Tuna Balls Rock!

Nutrition and good food is a fascination of mine.  I love to cook it, eat it and above all share it. And given I married a typically atopic husband (asthma, hayfever, pet allergies) we’ve always been pretty cautious with Isaac’s diet and I’m really keen to find new foods for him to try which aren’t full of sugars and additives.  So I was delighted when, at a press event yesterday, I was given a copy of nutritionist Christine Bailey’s book, Top 100 Finger Foods for Babies and Toddlers, which is full of nutrition packed treats and meal ideas for little hands and sensitive tummies.

I’ve already got busy and today’s adaptation (I’m not one for following a recipe to the letter) was tuna balls.  Well actually mine were flat since it was easier to dollop the mixture into a pan with a teaspoon than to carefully shape the mixture into balls.  It’s a great recipe for pescatarians and I added ground flaxseed to mine which is an excellent source of Omega 3, great for growing brains and essential for a healthy gut.

Mum friendly? I managed to make and cook them in around ten minutes with a hungry Isaac hovering around my ankles and screaming at the food processor.

Tuna Balls, adapted from Chrisine Bailey’s Italian Tuna Balls recipe.

(this quantity is half of the original recipe and makes enough for 3 standard or 2 hearty toddler meals – the mixture keeps in the fridge for a couple of days)

Half a can of tuna steaks in olive/sunflower oil (drained);

50g wholemeal breadcrumbs (or bread)

1tbsp ground flaxseed (optional)

1 egg (Christine Bailey uses ricotta and egg but I’ve adapted it to be dairy free)

1 tbsp basil leaves

Grated zest of half a lemon


Put the bread in a food processor and whizz until it’s crumbs.

Add the basil and lemon zest and whizz a bit more!

Add the egg and the tuna and whizz a little until the mixture comes together.

Heat a tbsp of oil in a pan and drop flat patties of the mixture into the hot oil with a teaspoon.  Cook for a few minutes on either side.

Et voila!


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