Flavour is so important to my husband and I. We absolutely love to travel the world and have visited some amazing countries: Thailand, Japan, Spain, Morocco, Italy and Tunisia to name a few. Part of the love of travelling comes from the food we sample in these foreign lands. We’ve tried all sorts of weird and wonderful stuff; the strangest probably being some unknown meat skewer from a street vendor on Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok. It’s not all about the strange tastes though; we just love good old fashioned flavour. There is nothing better than sitting at a pavement cafe in Rome sampling soft, moist, delicious mozzarella alongside juicy red tomatoes and fragrant basil. Naturally, it’s important to us that we impart our love for flavour onto Dexter.
As you’ve seen from the many recipes I’ve shared on this blog, I am no stranger to the kitchen. I adore cooking up a storm and I am always looking for new recipes to try out. When I heard, through Twitter, about Zainab Jagot Ahmed’s new book The Flavour-Led Weaning Cookbook, I was desperate to get my hands on a copy. I was hoping find some new easy recipes from a book that promises to bring a rainbow of colour to baby’s diet, whilst encouraging baby to love food from their very first taste.
The book is split into four stages: purees (from six months), flavour blends and textures (seven to nine months), flavourful finger foods (seven to twelve months), chunkier meals and new flavour blends (ten to twelve months) and big table meals (twelve months+). As my loyal readers will know, we are not particular interested in purees here, so I skipped right to flavourful finger foods.
For die hard baby led weaners, this book will feel a little bit tame in parts. There are numerous warnings about being wary of choking and not to offer certain foods before a certain age, however for traditional weaners, this book is excellent. It provides a guided meal plan for each stage, talks about signs to look out for before moving to the next stage and provides easy to follow recipes featuring some delicious ingredients.
I wanted to give a few of the recipes a try so started with the Broccoli Frittata with Basil. The use of turmeric in the recipe brought the omelette to life with a gorgeous yellow hue. I now make every omelette with a pinch of turmeric to get that beautiful colour and some added flavour. It’s a spice I hadn’t thought of using prior to getting the book.
My favourite chapter is the Big Table Meals. It features a few curries, paella, shepherd’s pie and few Italian dishes. There’s nothing particularly ground breaking in there, but the recipes are so easy to follow and are such a great way of getting baby exposed to new tastes.
I particularly like the section on Natural Remedies which describes which herbs and spices can help with certain ailments, before directing you to which recipe features them. The Chewable Teething Sticks have been an absolute godsend in this house and I can’t recommend them enough. They combine sweet potato which contains the compound ‘eugenol’ which is used as a natural remedy for toothache, with cinnamon which has powerful analgesic (painkilling to you and me) properties. I never would have known about this without having access to the information in the book.
I love that the Flavour-Led Weaning Cookbook is compact in size but comes in hardback form making it easy to prop up on the kitchen worktop whilst preparing the tasty recipes. The pages are brightly coloured and there are plenty of photos of each meal giving you an idea of what to aim for. I love how personalised Zainab has made the book. She talks often of her daughter’s weaning journey and you can really feel the love and passion for food she has put into each page.
If you are looking for a book which has an excellent weaning plan in place, along with easy to follow recipes that include many wonderful herbs and spices, then this is definitely the book for you. You will be required to ensure your spice rack is brimming with amazing flavours, which of course is a good thing!
You can purchase a copy from Amazon via the link below.
Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of the Flavour-Led Weaning Cookbook as an incentive to provide a review. This did not affect my opinion in any way. All opinions and thoughts on the product are my own. This review contains Affiliate Links which means if you click them then go onto purchase something, I earn a small commission.