Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dinner for one!

One of the many reasons that I love making Jonah's babyfood at home, is because of all the variety that I can offer. Not only does he get an array of single foods (gala apples, granny smith apples; bartlett pears, bosc pears, etc) but I can also have a little fun with the mixed foods that I prepare. Tonight for example, Jonah is having Veggie Stir Fry
Snow peas
brown rice

I steamed all of the veggies in the microwave and pureed them in a food processor. I've found that blenders make smoother purees, but now that Jonah is older, he is getting used to textured purees and even a few solid foods.

The rice is a bit trickier. You could use the instant rice cereal from the grocery shelf, but I prefer to make mine at home as well as the fruits and veggies. I put the uncooked rice grains into the food processor and process them until I have a powder. With my processor, it takes a very long time and so I will often use a sift to separate the powder from the unprocessed grains and save the unprocessed grains for when I want to add texture to the cereal, or when I want to make more. This cereal will need to be refrigerated, as it can go rancid unlike the unprocessed grains. When I am ready to prepare the cereal for Jonah, I take it from the fridge and add it to boiling water. I then let it simmer for about five minutes, or until it is a smooth consistency. The instant cereal found at the grocery store is basically prepared the same way, and then it is dehydrated (the reason it comes in flakes), preservatives added to keep it fresh, and fortified to replace nutrients that are lost during the dehydration process.

For this recipe, I use either brown rice or jasmine rice. Long grained rice is usually recommended, and you can even find rice fortified with nutrients if you are concerned in that department.

A similar "recipe" to the one above is served chilled. Jonah absolutely loves it!
California Roll (yes, named after the sushi)
jasmine rice

The avocado is simply mashed, you don't need to cook it. Scoop the flesh out of the peel, and mash it with a fork. Add chilled pureed carrots, and jasmine rice (as cooked per above) I often serve this to Jonah when Daryl and I go out for sushi, along with just a taste of my miso (cooled, of course.) I know that Jonah could care less if he was served this blend, or plain green beans while we are eating sushi, but I like the idea that he is eating something similar to what is on our plates.

Please make sure any food is age appropriate before feeding it to your baby (disclaimer to save my derrière!)

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