I love discovering people who take a risk and chase their dreams - women like Milly Cundall who saw a gap in the market and persevered to make her idea a reality. When she couldn't find a no added sugar ketchup on the market to give to her son, Archie, she decided to make her own and that's how Kidchup came about.
It wasn't something that just happened overnight though, it was something that organically took shape in the background whilst she was working and juggling motherhood. Milly explains how it all came about:
"Archie was about a year old and going through a fussy eating stage, flatly declining pretty much anything I’d put in front of him. He also wasn’t sleeping much either. We were on a weekend away and I remember feeling very flat. I was taking his disinterest in food incredibly personally and the lack of sleep wasn’t helping. As someone who loves cooking and, in reality, is a bit of a feeder, the fact I couldn’t entice him to eat much/anything of what I cooked really upset me. Now, I look back and know it was a phase. I also now know better than to fixate on getting him to eat but at the time it was all-consuming. We were in the hotel restaurant and I ordered some chips for myself and, naturally, they came with ketchup on the side. I turned away for a minute only to turn back to find Archie happily helping himself to my chips, dipping them gleefully into ketchup then licking it all off. I was both elated and horrified, as I knew it was likely to be packed with sugar. Having cooked most things Archie eats from scratch since weaning him, I’d strived to keep his diet as sugar and salt free as possible so I hadn’t banked on him becoming a ketchup fiend. There was no escaping the joy on his face!
When I couldn’t find a ketchup on the market that was super low in sugar or refined sugar free and tasted great, I decided to make my own. I spent months working out how to naturally sweeten it rather than pack it full of concentrates or syrups. Initially, Kidchup was just for home use but then a couple of friends said they’d like some for their kids and the rest is history. The plan was to create something completely natural with no refined sugar, added salt or artificial preservatives, that gave parents a guilt-free alternative to the market leader and here I am."
Milly's Kidchup is great as an accompaniment to a meal but she also loves to use it in her recipes for Archie. In this recipe, the Kidchup is added to the marinade to add a sweet depth of flavour.
RECIPE: STICKY CHICKEN WITH KIDCHUP
This marinade is really quick to make and results in delicious, moist, sticky chicken that is a happy bedfellow for brown rice, noodles or rolled into a tortilla wrap – whatever your little one likes.
You can make this all the night before and let it marinade over night but if you don’t have time then you can just do it all an hour before you want to start cooking.
3 x tablespoons of Kidchup
1 x garlic clove finely mashed
2 x tablespoons of honey
2 x tablespoons of soy sauce (if you’re concerned about salt content use light soy)
1 x tablespoon of red wine vinegar
6 x skinless + boneless chicken thighs
1. Mix all the marinade ingredients in a small non-stick pan and simmer on the hob for five minutes, then allow to cool.
2. Put the chicken thighs in a bowl and pour over the marinade, then turn the thighs to ensure they’re well covered. Cover with clingfilm and put in the fridge for thirty minutes or overnight if you have time.
3. Pre-heat your grill to high and adjust your oven shelf to be just a couple of rungs down from the top of your oven. Decant the chicken into an oven-proof dish and place under the grill until chicken is no longer pink in the middle and nice and brown on the outside – approximately 7 minutes a side. Don’t worry if some of the chicken slightly catches, the crispy bits are very tasty.
4. Once the chicken is done let it rest for a minute before you slice it into strips – this will give it a chance to take in some of its juices and be really moist.
Serve on some rice with green veg, chuck in with some noodles or let your child roll-up in a tortilla with some salad and slaw. If you have leftovers they’re very versatile – try throwing the chicken into a stir-fry, adding to some pasta sauce or serving with sweet potato fries.