We believe that creating a baby is the most miraculous act we humans can achieve. It’s not surprising then that we also believe it shouldn’t be left to luck or chance. As would-be parents you should take advantage of the wealth of scientific information now available. We’re bringing you two delicious pregnancy recipes, full of fantastic ingredients to help you get some of the vital nutrients you need when trying to conceive and carrying your baby.
Tomato and Basil Chicken Patties
These Mediterranean-flavoured patties use thigh meat rather than breast, as dark meat tends tocontain more zinc, iron, B vitamins and protein than white meat.
Image credit – Ian Greig Garlick
8 skinless, boneless chicken thigh fillets
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 small red onion
100g (4oz) sun-blush tomatoes in olive oil,
with 2 tbsp of their marinating oil
2 good handfuls fresh basil leaves
1 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
50g (2oz) pine nuts (omit to make this nut free)
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Lightly grease or line a baking tray.
2. Put the chicken, garlic, onion, sun-blush tomatoes and oil, basil, salt and plenty of pepper into a food processor and blend until the mixture is very finely chopped and well combined. Alternatively, if you do not have a blender you could finely chop the ingredients by hand and mix together. This will give a coarser texture.
3 Shape into eight large (or 16 smaller) patties, flatten slightly then sprinkle the pine nuts over the top, if using, before placing on the baking tray. Pop in the oven to cook for around 25 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through (the juices should run clear).
This recipe is very simple and is bursting with bananas, which provide natural sweetness and fibre; and potassium to help regulate fluid levels. You can use a non-dairy milk like oat, rice or almond milk as an alternative to milk. The sunflower seeds sprinkled on top provide crunch plus vitamin E and omega-6 fats to help protect your skin.
MAKES 8–10 MUFFINS
Image credit – Ian Greig Garlick
75g (3oz) butter, softened (or coconut oil or
dairy-free margarine suitable for baking)
50g (2oz) xylitol (or soft brown sugar)
2 large or 3 medium bananas
120ml (4fl oz) semi-skimmed milk (or oat,
rice or almond milk)
2 medium free-range or organic eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g (5oz) plain wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g (2oz) dried mixed fruit or raisins
25g (1oz) sunflower seeds
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Grease eight to 10 muffin cases and place in a muffin tray or on a baking sheet.
2. Cream the butter (or coconut oil or margarine) and xylitol (or sugar) together until soft and creamy.
3. Blend or mix in all of the remaining ingredients, except for the dried fruit and seeds, until smooth. If you are doing this by hand, it is easier to mash the bananas separately.
4. Stir in the dried mixed fruit and spoon two heaped tablespoons of mixture evenly into each of the muffin cases. Sprinkle the tops with sunflower seeds.
5. Bake for around 25–30 minutes or until the tops are starting to turn golden and are fairly firm to the touch, then remove from the oven and rest in the tray for five minutes. Remove the muffins from the tray and finish cooling on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.
For more pregnancy recipes, get a copy of The Perfect Pregnancy Cookbook by Patrick Holford, Fiona McDonald & Susannah Lawson. Links below.