We are continuing our creativity series with Astghik of @athomewithastghik, bringing you artistic, fun, and nutritious recipes from one of the most imaginative mamas we know!
First up, she gives us the scoop on making your own raspberry flaxseed jam — a fun and fruitful way to jazz up yogurt for littles.
The Jam pairs perfectly with her next recipe, adventurous vanilla and spinach cake!
Don’t be intimated by this show-stopping creation. Astghik does a great job of carefully walking us through her creative process — Offering directions for both checkered and layered options and step by step assembly.
Don’t miss the main course! Scroll down for her fun-shaped Black Bean Patties + pro tips for flash freezing and reheating leftovers.
Raspberry Flaxseed Jam
12 ounces of raspberries (I like to use organic)
1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup (may add more or less depending on your preference)
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
- Wash and pat dry the raspberries.
- Add the raspberries and the lemon juice to a saucepan (I like to use a non-stick saucepan for this one) and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, frequently stirring while mashing the berries.
- Add the maple syrup and cook (stirring frequently) for an additional 4-5 minutes.
- Taste and add more sweetness, if desired.
- Transfer it to a glass (heat-proof) bowl and add the flaxseed meal. Mix to combine and set it aside to thicken.
Once it has cooled, you may serve it immediately or place it in the refrigerator. You can keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Add some fun and flavor to your favorite yogurt with this raspberry flaxseed jam.
- Spoon some yogurt to your grip dish
- Using a small spoon, add random small dots of the raspberry flaxseed jam to the yogurt.
- Using a toothpick or a bamboo skewer, swirl the raspberry flaxseed jam with the yogurt to help create this fun look.
- Serve it with your favorite berries or fruits.
This jam also pairs nicely with the cake below!
Vanilla and Spinach Checkered Cake with Raspberry Flaxseed Jam
You can make baked good nutritious with ingredients like almond flour, flaxseed meal, and spinach. The spinach helps add beautiful color to your cake along with nutrients without altering much of the cake’s flavor.
You can create this cake two-layers with the jam spread between the layers (and as a topping) or serve it as a multi-colored checkered cake.
Cake Batter Ingredients
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup almond flour
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup coconut sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream, room temperature
3/4 cup milk, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the spinach mixture
2 cups packed spinach, washed and patted dry
1/3 cup water, I like to use filtered water
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- Preheat the oven to 350F
- Add the dry ingredients to a bowl (all-purpose flour, almond flour, flaxseed meal, baking powder, baking soda and sugar). Mix it with a fork to remove any lumps and to combine and set aside.
- To a separate bowl, add the eggs and whisk with a fork. Then add the sour cream and whisk it with a fork to incorporate (might not be fully dissolved, but that’s ok). Add the milk and vanilla extract. Mix to combine.
- Add the egg mixture to the dry flour mixture. Mix with a fork to combine, making sure to not over-mix. Set it aside.
- Butter and flour two 8-inch cake pans. Add half of the cake batter to one of the buttered cake pans and set it aside. This will be the vanilla cake. Reserve the second half for the spinach batter.
Now let’s prepare the spinach mixture
- To a high-speed blender, add the spinach and water. Blend until the spinach is puréed, stopping to scrape down the sides. Blend some more if needed.
- Reserve 1/2 cup of the spinach. Make sure to get only the spinach and leave most of the liquid behind. (If you get some liquid, that’s ok. We’re just looking to have more of the puréed spinach than the liquid)
- Transfer it to the bowl with half of the remaining batter. Mix with a fork a little bit to combine, making sure to not over-mix.
This will loosen up the batter, as a result, we need to add some more flour and baking powder to help it thicken up and rise some more.
- To a separate bowl, add 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of flour. Also, add 1/4 teaspoon baking powder. Mix with a fork to combine. Add this to the spinach batter, making sure to not over-mix.
- Transfer it to the second cake pan.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of the cake.
- Allow it to sit for 15 minutes or until it has slightly cooled. Then gently remove it from its pan and allow it to cool completely on a wired rack.
How to assemble cake:
- Place the vanilla cake on a non-slip work surface.
- Use a 6-inch round cookie cutter or a round bowl/object and a 2.5-inch cookie cutter or a round bowl/object (I used a 6-inch round bowl and a 2.5 inch cookie cutter).
- Place the 6 inch round bowl over the cake (making sure it’s even on all sides) and carefully trace along the bowl with a sharp knife.
- Carefully remove the traced out circle and place the 2.5 inch cookie cutter in the center of the circle and trace around the cutter with a sharp knife.
- You should now have 3 pieces of the cake. Set them aside and do the same thing with the spinach cake.
- You should now have 3 pieces each of the vanilla and the spinach cake.
Now to make the checkered cake, we’re going to alternate the two cakes’ rings.
- Place the spinach cake’s outer piece (the largest circle ) on the serving platter.
- Insert the vanilla cake’s 2nd piece (the medium sized circle)
- Insert the spinach cake’s 3rd piece (the smallest circle)
- Spread an even layer of the raspberry flaxseed jam or any desired frosting/jam
- Build the second layer by initially starting with the vanilla cake’s outer piece (the largest circle)
- Insert the spinach cake’s 2nd piece (the medium-sized circle)
- Insert the vanilla cakes 3rd piece (the smallest circle)
- Finish the top of the cake with an even layer of the raspberry flaxseed jam or any desired frosting/jam.
I decorated the cake by initially adding unsweetened shredded coconuts in a crescent shape. Topped it with a few spinach leaves and a mixture of berries (sliced strawberries, halved blueberries, halved raspberries and halved blackberries)
Checkered Cake Assembly Quick Process
1: Butter and flour two 8-inch cake pans
2: Add half of the cake batter to the cake pan and reserve the rest to add the spinach puree
3: Add the spinach puree, flour, and baking powder to the batter
The batter is divided (vanilla in one pan and spinach batter in the other) and is ready to bake.
After it has baked:
Use a 6-inch round cookie cutter or a round bowl/object and a 2.5-inch cookie cutter or a round bowl/object (I used a 6-inch round bowl and a 2.5-inch cookie cutter)
4. Use the 6-inch bowl to cut a circle out
5. Remove that circle and use the 2.5-inch cutter to cut a smaller circle
You should now have three pieces.
6: Follow the same steps to cut out three pieces from the spinach layer
You should now have three pieces of the Spinach Layer
7. Place the spinach cake’s outer piece (the largest circle) on the serving platter
8: Insert the vanilla cake’s 2nd piece (the medium-sized circle)
9: Insert the spinach cake’s 3rd piece (smallest circle)
10: Spread the raspberry flaxseed jam or any desired frosting/jam
11: Build the second layer by initially starting with the vanilla cake’s outer piece (the largest circle)
12: Insert the spinach cake’s 2nd piece (the medium-sized circle)
13: Insert the vanilla cake’s 3rd piece (the smallest circle)
Quinoa Spinach Black Bean Patties
Mealtimes can be fun and creative with some cool-shaped sandwich cutters like this dump truck cutout! In addition, a creative meal can also be a nutritious one. These black bean patties consist of black beans, quinoa, sweet potatoes, and spinach. They can be served deconstructed or in sandwich form. They’re great for the entire family to enjoy!
15 ounces canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well
1/2 cup uncooked sweet potatoes
1/2 cup filtered water
3/4 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup Spinach
1/4 cup cilantro
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon chili powder, the one I use isn’t chili or spicy
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- Preheat the oven to 400F
- Rinse the quinoa well and set it aside.
- Scrub clean a small sized sweet potato, peel the skin off, cut the ends off and dice it into small chunks. Measure 1/2 cup and set it aside.
- Transfer the quinoa and sweet potatoes to a saucepan and add the water.
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Lower the heat to low, cover it with a lid, and allow it to simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the water has been absorbed, the quinoa is cooked and the sweet potato is soft.
Prepare the rest of the ingredients while that cooks.
- To a food processor, add the drained black beans, cooked quinoa with the sweet potatoes, corn, spinach, cilantro, and the spices.
Note: for the spices, I like to mix the spices in a separate bowl before adding them to the mixture.
- Blend to combine.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the panko bread crumbs.
- Mix to combine.
- Line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
- Using a tablespoon measure, scoop some of the mixture and form a patty (mixture might be sticky )
- Transfer it to the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes
- Allow to it cool and enjoy.
Here’s how I served it
- Black Bean Patties
- “Dump Truck” Toast
- Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Spinach Guacamole
- Diced Tomatoes with Small Diced Cilantro
How to Flash Freeze The Leftovers
- Transfer them to a freezer-safe container and flash freeze them first by making sure they’re not touching one another.
- Flash freeze for about 2 hours then transfer them to a freezer-safe zip top bag.
Note: place parchment between the layers so they don’t touch one another).
How to Reheat The Frozen Patties
- Preheat the oven to 350F
- Line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper
- Arrange the frozen patties on the baking sheet and cook for about 15 minutes.
If you enjoyed these recipes, be sure to check out some of Astghik's other creative ideas!