Fish is a brilliant food to eat during pregnancy because it is packed full of nutrients that are vital for your baby’s development, like protein for building cells, and iron, zinc and iodine for brain and nervous system development.
Unfortunately, fish is often one of the foods that women go off in early pregnancy, likely because of the smell and texture. A great way to disguise fish, and ensure you still get the 1–3 weekly portions needed for your baby’s health, is to try fish cakes.
Fish cakes are a real comfort food, and go great with a tomato sauce, a dollop of mayonnaise, or even some baked beans – delicious! My recipe for fish cakes also contains eggs, which are another excellent pregnancy food – packed with choline and Vitamin A to support baby’s development.
Ingredients (makes 8 fish cakes, you can batch cook and freeze for later)
2 large white fish fillets, try and aim for a more sustainable fish like hake, pollack or dab
2 organic, lion-stamped eggs, hard-boiled
4 medium-sized organic potatoes
1 tbsp of chopped chives
2 tsp of dried, or fresh dill (finely chopped if using fresh)
A good slice of organic butter
100ml organic milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Mel’s Top Tip 1: Try and buy your fish from a fishmonger where the fish is as fresh as it can be, and opt for a delicate white fish – this all means it will smell less fishy!
Mel’s Top Tip 2: You can add some capers or chopped gherkins/cornichons for a Scandi feel, or give your cakes a hint of spiced warmth by switching out the chives and dill for grated ginger, powdered cumin and turmeric, and a sprinkle of chilli flakes.
Preheat the oven to 200 °C/ 180 °C fan/gas mark 6
Scrub the potatoes, then – leaving the skin on – cut them into 2cm cubes and steam until cooked (boiling is fine if you don’t have a steamer).
Put the fish in an oven-proof dish, cover with the milk, and bake in the oven for around 20 minutes until hot all the way through (check any recommended cooking instructions on your fish packet as you may need a little longer), but don’t let it dry out.
Roughly chop the eggs.
Put the potatoes (including their skins), butter, and salt and pepper into a bowl then mash everything together.
Leave everything to cool slightly, then carefully peel the skin from the flesh of the fish, then add this along with the eggs and herbs, and stir well.
Shape the mixture into eight thick patty shapes (around 2cm thick), and gently fry them in a little extra virgin olive oil, cold-pressed rapeseed oil, butter or avocado oil until golden brown.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mel holds a BSc (Hons) in Nutritional Therapy, an MSc in Nutritional Medicine, and has been specialising in fertility and pregnancy nutrition for over 18 years. Her career includes time spent at the Zita West Fertility Clinic, The Healthy Holiday Company, and Dr Jane Benn & Associates. Mel set up Melanie Brown Nutrition 10 years ago and currently works with clients across the globe advising them on fertility-enhancing diet and lifestyle.