Beetroot hummus

Babies love this beautifully coloured dip spread on fingers of toast, or eaten off a spoon. It’s flavoursome enough for grown ups though: if you’re making it just for adults add a pinch of salt. As ‘hummus’ is the Arabic word for ‘chickpeas’ this is not technically hummus, but we all know what we mean……

Fabulous free-from, no-refined-sugar chocolate mousse

There are a two different versions of this recipe, though both use the same method: one makes a creamy mousse like your regular chocolate/cream/eggs/sugar recipe, and one sets harder and can be cut up to make ‘truffles’. This mousse is rich – you don’t need a lot of it, and considering it contains no refined sugar…

The Easiest Way: To eat a healthy balanced diet

What is a healthy, balanced diet? Food writer and journalist Michael Pollen simplified the whole messy drama for us with his oft-quoted aphorism: ‘Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.‘ To work out whether you’re following this advice, consider your typical meals and snacks and ask these questions: Would your great-grandmother recognise what you’re eating as…

The Easiest Way: To keep to government drinking guidelines

In January 2016, the government came out with the nerve-jangling announcement that there is no such thing as a ‘safe drinking level’ – any amount of alcohol can increase the chance of developing cancer. Terrifying though this thought might be, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we should all become teetotal – study after study has…

Sugar-free peanut butter & banana blender mini muffins

Sugar-free, flour-free, gluten-free (if you use GF oats), dairy-free, practically effort-free to make…yet somehow still tasty enough to eat yourself as well as handy for small people snacks (and relatively mess-free too). Add whatever you like to this basic recipe – 1/2 tsp vanilla extract; chocolate chips; whole raisins or chopped nuts for bigger children;…

Coley en papillote with minted pea puree and roast tomatoes

This recipe would work with any white fish, but do please buy MSC-certified cod and haddock, and eat monkfish as a very occasional treat. Pollock’s much better if you can find it, or rock turbot (also known as catfish). This is an ideal dinner party dish: it’s quick to cook; can be prepared in advance; is…

Sugar-free apple cake/muffins

Sugar-free is misleading, of course, as dried fruit is high in sugar – but unlike refined white sugar (or agave syrup, artificial sweeteners or processed honey), it also contains fibre and vitamins. Anyway, come on – what’s life without a bit of cake? As well as being good for very little ones (make sure you…

Learn to Cook: how to scramble, boil and poach an egg

There’s something poetic about an egg. One of the cheapest, most nutritious and easily cooked of foodstuffs, they are nevertheless taken for granted, have been libelled with health misinformation and tainted with fears about animal welfare, salmonella and allergens. But eggs are not so easily broken: in 2015 we still ate 12.2 billion of them – averaging 189 each…

Learn to Cook: how to make soup

Soup is an essential dish to become confident with for a number of reasons: It is quick and very easy to make; It is usually healthy; It is one of the cheapest possible meals; It is a great way of using up all sorts of leftovers, from vegetables to meat to pasta; It can be adapted…

First foods: mackerel pate

It’s worth the mess: this pate can be served up from six months, and will hopefully surprise you with its popularity. It’s a great way to tick off their weekly portion of oily fish, makes a good finger food when spread on toast or scooped onto cucumber, and as ever is flavoursome enough to share…

Easiest-Ever Soda Bread: How to eat organic bread every day for less than £1

..without having to buy a bread-maker, or spend time each morning and evening kneading dough. Read more about why you should care about real bread here, but in summary: mass-produced bread is nutritionally limited; the white stuff is made of refined white flour which causes unhealthy blood sugar spikes; and evidence suggests that long-fermented sourdough is easier to…

Learn to Cook: How to make white sauce

White sauce, otherwise known as béchamel, is the basis of a catalogue of other dishes you’re going to want to make: lasagne, fish pie, pasta bake, macaroni cheese. It is easy. It is not something you want to buy in a pot. It is good exercise for the arms (whisk whisk whisk!). You only really…