ummer is a fantastic time of year to get inventive with your cooking, particularly using all the local fruit that we grow so brilliantly in the UK. Berries are full of anti-oxidants and are easy to eat, which means they are great for kids. Spend a day picking berries with your family and get your children to choose a recipe they want to make with the fruit, whether it’s lollies, smoothies or a classic Victoria sponge stuffed full of strawberries! Try reducing the number of processed treats this summer and swap them with something fruity!
TASTY FISH WITH CHEESE SAUCE AND VEGETABLES
A tasty way to introduce fish to your baby. You could also make this with salmon instead of cod.
• 15g butter
• 60g leeks, washed and finely sliced
• 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
• 60g broccoli cut into small florets
• 40g frozen peas
• 150g cod fillets, skinned
• 150ml milk
• 3 peppercorns
• 1 bay leaf
For the Sauce
• 20g butter
• 1 tbsp plain flour
• 45g Cheddar cheese, grated
Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the leek and sauté for 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, steam the carrot for 10 minutes, add the broccoli florets and continue to steam for 5 minutes. Add the peas and continue to cook for another 3 to 4 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the fish in a pan with the milk, peppercorns and bay leaf. Simmer for about 4 minutes or until the fish is cooked. Strain, reserving the cooking liquid. Discard the peppercorns and bay leaf.
To prepare the sauce, melt the butter in a pan, stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk in which the fish was cooked. Bring to the boil and cook, stirring until the sauce has thickened.
Remove from the heat, add the cheese and stir until melted.
Flake the fish and mix with the leek and steamed vegetables then stir in the cheese sauce. Blend to a puree for small babies but mash or chop for older babies who are starting to chew.
Makes 3 portions | Suitable from 6 months | Suitable for Freezing
These salmon fishcakes are simple to make and are lovely and moist. The combination of sweet chilli sauce, grated cheese and a little ketchup makes them very appealing. Oily fish like salmon provides the best source of essential fatty acids which are very important for the development of your child’s brain.
• 250g cooked potato (approx 250g potatoes peeled and cut into chunks)
• 2 tbsp mayonnaise
• 1½ tbsp sweet chilli sauce
• 1 tsp lemon juice
• 20g sliced spring onion
• 35g Cheddar cheese, grated
• 2 tbsp ketchup
• 250g raw salmon cut into small cubes
• 60g fresh breadcrumbs
• 100g dried breadcrumbs for coating
• Sunflower oil for frying the fishcakes
• Salt and pepper
For the Dip
• 3 tbsp Mayonnaise
• 2 tbsp Sweet Chilli Sauce
Put the chunks of potato into a pan. Cover with boiling water and add a little salt. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until tender. Drain and leave to cool down.
Mix together with the mayonnaise, sweet chilli sauce, spring onion, grated Cheddar and ketchup and roughly mash using a potato masher. Mix in the salmon cubes and breadcrumbs and season to taste.
Using your hands, form the mixture into about 8 fishcakes. Coat in the dried breadcrumbs. Heat some oil in a large frying pan and sauté for about 5 minutes, turning halfway through until golden on both sides.
To make the dip simply mix together the mayonnaise and sweet chilli sauce.
Makes 8 Fishcakes | Suitable for freezing | Prep time 15 minutes | Cook time 20 minutes | Suitable for freezing uncooked
APPLE AND BLACKBERRY SURPRISE
This is very tasty, a bit like a luxury porridge with caramelised apple and blackberry. You could halve the quantities to make enough for two children but I’d stick to four – then you might get to eat some too!
• 50g butter
• 75g rolled oats
• 50g caster sugar
• 2 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and sliced
• 150ml whipping cream
• 115g Greek Yoghurt
• 2 tbsp light muscovado sugar
• 2 tbsp honey
• 200g blackberries
Melt half the butter in a small pan, add the oats and cook for 1 minute, stir in half the caster sugar. Stir for 4 to 5 minutes until the oats are lightly caramelised. Tip onto a baking tray, spread out and leave to cool.
Melt the remaining butter in a large pan and sauté the apples for 3 to 4 minutes. When the apples begin to soften, add the remaining caster sugar and cook until caramelised. Allow to cool.
Lightly whip the cream, then fold in the yoghurt, honey, muscovado sugar and oats. Reserve 8 blackberries, stir the rest into the yoghurt cream, crushing them very slightly. Layer up the blackberry cream with the apples in 4 glasses and top with the reserved blackberries.
Makes 4 portions
Super Strawberry Yoghurt Ripple
Making ice cream with yoghurt is extremely easy, you just mix everything together. I love strawberry ice cream and strawberry sorbet – and this ripple ice cream gives me a little of each! You could also make this with raspberries instead of strawberries. Leave to soften for about 10 minutes before serving…
• 225g strawberries, hulled and halved
• ½ tsp lemon juice
• 400g full fat natural yoghurt
• 200ml double cream
• 55g caster sugar
• 150g good quality strawberry jam
• Ice-cream cornets, to serve
Put the strawberries, lemon juice and half of the sugar in a blender and whiz to a puree. If using raspberries you should sieve the puree to remove the seeds –you should have around 200ml puree.
Put the yoghurt in a large bowl and stir in the jam plus half of the puree. Whip the cream to soft peaks in a separate bowl then fold the cream into the yoghurt mixture. Pour this ice cream base into an ice-cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Transfer the frozen ice cream to a resealable container. Spoon over the remaining strawberry puree and ripple though the ice cream with a knife or metal skewer. Cover and store in the freezer for up to 1 month.
To serve, scoop balls of the ice cream into cornets. If the ice cream is too hard to scoop then let it soften slightly at room temperature for 5 – 10 minutes.
Makes 6-8 portions