Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Annabel Karmel's Baby Led Weaning Recipe Book

The first weaning book I ever bought was by Annabel Karmel. She more than knows her stuff when it comes to weaning! I've got four of her books and love using them all, so when I was asked if I'd like to be sent her new Baby Led Weaning Recipe Book, I was so excited. I've mentioned before in Elsie's weaning updates (4-6 month and 6-8 month), we haven't really adopted one method for weaning Elsie. There is a lot of pressure on parents to commit to either spoon feeding or baby led weaning. You can almost feel anxious to share with others which method you're using in case of any negative comments or judgement. The fact is, it should be what works for you. And what works for us is a mixture of both types. Annabel Karmel champions this, ensuring that there's plenty of recipes out there for you to try and see what your baby prefers. After all, they are all so very different (couldn't be more true when looking at Oliver and Elsie!).

So the new book has 120 recipes to try out, all of which are easy and simple to follow. The recipes are split over eight different sections (Breakfast, Snacks, Vegetables, Pasta, Poultry, Fish, Meat and Sweet Things). There's quite a few recipes that are marked as dairy free which I know will help a lot of parents out as I often get asked if the recipe I'm making is dairy free. It's not something we have to worry about, fortunately, but I know a lot of you do.

When I received the book (along with a great wipe down bib for Elsie and some food storage pots which we can never have too many of!), I wrote out a list of recipes I'd like to make for Elsie and we've given some of them a go over the last week. If you follow me on Instagram, I'll be trying a few more over the next couple of weeks too. So what have we made?...

First up was the Almond Milk Porridge with Berries. I've never made porridge from scratch before (I know, totally lazy) either for myself or the kids. I've always used the sachets for myself or the Heinz tubs for Elsie. But I don't know why I've waited until now, it was so easy! The bonus of this recipe is that it's one of the dairy free ones as it uses almond milk. Elsie bloody loved it and I don't blame her. It tasted so good, especially with the cooked fruit in maple syrup on top 😍

Next up I made the Squash, Spinach and Ricotta Risotto. This was at the top of my list of recipes to make. It's totally my kind of dish and I've never made a risotto for the kids before so I definitely wanted to try it. It went down a treat with Elsie Pie! I could have eaten a portion myself to be honest. I spoon fed her this meal but when there was a few mouthfuls left in the bowl, I let her help herself. Due to the consistency, it could 'clump' together well for her to pick up and feed herself. I doubled this recipe up and froze portions ready for those busy evenings after work/nursery when I'd love to whip something up from scratch for the kids' tea but simply don't have the time.

When it was hot the other day (hence the swimming costume!) I made the Tuna Tortilla Tartlets for Elsie's lunch. They are meant to be made using a mini muffin tin but I've only got a normal sized one so ours were a bit bigger but I don't think it mattered too much as Elsie broke them apart anyway. They were really quick and easy to make, are a great finger food and were great to give with some cucumber sticks and strawberries. She really liked them and ended up having two!

Last up is one of the super quick and easy dips from the Snacks section. I whipped up the Mango and Cream Cheese Dip for Elsie's lunch at the weekend. It so easy, using just Philadelphia, natural yoghurt, mango chutney, lemon juice and curry powder (all things we normally have in the house). I served it with some toasted pitta bread, cucumber sticks and blueberries (a favourite at the moment!). Once she'd realised that she could dip food in, she didn't stop and ended up just using her hands to scoop every last bit out of the tub so I'm guessing she loved it 😂 I'll definitely be making this (and trying the other dips too) again as I don't like to buy big tubs of houmus in because they go off quicker than we can eat them up.

I'd definitely recommend Annabel Karmel's new cookbook for anyone who's little one is loving baby led weaning. The combination of recipes in it are great and I can't wait to try more out over the next few weeks. The book was released last week and you can buy a copy from Amazon for only £8!

Pssst... for any fellow design geeks, the book is designed so beautifully and I love the illustrations throughout. I know this has nothing to do with the recipes themselves but it just had to be said!


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