Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Pork, Marjoram and Vegetable Sausages - Healthy Baby Recipes

Protein is a little tricky to get into my little one, especially chicken and pork meat. She's just not sure about them yet. One thing I know that she does like is vegetables, especially green vegetables. So, I came up with this little recipe. Of course sausages are processed meats, so you need to make sure that you buy the best, of course organic but also really high levels of meat content (feed processed meats to baby rarely). The sausage I used was a 95% meat and wasn't to heavy on the seasoning (the veggies in sausage reduce the seasoning in the overall finished dish).

Pork, Marjoram and Vegetable Sausages

1 really high quality Sausage (Organic, lightly seasoned if at all)
1 Tbsp fresh peas
Small Handful of Fresh Marjoram (use any herb if you haven't got Marjoram)
Few leaves of Spinach
Black Pepper
Rapeseed Oil
Slice of Stale bread (fresh is fine too)

Take your sausage and split the skin, put it into a small bowl and using a fork break it up a little. Chop some Spinach and Marjoram and add to the sausage. Next add your peas, a little grind of Black Pepper and stir until completely mixed.

Take your bread, stale is better because it makes the finished sausage crispier. And chop into bread crumbs, place on a plate.

The sausage and vegetable mixture makes up three sausages, simply divide into three and roll in your hands into a small baby hand sized sausage. Roll in the bread crumbs and that's it. If you can make these ahead because a little time in the fridge will help the sausage to hold together better when you are cooking it.

To cook, use a little Rapeseed Oil (I love to fry in Rapeseed Oil, its burn point is much higher than Olive Oil and it contains bundles of Omega 3 and 6) and cook until brown on all sides.

Lovely way of using sausage (and reducing the seasoning by adding to them). Bread crumbing is a great way to introduce new foods too, they love it!

Monday, 25 June 2012

Peas, Asparagus and Mint Tagliatelle - Healthy Baby Recipes

The glorious vegetables of spring!! I love spring and all of its tastes, the garden is overflowing with fresh Mint, sweet Peas are bountiful and Asparagus is here. My baby loves Asparagus, simply steamed maybe a little Olive Oil and Lemon Juice.. Great baby led weaning food because if its perfect shape. This little dish is just a mix of all of those lovely things. I had a little fresh pasta left over from a meal that I had cooked the previous day, however feel free to use dried, sometimes its just more convenient!

Pea, Asparagus and Mint Tagliatelle

Handful of Peas in their pods
Half a white onion
2 spears of Asparagus
Small handful of fresh Mint
Black Pepper
Handful of fresh pasta
Olive Oil

In a small frying pan place a little Olive Oil, finely chop your onion and then begin to fry. Get a little saucepan with some water in boiling. Chop your Asparagus into 3cm lengths and shell your peas. 

If you are cooking fresh pasta it can take as little as two minutes to cook, if using dried, account for this earlier on and get it on before you start cooking. When the pasta has a minute to go add the peas and Asparagus to the boiling water.

Chop your Mint.

When the pasta and vegetables are cooked, drain and allow to steam for 1 minute. Add the pasta and vegetables to the onions, add your chopped mint and a little drizzle of Olive Oil and a grind of Black Pepper. Toss together and serve with a little more chopped mint on the top.

Cut a cross in the pasta to make perfect lengths for baby to hold.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Mash with Thyme - Healthy Baby Recipes

This is my little girls absolute favourite dinner! It's gloriously messy for them to eat, but an absolute winner every time. Again its a one pot wonder, so very little washing up and you can make in under 10 minutes. Winner! I also add a very delicate amount of Chilli flakes just to give it a little poke, along with the Red Peppers this super charges the dish with Vitamin C.

Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Mash with Thyme

2 Small Sweet Potatoes
Half a Red Pepper
Half an Onion
Some Fresh Thyme 
Rapeseed Oil
Black Pepper
Chilli flakes

Finely chop the onion and place in a small saucepan with a little glug of Rapeseed Oil. Gently fry for a minute or so then chop your Red Peppers into 1cm cubes and add these along with the picked Fresh Thyme leaves and a little pinch of the Chilli flakes. Get the kettle on. When the ingredients have fried for a minute or so put them onto a plate and fill up the saucepan with enough water to cover the Sweet Potatoes, add the boiled water and boil the Potatoes for 4 minutes until cooked but not mush (test with a fork).

When the Sweet Potatoes are cooked, drain and allow to steam for a minute or so (this removes some of the water and intensifies the flavours) then crush gently (not to a pulp) with the back of a fork. Then stir in your Red Peppers and Onion mix and season with Black Pepper.

Loads of Vitamin C from the Peppers and Chilli, Omega 3 and 6 from the Rapeseed Oil, complex carbs, bursting with flavour... No wonder she loves it!

Remember mash holds the heat so make sure its cool enough for baby to put her hands into before serving (little tip, I serve it on a cold plate to bring the temperature of the mash down quickly).

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Tuna, Spinach and Sweetcorn Pasta

I like the food I prepare for my little girl to be hassle free. This means quick to make, a version of what I am having and very little extra washing up. A lot of what I cook can be cooked in one pan, a little saucepan is perfect. After all the portion sizes are only small anyway, why use a big pan?

Tuna, Spinach and Sweetcorn Pasta 

This is a really simple and healthier baby version of tuna pasta. You'll need:

Small handful of Pasta (I used Fusilli)
Tbsp Sweetcorn
1/2 White Onion
Small handful Spinach
Tbsp Tuna
Black Pepper
Tbsp Half fat Creme Fraiche
Squeeze of Lemon Juice

In your pan place a little glug a Olive Oil, enough to fry the onions in. Finely chop your onion and gently fry in the oil. I love to use Onions to add a little sweet savoury flavour to anything I cook for her. When the onions are translucent and sweet spoon them onto a plate. In the same pan pour some hot water from the kettle and start to cook your pasta.

When your pasta is cooked, drain and mix in the Spinach. Whilst the pasta steams and lets go of any excess water it will gently cook the Spinach maximising the flavour and reducing vitamin loss. A couple of minutes later add the onions and sweetcorn to the pasta and season with Black Pepper. Next stir in your Creme Fraiche and a season with the Lemon Juice.

Allow to cool and serve, really easy, nutritious and delicious.

... She loved it!

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Welcome to Healthy Baby Recipes

Healthy Baby Recipes is about the food I cook for my baby girl. Most of all in life I want my baby to have a healthy diet and appreciation for food. I believe that this can be achieved by exposure to as many types of food as she can fit in her mouth from an early age. I make sure that all of those foods are as tasty and nutritious as possible in the hope that good eating will become common sense. I have set myself a serious challenge and I plan to battle the biggest advertisers and Americanised habitual eating habits that plague our children in this new century.

My plan is to feed her the best and try and build up a portfolio of tastes and textures that she loves really early om. My partner and I chose 'Baby led weaning', the technique is great and a must for all parents who want their babies to eat well. This means no puree's, no hassle, whole foods, its a hell of a lot of fun too as you should see her little face when she tucks into a plate of food.. I love it! 

As a parent I am highly motivated by doing the best I can for my baby. This means that every mouthful has to be as nutritious and healthy as it can. I buy my vegetables locally and in season so that the minimal degradation in nutritional value has occurred - vegetables that travel miles and miles or are picked early to survive long journeys do not have the same nutritional value as something picked locally at the height of ripeness. Buying in season means tastier, healthier, oh... And cheaper food!! I grow a few items in my back garden too, occasionally you'll see me use them, especially fresh herbs!

I cook and eat seasonally, organic when I can. Most of the food I feed my little girl is Organic (her formula always is!). Whatever you think about Organic food my principle is this, if you were able to prevent unnecessary chemicals being put in your baby would you?? If the answer is yes, then follow this blog as I try and teach my beautiful little girl about food from the earliest stages of babyhood, in fact all the way through her childhood.

One 'no no' in baby food is Salt. Its simply no good for babies or small children. The reason is simple, salt is quite hard to process and babies little kidneys are unable to deal with it. My problem is this, I love Salt! Salt is flavour, so my mission is to pack flavour into her food without using Salt or anything that may harm her growing body.

At the time of starting this blog my little girl is nearly 8 months and we have been giving her whole foods (in accordance with Baby led Weaning' since she was 6 months. In the last month and half she has taken off and loves her food (you really have to try baby led weaning it so works!!).

So, if you love feeding your baby with fantastic and nutritious food and you want to make every meal time an experience and fun, take up baby led weaning and cook a few of these recipes. Every recipe is baby tested!

.... Oh and one final note, although most of the pics of the food are displayed whole, I will make sure that food such as mashes are cool enough for baby to eat and larger items are the size that will fit in her hand.