A healthy, chocolatey, dairy free snack that is super easy and quick to make sounds too good to be true - it's not!
I have tested out these little chocolate cranberry bites on the fussiest eaters I know and have had a 100% take up rate so far. By making these yourself you can give your kids a chocolate treat without any of the downsides of too much sugar and fat and without any of the risks for allergy children. They're also egg free and gluten free.
Cocoa has loads of benefits that any chocolate lover will probably already be aware of - from reducing blood pressure and increasing blood flow to the brain to potentially cancer fighting properties. If you can, use cocoa powder that has not been alkalised to get the full benefits. Check the labels (which allergy parents have to do anyway!) - if it says "alkalised" or refers to the "Dutch method" or has an acidity regulator in the ingredients then it's alkalised which strips out some of the beneficial polyphenols. You will still get benefits either way, they will just be more concentrated in 100% natural cocoa.
However, cocoa does have caffeine in it, so for under 2s (or easily stimulated toddlers!) you may want to replace the cocoa powder with carob powder which is caffeine free (although much harder to get hold of).
I'm a huge fan of cranberries for dairy free kids because of their high iodine content (read this post to find out more). They also pair so well with chocolate!
Chocolate Cranberry Bites
Makes: 10 bites
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
2 ripe bananas
120g apple puree (or unsweetened apple sauce)
1 ½ cups oats
50g coconut oil (melted)
1 Tablespoon cocoa
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C
Mash the bananas
Add the puree, oats, coconut oil, cocoa and cranberries and mix well
Scoop the mixture into a lined baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes - they should be firm to hold but still soft to bite
You can make the apple puree yourself by peeling and coring two apples, placing them in a pot with 2 Tablespoons of water and simmering for 15-20 minutes until soft and then blending - or you can just use up any unused baby puree pouches - 120g is one large pouch. You can use other kinds of fruit but apple is Little Goat’s favourite.