As a mother to two toddler boys, I spend a lot of time thinking of ways to get more vegetables in their diets. Thankfully I am one of those few lucky moms who doesn’t have picky eaters, so getting them to eat at least *some* of their greens isn’t so bad. Still, toddlers are toddlers & are notorious for not consuming enough of the good stuff.
I seem to always have a baby around, so I am always making & freezing baby food. I use the silicone portion tray that came with my Baby Bullet to freeze large batches of veggies, then store what I call “pods” in freezer bags. These frozen portions of veggie mush are the main ingredient in a lot of things. I toss a few into bread dough, soups, sauces, oatmeal, cookie dough….basically everything I make gets an extra dose of pureed vegetable goodness. It is suprisingly easy to hide all sorts of vegetables in all kinds of dishes.
I make a lot of things in bulk & store in the freezer. It’s just easier to have several loaves of bread, many servings of pre-made chicken nuggets, and tons of frozen waffles on hand for those last minute dietary changes that toddlers so often make. One of my favorite things to make in bulk is waffles & I have finally come up with the perfect, healthy recipe! We top ours with things like local honey, peanut butter or hazelnut spread, or even fruit preserves. I am proud to serve these for breakfast!
Spinach & Sweet Potato Oat-Waffles *note: this recipe is doubled
3 cups flour 2 cups quick oats
6 tspn baking powder 2 tspn cinnamon
1/2 tspn salt 4 eggs
2 cups milk 3/4 cup melted butter
4 tbspn brown sugar 1/2 cup pureed spinach, not drained
1/2 cup mashed sweet potatoes
1. In a large bowl or mixer, combine flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon & salt. In another bowl wisk together eggs, milk, butter, brown sugar, & spinach.
2. Add wet mix to dry mix, then fold in mashed sweet potatoes. Batter will be very lumpy & think. It’s okay.
3. Pour batter into a lightly greased waffle iron. Serve warm. No syrup needed!
I use the waffle iron from Baby Cakes that shapes them into sticks. This is just PERFECT for toddlers because the portions are small & you don’t have to deal with fights about cutting them. They are also super convenient for Hubs to eat in the car on his way to work if he sleeps in a bit.
I make sure that I let my waffles cool & freeze in single layers before I transfer them to freezer bags. I can put this whole recipe into a gallon size bag when they are in “stick shape”. We reheat them by throwing them in the toaster oven for a cycle on the “toast” function.
I have made several variations to this recipe, though this seems to be my family’s favorite version.
Sweetener:I have used all honey, all molasses, all maple syrup as well as various combos of the sweeteners. They all work just as well…it’s a personal preference to use brown sugar.
Butter: I have used oil in place of butter. Works fine, but isn’t as delicious.
Veggies: I’ve used all sorts of different veggies including carrots, beets, peas, broccoli, and cauliflower. It doesn’t really seem to matter what is used just as long as your proportions are right for the mix. If you use a different veggie that doesn’t have as much liquid as the spinach, you might have to add a little bit of water. We’ve loved them all!