One of the culinary goals in my life at the moment is to get my little 2 year old boy to eat more vegetables! He is the light of my life, yet his stubbornness to eat anything plant-based drives me bonkers. He seems to have insanely tuned tastebuds that can detect any kind of vegetable on his palate within milliseconds. The offending articles of food get routinely ejected and he spends the rest of the meal inspecting his food to ensure he doesn’t make the same mistake again.
This means I now try to find subversive ways of hiding vegetables into dishes. Some work, some don’t. These carrot and beetroot cupcakes have been a success (phew) and they now get regularly consumed by my vegetable-hating tot.
- 225g of spelt flour
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda
- 50g of walnut pieces, chopped into very small pieces (obviously omit this if your child has a nut allergy)
- 50g carrots, finely grated
- 50g beetroot, finely grated
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed
- 2 large eggs
- 100 ml maple syrup
- 140g of organic butter, melted.
For the topping
- 250g mascarpone or full fat cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons of maple syrup
Makes approximately 18 cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 160C/gas mark 4/320F. Place cupcake cases inside the cupcake tin.
- Add the dry ingredients (flour, bicarb, baking powder, nuts) into a large bowl and mix well.
- In another bowl mash the bananas then add the eggs, butter, carrots, beetroot and maple syrup.
- Spoon the mixture into the cases.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cupcakes have risen and are golden. Check by inserting a skewer into the centre of a cake, it should come out clean.
- Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then place on a cooling rack.
- To make the topping. Put the mascarpone in a small bowl. Add the vanilla extract and maple syrup and stir well. Add a teaspoon of this mixture onto each cake and spread.
Store the cakes in the fridge or freeze (without topping). This makes a really big batch. If you feel it’s too much, simply cut all the quantities in half to make fewer cakes.
- These are a great way to get immune boosting carrots and beets into unsuspecting toddlers. Both of these veg are bursting with beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant.
- The mix of healthy fats (coconut oil, walnuts and mascarpone cheese) and protein (eggs, walnuts and mascarpone cheese) help to slow the release of the sugars from the other ingredients (flour, banana, maple syrup). Making this beneficial for energy levels.
- These are very versatile making a great, quick breakfast (no topping with a natural, full fat yoghurt on the side). They also make a good snack or dessert with the creamy topping.
My journey continues. The daily task of presenting vegetables in various attractive guises is ongoing. I’ve found these cakes a little treasure when he’s refusing to touch any veg. My aim is to still get him to eat recognisable veg (which I continually present to him). I am aware these are a support not a solution, but to all frustrated parents, a very welcome one.