This will probably be the last blog post I’ll write whilst I’m on maternity leave, as I head back to work in about 6 weeks. I’m relishing every minute I have with Ellen and not even thinking about work. I just want to enjoy the time I have left! It’s lovely being off at this time of year and being out and about for walks. I’ve made a few new friends through a local mother & baby group so it’s great to meet up with the other girls and their babies every week. I’d highly recommend going to a mother & baby group during maternity leave – it’s a great way to meet people, especially people who are on the same wavelength! There may be a few groups in your area so try a few and see which ones you like.
Since my last post, Ellen is now firmly established on solid foods. She took to it like a duck to water and hasn’t refused anything so far. No doubt she will go through a fussy eating phase around 2 years like most toddlers, but for now I’m thrilled that she’ll try anything! I’ve really enjoyed the weaning stage and I’ve been using recipes from First 1000 Days and Neven Maguire’s baby and toddler cookbook. It can be a bit daunting at first but the trick is to be prepared and batch cook and freeze as much as possible. If your baby is hungry, they are going to want to eat NOW and they won’t be prepared to wait whilst you chop, steam and blend a delicious nutritious meal for them! Invest in some little pots and you can just take them out of the freezer as needed. It does get easier when baby gets a little older and can start to eat the same foods as the rest of the family.
Ellen is just starting to have snacks now, as well as her main meals. She loves fruit but it’s nice to have something else to offer and these savoury muffins are perfect. They are great for the freezer, and older kids (and adults!) will love them too. Huge thanks to my friend Emma and baby Addison for sharing this recipe with me.
Cheesy Spinach Muffins
Makes about 10 large muffins or 18 mini muffins
- Rapeseed oil for greasing
- 175g plain flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp sweet paprika (optional)
- 110ml milk
- 1 egg
- 110g grated cheese (e.g. cheddar)
- Large handful of baby spinach leaves
- Preheat the oven to 180oC. Use a piece of kitchen roll to grease a muffin tin (or you could just use a bun tin and paper cases if you don’t have a muffin tin).
- Boil the kettle and put the spinach leaves in a colander. Pour boiling water over the spinach leaves to wilt them, and leave to cool in the colander.
- Sieve the flour, baking powder and paprika (if using) into a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
- Beat the egg in a jug and add the milk. Add this mixture to the flour and fold in.
- Squeeze as much water as you can out of the spinach and roughly chop it on a chopping board.
- Add the spinach and cheese to the muffin mixture and mix to combine.
- Spoon the mixture into the muffin tin.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and cooked in the middle (use a skewer to test). If you are making mini muffins, they may take less time to cook.
- Allow the muffins to cool in the tin, then turn them on to a wire rack.
- Freeze the muffins in a plastic container or freezer bag and defrost as needed.