Since littlest lad has started eating properly we now consume a lot of yogurt in our house. A lot. I have to confess I usually buy the cheapest brand, but often wonder what exactly they put in there that makes them so cheap and whether I should actually be investing a bit more money in my kids’ food. I was recently asked to try some yogurts and desserts from Rachel’s Organic and since I’d not realised that they make kids’ yogurts I happily agreed.
The first type we tried were from the Taste Explorers range. The pack of four yogurts come in Strawberry and Banana, Peach and Mango, Apple and Apricot and Raspberry and Peach flavours and are suitable for children aged four months and upwards. They contain all natural, organic ingredients and are naturally sweetened with fruit sugar so no nasties there. The yogurts certainly appealed to my children, with the 100g pots being demolished in mere seconds and even the packaging on these is designed to appeal to children – the cardboard sleeve has a spot-the-difference puzzle on the inside and points you to the Rachel’s site where there are loads of other puzzles and games to print out.
Another product in the Taste Explorers range is a rice pudding. This comes in a slightly larger 200g pot, so I had the kids share one between them rather than have one each. Again, these contain all natural, organic ingredients and can be eaten hot or cold; I choose cold every time – hot rice pudding is just a waste! The rice pudding (and Divine Rice, the grownups version we also tried) was my favourite of the desserts. It was thick, creamy and just delicious!
We also tried a pack of Rachel’s My First Yogurts. They were similar to the Taste Explorers yogurts, but in single fruit flavours (raspberry, banana, strawberry, mango) and as they are thick and smooth they are ideal as a first food. All of the yogurts were quite thick, so would be ideal to introduce while doing baby-led weaning (which I’ve mentioned before) as baby could very easily hold the spoon and not have all the yogurt fall off (ok, some might!).
Alongside these smaller portions, Rachel’s also produce their wide range of big pots and I have bought these before. My particular favourite of long-standing is the greek-style coconut yogurt which, like all of the desserts is a rich, thick and creamy yogurt which I must confess I just scoffed. I did, however try and do something different with some of the others, serving the greek-style honey yogurt with cereal and the low-fat cherry with fruit. I also used the low-fat mango, pineapple and passionfruit in some baking which was quite successful using this recipe:
Yogurt Fairy Cakes
150ml yogurt (recipe states natural yogurt, but use your preference)
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
175g golden caster sugar
200g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
175g unsalted butter, melted
I also stirred in some fresh pineapple pieces for texture.
– Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases and heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5.
– In a jug, mix the yogurt, eggs and vanilla extract.
– Put the dry ingredients, plus a pinch of salt, into a large bowl and make a well in the middle.
– Add the yogurty mix and melted butter, and quickly fold in with a spatula or metal spoon – don’t overwork it.
– Spoon into the cases (they will be quite full) and bake for 18-20 mins or until golden, risen and springy to the touch.
– Cool for a few mins, then lift the cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely.
– Keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze as soon as possible.
This was the result:
The cakes were quite small, but were tangy and delicious – I’ve never used yogurt in baking before and it actually did make a difference as the cakes were really moist, although using the yogurt you must be careful as they do go off much quicker than normal cake, so do heed the advice in the recipe and freeze any you know you won’t eat yet.
My examples are only a few of the ways you could use the yogurt, but the Rachel’s Organic website has lots more ideas and many sweet and savoury recipes that you could try.
We loved all of the Rachel’s stuff we were sent and knowing that it’s made from natural ingredients is a real bonus. I remember years ago seeing a local news report on Rachel and her company when I lived in Wales and it emphasised that Rachel was an ordinary mum making products that she would be happy to serve her children and this principle does seem to still stand, based on the company’s website and the information on the packaging, including a message from Rachel herself.