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Spiced Chickpeas

26 Feb

Ok, I will admit that these didn’t really go down all that well with Thomas. However he didn’t gag on them (which is a sure sign he doesn’t like something). He just didn’t want another one. They are probably a little spicier than he is used to so they might be an acquired taste… They did go down quite well with hubby who has taken them to work with him today.

I got the recipe from the Vegie Smugglers Lunchbox ebook. If you’re looking for some great healthy lunchbox ideas this little ebook is great (and it’s only $4.95).  You can sign up to receive new posts from the blog also, there’s lots of great ideas.

These were very easy to make and would be great for children to make with you. I wanted to test this recipe myself before I got Thomas involved but there is lots of measuring, sprinkling and mixing to be done which I’m sure he would enjoy. The recipe also introduces children to different spices that they might not have been exposed to before. It’s so easy to stick to ‘safe’ foods – ones that you know they will eat but it’s also important to branch out and try new things as well. I encourage Thomas to try new things and explain to him that he shouldn’t say he doesn’t like something if he hasn’t tried it. If he tastes something and doesn’t like it, I don’t force him to eat it but offer it to him again to try again another time. Research shows that children children will reject new foods up to 15 times before they will eat and enjoy it. Persistence pays off!


400g can chickpeas

1 tbsp olive oil

1⁄4 tsp cumin powder

1⁄4 tsp smoked paprika


Preheat the oven to 200C. Line a tray with baking paper.

Rince and drain the chickpeas. Remove any loose skins. Leave them to dry or dry on paper towel.

In a small bowl, combine olive oil and spices, mix until chickpeas are completely covered.

Place on baking tray.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until slightly crunchy.

I also made a batch using garlic and chilli flakes which are really yummy. They can be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 days.


Pine-Mango Ice Blocks

6 Feb

There was lots of counting and 1:1 correspondence going on while we made these ice blocks. Thomas loves counting. He often initiates counting activities when we are playing. He counted the pieces of pineapple as he put them into the blender.

Thomas is currently looking to take a bit more responsibility in the kitchen so I have been helping him use a blunt knife to cut up fruit. He is enjoying this new (developing) independence.

Thomas LOVES lemonade so I thought these ice blocks would go down well.


  • 1/2 (750g) pineapple, peeled, cored, chopped
  • 1 large mango, peeled, chopped
  • 2 cups lemonade (if I made this again I would do 1 cup lemonade, 1 cup sparkling mineral water to reduce sugar content…)


  1. Place pineapple and mango in a food processor or blender. Blend or process until smooth. Remove to a jug. Add lemonade. Stir to combine.
  2. Pour mixture into moulds. Insert paddle pop sticks or secure with lids. Freeze until set.
  3. Remove ice-blocks from moulds. Serve.This recipe made approximately 9 half cup ice blocks. They were delicious.I am enjoying making ice blocks at the moment. It’s a great way to get a bit of extra fruit in children’s diets whilst having a bit of fun in summer!

Banana and Blueberry Muffins

4 Feb

These are yummy. We’ve made them a few times and they always go down a treat. Especially with my little blueberry lover! Thomas basically goes through a punnet of blueberries every day. I think I’m going to have to start buying the frozen ones now that they are going out of season…

Muffins of any kind are great to make with smaller children. They don’t require any electric beaters, there is lots of hands on measuring and pouring and they are reasonably healthy and nutritious (the fruit and vegetable kind). This recipe is from

Thomas was really keen on measuring all the ingredients for this recipe. It got a bit messy with flour everywhere! He can recognise the different measurements on the cups and identifies the one he needs when I read the recipe out. He is really starting to become more independent in the kitchen these days. It’s wonderful to see.


  • 2 cups self-raising flour (I have also used gluten free flour successfully with this recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 200g tub natural yoghurt
  • 80g polyunsaturated margarine, melted, cooled
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 medium green apple, peeled, grated
  • 1/2 cup honey ( I only use about 1/3 cup if that)
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries


  1. Preheat oven to 190°C/170°C fan-forced. Line twelve 1/3 cup-capacity non-stick muffin holes with large paper cases. Sift flour and cinnamon into a bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup rolled oats. Make a well in the centre.
  2. Add eggs, yoghurt, margarine, banana, apple and honey. Stir to just combine. Fold in blueberries. Divide mixture between paper cases. Sprinkle tops with remaining rolled oats. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into 1 muffin comes out clean.
  3. Remove muffins to a wire rack to cool. These muffins can also be frozen.
A little bit of wholesome goodness in a sweet treat :-).