Saturday, July 1, 2017

An Eggless Birthday Cake

A Cake for Kayla

Our baby girl turned one recently. Yes, time flies. We had a small party for her with grandparents, auntie, uncles and cousins. I was planning what cake to make for her much in advance, for the was a tiny problem. She had bad eczema when she was a young baby. Most of it has cleared but she and I have been avoiding eggs (I avoid them too because I'm breastfeeding). Although I do plan to introduce small amounts in her diet with the intention of desensitizing her, her first birthday wasn't the time. So I tried several recipes beforehand.

Going Eggless

I pored over Pinterest, tried the condensed milk version and a few others. There were crumbly or had less than desirable taste or texture. Finally, I decided to modify my favourite chocolate cake recipe by replacing the eggs with flaxseed. The result was perfect! The cake was moist, yummy and does not fall apart easily.

So on her birtday I made this cake and iced it with pink buttercream frosting. I had extra batter since I was using two small cake tins, so I made some cupcakes with them. Emma, our eldest daughter decorated the party bags which were to be given to cousins and neighbours.

Kayla enjoyed her first cake. We let her make a mess and cleaned her up later.

So cheers to our little girl who just took her first steps yesterday. Sweet baby is also singing and talking and we're soaking up every precious moment.

Okay, okay, here's the recipe. Easy peasy.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Agathi leaves, a lesser known milk booster

It's almost a year since I've birthed my baby at home. Although I've had several challenges throughout the year, particularly for dealing with eczema, I would say it has been an easy breastfeeding journey. Sure, it's not easy going on a restrictive diet but I didn't have issues with insufficient milk. Unlike the first child, I don't have to pump for this one. Direct feeding on demand is best milk booster ever!

Of course eating right is also important. There are many so called "milk boosters" and galactagogues like oats, fenugreek seeds, red dates and others. Many also know that the moringa leaves are good for lactating mothers. However, I doubt many know about Agathi leaves or "daun turi" in Malay. The tree is almost similar to Moringa but I find that the leaves taste better and are definitely much easier to handle.

Here, I'd like to share how I prepare a dish with these leaves.

I'm blessed to have this tree growing just behind my house with it's branches reaching out to my window. It is my neighbour's tree but rest assured that we've been given permission to take the leaves for our consumption. It's often my solution when I've run out of green vegetables and don't have to time to go grocery shopping to get some.

Unlike the moringa leaves which are tiny and fiddly to remove from the stalks, these leaves are larger and can be plucked off easily. 

So here I would like to share not so much the recipe, but an idea of how we can use these leaves in cooking. I usually don't use exact measurements, everything is just 'agak-agak'. I make my curry quite mild for the sake of my older daughter. I think it would taste better with more curry powder and a dry chili. Although I don't use a proper recipe, some people do ask me for it so I try my best. 

This is actually a quick and easy recipe, suitable for busy moms. I use red lentils since they are easy to use and don't require pre-soaking.The fenugreek seeds and lentils are also known to support breastmilk production. So, this might just be the perfect milk booster for some.

 To all breastfeeding moms, well done! And do enjoy the journey while it lasts.