Here’s another fantastic recipe from Christine Bailey’s The Top 100 Baby Foods, full of delicious tastes. And it features buckwheat which is a brilliantly useful gluten-free grain (it’s not related to wheat, despite its name). It’s full of B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc, and it’s a low-GI grain that helps keep blood sugar levels steady. With a lovely firm texture when cooked and a nutty taste, you can add it to stir-frys, stews and soups, or add some extra ingredients and use it like rice or couscous.
When you’re starting your baby on food, it’s good to introduce gluten later on in the weaning process because it is harder for little babies to digest and process. So buckwheat is great for the early stages. Once you’re past the first stage of weaning, this is a lovely recipe for babies. (Use olive oil instead of the sesame oil, though, and leave out the sesame seeds, if there’s any possibility of allergy.) Pork is an ideal protein for your baby. It’s naturally low in fat, and a great source of B vitamins that help with the development of your baby’s nervous system, as well as promoting hormonal balance and the production of brain neurotransmitters. And here you’re also adding beta-carotene-rich red pepper and antioxidant-filled spinach, too. Feeding your baby can be very daunting but this nutrient-rich recipe makes it easy. Whizz it into a puree for your baby, or eat it yourselves – you’ll all love it!
About 4 servings for little ones Preparation time 10 minutes Cooking time 30 minutes
- 50g/1¾oz/¼ cup buckwheat
- 125ml/4fl oz/½ cup vegetable stock (without added salt), or water
- 200g/7oz pork fillet, cut into thin strips
- ½ tsp Chinese five spice
- 1 tsp sesame oil (or olive oil if any possibility of nut allergy)
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 4 tbsp apple juice
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional if any possibility of nut allergy)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ red pepper, finely chopped
- 4 tbsp frozen sweetcorn
- 100g/3½oz baby spinach leaves
- Put the buckwheat in a saucepan with the stock. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and keep covered. Put the pork a dish with the five spice, sesame or olive oil, garlic and juice to marinate.
- If using the sesame seeds, heat a non-stick frying pan over a high heat and add the sesame seeds. Toast for 1 minute until golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the pork and marinade. Cook for 2–3 minutes until the meat browns. Add the pepper and cook for a further 3 minutes. Add the sweetcorn and spinach. Cook for 3 minutes until the pork is cooked through. Add the sesame seeds, if using, and buckwheat and heat through.
- Serve hot or pulse in a blender or food processor to make a chunky purée.