Top 100 Meals in Minutes: All New Quick and Easy Meals for Babies and Toddlers

Double-quick desserts and sweet treats

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Strawberry and watermelon popsicles Images

A refreshing treat during watermelon season.

MAKES ABOUT 6 SMALL POPSICLES

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

2 cups sliced strawberries

12/3 cups diced seedless watermelon

 Put the sugar and water into a small saucepan and boil until syrupy (about 3 minutes). Let cool. Puree the strawberries and strain to remove the seeds.

 Puree the watermelon and mix with the strawberries and cooled syrup. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze.

Lychee popsicles Images

A delicious mix of lychees blended with vanilla yogurt.

MAKES ABOUT 3 POPSICLES

1 (15-ounce) can lychees in syrup, drained

2 tablespoons syrup from the can

1/4 cup vanilla yogurt (whole milk)

1 tablespoon lime juice

 Whiz the ingredients together, until fairly smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze overnight.

Strawberry and lime popsicles Images

The lime adds a nice zesty taste.

MAKES 4 LARGE POPSICLES

8 ounces strawberries

3 tablespoons Rose’s lime juice

2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

 Puree the strawberries, lime juice, and sugar and strain.

 Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.

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SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 12 CUPCAKES

Lemon cupcakes

Children love to help pipe the frosting on cupcakes, so get them involved!

Cupcakes

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup superfine sugar

2 large eggs

11/4 cups self-rising flour, sifted

1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2/3 cup low-fat milk

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Frosting

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons cream cheese

 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin pan with 12 paper cupcake cases.

 To make the cupcakes, put all the cake ingredients into a bowl. Whisk until smooth.

 Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases until two-thirds full. Bake for about 25 minutes until the cupcakes are raised and lightly golden. To check if they are done you can insert a skewer or toothpick into the center of one of the cakes and it should come out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let cool a little and then arrange the cupcakes on a wire rack to cool completely.

 To make the frosting, sift the confectioners’ sugar and gradually beat it into the butter using an electric mixer, until smooth. Slowly beat in the lemon juice and cream cheese. Chill until needed. Spread the frosting on top of the cupcake using a spatula, or pipe the frosting on top of each of the cupcakes with a pastry bag.

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NOT SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 4 PORTIONS

Fruit compote

You can serve this either for breakfast or dessert.

3 apples, peeled, cored, and quartered

1/4 cup sugar plus extra to taste

1 (16-ounce) package frozen mixed berries

 Cut each apple quarter into four pieces. Put the apples in a large saucepan with 2 tablespoons of water and the sugar.

 Heat gently, stirring occasionally until the sugar has melted. Cover and cook for 8 minutes, until the apples are tender but not mushy.

 Add the berries and cook for 5 to 6 minutes more, until the mixture just comes to a boil. Immediately remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

 Taste and add more sugar if necessary. Serve warm or chilled.

Variations

 Once chilled, the compote can be layered in glasses with yogurt and granola, or put in ovenproof dishes.

 Whip heavy cream with 1 teaspoon of confectioners’ sugar and 2 to 3 drops of vanilla extract. Fold in 3 tablespoons of Greek yogurt and spoon on the fruit. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of raw sugar over each and broil until the sugar has melted. You will need to drain most of the liquid, which you could serve separately in a small pitcher.

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Frozen berry smoothie Images

You can either buy a bag of frozen berries or freeze some fresh berries overnight.

MAKES 2 GLASSES

11/4 cups (about 5 ounces) frozen berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, or strawberries)

1 small banana

1/4 cup strawberry drinking yogurt

7 tablespoons cream soda

 Put the frozen berries and banana into a blender and whiz until smooth. Strain into a bowl. Add the yogurt and cream soda and stir. Pour into chilled glasses and serve.

Strawberry and banana smoothie Images

Choose a ripe banana and sweet strawberries for this smoothie. I prefer to use natural apple juice.

MAKES 2 GLASSES

1 large banana

11/4 cups sliced strawberries

7 tablespoons apple juice

 Put the banana, strawberries, and apple juice into a blender and whiz until smooth. Pour into two chilled glasses. Add ice cubes.

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Strawberry sorbet Images

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, freeze in a plastic container and soften, then whiz a couple of times in a food processor until smooth.

MAKES 4 PORTIONS

31/4 cups sliced strawberries

7 tablespoons water

1/2 cup strawberry or raspberry preserves

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

 Put the strawberries, water, preserves, and sugar in a saucepan. Heat gently until the sugar has melted, then bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute.

 Remove from the heat, cool, blend, and strain to remove the seeds. Stir in the yogurt and chill.

 Churn in an ice cream maker until frozen.

Banana bread Images

This is delicious for breakfast or as a snack. It’s best made with very ripe bananas. It’s lovely and moist, and keeps very well.

SUITABLE FOR FREEZING MAKES 8 PORTIONS

1 pound ripe bananas

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup light brown sugar

13/4 cups self-rising flour

1 egg

1/4 cup low-fat yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup raisins

 Preheat the oven to 350°F.

 Line a two pound loaf pan with parchment paper.

 Put the bananas in a food processor and whiz for about 30 seconds, until coarsely chopped. Add the butter, brown sugar, flour, egg, yogurt, and vanilla and whiz for 1 to 2 minutes, until combined into a smooth batter. Add the raisins.

 Spoon into the loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then remove the loaf from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

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TOPPINGS SUITABLE FOR FREEZING,

FILLINGS SHOULD BE MADE FRESH

MAKES 6 PORTIONS

Crumble jumble

When babies first move from purees to soft foods it is useful to have some flavors that are familiar, such as blueberries, apples, and pears. The fruit in crumbles is soft enough to be munched by gums, but not so soft that it is a puree. Older children and grown-ups also love crumbles. Here I have given you three different toppings and three different fillings, which you can mix and match as you like—there are nine possible combinations! The quantities are for a large crumble baked in an 8-inch round baking pan (6 cups capacity), or six ramekins (7 ounces capacity).

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TIP

If you are making a crumble topping, try making a double quantity and freezing half in a resealable bag. You can sprinkle the topping directly over the fruit base.

TOPPINGS

Classic crumble

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

Ginger oat

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup quick-cooking oats (not instant)

3 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup light brown sugar

Flaky almond

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sliced almonds plus an extra 1/4 cup for optional topping

3 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Whiz the ingredients in a food processor until large crumbs form that look like rolled oats. Sprinkle over the fruit.

Optional: Sprinkle the extra sliced almonds over the crumble for the last 10 minutes of the cooking time.

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FILLINGS

Rhubarb and apple

2 large Granny Smith apples (about 14 ounces) peeled, cored, and diced

10 ounces rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 3/8 inch-pieces

1/2 cup sugar

 Preheat the oven to 400°F. Toss the apples, rhubarb, and sugar together in the dish. Sprinkle with your chosen topping and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the topping is golden brown and the juices of the fruit are bubbling. For individual crumbles bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Apple and blueberry

21/3 cups blueberries

2 large Granny Smith apples (about 14 ounces), peeled, cored, and diced

Zest of 1 lemon (optional)

1/4 cup sugar

 Preheat the oven to 400°F. Toss the blueberries, apples, lemon zest, if using, and sugar in the dish. Sprinkle with your chosen topping and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the topping is golden brown and the juices of the fruit are bubbling. For individual crumbles bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Orchard fruits

2 apples, peeled, cored, and diced

2 large pears, peeled, cored, and diced

4 teaspoons sugar, or to taste

 Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put the fruit in a small saucepan and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until it is soft but not mushy.

 Remove the fruit from the heat and stir in the sugar, adding more if the fruit isn’t sweet enough.

 Transfer to the baking dish, sprinkle with your chosen topping, and bake for 30 minutes, until the topping is golden brown. For individual crumbles bake for 25 minutes.

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Annabel’s oat bars Images

NOT SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 12 BARS

6 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup light brown sugar

3 tablespoons corn syrup

1 cup quick-cooking oats (not instant)

1 cup Rice Krispies

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/3 cup chopped dried apricots

1/4 cup cranberries

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)

 Preheat the oven to 325° F.

 Line an 8 inch-square pan with parchment paper, with the parchment coming up the sides.

 Put the butter, sugar, and corn syrup in a large saucepan.

 Heat gently, stirring occasionally, until butter and sugar have melted. Remove from the heat and mix in the remaining ingredients. Spoon into the prepared pan and spread in an even layer (a potato masher is useful). Bake for 25 minutes, until golden around the edges. Cool completely in the pan, then lift out and cut into 12 small bars. You may need to store these in the fridge.

Chocolate and apricot Rice Krispie squares Images

NOT SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 9 SQUARES

5 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup corn syrup

1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

2/3 cup quick-cooking oats (not instant)

2 cups Rice Krispies

1/2 cup chopped dried apricots or mixture of dried exotic fruits

 Put the butter, corn syrup, and chocolate chips into a medium saucepan and heat gently until melted.

 Combine the oats, Rice Krispies, and apricots in a mixing bowl.

 Remove from the heat. Pour the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture and stir until well coated.

 Spread the mixture in an 8 inch-square shallow baking pan and store in the fridge. Cut into squares and store them there until ready to serve.

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Chocolate zucchini muffins Images

SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 10 LARGE OR 24 MINI MUFFINS

11/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 cup light brown sugar

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

11/4 cups grated zucchini

Zest of 1 small orange (optional)

1/2 cup canola oil

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup Greek yogurt or plain yogurt (whole milk)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup milk chocolate chips

 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a standard muffin pan with 10 paper cases or a mini muffin pan with 24 paper cases.

 Put the flour, baking powder, sugar, cocoa, zucchini, and zest into a mixing bowl.

 Put the oil, egg, yogurt, and vanilla into a cup and whisk together.

 Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips. Divide the mixture between the muffin cases. Bake the large muffins for 20 to 25 minutes, the mini muffins for about 14 minutes, until the muffins are well risen and springy to the touch. Cool on a wire rack.

Carrot, apple, and golden raisin muffins Images

SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 12 MUFFINS

12/3 cups self-rising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

11/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

3/4 cup canola oil

1/2 cup superfine sugar

2 eggs

1 cup grated carrots

1 cup peeled and grated apple

1/2 cup golden raisins

 Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a standard muffin pan with 12 paper cases.

 Put all the ingredients into a bowl. Whisk using an electric hand mixer, until blended. Divide between the paper cases.

 Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until golden and well risen.

Chocolate self-saucing sponge Images

NOT SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 6 PORTIONS

For the chocolate sponge

3 tablespoons soft butter plus extra for greasing

1/4 cup light brown sugar

3/4 cup self-rising flour

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/3 cup milk

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

3 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips

For the sauce

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon instant coffee granules

3/4 cup boiling water

 Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a 6 cup capacity deep baking dish. Put all the sponge ingredients, except the chocolate chips, in a food processor and whiz for 1 to 2 minutes to combine. Add the chocolate chips and pulse 4 to 5 times to distribute. Scrape the batter into the prepared dish.

 Whisk the sauce ingredients in an ovenproof bowl or cup and pour over the sponge batter. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the sponge has risen and a skewer inserted into the center comes out without any raw batter on it. The sauce will also be bubbling up the sides of the sponge. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

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Creamy chocolate pots Images

NOT SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 4 SMALL POTS

11/4 cups whole milk

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 egg yolks

4 teaspoons cornstarch

1/3 cup superfine sugar

1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pat of butter

 Put the milk and cream in a saucepan. Heat gently until almost boiling. Meanwhile, put the egg yolks, cornstarch, and sugar in a bowl and whisk.

 Pour the hot milk and cream into the egg mixture in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Rinse the saucepan to remove any milk from the base. Then pour the custard into the pan and cook over medium-low heat, whisking or stirring constantly, until the custard just comes up to a boil and thickens. Remove from the heat and whisk in the chocolate, vanilla, and butter.

 Pour into four small ramekins and chill for 5 to 6 hours (or overnight) until set. You can press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of each chocolate cup if you want to prevent a skin from forming.


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