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Belgian waffles with fruit and yoghurt for breakfast

Belgian waffles with fruit and yoghurt for breakfast

Belgian waffles

Are you looking for a healthy treat for breakfast? These Belgian waffles may be just what you are looking for!  As in the traditional recipe, these waffles do have quite some butter in them. Sugar-wise on the other hand, these contain only a little bit. With the yoghurt and fruit on top they do make quite a healthy breakfast and are absolutely super delicious, I promise!

10 years ago my husband and I moved from Belgium to London.  To celebrate, I wanted to post a real Belgian recipe. Waffles is something I always had when I lived in Belgium and never realised how Belgian they were until I moved abroad. Suddenly waffles seemed to always get the adjective ‘Belgian’ in front of it.

Belgian waffles with fruit and yoghurt

Old fashioned versus modern

I inherited my grandma’s waffle maker and it still works perfectly! It explains the different look they have compared to most waffles these days.

This recipe is inspired by both my grandmother’s recipe and a new recipe I discovered on a Belgian food blog called Cuisine-à-vous which I love now! That helped to make my grandmother’s recipe a bit more modern as in soooo much less sugar. To put it in numbers: there is 20% of the original amount of sugar left! How have the times changed!

Do you need more sweetness?

These Belgian waffles really are not very sweet, but for my taste they are sweet enough, definitely with the yoghurt and fruit. If the kids are unsure and you suspect it is because they aren’t sweet enough, you could perhaps add a little drizzle of honey on the yoghurt. You could also scatter some icing sugar over them, like is traditionally done on Brussels waffles.

In the UK and elsewhere (not in Belgium as far as I know) waffles are often served with Nutella. That would of course sweeten them up as well, but if that is what you would like, why not try with a less processed version like our homemade chocolate spread?

Enjoy!

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Venezuelan Arepas or corn cakes

Venezuelan Arepas or corn cakes

Venezuela

These corn cakes are a traditional recipe from Venezuela recommended by a lovely Venezuelan friend. She used to have them every day in Venezuela, just as I used to eat bread every day in Belgium.  ‘Arepa’ is simply the Spanish name for these corn cakes as used in most of South America.

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Nutty Jammy Dodgers with Chia Jam

Nutty Jammy Dodgers with Chia Jam

Chia Jammy Dodgers from More Than Just Carrots

Valentines Day

So next week is Valentines Day!  Are you celebrating Valentines Day this year?  Maybe you have some time off next week with the kids and you have time to do some baking? Making these jammy dodgers will provide some fun entertainment for at least half a day, that is for sure. These heart shaped treats would also work great on a Alice in Wonderland themed party!

Valentines Day is just another date in the calendar for me really, but this time I thought it would be a good occasion to finally make these jammy dodgers I have wanted to make for a while. Since we had the Linzer torte at Christmas and New Years, I have had this idea to make a healthier version of jammy dodgers.

Chia Jammy Dodgers from More Than Just Carrots     Chia Jammy Dodgers from More Than Just Carrots     Chia Jammy Dodgers from More Than Just Carrots

Chia Jam

For the jam, I made some chia jam from frozen strawberries. As it is the middle of winter now, that is the best way to get berries I find. You boil a sauce of the strawberries, sweeten a bit with honey. The chia seeds add some extra nutritional value to the jam, but they are critical for the texture. When added to a liquid, these tiny seeds generate a gel, this makes the jam thicken without having to add loads of sugar.

If you use quantities in the recipe for the jam, that will give you a an extra pot for other use. Keep it in the fridge for at least a week.

Nutty Pastry

The pasty I used is very similar to the one of the Linzer torte. I had a little play with the cookie cutters, some circles, some hearts and that was all there was to it! As with the Linzer torte these biscuits become better as they get the chance to sit for a while. I made plenty to make sure there are some left for when they are at their best, which is after about 1 week.

Healthier?

So all in all, these are not what you could call ‘really healthy biscuits’ as they still contain quite a lot of sugar.  Nevertheless, they are definitely a lot better than shop bought ones because they have:

  • wholemeal flour as opposed to white flour
  • a big part of the flour is replaced by hazelnuts
  • the jam is only a little bit sweetened with honey as opposed to 60 % of refined sugar in most shop bought jams
  • the chia seeds bring in some extra nutritional value to them

Conclusion, there is still a fair amount of sugar and calories in these biscuits, but less of it. They contain more fibre and more nutritional value. So if you are planning on indulging anyway, why not enjoy making these chia jammy dodgers with the kids and have the treat a little bit healthier and definitely far richer in flavour as well!

Enjoy!

Chia Jammy Dodgers

Chia Jammy Dodgers from More Than Just Carrots

Chia Jammy Dodgers from More Than Just Carrots

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Mini Gingerbread House

Mini Gingerbread House

mini gingerbread house from More Than Just Carrots

I absolutely love gingerbread houses! They can be so pretty, some really are pure art! And how much fun is it to decorate them with the kids!? They get totally excited when they even come near gingerbread houses! Icing! Sweets!! Yay!!

The only thing about them of course, is the amount of sugar that is involved. After all the hard work to make the house and decorate it, somebody needs to eat it all and than it just gets too much, even for Christmas.  Or maybe, especially with Christmas actually, when we are overfeeding and indulging all over anyway.

mini gingerbread house from More Than Just Carrots
In the past we have decorated cardboard houses with sweets instead. That was still super fun, but at least the walls didn’t need to be eaten. Last year the kids simply decorated cardboard nativity stables with crafty things, there were no sweets involved at all! They loved doing that just as much.

When I came across these lovely mini gingerbread houses that fit on a mug, I thought that was a great idea for us to do this year. It has all the fun, all the sweetness, but in small quantities. I think that is a fantastic way of doing it for the kids. They need to learn moderation when it comes to food.

Once your kids go to school and get a bit more independent, it becomes very difficult to avoid sugar in their diet altogether. You are just not always in charge. To be honest,  I don’t even think that is really necessary anyway, but they do need to learn moderation. They need to learn to have lots of the good foods and little amounts of the not so healthy foods. In that perspective a with icing and sweets decorated gingerbread house definitely needs to be small!

mini gingerbread house from More Than Just Carrots       mini gingerbread house

I have no cake decoration experience nor skills as you can probably see from my rustic houses. Neither have I got the equipment that I think the experts must be using. I don’t intend to learn to get better at it either as there is too much sugar involved for my liking, but basic skills and equipment can make doo in this case I believe…

We’ll just take a little bit of those tiny cake decoration sprinkles and mini smarties or chocolate chips with us on Christmas eve and the kids can have a go at filling up the tiny empty spaces on the walls of these houses!

 

Instructions:

Download the template for mini gingerbread houses here:

mini-gingerbread-house-template

Or copy from below on squared paper (squares here are 1/2 cm).

mini-gingerbread-house-template

If you don’t like reading instructions, you can simply follow these pictures. If you like more detail please read the instructions below. Have fun and do enjoy the result! I am looking forward to hearing how these mini gingerbread houses turned out for you, please do let me know in the comments below!

mini gingerbread house from More THAN JUST CARROTS

 

 

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Tomato chutney from Granny Wendy’s recipe book

Tomato chutney from Granny Wendy’s recipe book

Granny Wendy's Tomato Chutney

When we planted our tomatoes in Spring, I wondered what I would do with them when they would all be ripe and ready at the same time. That is when my friend came up with the idea of her mum’s incredibly tomato chutney. ‘It is her own special recipe and you can’t believe how good it really is, you definitely must try it!’  Of course I wanted to try!

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Homemade aubergine and mozzarella pizza

Homemade aubergine and mozzarella pizza

Aubergine mozzarella pizza

All kids love pizza, don’t they?

I haven’t come across a kid who doesn’t like pizza yet I believe, have you? My kids absolutely love pizza, especially if they can make them themselves and choose and pick what goes on it. We often can make our own pizza without having to plan it much, the fridge and the kitchen cupboard usually provide all we need for it. This aubergine and mozzarella pizza is my new favourite pizza.

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Pirate party: the healthy party food

Pirate party: the healthy party food

pirate ginger men

My 4 year old son had a pirate party this summer. He started of with the idea of a jungle party because of the theme of his new bedroom curtains, which would have been a bit more original, but he must have been influenced by what surrounded him already, other parties probably, I don’t know. A pirate party it was. In this post I want to show what homemade party food we served.

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