Please note: Feeding Little Tummies is now out of print, libraries around New Zealand still have copies in their catalogue.
Cashew Banana Chew
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 2 ripe bananas
- Squeeze of lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest optional
- 4 tablespoon neutral oil i.e. grapeseed oil or 50 g melted butter
- Few drops of pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup small rolled oats
- 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
- 1 small apple grated
- 1 free-range egg or; 2 teaspoons ground flax seeds mixed with 2 tablespoons water
- Pre-heat the oven to 180•C. Line a 25 cm square baking tin with baking paper.
- Place the cashews in a food processor and grind. Add the bananas, lemon juice, lemon zest, oil or butter, and vanilla. Blitz to combine. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse to fold together. Pour into the prepared tin and spread out evenly. Bake for 20 minutes until golden on top and firm to touch. Cool in the tin and cut into squares or fingers. These will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Variation: use other nuts – almond, brazil, macadamia, walnut - in place of cashews.
Anyone who writes a book generally has a reason… a purpose behind the book. This may be to entertain, educate, inspire… In my case it was to write a recipe book that encouraged (and inspired) parents and caregivers to feed their children fresh healthy food right from the start. To create a resource, as such, with delicious recipes and bite-sized morsels of nutrition information.
However, through the journey of writing a book… the purpose can become a little hazy and the process takes over (it is a mammoth task!). Researching and writing; creating, cooking and testing the recipes. Then edit, edit and edit some more to finally end up with a proof to edit again(!). Finally the book is in your hands and there is the rush of the book release – interviews, radio, even some television – and then this all dies down as fast as it begun and you have a book…
I had a little reminder this week via email which made me sit back and humbly smile to myself. Yes, I have achieved my purpose with writing this book…
“Nicola, I wanted to let you know how wonderful I think your book is! I got your book out of the library when my son Leo (13 months) was starting solids. It was far and away the most useful resource I had for so many reasons. Firstly, I really identified with the healthy food message in the book. I still follow many of your guides for Leo and know that it has contributed to him being such a healthy, happy and food-loving boy. Secondly, it was so nice to have a book that was relevant for us here in New Zealand and that loosely followed Plunket guidelines without conflict. Finally, it’s such an easy to use cookbook that has a great balance of nutritional information and fantastic, healthy, family friendly recipes. At Leo’s first birthday party most of the food was made from your book and everyone (all 80-odd of them!) loved it.”
Thank-you Serica, your kind words really made my week, my month, possibly my year! Although I do regularly get feedback from others cooking from my book it is always a welcome surprise especially when it comes from someone I have never met.
So this week I am sharing one of our families’ favourite recipes from Feeding Little Tummies. We cook from my book regularly and when we do I ask Mika to go get ‘Mummies’ book and she always opens it to the page of me cuddling her in the foreword. (She must think all her friends have a book with their Mummy in it). This Cashew Banana Chew recipe has been cooked so often the book simply falls open to the page by itself (although I do know the recipe by heart).
UPDATE: Feeding Little Tummies is now out of print (July 2015).