Food // Pre Baby Batch Cooking Healthy Recipes

June 07, 2019

On my list of things to organise before the baby arrives was some batch cooking. Filling the freezer with nutritious meals to get out, and throw together with some quick microwave brown rice and fresh salad/veg when we’re sleep deprived and hopefully be grateful that we made the effort now whilst we still had lots of time on our hands. I still have no idea really how we’ll feel with a new baby, I don’t think anything can really prepare you? And all babies are so different. So we might have gone overboard and not end up using some of this until autumn if we’re feeling up to cooking or if friends/family take care of us with some meals too. But I can kind of imagine me being stuck under a feeding baby and starving and this making Ben’s life a bit easier. And even if you don’t have a baby coming, it’s so great to get ahead once in a while and batch cook and have all these healthy goodies in the freezer for when you're short on time.

All of these recipes are suitable for freezing {aside from the granola}, just label them with the date you've made them and keep a note of what you’ve made to remind yourself. I’ve also included some snacks/energy bar kind of things as I’ve heard that if you’re breastfeeding you’re starving hungry and just can’t eat enough. So I don’t want to be reaching for rubbish, instead I can just turn to the freezer! {we’ve got a big chest freezer to store these in}.

- update, I typed out so many recipes then realised a couple are copy-righted as they only appear in the books! So have had to remove, so sorry. But most are here or linked, or details of the book they're in.

I had a big session of going through my favourite cookbooks and choosing some recipes that I thought would be good. Some ideas that you could scale up to cook in big batches;

Dinners {or lunch portions I guess} - 

Pinto bean chilli 
from the River Cottage Veg Everyday book by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall;


2 tablespoons olive oil
3 onions, chopped
2-3 green chillis, to taste, deseeded and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon allspice
2 courgettes, cut into 1cm dice
1 red pepper, cored, deseeded and cut into 1cm dice
2 tablespoons tomato purée
400g tin plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
400g Tin pinto beans, drained and rinsed 
- I'd also add in some kidney beans and black beans to make it a three bean chilli
100ml red wine
Handful of coriander, parsley, oregano

- Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, sweat the onions until very soft. Add chillies, garlic, cumin, cayenne and allspice and stir for a minute.

- Add the courgettes and red pepper and stir to coat in the spices. Add the tomato purée, tinned tomatoes with their juice, pinto beans, red wine, parsley, coriander and oregano. Pour over 200ml water and add some salt and pepper. Simmer for 25-30 minutes stirring from time to time until the veg are all tender and everything is thick and saucy. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding a little more salt and pepper. 

- Serve with rice or tortillas/salad/cheese as a kind of fajita 



Fragrant lamb, aubergine and chickpea stew 
From Lizzie Loves Healthy Family Food by Lizzie King
copyrighted recipe.


There's also the classics like bolognese/lasagne but our parents are always making these so we decided not to bother. Also, our meat chilli is SO fast to make {in the time that boiling brown rice takes} so again, we won't freeze that. We also thought that we'd order some pasta evangelist dinners when we have a discount code as these freeze really well and then just add some fresh kale on the side. - side note, if you want to try these {the best pasta ever! like proper italian good. You can get a £15 off your first order online here - and I'll receive one free box too.}


Get ahead breakfasts - 

Choco Coco Granola
From Lizzie Loves Healthy Family Food by Lizzie King
3 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp cacao powder
3 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup flaked almonds
1/2 cup buckwheat groats
1/2 cup coconut curls
1/2 cup puffed quinoa
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
2tbsp sunflower seeds
2 tbsp shelled hemp seeds
1tsp vanilla extract
Pinch sea salt

- Preheat the oven to 190c. Melt the oil in a small saucepan and add the cacao powder and maple syrup and stir until smooth. Remove and set aside.

- Put the almonds, buckwheat groats, coconut, puffed quinoa, flakes and seeds in a large bowl and pour over chocolate mixture. Add the vanilla extract, salt and stir. Tip into a large baking tray and thinly spread out the mixture.

- Bake for 10 minutes before turning the mixture over. Repeat at 10 minute intervals two more times then remove from the oven when the granola is dark brown. Allow the granola to cool completely and crisp. 
- Keeps in an airtight jar for weeks, and you can then add natural yogurt and berries for a yummy, speedy breakfast.


Spinach Egg Mini Muffins

6 Eggs
50 g spinach, sliced into ribbons
1 Leek finely sliced
100g grated cheese or crumbled goats cheese
Salt and Pepper
Optional add ons: Shredded ham, diced pepper etc

- Preheat the oven to 180c. Crack eggs into bowl, add seasoning, whisk with an electric whisk for a few minutes until pale and frothy.
- Fold in spinach, leeks and cheese plus any extras, trying to keep the volume.
- Pour into mini muffin tray – if not using a silicone tray grease well, they can stick badly.
- And bake for 10-15 minutes depending on size, watch and see when they’re golden and rising beautifully. They will droop a little when cooling. Best eaten when warm. They freeze v well.


Raspberry baked oatmeal
From Lizzie Loves Healthy Family Food by Lizzie King

Makes 12 squares


- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup quinoa flakes
- 2 tbsp Milled flaxseeds
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 2 tbsp buckwheat groats
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon.
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 250ml oat milk
- 1/2 cup frozen raspberries

Preheat the oven to 170. Line a 25cm rectangular baking tray with baking paper

Combine the dry ingredients, except the groats, in a bowl, tip in the eggs and milk and stir together.

Tumble in the berries and combine. Scrape into the prepared tray, spreading the mixture evenly into the corners. Sprinkle with the buckwheat groats and stud with a few more berries to decorate. Bake for 40 minutes until browning and firm to touch. Slide into bars once cool and freeze.


Healthy energy rich snacks - 

Carrot cake muffins
From Deliciously Ella Everyday by Ella Woodward
Makes 12
300g grated carrots
100g grated apples
60g rolled oats
100g buckwheat flour
100g raisins
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
4 tablespoons apple purée {peel and core apples chopped into bite sized pieces, place in saucepan for 40 mins until very soft, add maple syrup to sweeten if desired or 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon or both}
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons honey
250ml almond milk

- Preheat the oven to 160c, fan 140. Place the grated carrots and apples and all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan and add it to the bowl with all the other ingedients. Mix everything together well.
- Scoop the mixture into 12 muffin cases and place into a muffin tray.
- Bake for 35 minutes until tops are golden brown.
- When cool pop these into a container/ziplock bag and freeze. 


Courgette Tomato Muffins
From Lizzie Loves Healthy Family Food by Lizzie King
copyrighted recipe. in the book.

Deliciously Ella’s Apple and Banana Spelt Muffins


2 red apples
3 ripe bananas, peeled
3½ tablespoons coconut milk (from a carton)
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
for the dry ingredients
230g spelt flour
200g coconut sugar
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
pinch of ground cinnamon, plus extra for sprinkling


Preheat the oven to 200ºC (fan 180ºC). Line a 12-hole muffin tray with cases.
Core and peel one of the apples and cut it into small cubes. Leave to one side.

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas until smooth, then add the milk and oil and stir together. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, then add the apple cubes and give everything another really good mix. Pour the mixture into the muffin cases.

Before baking, cut the remaining apple in half, core it, then cut each half into thin slices. Top each muffin with three slices and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Put the tray into the oven and bake for 25 minutes, until the muffins are golden and a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. Once cooked, leave the muffins to cool in their tray for at least 10 minutes, to firm up, then transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling and then freeze or serve them warm out the tin.


I'm excited to get going with all this cooking and fill the freezer up! Will just have to resist eating it all in the meantime like I've done with my hospital bag snacks haha.

What are your favourites to batch cook/freeze ahead?

Hope this has been helpful!

R <3 xx

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  1. This is perfect timing Rebecca, thank you so much for sharing. I'm 25 weeks pregnant and definitely want to do some healthy batch cooking nearer the time xx

  2. This will definitely make your life so much easier when baby arrives and in the coming months. We were lucky and lots of meals delivered from people at our church and I also had a very generous voucher for Cook! given to me for my birthday about 3 weeks before Kitty arrived but after that initial month or so, when things calm down, you have fewer visitors bringing you treats and meals and you feel like needs to return to a new calm normal, it will be great to have these on hand.

    We bought a Slow/Pressure Cooker combination from John Lewis when our little girl was tiny and have found that invaluable, especially for cooking rice. Done in 10 minutes, a real life saver! x

  3. My top tip to expantant parents is to batch cook as much as possible and when my friend was pregnant as her 'baby shower' gift I made her loads of homemade food for the freezer.
    I love cooking but had a baby who SERIOUSLY clusterfed meaning I was glued to the sofa daily from about 4pm-11pm.
    Knowing we had a freezer full of food made it a lot easier on my husband who was on cooking and clearing up duty while I fed.

  4. I’m going to make the standard mince dinners (lasagne/chilli/bolognaise/shepherds pie) but will also have a batch of chicken/leek pie and a chicken curry and maybe some tuna pasta bakes. My hubby has porridge oats everyday for breakfast so I’ll be getting leftovers of that I reckon!

  5. Fabulous that you’ve got some oat based recipes, oats are great for milk production and increasing your supply!


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