Baby Friendly Vegetable PancakesFeb 13, 2021
Here in the UK we are approaching our annual pancake day, when traditionally sweet pancakes are offered after dinner. Growing up we liked to make the most out of the day by having savoury pancakes first, followed by sweet ones. I have continued that tradition with my own children by preparing these baby friendly vegetable pancakes that we enjoy all year round.
Now I am cooking for my own babies I like to pack their meals with as many essential nutrients as possible whilst still making sure their meals are fun and colourful. I love this baby friendly spinach pancake recipe as it is very easy to prepare the batter and the pancakes look so striking with the bright green colour once cooked. By adding spinach to a plant-based pancake mix, this introduces a fun colour and I know that the pancakes are also packed with iron which is great for your plant-based baby. I like to combine them with a rich ratatouille which is full of vitamin C and will help your baby's body more effectively absorb the iron. As this recipe is completely plant-based it is great for infants who have egg or dairy allergies.
The ratatouille is made to be baby-led weaning friendly. I place the slices of vegetables on top of the tomato sauce (rather than mixing together) so my baby can still make out what each of the vegetables are. Both the pancakes and ratatouille are safe from six months old.
When cooking for a baby (6-12 months) do not use any salt as your infant's kidneys are not able to cope with processing it. Instead try seasoning with dried or fresh herbs to add flavour and interest. In this ratatouille recipe I use garlic and Italian herbs, but feel free to experiment with what you have available.
2 Large handfuls spinach, washed
1 cup plain flour
1 cup plant-based milk (unsweetened)
Makes 5 medium pancakes/crepes
Time: 20 minutes
Place all ingredients in to a blender and blend until you achieve a smooth, runny consistency. If your mixture is very thick add some additional plant-based milk and blend again.
Heat your frying pan up, add a small drop of oil to prevent the pancake sticking and pour in enough mixture so that as you move the batter around the pan it thinly coats the base of the pan. On a medium heat cook for 1-2 minutes or until lightly golden and then toss the pancake over (I use a spatula to help me with this however toss it in the air if you’re feeling skilful) and cook on the opposite side until lightly golden.
Remove from the pan once cooked and set aside. Repeat until all of your mixture is used up.
500g Passata (sieved tomatoes)
3 teaspoons Italian herbs dried or fresh
3 garlic cloves, chopped finely
You can choose any selection of vegetables you like providing they can be sliced.
Sweet potato, sliced thinly
Courgette, sliced thinly
Aubergine, thinly sliced
Tomato, sliced thinly
Fresh basil (optional)
In a hot pan add the oil and garlic, quickly add the Passata and herbs and simmer for 5 minutes.
Pour the tomato sauce in to a shallow dish and begin layering the vegetables over the top in a sequence. Tomato, sweet potato, courgette aubergine and repeat until you have layered up the full tray.
Sprinkle olive oil over the top and scatter some fresh basil.
Place in a hot oven 190 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes or until all of the vegetables are soft and cooked through.
Scatter some more fresh basil over the top if you wish.
I served the layered ratatouille with the green pancakes and added a tin of drained chickpeas to the table for some protein and variation for my baby. Lightly squash the chickpeas or chop them in half to make them a safe shape for your baby. You could also serve with quinoa, cooked lentils or another protein source of your choice.