I’m currently learning the hard way how to feed our daughter: the walls, table, chair and ourselves often get splattered with food, and all sorts of delicacies get left over when she eats less than we’ve cooked.
To avoid waste and minimise mess, we usually serve her small amounts of what we eat, unsalted and mashed, or very soft pieces of vegetable, because she loves to feed herself. Leftovers are returned to the fridge or separated into different colours, blended and frozen in ice cube trays for future meals. This is a great way to preserve a child’s (or, indeed, your own) leftovers for more than five days.
They can then be used to bulk out soups or stews, or mix them into colourful pancakes to add nutrients to breakfast. Brightly coloured purees made of sweet potato, spinach and beetroot work particularly well.
Rainbow vegetable pancakes (without artificial colouring)
Upcycle your kids’ or even your own leftover vegetables into these colourful pancakes, which, unlike most rainbow pancakes, do not contain artificial colourings and are instead packed with nutrients from the pureed vegetables. Kids love them even when they aren’t especially fond of the incorporated vegetable and, if you use wholegrain flours, they are a great way to introduce them to whole foods.
Prep 10 minCook 10 minMakes About 6 pancakes
150g-plus flour, preferably wholegrain wheat, spelt or emmer wheat2-4 tbsp mashed brown banana (or 1 egg)1 tsp baking powderVirgin or light olive oil, for frying
Pour 150g wholegrain flour into a bowl with the mashed brown banana (or an egg), baking powder, cider vinegar and milk. Mix well until no lumps remain, then split the mixture between three different bowls and mix in a different coloured pureed vegetable into each bowl, or just enough to change the colour. Add a touch more flour or liquid, to create a cake mix-like consistency.
Warm a nonstick pan over a medium heat, brush a touch of oil around the inside, then add dessert spoonfuls of batter to the pan, with space between them to allow them to spread out. When the underside starts to brown, flip and cook on the other side for a few minutes, or until it puffs up and is cooked through. Serve warm.
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