I so wish I’d had this book, My Sugar Free Baby And Me by Dr Sarah Schenker, when Jack was first moving onto solids. With easy-to-make fresh baby purees plus yummy (and healthy) recipes for the whole family, it’s a really great collection for even the most culinary-challenged (that would be me).
The following recipe is taken from the book, and I made the spicy apricot chicken (with mild curry paste in case Jack would eat it) and it was absolutely delicious. What’s more, I just threw everything in the slow cooker in the morning rather than actually trying to cook in the evening with Jack up or after bedtime when all I can face is burning two pieces of toast. It worked a treat. You may have seen the pics on my Instagram stories, but I’ve included a post of my meal at the bottom of this page (it’s not as pretty as the one from the book, weirdly).
Apricot Swirl Recipe & Spicy Apricot Chicken Recipe
‘Apricots are another low GI food that won’t cause a spike in blood sugar. Instead, they release their energy slowly, which is much better for keeping hormone levels steady. Fresh apricots are not always in season or easy to get, so a can of apricot halves is a helpful substitute. Canned fruit still counts towards your five a day and only a few nutrients are lost during the canning process; vitamin C levels will be lower than in fresh apricots, but levels of other nutrients such as potassium, magnesium and folate remain unchanged. Choose apricots canned in juice rather than syrup.’ – Dr Sarah Schenker
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 8-10 mins for the
apricots/25 mins for apricot chicken
5 apricots (or a can of apricot halves)
2 cubes of frozen
butternut squash purée
1 tbsp (15ml) baby rice cereal
2 tbsp (30ml) plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsp (30ml) of the puréed apricots
1 celery stick
½ red pepper
The remaining half of the canned apricots
or the remaining fresh apricot purée
1 tbsp (15ml) olive oil
2 skinless chicken breasts
100g uncooked brown basmati rice
or 170g ready cooked brown
basmati rice from a pouch
1 tsp (5ml) hot curry paste
2 tbsp (30ml) tomato purée
30g cashew nuts
100ml white wine or chicken stock
A handful of fresh coriander, to garnish
Here is a tasty dish to make for dinner for you and your partner; in fact, it’s so simple even an inexperienced cook could give it a go. You can use dry brown basmati, or a ready steamed pouch for extra ease. If using fresh apricots, take a sharp knife and make a slit around the stone. Prise open the fruit and remove the stone. Place all of the prepared fresh apricots or half of the canned apricots in a small pan with 2 frozen cubes of butternut squash purée and a splash of water (or the juice from the can) and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 8–10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool. Transfer to a food processor and whizz into a smooth paste, or use a hand-held blender.
FOR BABY – APRICOT SWIRL
Place the baby rice cereal and the Greek yogurt into a bowl, mix well and swirl through the puréed apricots.
FOR YOU – SPICY APRICOT CHICKEN
Peel and finely chop the onion, finely chop the celery, deseed the pepper and cut into strips, and slice the tinned apricot halves, if using. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and add the chicken breasts. Cook for about 10 minutes on each side, making sure they are thoroughly cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Meanwhile, cook the rice according to the packet instructions. Add the onion, celery and pepper to the pan in which you cooked the chicken and cook for 10 minutes, until softened.
Stir in the curry paste, tomato purée, apricots, cashew nuts and wine or stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until the sauce has reduced and become thicker. Return the chicken breasts to the pan to heat through. Serve with the rice, garnished with fresh coriander leaves.
Extract taken from My Sugar Free Baby And Me by Dr Sarah Schenker, published by Green Tree, £16.99/ £14.99 eBook.