Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cookbook Review: Organically Raised

Feeding my children good food has always been a primary goal of mine. I used to make their baby food when they were starting solids and now I try to give them a variety of foods and I always encourage them to try new things. Sometimes we get stuck in a rut though and we keep eating the same things. For breakfast we rotate scrambled eggs, pancakes, oatmeal, and a traditional Arab breakfast. While these are generally healthy, and tasty, things have started to get boring lately!
So, I was delighted when I was contacted to check out a new organic cookbook made especially for babies and toddlers. It is titled Organically Raised which peeked my interest immediately. I have been more conscious about the foods I buy and prepare lately and this cookbook gave me a little boost. Last week we started testing out the new recipes and we've made a handful of them and have been pleasantly surprised. They are all super healthy and most of the recipes have an extra punch of nutrients from the use of flaxseed, sesame seeds, or ground nuts. Best of all, you'd never know you are eating healthier...the food just tastes good. Along with the recipes this book also contains a lot of information about ways to incorporate extra nutrients in our everyday food. It has tips throughout as well...did you know agave is a natural sweetener and even diabetics can eat it since it has a low score on the glycemic index?? I didn't know that.
First up...eggs! We are loving these new scrambled eggs with feta and basil since the normal scrambled eggs were plain and boring. The moment I added the basil Gabe perked up and came bouncing into the kitchen asking me what smelled so good. He and Grace both loved the eggs and even asked for seconds. The next thing I tried was a recipe for whole wheat apple waffles. These were definitely tasty!! I did switch up the flour from 100% whole wheat to a 50/50 mix of all purpose and wheat since it was just a little too healthy for us. I ate mine straight out of the wafflemaker but there is a recipe for some agave cinnamon syrup to accompany the waffles that is de-li-cious! The kids ate it up and Gabe even said "Mom will you promise to keep making this syrup." Good, huh?
For lunch the other day we tried these black beans burgers. This was definitely a healthy alternative to a traditional burger, while the kids ate them up, it was a little more difficult to pass these off as "burgers." They actually seemed to like the bean mixture prior to baking better then the finished product. I think grilling them in a grill pan or sauteing them might go over a little better. I'll have to try them in a bun with some lettuce also.
The biggest hit so far was the simplest of recipes. We made these quick and easy peanut butter balls...the recipe called for almond butter which I didn't have, so I subbed in peanut butter and it was an instant hit. The kids have been asking for them each day and even wanted to take them along on a picnic so their friends could try them out too.
Overall this cookbook definitely fits into our healthy lifestyle and I have enjoyed trying some new and delicious recipes. It would make a great gift for any new mom and has recipes for infants just starting on solids as well as recipes for the whole family to enjoy. There are standards like pancakes, mac and cheese, pizza, and more adventurous things like seared halibut, sushi, and lavender cupcakes. I am looking forward to making my way through the entire cookbook!
Check it out here:
Organically Raised Conscious Cooking for Babies and Toddlers by Anni Daulter

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