Since I’ve never had a baby, my understanding of pregnancy cravings—like so much of my life knowledge—was ultimately shaped by Friends. And no, I don’t mean my buddies. The capitalisation was warranted; I am referring to the TV show, which I watched religiously growing up.
In the episode I’m referring to, lifelong vegetarian, Phoebe Buffay, is conflicted, as her baby wants baloney. Heck, it needs it and in the end, she gives in which, according to Sandra Mahut, author of Craving: Eating Well Throughout Your Pregnancy, was an understandable thing to do.
“Don’t ever ignore a craving because it can turn into frustration and then you risk overcompensating. It is important to give into temptation as long as it is safe to do so,” she writes.
Mahut’s book is a cookbook and practical guide to help mothers-to-be satisfy their cravings the right way. Instead of reaching for the confectionary packet—or what Mahut calls “empty calories”—the book provides recipes that will give the body what it needs during each stage of motherhood (“pregnancy, breastfeeding and beyond”) without deprivation. It includes foods to avoid, those to eat in moderation, tips for portion control and more. It’s even suitable for those—like Phoebe—who follow a particular diet.
Below, she’s shared with us one of her favourite recipes from the book, her healthy take on packet crisps. If you’re not eating for two but still pining for salt (because food cravings happen), you can try them too.
Veggie Oven Chips
Makes 1 large bowl of chips
Prep: 20 mins | Cook: 20-25 mins
1 sweet potato
2 purple potatoes, such as congo, sapphire, purple gem
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
paprika or mild chilli powder (optional)
salt flakes (e.g. Maldon) or fine sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 210°C (425ºF).
- Wash and dry all of the vegetables (keep the skin on if they are organic). Using a Y-shaped peeler or a mandoline, cut the vegetables into very thin slices.
- Place the vegetables in a zip-lock bag and add the olive oil, garlic and your choice of spice. Seal the bag and shake so that the vegetables are well coated with the seasonings.
- Lay the vegetable slices flat on a baking tray lined with baking paper, without overlapping them. Bake for 20–25 minutes.
- Remove the chips from the oven, season with salt and let them cool. Store in an airtight container.
+ Tips and Tricks Choose fresh, firm vegetables which will be easier to cut into very thin slices.
Recipes and images from Craving by Sandra Mahut (Murdoch Books).