I know, I know, this is a travel blog, so I should be writing about traveling and not how to cheat your toddler out of the completely un-nutritious breakfast that you’re both addicted to. But I live abroad, so technically every aspect of my life is about travel. And being pregnant and caring for a toddler is very much about survival, and travel can also be about survival, so it’s all one and the same, right?
Finding a breakfast food that I want to eat can be tough enough, whether it’s because I’m too tired to prepare something, lack of appetite, lack of time, or just too hungry to think clearly. Then you add pregnancy and an impatient toddler, and it’s like all I know is that we all have to eat something right when we get up and the two things I don’t want to deal with are difficult preparation and convincing a toddler to eat what’s in front of her.
That’s why I make a huge batch of waffles every week and a half and store them in the freezer. Tasty and convenient. Homemade waffles are great because you can adjust them according to your dietary needs by playing around with different sweeteners, sneaking in shredded veggies, or using different flours or milks. They all taste the same anyway if you slather them with Nutella!
But that is where the dilemma came in, because feeding Nutella to a child every morning…tut tut
Well, on one hand, I kinda don’t care if I’m “not supposed to” feed myself or my daughter Nutella (and for the record, it wasn’t Nutella, it was generic chocolate hazelnut spread) because my food philosophy is to take an “a-moral” and “balanced” approach to eating. So, in short, I feel free to eat chocolate spread and I want my daughter to grow up with the same freedom.
But I finally figured out how to read a food label here in Europe (kinda), and I’ve been getting a better idea for what a gram looks like, thanks to our obnoxiously accurate food scale….and now I’m unfortunately aware that 54 grams of sugar per serving is kind of a lot.
So thanks to Pinterest, I found some great recipes for paleo and sugar-free chocolate spreads! Pretty much they’re all hazelnuts blended up with cocoa powder and the sweetener of your choice. But, thanks to my determination not to go to the store, I was inspired to work with what was in the pantry to make my own chocolate spread.
The ingredients I used:
454g Peanut butter*
3 big spoons Cocoa powder
3 big spoons honey
3 spoons of water
A drizzle of vanilla flavor
A drizzle of vegetable oil
*I used the one from American week at Lidl. It’s got 5.5g sugar per serving, which is less sugar than the peanut butters sold at Kaufland. I think it’s a pretty good choice because it’s not as sweet as the peanut butter I ate as a kid, but still sweeter than the kind I would try to get myself to eat as an adult.
I put all the ingredients into a blender at first, and that seemed to do the trick for the most part. Just be aware that it’s much thicker than a fruit smoothie, so don’t expect to see it swirling around in the walls of the blender. I tried to blend till I could see it move, but ended up just blending till the machine started to smoke. Oops. Taste it and add more of whatever you think it might need until it gets to be how you like it.
Mine actually turned out kinda clumpy..maybe because the peanut butter was past the expiration date and my honey was crystalized. Hanka still likes it though – we spread what we can on a warm waffle, but mostly we just pack it onto a spoon and eat it like cookie dough.
Next time, to make it smoother, I’m planning to blend the nuts into butter on my own, use liquid honey, and maybe have some melted coconut oil on hand to add if it’s still too dry from the cocoa powder.
This is how Hanka occupied herself in the meantime: