Take 5 apricots (or a tin of apricot halves)…
Apricots are another low GI good owing to their high fibre content, so although they taste sweet, there is no spike in blood sugar, instead they release their energy slowly which is much better for keeping hormone levels steady. They are also a good source of beta carotene, vitamin C and antioxidants that protect against inflammation and help to keep blood pressure healthy.
Apricots are not always in season or easy to get, a tin of apricot halves are a helpful substitute. Tinned fruit still counts towards your 5 a day and only a few nutrients are lost during the canning process; vitamin C levels will be lower than in fresh apricots, but levels of other nutrients such as potassium, magnesium and folate remain unchanged. Choose apricots tinned in juice rather than syrup.
If using fresh apricots, take a sharp knife and make slit around the stone, prise open and remove the stone. Place the apricots in a small saucepan with 2 frozen cubes of butternut puree and a splash of water (or the juice from the tin)and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 8-10 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow to cool. Transfer into a food processor and whizz into a smooth paste.
For your baby
Place 1 tbsp of baby rice cereal and 2 tbsp of plain Greek yogurt into a bowl, mix well and swirl through 2 tbsp of the pureed apricots.
Here is a tasty dish to make for dinner for you and your partner, in fact it’s so simple even a culinary challenged partner could give it a go. You can use dry brown basmati or a ready steamed pouch for extra ease.
The remaining half of the tin or the remaining apricot puree
1 tbsp olive oil
2 skinless chicken breasts
100g brown basmati rice
1 onion, finely chopped
1 stick celery, thinly sliced
½ red pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
1 tsp hot curry paste
2 tbsp tomato purée
30g cashew nuts
100ml white wine or chicken stock
Handful of fresh coriander
Peel and finely chop the onion, finely chop the celery, deseed the pepper and cut into strips and slice the tinned apricot halves if using.
Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and add the chicken breasts. Cook for about 10 minutes on each side, making sure they are thoroughly cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Meanwhile, cook the rice according to the packet instructions.
Add the onion, celery and pepper to the pan in which you cooked the chicken and cook for 10 minutes until softened. Stir in the curry paste, tomato purée, apricots, cashew nuts and wine or stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce has reduced and become thicker. Return the chicken breasts to the pan to heat through and then serve with the rice. Scatter over the fresh coriander to garnish.
Image © [Roman] /Adobe Stock