As most parents say, I can’t believe Ben is five already! Actually, I can believe it. In a certain way the time has flown by, yet I have watched him grow each day. I don’t think a single day has gone by that I haven’t marveled at him. He is a kind, courageous, interesting, interested boy and I feel so lucky that I get to be his mom. Ben is still young enough that he wants to sit on my lap and snuggle, yet old enough that he can do most things for himself. This is a sweet age that bridges the end of the little kid era. Soon he will lose his baby teeth and learn to read and maybe not want to hold my hands in public or give me a kiss goodnight on the lips. Needless to say, I’m really savoring his little smile and his need for mama love. I try to balance my attention by offering him support and help without babying or spoiling him. It can be hard when I notice so clearly how big he is getting! As always I find my best parenting strategy is to be present in the moment and aware. When I am truly present I can enjoy the paradoxically quickly/slowly changing stages of my children’s lives. I can watch Ella sound out her first words in English and Hebrew. I can play Legos with Ben and enjoy listening to him develop an imaginative story. In that state I can also choose how to react when one of the kids is pushing my buttons. I don’t always succeed at this, but when I do it feels like a triumph.
Here are some photos from the three days of Ben’s birthday celebrations
Leading up to Ben’s party I spent about a week deliberating about what to make for the birthday cake. Part of me wanted to just say forget the special dietary changes and make him a big chocolate cake. Part of me wanted to buy him a Carvel ice cream cake because we have done that almost every year for his birthday. Part of me wanted to make some kind of elaborate raw creation out of nuts and dates. My internal conversation went on and on. I didn’t want to bother making a raw treat because he hasn’t reacted well to anything made with dates, and if he was going to freak out, I figured it might as well be for something really special and decadent. I didn’t want to go the straight sugar route because his reactions to the occasional sweets we have tried since we changed his diet have been really unpredictable. I didn’t want to risk him having a super meltdown at his own party. His reactions to grains have been sometimes even stronger than any sugars. So, I opted to make grain free, fresh fruit sweetened cupcakes, topped with homemade whipped cream made from organic grass fed cream, and some straight up real sugar bright blue sprinkles to make them look really special and fun in a “this isn’t hippie food” kind of way. I tried to make strawberry cupcakes first, which tasted good but the texture was off. Then I adapted my muffin recipe to make banana blueberry cupcakes and they were just what I was looking for. Moist, delicious texture, sweet but not too sweet, topped with the rich whipped cream…I was really happy with them.
Here’s the recipe:
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 t. apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 2 1/2 cups mashed banana
- 1 1/4 cup almond flour
- 3/4 cup coconut flour
- stevia equivalent of 3/4 to 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 t. baking soda
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1/2 cup blueberries
Preheat oven to 350.
Mix wet ingredients in a large bowl.
Mix dry ingredients in a smaller bowl.
Mix blueberries into dry ingredients, then combine with wet ingredients and mix gently but thoroughly. It will be thick, but if the batter seems too dry add a little more almond milk.
Spoon a small amount of batter into lined muffin tin. They are very moist so you only want to fill about 1/3 way in a normal muffin tin or all the way in a mini muffin tin. I had enough batter to make a very thin cake in a round dish as well.
Bake until browned around the edges and somewhat firm (check them after about 15 min, then every few minutes after that).
Let cool for about 30 min in the muffin tins, then take them out and let them cool the rest of the way.
For the whipped cream I literally just whipped a container of heavy cream with a tiny bit of maple syrup. If you have extras, don’t tell anyone and save them in an unmarked jar to put in your coffee. I of course didn’t have any extras. wink wink.
If you make them let me know what you think!!