Back in London, when my daughter started on solids, one of my dear, dear yoga mum friends, sent me a recipe for banana and fruit muffins (or cake/loaf, depending on what takes your fancy). My daughter was a fairly fussy eater in the early days. Now she is great (most of the time). But back then I had to get creative because she largely refused purées but was interested in finger foods. I didn’t have the patience for pure baby led weaning, but I was up for finger foods in a big way…sneaking in mushed stuff whenever I could. This recipe is a fantastic way of getting fruit into your bubbas and toddlers. Mae went for these muffins in a big way and I always had a batch in the freezer for quick defrosting. I hadn’t made them in ages, so yesterday I made a batch to try out on Zephyr (7.5 months) as he appears to be following in his sister’s footsteps in the fussy stakes. Not quite the overwhelming response I’d hoped for but he did suck on a muffin for a while. His gag reflux is pretty weak so he’s wary of chunks in his mouth at this stage but this is a good place to start. Turns out that Maple still loves them: “Mummy, this is the best muffin ever after!”
This recipe can be adapted to incorporate different fruits. For example, I didn’t have enough bananas, so I used two nanas, a squishy pear, a grated apple and just some raisins. Previously, for Maple, I’ve used mixed dried fruits or chopped up dried apricots, prunes and so on. Supremely delicious. This is sugar free as the fruit is sweet enough; a super healthy finger food for bambinos and toddlers alike. I always make this mixture into muffins as I have two muffin trays and the cooking time is only half an hour, whereas the loaf takes longer.
250g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
125g butter/ margarine
125g dried cranberries
125g chopped dried apricots
3 large overripe bananas – mashed
1 apple – grated (I leave the skin on)
Preheat the oven to 180C
Sift flour, baking powder and spices into a large bowl. Cut the butter/ marg into small pieces and rub into dry ingredients until the fat is evenly distributed throughout the mixture, which should be crumbly. Add the dried fruit and mix together with a wooden spoon, then make a hollow in the mixture. Crack the eggs into the hollow, then add the banana and the apple and mix thoroughly with the wooden spoon.
Spoon into a greased and lined loaf tin, or silicon/ paper lined muffin cases or muffin trays and bake in the centre of the oven. A loaf will take about 1.5 hours. Muffins take approx 30 mins – take out of the oven when they are a dark golden colour – a wooden skewer put into the centre of one should come out clean. Allow to cool before removing from loaf tin/ muffin cases.
Ensure you eat at least two while still warm.