Healthy Treats for Fussy Eaters-Chef Neha Lakhani

Fruity Muffins

Cake is something that can never fail to entice a child. Why not fold in some fruit in the batter and make it even more nutritious?

Preparation time: about 15 mins
Baking time: 30-35mins at 180 degrees Celcius
·         190 g sugar
·         300 g flour
·         10 g cinnamon powder
·         10 g baking soda
·         2.5 g salt
·         60 g shredded coconut
·         75 g shredded carrot
·         50 g shredded green apple
·         60 g chopped pecans
·         3 eggs
·         250 g oil
·         2.5 ml vanilla extract
·         2 tsp ginger
·         40 g almond powder
·         40 g banana, chopped into fine pieces
1. In a bowl, mix sugar, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, almond powder and salt along with the oil and mix well with the paddle attachment of a mixer.
2. Add eggs one by one and mix well.
3. Add shredded coconut, carrot, green apple, pecans, banana, ginger and vanilla and mix just for 5 seconds.
4. Pour into muffin moulds , fill up to ¾ and bake at 180 degrees Celcius for 30 to 35 mins.
1. Can add chocolate chips, dark cherry or even flax seeds to the batter
3. You can use oats instead of almond powder for a healthier option; and whole wheat instead of flour for the same reason.

2. Date and Toffee Pudding
Drawing inspiration from Karachi halwa, this pudding is a delight with children. What's more, it is packed with nutrition and is great to have either warm or cold.
Preparation time: 20-30 mins
Baking time: 40-45 mins at 180 degrees Celsius
Ingredients for pudding
Butter - 125gms
Brown sugar - 150 gms
All-purpose Flour - 400 gms
Baking powder - 1 teaspoon
Dates - 400 gms
Water - 1/2 litre
Ingredients for toffee sauce
Cream - 250ml
Butter - 250 gm
Sugar - 500 gm
Vanilla Essence - 5 drops
1. The Toffee Sauce: Place butter and sugar in medium saucepan on medium heat. Cook and stir until mixture turns a deep amber color. Carefully stir in cream and vanilla. (Mixture will be bubbly.) Whisking constantly, cook until sauce thickens and coats back of spoon.
2. Boil dates in water till they are pulpy. If you add a pinch of baking powder to the dates while they are boiling, they will be softer.
3. Cream the butter with brown sugar - simply whisk the two ingredients in a bowl.
4. Add eggs to the mixture and blend well till fluffy.
5. Add flour and baking powder.
6. Add 500 g toffee sauce and then add boiled dates.
7. Pour into the greased pans (or one individual mould, if you like) and bake at 180-200 degrees Celcius for 40 to 45 minutes. Make sure pans are extra greased in order to take out the pudding easily.
8. Serve hot or cold with toffee sauce. If you like, this pudding can also be served with maple syrup.
1. Can add flax seeds to the batter
3. Serve with a cup of hot milk to make it even more nutritious.

 About Chef Neha Lakhani:
With her extremely capable, inventive and passionate stint in leading hotel chains, Chef Neha Lakhani, Founder, Patisserie Royale, brings fresh and innovative culinary skills to the art of baking inspired by classic training and world travels. Neha is known for her distinctive flair for the dramatic and glamorous, and has been awarded for her flair for innovations. Drawing inspiration from her mother’s cooking; recipes collected on her jaunts abroad, and a resolve to bring together global influences, Chef Neha is an innovator and baker par excellence. Neha crafts a wide range of chocolates, truffles, alcohol truffles, chocolate show pieces and delectable cakes. That is when she is not teaching  Le Cordon Bleu at GD Goenka School of Hospitality or globe-trotting judging pastry competitions and cook-offs)