There were very exciting times in our family last week, as my beautiful sister gave birth to a fabulous baby girl!! Yay! Everyone is doing magnificently in case you were interested... I love that when someone has a baby, there is an outpouring of generosity, often in the form of food. Some people create 'food trees' where there is an organised delivery system amongst the family and friends of the new mum - check out here and here for a very detailed account on how you can do it. I particularly like he idea of asking the family when the help will be most appreciated, as it can often be when one partner goes back to work that the real need for ready made, delicious, sustaining and nutritious food will be at its peak! I also think it's great to check what the family do and don't eat/like.
So, I decided to make my baby sister a loaf-cake. I'm not sure what a loaf-cake is, but I think that it's this. Loaf sounds a bit boring, and cake doesn't sound nutritious enough, so loaf-cake it is! I have made this with a view to including all the important aspects of breakfast in a quick and easy to eat snack. It has more protein than the average breakfast cereal, no sugar, and plenty of fibre which is regularly needed for new mums to get the old bowels moving again! It is packed with good fats, B vitamins, iron, and calcium to nourish, sustain and encourage effective breast feeding. I have also included organic mulberries (thanks Loving Earth ) which are said to tonify the blood, and are also rich in protein, iron, calcium, B vitamins, magnesium and antioxidants, winners! You can use any dried fruit, my sister doesn't like sultanas, so the mulberries got a big look in. To compliment I chose organic figs and organic apricots for their high iron and calcium qualities. I have also used wholemeal spelt flour which is rich in minerals. Go that! Oh, and it's delicious. Eat it straight up, or toasted with some coconut butter, butter or nut butter! If you do dairy, a lovely fresh ricotta is fairly awesome too.
Here's how to do it.
New Mum's Breakfast Loaf-Cake 2 cups COOKED quinoa, any colour 1 cup of milk, nut milk or 1/2 coconut milk 1/2 rice milk 1 cup any mixed seed combination (I like pepitas and linseeds as they are ideal for getting the digestion going, but sunflower, sesame, chia are all good!) 1 cup mixed organic dried fruit (figs, apricots, sultanas, currants, mulberries, blueberries) 1 cup wholemeal spelt flour 1 grated apple, skin on 1/2 cup dried coconut (shredded, flakes, whatever you prefer) 1/2 cup walnuts or almonds, roughly chopped 1 tsp cinnamon A sprinkle of nutmeg 1 egg 2 tsp baking powder
Soak the seeds and fruit in the milk for at least 2 hours, longer if you have time. Add the cooked quinoa and flour and stir to combine. Add all other ingredients and mix. Pour mixture into a loaf tin lined with baking paper, and cook at 180 degrees Celsius for 55 minutes - 1 hour. *To cook quinoa: Rinse 1 cup of quinoa and pop into a saucepan with 2 cups of water. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer covered for around 10 minutes, or until you can see the little white curly tails become visible.
Eat straight away, or keep in an airtight container for a few days. This loaf-cake freezes fabulously, so get your recipient to slice it up and freeze it ready to whip out and toast when the mood strikes.
Deliver to someone you love, or enjoy it yourself - go on, you're worth it. Job done! x