baby led weaning – mini veggie muffins

Aria muffins

Aria muffins 3

For those of you who are moms of fairly little ones, you’ve probably heard of Baby Led Weaning.  For anyone who hasn’t, I’m not going to get into a big in depth explanation of it – there are plenty of other blogs and websites out there that do just that! In a nutshell, the idea is that once your baby is 6 months old and shows signs of readiness for solids, you skip the purees and traditional “baby food” and go right to soft table foods, allowing them to feed themselves.  I loved the concept of Baby Led Weaning (or BLW for short), and initially set out to do it full force, with no purees at all.  After a short while, I realized that it was a better choice for my family to do a combo of finger foods and purees, mostly for the sake of convenience – for example, it was way easier to send purees to daycare in the beginning than to figure out which finger foods would be good to send (even though my wonderful daycare provider was 100% on board with BLW!).  Now, at 9 months old, Aria is completely on table foods – which we love, and so does she!  For the most part, we just feed her whatever we’re eating, but occasionally there are things we don’t think she could chew well enough with only 2 teeth or that we don’t particularly want her to have yet – that’s where recipes like these awesome mini veggie muffins come in.  The recipe is simple and healthy, and makes a pretty decent amount of muffins.  After baking, I keep a few for the next couple days and then freeze the rest.  Then, whenever I need something quick to feed Aria, I just pop one from the freezer to the microwave for about 20 seconds and we’re good to go! They’re also great to bring along to restaurants, since she’s not quite big enough to eat an entire kid’s meal just yet (at most places anyway; there was that time that she ate the whole kid’s meal of pancakes… hungry girl!)  Best of all, Aria loves these, and you can change them up each time you make them by using different ingredients.

Aria muffins 2

Since the recipe was initially meant for infants, there’s no salt added – good for little babies, not so tasty for adults and older kids.  They smell amazing coming out of the oven but definitely taste a bit bland.  To remedy that for the rest of your family, just add some salt to the original recipe (I’d guess about a 1/2 teaspoon should cover it).  You could also play around with other spices – with zucchini, for example, they’d probably be delicious with some cinnamon and nutmeg.  The recipe is just a jumping off point – from here, go ahead and make it your own!

Aria muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 – 2 cups shredded/finely chopped vegetables*
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (we used cheddar)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs

*I used a mixture of shredded carrots and zucchini for this batch, but you could add pretty much anything baby likes/ you have in the fridge – chopped spinach, diced mushrooms, chopped herbs, even some finely diced ham if you’d like to add some meat.

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Lightly spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours and the baking powder.  Stir in the veggies and the shredded cheese.  In another mixing bowl or large liquid measuring cup, combine the olive oil and milk.  Add in the eggs and whisk to combine.  Create a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the milk mixture.  Mix together until just combined.

Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, filling each cup 3/4 of the way up.  Bake, 8-10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.  Repeat as needed with the remaining batter (don’t forget to re-spray the tin with the cooking spray).

Yield: Approximately 36 mini muffins (yield will vary based on the amount of vegetables added)

Source: Adapted from Things for Boys

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