Sunday, March 4, 2012

Spinach Bites (gluten free, dairy free, egg free, soy free, nut free)

Since having my daughter I feel that a lot of my recipes have shifted quite a bit- I've moved towards simpler foods that are prepared quickly but can be adapted for whatever mood you're in.

When I found out that my daughter had an egg allergy it wasn't a huge issue for me since I was already familiar with egg replacers, but definitely flexed my cooking/baking muscles a bit more than normal! My daughter eats a lot. A LOT :) So I'm always looking for snacks that I can give her without compromising our desire to have her eat healthy. As I've mentioned in other posts like this one or this one, finding snack foods for little ones that aren't full of fillers, sugars, or fortified with unnecessary vitamins is quite difficult!

I had spotted Dr. Praeger's spinach littles and broccoli littles in the store, but they had egg whites in them so that was a no-go. I adapted the ingredients a bit to suit our tastes, but you can of course adjust the seasoning to you or your child's preferences- we tend to like food with a lot of spice (my daughter included). I make a bunch and just store them in the freezer (info below) to re-heat whenever she needs a quick and healthy snack.

A note about shapes: This recipe does take a bit of work if you wish to make shapes like I did in the pictures. If not, just plop little portions onto your baking sheet and bake! You can also use a mini cupcake tray or silicone cupcake holders. I used a Mini Noah's Ark cookie cutter set that I found at Joann Fabric (also available at Amazon as well as one of my favorites. If you have high cookie cutters just be aware that cooking time will vary.

Spinach Bites - for babies, toddlers, kids, or anyone!!

(egg free, gluten free/grain free, dairy free, soy free, nut free)

1 cup cooked & mashed organic potatoes (2-3 small potatoes or 2 cups raw cubed potatoes)
2 cups frozen organic chopped spinach
2 tsp flax seed meal + 2 Tbsp boiling water (mixed in small bowl)
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp Herbamare Organic Herb Seasoning
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp Grapeseed or Canola oil

Pre-heat your oven to 350°F.
1. Cook your potatoes in a small pot of boiling water with a bit of salt added. When done, drain and place in a mixing bowl.
2. Steam or lightly cook your spinach. Blend until creamy**. Add to potatoes.
3. Make your flax egg: mix the flax with boiling water and let sit to gel while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
4. Add the spices and oil, mash and stir well. Add the flax egg and stir until combined well.
5. Place on silpat/Silicone Liner or Unbleached Parchment Paper lined baking tray and bake for 40 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack and then serve!
**I usually blend the spinach, but you can also leave it unblended but it will look different and the spinach will be more obvious (see pictures below).

With blended spinach
With un-blended spinach
To store:
Keep in the refrigerator in a sealed container.
To freeze for later snacks- cool and freeze in storage bag/container.

To re-heat:
Place on foil-lined tray in a toaster/convention oven and warm. Alternately, if you run them under cool water for a minute and then place in the toaster oven they thaw MUCH faster and will be ready within a minute or two. I don't have a microwave so I can't tell you how they come out from there :)

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