Eating low impact for me means a whole host of things. Is it healthy? Were the workers who made it treated well? Does the company who makes it have any agenda which is harmful? Has it travelled a long way to get to me? And does it have a lot of unnecessary packaging?
The first and last of these questions become magnified in their importance when you feed a small person. How much packaging does baby food need? Really! And what is marketed as being healthy… read the back of those ‘wholefood’ or ‘wholegrain’ bars and count the number of sugar varieties before the oats or wheat flour is mentioned. All of it being in a form which primes bubba’s taste for sugar and damages their baby teeth.
But these snacks are so portable and easy to pop in their mouth when you need a diversion or a top up before a proper meal when you get home.
Nothing beats a banana, but sometimes they are not an acceptable sustenance proposition for Miss E… So, I’ve been on a mission to make a snack that is tasty and healthy that does not have the amount of packaging that other baby snacks have.
After a few failures I have had success! Essie is actually on rations now – if I put more than one piece in front of her she will cram all of it in her mouth at once and reach for another piece! I’ll take that as a seal of approval.
I used Australian apricots, but they did have sulphur preservatives. I chose them over the Turkish ones as they also had preservative but had travelled a long way to me. I don’t think sulphur preservatives are good for you, so would seek to avoid them wherever possible – choose organic! But in the sea of evils, weigh your options. There are sulphites in many the of the store bought snacks as well, not to mention the other preservatives and gums.
These bars use agar agar to set them rather than rely on the jelly of sugars. Made from seaweed, it’s high in minerals and fibre and is actually good for you. I used agar powder NOT agar flakes. There is a big difference in ratios here – you will need more flakes, roughly double what they say you need to set each cup of liquid.
I used coconut flakes and rolled oats for fibre, to keep little tummies full, and to create a creamy taste.
The coconut water power adds more essential minerals, but can be skipped if you don’t have it to hand. The coconut oil also adds lauric acid and necessary fats but can be substituted for macadamia oil or omitted.
I’m very tempted to make a batch for the adults and coat it in dark chocolate! It’s such a richly flavoured treat that has been a real hit with everyone that has tried it.
Keeps in the fridge for a week, and in a handbag for a day in a plastic container.
These snacks do have sugar in them because of the fruit content, but that sugar is still attached to the fibre of the fruit and so is more slowly digested. But with all fruit, too much can …er… accelerate bowel movements. Don’t give bubs a huge amount at a time.
- 2 cups of water
- 1 packed cup of unchopped dried apricots
- 1 cup coconut flakes
- ½ cup of rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
- 1 Tablespoon of coconut or formula milk powder
- 1 Tablespoon coconut water powder
- 4 teaspoons of agar agar powder
- Silicone loaf pan
- Put all ingredients into a small saucepan, and let soak for at least 15 minutes.
- Bring slowly to boil. The mixture is very thick, so you will need to keep stirring.
- Cook through for approximately 5 minutes, or until there is little moisture left.
- Pour into the blender (or use a bamix in the pan) and blender until fairly smooth.
- Pour into loaf pan, and let set at room temperature.