First, to give some background, Avie began attending a local Montessori school for a few hours a week at the beginning of this year. One of the main reasons that I chose Montessori was because of the inherent belief that superior nutrition supports superior cognitive and emotional processing. Even more, the school director, who is also one of the full-time teachers, expressed a keen awareness of important nutrition for young, growing minds and bodies. To my huge relief, her level of intense belief surrounding smart food choices paralleled mine.
Even still, when I first shared with her, with hesitation, that we were vegan, I was pleased as she enthusiastically responded that she would adhere to Avie's nutritional needs. Even more, she, too, was relieved to know that we shared similar values and that I would never bring sugar laden snacks, junk or candy into the school.
With that said, I give you a simple breakfast recipe that reminds me of Avie's mornings at Montessori. On his school days, I would wake up and prepare his breakfast, which included Bananas with Tahini, Coconut and Cinnamon. He refers to them as "cinnamon bananas." His teacher/school director often commented how wonderfully they smelled. I have even doubled the recipe and had them for breakfast a couple hours before a race or hard run and also as a post-run snack. With that, I give you the simple recipe for one of Avie's favorite breakfasts, Bananas with Tahini, Coconut and Cinnamon.
One banana, sliced long down the center to form half-moon shapes
2 tsp tahini
1/2 tsp shredded coconut
several dashes of cinnamon
*Note - I use organic tahini, coconut, cinnamon and bananas
Slice one banana down the center to form half moons. Place banana pieces into a small bowl. Top bananas first with tahini, then coconut and finally cinnamon. For Avie, I typically only use half of a banana, because that's what his appetite dictates. Also, I roughly measure the other ingredients with a spoon, but these measurements give you an idea of where to start. Feel free to add more or less of any topping. Enjoy!
First, I give Avie a small, rather dull but sharp enough knife. Allowing him to use such tools shows him that I trust him, boosts his confidence and increases skills with objects requiring concentration and careful handling.
Of course, I guide his fingers away from the blade if they get too close, but I do so in a calm and nonchalant manner that doesn't startle him or hinder his progress. After he slices the banana onto a small cutting board and places them in a bowl, he scoops a spoon into the tahini jar and tops the bananas with it. Next, he uses another spoon to scoop out some coconut. Finally, his favorite part is to sprinkle on, often heavy doses, of cinnamon. I find that I need to oversee the cinnamon sprinkling more closely than the banana cutting!
Avie loves this dish but rarely finishes an entire bowl. Rather than composting the leftovers, I cover the bowl with a reusable silicon lid and place it in the freezer to use for one of my family's favorite desserts, Banana Soft Serve ice cream, a recipe that I came across in my copy of The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon. The original recipe from the cookbook uses just frozen chunks of bananas, but it works very well with the tahini, coconut and cinnamon and gives me something to do with the leftovers.