Delicious Baby Weaning Recipes

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Piccolo Foods is one of the latest baby pouch trends hitting the supermarkets.  All their food is 100% organic and uses all natural ingredients.  Alice Fotheringham, Piccolo’s infant nutrition specialist and recipe developer, has shared some wonderful baby weaning recipes with us.

Sweet potato, Beetroot, Apple & Pear
The smooth creamy base of sweet potato combines beautifully with the earthy sweetness of beetroot. A little apple is added for sweetness, but this can easily be taken out of the recipe if you want a vegetable only puree. Why not roast up a couple of sweet potatoes and beetroots together and add to a roasted vegetable couscous salad for all the family or serve with green beans and baked chicken with paprika.

Ingredients
½ an apple, peeled, cored and chopped into chunks
½ ripe pear, peeled, cored and chopped into chunks
1 medium sweet potato, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
¼ a raw small beetroot, peeled and cut into chunks (if you can’t find a raw one, use the cooked vacuum packed beetroot, but ensure it is the one that hasn’t been cooked with vinegar.)

Method
•    Steam the sweet potato and beetroot for five minutes, then add the apple and pear and steam for another five minutes. Alternatively you can bake the sweet potato and beetroot in their skins at 180C/ 160 Fan/ Gas mark 4 for 30 minutes until soft, five minutes before the potatoes are ready steam the apples for five minutes. Once the sweet potato is cooked, let it cool for five minutes then scoop out the flesh, (if using pre-cooked beetroot, you do not need to cook again).
•    Once all the ingredients are cooked simply put in a blender and blend until smooth.
Tip: add poached chicken to this before blending together to make a more substantial meal, or mix through natural full fat yoghurt.

Suitable from 6 months
Makes around 4 baby portions
Suitable for freezing or keep in the fridge in a sealed container for 2 days.
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes (or 40 minutes if baking)

Three Grain Risotto with a pinch of Basil
This vegetarian risotto combines three grains; rice, millet and quinoa, which give a balance of crunch and creaminess. But you can also just use Arborio rice or quinoa. This is a recipe all the family can enjoy, simply add a little  salt and more pepper and  a dollop of pesto through the risotto for all the rest of the family.

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
small knob of butter
600ml low or no salt vegetable stock
200g pumpkin (or butternut squash if no pumpkin available), peeled, deseeded and chopped into roughly 1 inch cubes
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped into similar sized chunks to the pumpkin
½ an onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 small clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
½ leek, washed and chopped finely
50g frozen petit pois
80g Arborio rice
40g quinoa
20g millet
squeeze of lemon juice
50g Parmesan, grated
small handful of parsley, finely chopped
handful of basil, finely chopped

Method
1.    Heat the vegetable stock in a pan and once it starts simmering, add the sweet potato and pumpkin. Whilst they are cooking, heat the oil and butter in a large heavy bottomed lidded casserole pan and cook the onion for five minutes until it starts to turn translucent. Add the garlic and leek and cook for a further five minutes.
2.    Increase the heat slightly and stir in the rice, quinoa and millet, stir, uncovered, for about 5 mins – this will help to develop the toasty aroma of the rice without burning the vegetables.
3.    Reduce the heat and add the peas. Start adding the stock, leaving the pumpkin and sweet potato in the pan with the stock. Add one ladle at a time, stirring gently but constantly during each addition, letting the rice absorb the liquid.
4.    When the stock has been absorbed, it’s time to add the next ladleful and so on. It will take about 15 mins to reach the final ladle of stock. By this time the pumpkin and sweet potato in the stock should have softened. Mash it up with the remaining stock and stir into the risotto.
5.    Test the rice to see if it is cooked or needs a bit more time stirring over the low heat. Once the grains are cooked, stir through the lemon juice, a little pepper to taste and the chopped basil and parsley. Serve immediately.

Suitable from 6 months
Makes around 8 baby portions or 2 adults and a baby
Not suitable for freezing
Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes

Sweet Potato Beef Ragu
This beef stew is made using a rich sweet potato and carrot sauce and slow cooked beef. Perfect for all the family, make double portions to feed a family of four. This also freezes brilliantly.

Ingredients:
Glug of olive oil
½ medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 small clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
½ leek, trimmed, washed and finely chopped
6 button mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
600g stewing beef (featherblade or brisket or boneless chuck works well), cut into nice large chunks
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tin of chopped tomatoes (400g)
3 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves taken off and chopped finely
¼ tsp fresh chopped rosemary or a pinch of dried rosemary
20g Cheddar cheese, grated

Method
1.    Add a glug of olive oil to a large heavy based saucepan or casserole dish with a lid and put it onto a medium heat. Once the oil is hot add in the onions and cook until they start to soften, around eight minutes. Mix in the garlic, leek, carrot and mushrooms, and reduce the heat slightly. Cook for around 10 minutes, occasionally stirring and adding a splash of water if the vegetables start to catch on the bottom of the pan.
2.    Once the vegetables have softened, add the beef and let it brown all over.
3.    Once the beef has been sealed, add the sweet potato, thyme and tomatoes (once you’ve emptied the tin into the pan, fill it half way with water and swill round to get all the left over tomato and pour the tomato-ey water into the pan with the vegetables and beef).
4.    Bring the stew to a boil, then reduce the heat and bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can put in a slow cooker and cook for 4 hours, or cook for an hour in the oven at 160C/140C fan/gas 3.
5.    Once cooked and the meat is tender, mix in the cheese and puree.

Suitable from 6 months
Makes around 6 baby portions
Suitable for freezing or keep in the fridge in a sealed container for 2 days.
Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 1 hour

Sweet Tomato Ricotta Spaghetti with a pinch of Basil
This traditional Roman dish combines little pieces of spaghetti with a rich, sweet tomato and red pepper sauce, cooked in olive oil with a pinch of basil and made creamy by smooth tangy ricotta.

Ingredients
Glug of olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
½ a red pepper, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 tin of chopped tomatoes (400g)
1 tbsp of tomato paste
fresh black pepper
100g ricotta
4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
20g fresh parmesan grated
200g pasta (spiral or spaghetti)

Method
1.    In a saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the onion and garlic and sauté these until they are transparent (around 8 minutes). Add the chopped red pepper and carrot and cook for a further few minutes.
2.    Add the tin of tomatoes, tomato paste and a few twists of the black pepper mill and stir. Increase the heat slightly and let the sauce start to bubble away for a few minutes, then reduce the heat.
3.    Put on a large pot of salted water and bring to the boil, add pasta to water and cook until'al dente' approximately 8- 10 minutes.
4.    Add the ricotta, parmesan and basil to the sauce and stir through.
5.    Either puree or leave as a chunky tomato sauce.

Suitable from 6 months
Makes around 8 baby portions or 2 adults and a baby
suitable for freezing
Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes

Enjoy!!