I’m practically walking on clouds from yesterday, I swear.
I’ve been starting my 10 1/2 month-old son on finger foods and non-purée type things lately. And so far it’s been going okay. Better than with my first child, but not great. He isn’t overly enthused about all the different textures yet…
So far his favorite thing has been tomatoes. He really doesn’t like the texture of cooked sweet potato/butternut squash cubes and brown rice doesn’t real do it for him either, haha. But! Last night he did something awesome.
He ate cooked white beans!
They weren’t straight out of a can or anything like that. I had cooked them myself and then prepared them in a millet casserole along with some onion, corns, and red peppers. The casserole itself was really great (but that is a different story). My point is, that as I was eating I thought, “Ya know, I bet he would like these white beans- they’re pretty soft and mushy.” And by golly did he ever! He ate ALL the white beans out of my casserole and was still demanding more. So I decided that maybe I should just try giving him a bite of the casserole without any corn. And he LOVED it! I just can’t believe it. I couldn’t get my 3 year-old to touch the thing, but my 10 1/2 month-old was inhaling it… how funny! He has so much potential. I can’t wait to get him used to all sorts of healthy things : )
Like these savory sweet potato cups! Now that I am thinking about it, I bet he would love these too. They are very soft so he wouldn’t have any problem being able to eat them (he still has ZERO teeth in). The only problem is that they are made with ground almonds and I’m waiting for him to turn a year before introducing nuts of any kind.
But obviously I didn’t make these for him… haha. I made these as a possibility for a meat-free main dish for the holidays. Or any time of the year really. Kind of like having a ‘nut-loaf’. Mmmmm, I love nut loaves!
I got the foundation for the recipe out of “Vegan for the Holidays” by Zel Allen and then I ran with a few of my own personal touches.
They are a great play off of the whole savory-sweet combo and with that incredible dipping sauce…. oh my goodness these are just fantastic!
And you don’t need to serve them as a main either. They could be a side dish or an appetizer (if you use mini-muffin cups). I simply like the idea of them as a main since they have such a great amount of protein- almonds, oats, tofu. LOTS of protein!
Discussion Topic- What kind of healthy finger foods do your kids enjoy??? And….GO!
- 1¼ cups almonds
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 1½ cups puréed or mashed, cooked sweet potato
- ½ cup non-dairy milk
- 3 ounces firm tofu (about ⅓ cup mashed)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (can sub with canola oil)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon flax seed
- 1¼ teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom, optional
- 2 green onions, minced (for garnish)
- FOR THE SAUCE:
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons dry mustard
- 1½ teaspoons sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum or guar gum
- Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
- In the bowl of a food processor, process almonds until coarsely ground. Place ground almonds and oats in a large bowl; set aside.
- In a blender, purée sweet potatoes with non-dairy milk, tofu, coconut oil, brown sugar, flax seed, salt, cinnamon, black pepper, garlic powder, and cardamom (if using).
- Scrape sweet potato-mixture into bowl with almonds and oats. Stir to completely combine.
- Distribute mixture evenly between muffin cups and sprinkle tops with green onions.
- Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until firm. Allow the puffs to cool 25 to 30 minutes before removing from the pan. Serve with dipping sauce.
- FOR THE SAUCE: Purée all ingredients in blender until completely emulsified. Best served at room temperature.
Inspired by “Vegan for the Holidays” by Zel Allen