I have an exciting opportunity to review a new cookbook! If you know anything about me, you know I have a slight addiction to cookbooks! The purpose of this cookbook – It All Begins With Food – is a little different than the cookbooks I am used to. Leah Garrad-Cole, from Love Child Organics, writes this book for parents who want to feed their children a nutrient dense diet full of clean and whole foods. So I am writing this review for all my readers who are parents – which I am pretty sure is a lot of you! Not only am I going to give you some details about this awesome cookbook, but I am also going to share one of her recipes – her Peanut Butter Protein Bars – and best of all, you can enter for your chance to win your own copy of It All Begins With Food!
It All Begins With Food – The Review
Leah’s book is packed full of useful information. She provides tips on substituting some ingredients, which I used to substitute the spelt flour for the whole wheat flour I had on hand for the Peanut Butter Protein Bars below. She also dives deep into what organic foods are, how the organic farming community effects our environment and great tips if you want to start going organic. The cookbook has simple to follow shopping lists so you can stock your pantry with clean foods plus great tips on meal planning for your family – sample meal planners included! Loads of advice and ideas on feeding your baby and toddler is provided which brings me to her first section of recipes.
She has an entire chapter on purees and mashes and another chapter on finger foods. All of these recipes are simple and many of them are freezable! Some of the cool recipes in these sections include Homemade Baby Cereal and Hard Teething Biscuits. I feel like she really thought of everything!
She dedicates another entire chapter to smoothies – loaded with recipes and a “cheat sheet” for you to create your own family favourite concoction!
The next chapters start with breakfast, lunch, dinner and then snacks and treats! Kid friendly and very tasty recipes! This is where I found the Peanut Butter Protein Bars – in the breakfast section. She provides tips on packing lunches with easy, tasty and nutritious recipes.
The second last chapter is a group of recipes for celebrations – from Christmas cookies and Halloween treats to baby’s first birthday smash cake recipe! And last but definitely not least, is Leah’s chapter on making items for your home yourself – such as tortillas, breads, pesto, ketchup and natural food colourings!
The cookbook is a great addition to my collection; even though I don’t have kids, the majority of the recipes can be enjoyed by just adults too! But if you are a parent who wants a new cookbook to help you with some fun, creative healthy meals, this is the one for you! Try your luck at winning one by entering the giveaway at the bottom of this post!
Now for the recipe…
Peanut Butter Protein Bars
I changed the recipe a little to use ingredients that I had on hand. I didn’t have spelt flour or dates, so I used whole wheat flour and dried figs instead. I also didn’t use as much maple syrup and I changed the oat ratios a bit.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8×11 inch baking pan with coconut oil.
In a large bowl combine oats, quinoa, four, flaxseed and salt and mix well, breaking up any quinoa lumps along the way.
In a small saucepan, over medium heat, combine coconut oil, peanut butter, maple syrup and vanilla. Heat until everything is combined and smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir well. Add in the chopped figs, pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
Pour the mixture into your greased baking pan and using dampened hands, press down on the mixture until evenly spread out.
Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until it starts to crisp at the edges and brown on top. Allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack – then transfer the pan to set for an hour in the fridge.
Using a sharp knife, cut into bars. Store in an air tight container in the fridge for 3 – 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, plus more to grease pan
- 2 1/4 cup large flake oats, pulsed in food processor
- 3/4 cup large flake oats
- 1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup chopped dried figs
- 1/2 cup each, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8x11 inch baking pan with coconut oil.
- In a large bowl combine oats, quinoa, four, flaxseed and salt and mix well, breaking up any quinoa lumps along the way.
- In a small saucepan, over medium heat, combine coconut oil, peanut butter, maple syrup and vanilla. Heat until everything is combined and smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir well. Add in the chopped figs, pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
- Pour the mixture into greased baking pan and using dampened hands, press down on the mixture until evenly spread out.
- Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until it starts to crisp at the edges and brown on top. Allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack - then transfer the pan to set for an hour in the fridge.
- Using a sharp knife, cut into bars. Store in an air tight container in the fridge for 3 - 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.