I’ve been more focused on toddler-friendly meals lately, natural since Nicholas is getting bigger, but I don’t want to stop experimenting with recipes that are also good for your smaller little ones.
These little vegetable cakes are very soft inside so great for babies without teeth. They are a simpler (and slightly quicker) version of my Butternut Squash and Chickpea Cakes, which are easily adapted to feed the whole family.
I made some medium and small-sized ones, but because of their softness the small ones (about 4cm in diameter) are easier for small fingers to hold and also easier to flip over when you’re cooking them.
If you’re making these for toddlers you can add some seasoning and also some spice (I used a teaspoon each of paprika and cumin for a warming spicy flavour). If you’re introducing a little spice to your munchkin, start with 1/2 teaspoon each of spices.
Use your preferred method of cooking the butternut squash, remembering that the quicker you cook it, the more nutrients remain. For toddlers you can leave the peel on as it will get chopped up in the food processor when you combine it with the other ingredients.
This recipe makes a large batch of cakes – perfect to have in the freezer for days you don’t feel like cooking.
SOFT BUTTERNUT SQUASH CAKES
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Makes about 40 mini cakes (or 26 medium cakes)
Approx. 400g cooked butternut squash
1 medium courgette (zucchini), coursely grated
1 400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup plain flour
Drizzle of olive oil or cooking spray
For toddler version also:
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper
Put the butternut squash into a food processor and blend until smooth. If you’ve left the skin on, check that it’s broken up into small pieces.
Add the grated courgette, chickpeas, egg yolk and flour. Blend until combined (the mixture will be quite runny almost like a pancake mixture).
If making for a toddler, add the paprika, cumin and season to taste.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a med-low heat, spray with cooking spray or use a drizzle of olive oil.
Drop small spoonfuls of mixture into the pan (don’t overcrowd the pan to make turning them easier), flipping them after a few minutes when they’re golden brown and cooking the other side. Repeat with the remaining mixture.
Leave to cool a little (they’ll firm up a bit as they get cooler). Serve with yogurt to dip them into.
- Use sweet potato instead of butternut squash
- For toddlers, try some different spices such as ground coriander
- Add some fresh coriander to the mixture
What other soft foods do you like to make for your little ones, especially when they don’t yet have teeth?