Easy Peasy Plant-Based PinwheelsNov 21, 2020
Pinwheels are a recipe I make when I’m looking for something quick and satisfying for my baby and the family.
I’ve been making these plant-based pinwheels since my first daughter started solids around 3 years ago and I still like to make them now for my second daughter who is 15 months old.
As my version of the Pinwheels are made with puff pastry, they have a very comforting element about them. I also enjoy them because they are easy and very economical - they can be made with store cupboard ingredients or leftovers from the fridge.
Try them warm straight from the oven, cold packed for a picnic lunch or have as a handy snack at home or out and about.
Pinwheels are suitable to be offered to your plant-based baby from 6 months. You may choose to give a whole pinwheel and let your baby explore it, or chop it in half to resemble two finger sized pieces. Either would work well providing the ingredients you have opted for inside the pinwheels are sized safely for your baby's stage of eating.
These handy snacks can be a fantastic source of nutrition for your young baby helping to ensure that each meal is an opportunity to enrich their diet.
- Puff pastry is a source of fat for your baby. Fat provides high calories meaning more energy for your baby. Offering high fat food is very important for your infant due to their rapid growth and development under 1 year old.
- Tomato puree, herbs and vegetables – a selection of vegetables and herbs are important for fuelling your baby with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre used for a range of functions in the body from supporting eye sight development, helping oxygen to be transported around the body, providing iron, resisting infections and assist in the development of the brain. Where possible use a range of colours of vegetables including dark green leafy veg too.
- Plant-based cheese or nutritional yeast flakes – always ensure you are buying a quality plant-based cheese which is enriched with vitamin B12 and be mindful of the salt content in these products, ideally no salt or very low salt limited to once or twice per week for babies under one. Alternatively you can opt to use nutritional yeast flakes which are very nutrient dense including vitamin B12 and contain zero salt. They can also provide zinc and iron (check the brand you buy to be sure).
1 packet fresh plant-based puff pastry
2 – 3 tablespoons tomato puree
2 – 3 teaspoons dried herbs such as oregano, mixed herbs, thyme etc
100g plant-based cheese, grated
40mls plant milk (unsweetened)
Tinned sweetcorn (in water, not salt or brine)
Fresh spinach, washed & roughly chopped
Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350F/Gas mark 4) and have a baking tray ready.
Roll out the puff pastry keeping it on the grease proof layer of paper.
On the the top side of the pastry spread the tomato paste evenly over the whole sheet of puff pastry. Sprinkle evenly with the herbs followed by the cheese across the top.
You’ve now got a great base with lots of flavour which you can add any selection of additional veg, cooked beans or lentils to.
Scatter the sweetcorn and lastly the spinach over the top. This is a nice part to let little hands join in the fun!
Next to create a wheel shape the pastry has to be folded. Turn your pastry so the long edge faces you and choose one end to start the process of rolling. Turn over a small lip of pastry and then continue rolling down the length of the pastry until you reach the opposite end. Continue rolling the pastry over keeping it tight as you go. Continue this until you have rolled the entire sheet in to a ‘log’ shape.
I like to lift the log and tuck the long edge under as it helps to keep the filling in as you cut them.
Using a sharp knife cut the roll in to 1 inch pieces, this usually makes around 12 pinwheels. Place each one on to the baking tray with the swirl flat on the tray. Using a pastry brush lightly brush each pinwheel with the plant-based milk.
Place in the oven and bake for around 15 minutes or until each pinwheel has turned a lovely golden colour.
Allow to cool before serving them with a side of finger vegetables, salad or even warmed up baked beans.
Use any combination of your favourite fresh and dried herbs such as thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, coriander, parsley, paprika, cumin.
- The best vegetables for this recipe are ideally precooked vegetables or vegetables that will soften or wilt in a short time in the oven (for example spinach). Other great vegetable ideas include:
Tinned vegetables (in plain water not salt water)
- Tinned beans (crush lightly to ensure they are not a choking risk as they are not visible to your baby when placed inside the pinwheel)
- Left over roasted vegetables such as peppers, courgettes, onions, aubergines, spinach, thinly sliced raw tomatoes, grated courgette or carrots etc.
- Slices of pineapple would work well here too
To ensure your baby’s meals are balanced it is beneficial to always plan a protein source in to their main meals. Proteins that work well in the Pinwheels are:
Sliced tofu, pre-cooked lentils, tinned beans (lightly crushed), sliced mushrooms, sprinkle of ground seeds, crumbled tempeh.
Enjoy experimenting with some different flavour combinations, the options are endless which will keep this quick and nutritious pinwheel recipe exciting for the whole family. It is definitely a regular on my menu at home and I hope your little ones like them too!