Oaty apple breakfast bake with #noaddedsugar


This breakfast dish is very popular in my house. I have to admit that eldest daughter loves it and the youngest will eat it but its not her favourite. But I think a lot of families have that going on.

You make the apple sauce in batches and freeze that makes it easier. We have lots of windfalls at the moment so am doing this when I can, in between everything else.

You make this dish the night before, we make it weekdays and weekends. All you do is turn the oven on when you get up and bake it for 30 minutes. It’s mainly measuring and mixing, so it was easy for my 2 year old to help make it last night.

Have been using windfalls for my apple sauce, I am beginning to run out of freezer space. Maybe time for another freezer.

I’ve made this dish with no added sugar, only the sugars found naturally in fruit.

Because it has no added sugar it’s suitable for weaning. Just take out the raisins as they’re high in sugar, it’s best to wait until your little one is 1 before introducing them.

You’ll need an oven-proof dish – mine is about 25 cm x 17 cm.

Gluten free and dairy free

You can make it gluten free by using gluten free oats.

Milk can be swapped for non-dairy milk like coconut drinking milk or almond milk, and the butter for non-dairy unhydrogenated spread or coconut oil.

Oaty apple breakfast bake recipe

You will need…

100g raisins
180g apple sauce (stewed apples blended without sugar)
300ml milk
350g whole oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 apple cored but unpeeled grated
3 medium eggs, beaten
50g melted unsalted butter

How to…

Grease a shallow dish.
Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Put in the dish, cover and leave overnight in the fridge.
In the morning heat the oven to 160º c fan oven / 180º c / gas mark 5 for 30 minutes.
Serve with a little milk poured over and chopped fruit.

Portions and nutrition

This recipe makes enough for 1½-2 rounds of breakfast for a family of 4-5. Based on a 5 year old having a 100g portion this breakfast it contains good amounts of protein, fibre, potassium, calcium, magnesium. It makes a good contribution to iron and zinc intakes too along with key B vitamins such as B6, B12 and more. So it makes for a really healthy start to the day.

The sugar content per 100g is 9.5g (just under 2 teaspoons) but it’s all from fruit so doesn’t count towards the maximum recommended intake for this age of ‘free sugars’* of 4 teaspoons a day.

*’free sugars’ is a definition by World Health Organisation which has been adopted by the UK Governments Scientific Advisory Committee in their recent report on Carbohydrates and health. Free sugars are any processed sugar added to foods by a manufacturer, cook or consumer, plus sugars naturally present in honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juice.


Cheap eats January #6: Make your own custard




It’s really easy to make your own custard – all from store cupboard ingredients along with organic eggs, and milk – and you can make it dairy free by using coconut drinking milk (I am sure you could use other dairy free milks but I haven’t tried them as yet).

This is enough for two good sized portions for kids – just double the amounts for more. You can keep what you don’t use in the fridge for a few days. I’ve worked out the cost, and making it with milk and caster sugar costs 44p, Making it with maple syrup (so it has no refined sugar in it) costs 81p.

You will need…

2 egg yolks*
200ml of semi skimmed milk, whole milk or coconut milk drink
1.5 teaspoons of cornflour
1 tablespoon maple syrup (or caster sugar)
Capful vanilla extract

How to…

Bring the milk to the boil in a pan.
Whisk the egg yolks with the maple syrup in a large bowl or jug.
Mix the cornflour with a teaspoon of water so it makes a paste.
Whisk the cornflour and vanilla extract into the egg mixture.
Pour the milk into the egg mixture whisking all the time.
Put it back in the pan and bring to the boil again, whisking all the time, it will thicken.

Serve with seasonal fruit (steamed or baked apple, rhubarb, or sliced banana) or crumble if you have time to make it.


If you’re making this for infants under 1 year, don’t add any sugar or maple syrup – the vanilla extract will add enough sweetness, all you need to do is whisk the cornflour and vanilla in with the egg yolks.


A portion of custard provides good amounts of calcium, phosphorous, vitamin A, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12.

*You can use the two egg whites along with another egg and make an omelette or keep them for this banana macaroon recipe. You can refrigerate in an airtight container for a couple of days, or freeze for longer.



Blueberry recipe #2: Blueberry crumble muffins

My daughter now back at school, phew! So I now have time and the headspace to catch up on blog posts and work.

These are one of my favourite muffin recipes, and Yotam Ottolenghi kindly gave permission to share an adapted version of his recipe from the Ottolenghi cookbook here. And why invent the wheel when its been designed so well by someone else?

I have been making recipes from this book for a few years, including the wonderful salads and my favourite carrot and walnut cake recipe – which uses sunflower oil instead of butter.

We tend to make these muffins when we have friends or family coming to visit and also for playdates – children love them and they do have some (not a huge amount but some) fruit in them, so are a slightly healthier pudding, great for picnics and lunch boxes too.

I made these muffins with the blueberries we picked from Trehane Nursery near Wimborne – which was a very calming holiday activity. The picking season is extending hopefully to the end of September this year so we will probably make a visit after school one day. English Discovery apples have been available for a few weeks now. If you buy English Blueberries now freeze them and you can have these muffins well into the apple season without buying blueberries that have been flown in from other countries.

It’s possible to make them with gluten free wheat flour and gluten free flour which both work well. I’ve also recently made them with spelt flour which was a little heavier – though the muffins were still as popular as ever.

For 12 muffins you will need…

100g Blueberries (plus enough to put a few on the top of each muffin)
210g Plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 medium egg
70g butter
150g semi-skimmed milk
Half an apple (eat the other half!)
Grated zest of half a lemon
110g caster sugar

For the crumble mixture

I make this up and keep some frozen*. For this recipe you need about a dessert spoon of mixture per muffin.

300g plain flour (I’ve used wholegrain spelt which works really well too)
100g caster sugar
200g cold unsalted butter cut into cubes.

How to…

… Make your crumble

  1. First, make the crumble mixture by putting all the ingredients into a bowl and rubbing them through your fingers to make the crumble mixture.
  2. (If you have a food processor, just put all the ingredients in and give them a whizz until they resemble breadcrumbs.)
  3. Give the bowl a little shake and the bigger lumps will come to the top, rub these through so that you have a consistent crumble mixture.
  4. The crumble mixture keeps in the fridge for up to 5 days but you might as well freeze what you don’t use as it takes very little time to defrost and will keep in the freezer for months.

…Make your muffins

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 170˚C / gas mark 3 / 325˚F.
  2. Line your muffin tray with cases.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder and put to one side.
  4. Whisk lightly the egg, add the sugar and melted butter (making sure its not too hot) and keep whisking lightly.
  5. Whisk in the lemon zest and milk to the wet mixture.
  6. Add the blueberries and grated apple to the liquid mixture.
  7. Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and stir in, not too much – just enough to combine – allowing there to be lumps.
  8. Spoon the mixture into the cases, sprinkle a dessert spoon of crumble mixture on top with a few blueberries
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  10. You can check whether the muffins are cooked through with a skewer – if it comes out wet then they need a few minutes longer, if it comes out with no mixture on it then they are ready.


So I have slightly adjusted this recipe to suit younger children – by reducing the sugar content and reducing the portion size. So each cake has a teaspoon of added sugar, the rest of the sugar content (about 5g) is from the fruit. Fat and saturated fat content are low in these cakes too). Each cake provides about 170 calories which is just over 10% of the recommended calorie intake for a child aged between 4-6 years of age. Each muffin contains about 10% recommended calcium intake, just under 10% recommended iron intake and about 20% recommended Vitamin A intake for a child in this age group.

*Having frozen crumble mixture in the freezer is a great fall back for midweek or Sunday lunch fruit crumbles as it takes very little time to defrost.

Apple crumble and custard tarts

I came up with this recipe to use some left over crumble and custard. Cox apples work well as they are small and fit well into the tarts.

I am making sure all sweet recipes on the blog are small portion sizes for children. We’ve got so used to having big portions and its unsurprising that there’s a link between rising obesity rates and the trend in bigger portion sizes. I am not puritanical about cakes and desserts and think small and fruity is best!



60g plain white flour
20g caster sugar
40g unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


110g plain white flour
30g caster sugar
60g cold unsalted butter
1 medium free range egg yolk
1 dessert spoon of ice cold water


120g custard
2 dessert spoons of maple syrup
3 apples (English of course)

You will also need some greaseproof paper, baking beans, pastry cutter (size), yorkshire pudding tin

How to…

… make the pastry

Rub together the butter flour and sugar until it resembles breadcrumbs. Using a food processor makes it slightly quicker though it doesn’t take too long by hand.

Add the egg yolk and the iced water and mix in well.

Turn into a bowl and clump together with your hands. Put in a sealed container in the fridge for half an hour to chill.

… make the crumble

While the pastry is chilling, make the crumble mixture by putting all the ingredients in a bowl and rubbing the mixture until it becomes the consistency of bread crumbs. If you have a food processor, all the better, though again, it doesn’t take long by hand.

…then back to the tarts

Preheat the oven to 200/400F/Gas 6. Put the ball of pastry on a floured surface and roll out quite thinly. Use a round cutter to cut out the shape.

Put the pastry in the yorkshire pudding wells and use a small cup or egg cup to gently push it in.

Once you’ve done all of the tarts – you will need to roll the pastry into a ball and roll out a couple more times to use all the pastry up.

Then on a corner of the greaseproof paper use the bottom of a cup of egg cup or use a round pastry cutter and draw round the bottom of it, it needs to fit snugly into the bottom of the tart.

Then fold over the greaseproof paper 3 times along the width of the paper.

Fold it over lengthways 4 times and then cut round the circle shape and you should have 12 circles.

Put the greaseproof paper circles into each tartlet and put baking beans on top to weigh the greaseproof paper down.

Bake so they are just light brown.

…now for the filling

Once the tartlets are out and you’ve removed the greaseproof paper and beans and they have cooled slightly you’re ready to fill them.

Spoon about a dessert spoon of custard in each tartlet. Then you need to core and peel the apples. The best way I’ve found once the apple is peeled and cored is to cut the apple into thirds downwards from top to bottom and then slice across.

Put all the apple pieces in a bowl and add 2 dessert spoons of maple syrup and coat the apple slices with this.

Then put the apple pieces on top of the custard.

Use a pastry cutters and hold it over each tart while you sprinkle the crumble mixture in.

Bake in the oven at 200/400F/Gas 6 for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Serve while still warm.

They’ll keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, you can warm through before serving.

Nutrition bits

Each tart is just over 150 kcals which is just under 10% of a 5 year olds recommended calorie intake