all yellow with a few brown spots is ideal)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2-1 cup raisins, chocolate chips, coconut flakes, whatever (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Grind and measure your nuts, put the measured ground nuts in a bowl.  To grind the nuts, put them in your blender and whiz them around for a while.  You may need to scrape the edges a few times to keep things down by the blades.  The finished texture should be somewhere between the mealiness of almond flour and the creaminess of peanut butter, with some chunks of nuts floating around (don’t worry about them; they add texture to the cookies).
  3. Core and slice the apple, peel and slice the banana, and put both into your blender, and add the vanilla.  Blend until smooth.  If the apple and banana don’t give enough mass for your blender to work with, add some of the ground Brazil nuts to help it work (but not all of it; you want some of the Brazil nut stuff to stay floury and chunky).
  4. Add the salt and baking soda to the ground nuts and mix well, breaking any clumps of baking soda (mine clumps, anyways).
  5. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together, then stir in your optional add-ins, if desired (dark chocolate chips are our favorites).
  6. Measure out spoonfuls on to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, and gently press them down, either with a spoon or a fork.  They don’t melt flat like traditional chocolate chip cookies, so you need to give them a little help to be the right shape.
  7. Bake for about 10 minutes (plus or minus about two minutes depending on your oven, altitude, etc.).
  8. Take out when they start to turn brown on the edges, and let them cool on the baking sheet before removing to a plate.
  9. Enjoy!

Coconut Banana Cream Cake Recipe (Dairy-free, Egg-free, Vegan)

12 Jan

Sushi’s birthday was yesterday, so cake had to be made.  He loves banana cream pie, so, some time ago on another birthday, I had invented a “Banana Cream Cake.”  It was a hit, and was my go-to recipe for Sushi’s birthday.  This year, however, I couldn’t use eggs or dairy to make it (stupid food sensitivities. . . ).  So, after reading around and combining some recipes, this happened:


Preheat oven to 350 and grease a square cake pan.

Place the following ingredients into blender in the order listed:
1 cup rice milk
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Blend until just mixed, then add:
1 tablespoon vinegar
Blend again until just mixed, and quickly pour into the pan and bake about 30 minutes, or until the cake springs back when touched in the center, or until a toothpick comes clean when poked in the center. 
Mix together in a pan:
1 can full-fat coconut milk
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cook over medium heat, stirring almost constantly with a whisk.  Take it off when it thickens and is a good pudding consistency.
Carefully poke holes in the cake with the handle of a wooden spoon, then pour the hot pudding over the cake, making sure that it fills up the holes.  Cover with plastic wrap touching the top of the pudding to prevent a skin forming.  Put the cake in the fridge to cool, and put an unopened can of coconut milk in to cool, too.  When the cake is cold and pudding is set (give it a few hours), make some whipped coconut cream:
Whipped Coconut Cream:
Open chilled can of coconut milk.
Skim off the solid, fatty cream part and put into a bowl.  Add a little bit of the watery liquid, but just a little. 
Add a spoonful of sugar. 
Whip with electric beaters until fluffy and smooth.
Cover the pudding-soaked cake with banana slices (it will take about 3-4 bananas) and then spread the whipped coconut cream over everything (it might seem like you are spreading it thin, with the bananas poking through the cream, but it is just fine).  Sprinkle with unsweetened shredded coconut, if desired.  Enjoy!  
This cake keeps very well in the fridge overnight (whipped coconut cream is much more stable than dairy whipped cream), so make it ahead of time and save yourself some stress.

Sweet, Sweet Avocados

4 Dec

I like avocados.  They have saved so many desserts for me now that I can’t have milk anymore.  Oh, and the things I’ve been making them into are SOO much easier to make than their dairy-and-egg-laden counterparts.  Take this for example: vegan eggnog.  I use honey instead of the agave, and skip the rum, but I love, love this recipe.  It tastes better than most store bought eggnogs, and it is so easy to just throw everything in a blender and, TA-DA!  Veggnog! 

Having seen how successful avocados could be in sweet treats, I wanted to experiment with them some more.  Thanksgiving presented an opportunity to invent a chocolate pie, and avocados were a key ingredient.  Here is what I came up with:

Chocolate Pudding/Pie Filling

  • 1 bag chocolate chips
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • a dash of salt

Put half the can of coconut milk and the whole bag of chocolate chips into a blender and blend until they melt together (this may take a minute or so for friction to warm everything up enough).  Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.  Pour into serving dishes or a prepared pie crust and chill.  Enjoy!


Just a couple of nights ago, I happened to have shelled, roasted pistachios in my kitchen, and an avocado, and I wanted to see what would happen.  What happened was this:

Tasty Pistachio Pudding (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

  • 1 very large avocado (or two small ones), chilled
  • 1 can coconut milk, chilled
  • 1/4 cup honey (more or less to taste)
  • 4 oz. shelled, roasted pistachios
  • (optional spices – nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, to taste)

Put the coconut milk, honey, avocados, and spices together in a blender and blend for about 20-30 seconds, until everything is mixed and creamy.  Add the pistachios and blend briefly to chop them up a little bit (5 seconds max; you want to leave chunks). 

Enjoy immediately, or chill for later!   Makes a great frozen dessert, too, but you have to let it soften a bit after taking it from the freezer.


I plan on making a mint-chocolate-chip ice cream next.  One of the beauties of avocados is I get the attractive green color without food coloring!  (except in the Veggnog, in which the avocado is diluted enough to merely give a soft yellowish tint)