Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Organic: Yes or No?

I remember I used to have a student who only eats organic foodstuffs at home. Once, when we were having lunch together at a food court, she told me that she's not used to the taste of non-organic vegetables outside. Do they really taste different or is it just her imagination?

I grew up eating non-organic food myself but decided to feed BB with some organic produce. The reason behind my decision is that as the world becomes more profit-oriented, companies resort to more harmful & stronger pesticides to maximise their yields &, in turn, their profits. Having said that, I don't give organic stuffs exclusively as I believe that the health benefits of a balanced diet far outweighs the risk of exposure to pesticides. I don't want my boy to grow up not eating outside food just because they're non-organic. How is he going to survive his army days in time to come if he becomes so picky?

Therefore, how do I go about selecting organic or non-organic fruits & vegetables then? The answer is simple. Every year, the EWG publishes the Clean Fifteen & Dirty Dozen (12+2) lists of fruits & vegetables that contain the least & most pesticides respectively.. For those that fall under the Dirty Dozen list, I'll buy the organic version. Other than these 14 food, I'll also buy organic ones for staples or food that we tend to consume them in large quantities. In addition, I also purchase the organic versions for blueberries, lettuce & summer squash / zucchini as they were in the Dirty Dozen List 2013 & continue to rank high on the amount of pesticides they are tainted with. Last but not least, if I come across relatively cheap organic food, I'll buy them too.

The Dirty Dozen List 2013/14:

Cherry Tomatoes
Collard Greens / Kale
Hot peppers
Snap Peas
Sweet Bell Peppers
Blueberries (2013)
Lettuce (2013)
Summer Squash / Zucchini (2013)

The Clean Fifteen List 2013/14:

Sweet Corn
Sweet peas (frozen)
Sweet potatoes
Mushrooms (2013)

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

1st Homemade Bread & Blueberries with Chia Seed Jam

Bread fever is on! Finally managed to lay my hands on a Tesco breadmaker & this was made possible all thanks to a very kind mummy who got her friend to help us bring in all the way from Malaysia.

I had wanted to make a flavoured bread but Daddy-O said that I should just start with a simple white bread for my 1st try. Thus, I simply followed the white bread recipe provided in the manual. It was so effortless. Just measure & pour in the ingredients in the proper sequence & it'll do all the hard work for you. Kudos to the inventor of the bread machine!

What's the point of having home baked bread without homemade jam right? So, after the breadmaker started to do its magic, I proceeded on to do a super duper easy "no cook" organic blueberries with chia seeds jam.


1 cup of organic frozen blueberries (I bought fresh ones & froze them myself)
3 tbsp of chia seeds
1 tbsp of honey (optional)
1/4 cup of water
Juice of 1/2 a small lime
1/8 tsp of cinnamon (optional)


1. Blend (I used my Avent Combined Steamer & Blender) blueberries until you get your preferred consistency (smooth or chunky) & transfer to an airtight glass container.

2. Add chia seeds, honey, water, lime juice & cinnamon. Stir well, cover & put into the fridge till the chia seeds swell up.

After a long wait of 3h, my loaf was finally ready! Looked great from the outside but I still had to wait for it to cool down before I could slice it. Alas, the moment of truth . . . It was soft on the inside but I found the crust a bit too thick to my liking. Guess I'll have to choose the light setting instead of the medium one for my next attempt. I couldn't wait till breakfast to try them out so I had a slice for supper at 1.30am. Nice! 

Daddy-O had it for breakfast & brought 4 slices as well as half of the jam to let my in-laws try. So glad they all enjoyed the healthy breakfast. As for my lil' food critic, he had it with jam & cream cheese . . . &, he loved them both!

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Meals for my 1Y 24DO BB who has been feeling under the weather

Another gloomy day yesterday. The only thing that cheered me up was that BB was on the road to recovering from his intermittent fever & running nose which started since Monday. Thus, I cooked one of my favourite staples for him. Oats, fast to cook & very nutritious! I'll definitely be dedicating an entire blog on oats separately so do stay tuned (Oats) >_^

Ingredients (8MO & above):

3 tbsp of blended organic rolled oats
50g of organic minced beef
1 small chunk of cubed organic pumpkin
1 large floret of chopped broccoli 
3/4 cup of water (can vary the amount according to your desired consistency)


1. Boil water then add in pumpkin & let it cook for about 10 minutes.

2. Add in the blended oats & the secret to achieve a smooth texture is to whisk it as it cooks.

3. Pour in the beef & use the whisk to separate it into smaller bits before adding the broccoli last. Simmer about 5 minutes for the beef & broccoli to be cooked. Serve warm.

As for dinner, drawing inspiration from almost out of nowhere, I whipped up a simple macaroni in egg flower soup for him. A perfect meal to warm up his lil' tummy on the chilly Friday evening. My new favourite pasta is the Bellamy's Organic Vegie Macaroni above. Love it's trio flavours! Best for days when I'm running out of vegetables in my fridge.

Ingredients (12MO & above but if changed to an age-appropriate pasta, can be used for 10MO & above BBs):

2 tbsp of macaroni
1 piece of cod fish (I bought a 1kg frozen pack of cod fish from NTUC which is already portioned out)
1 beaten kampong egg
1 stalk of white asparagus (a chance find at Nex's NTUC)
1.5 cups of water


1. Boil water & cook cod fish for about 10 minutes. Remove cooked cod fish to cool.

2. Add macaroni & asparagus into the cod fish soup & cook for approximately 8 minutes. Meanwhile, flake the cod fish to check for any residual bones.

3. Pour egg in a slow & steady stream. Let it cook a while before stirring slowly to create the ribbon-like egg flower.

4. Mix in the cod fish & serve warm.

Let me share a little secret with you. It was actually my first attempt on creating egg flower & I'm glad I nailed it. Hee ^.~ For both meals, BB finished almost everything I gave him. I was thrilled to see that his appetite had more or less returned to normal.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

BB's 1st (& Daddy said LAST) Spiced Applesauce Smash Cake

We had a small celebration at home on BB's actual birthday last month. While waiting for my hubby to knock off early from work, I prepared the batter for the cake.


2 cups of organic wholemeal flour
1 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of cinnamon 
1/2 tsp of nutmeg
1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup of VCO
1 cup of warm unsweetened applesauce (I steamed & blended 2 small organic apples using my Avent Combined Steamer & Blender)


1. Preheat oven to 160°C & generously grease an 8" round pan with VCO.

2. Sieve flour, baking soda, cinnamon & nutmeg into a medium bowl then whisk them together. Add vanilla extract into applesauce & mix well. Pour VCO into another larger bowl then add flour mixture & applesauce alternately, blending them in. Start & end with the flour mixture & mix until just incorporated.

3. Spread batter into the prepared round tin & bake for 20 - 25 minutes until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Use an overturned small bowl to cut out 2 small cake rounds.

The first activity was Pressies Attack! He had a great time tearing the wrappers apart & playing with some of his new toys. As Daddy-O helped him to set up one of his bigger toys, I proceeded to assemble the cake.


1/4 block of Philadelphia cream cheese
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 cup (1 ounce) of unsweetened organic apple juice (the very first time I'm using a bottled juice, with much reluctance though, as there may be browning if I used fresh apple juice)


1. Soften the cream cheese.

2. Whisk the cream cheese with the apple juice & vanilla extract until creamy.

3. Spread some evenly onto 1 of the cake rounds. Place the other cake round on top. Reserve a bit of the cream cheese & spread the remaining mixture on the top & sides of the cake. Put the reserved cream cheese in your piping bag fitted with a star tip (I'm using an icing syringe set from Daiso) & pipe rosettes on the outer edge of the top of the cake (optional). 

I also bought a block candle & cake banner set to decorate the cake. Tadah! BB's 1st smash cake is done ;)

BB was kinda lost at what to do with it initially & just played with the cream cheese. I fed him a small bite to show him that it's actually a food. However, it was much bigger than what he usually has for BLW. After some contemplation, he decided to dive head first into his treat. We were pleasantly surprised at his improvised choice of feeding method & had a really good laugh. The aftermath was not the least bit pleasant however. Eventhough we had already lined the floor, he had adorned himself with cream cheese & crumbs from his head to toes & his nostrils were of no exception. Too bad we had forgotten to take a photograph when he was done but you can imagine the sight! I seriously regretted not stripping him down to just his diaper. Straight to the showers he went. Despite the terrible mess we had to clear afterwards (mostly done by his Daddy-O actually), this would be an unforgettable memory for many years to come.