'Cooking for baby' records my experiences with feeding our little girl, Abhi, who loves variety in food, just like me ! Finding newer food options to keep her interested has been a challenge - sometimes exasperating but more often, exciting!

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Indian gooseberry preserve in honey

Age 1 and above, good for kids as well as adults.

Did you know that the Indian gooseberry is one of the most stable sources of Vitamin C!This gooseberry preserve topped with organic honey is a delicious way to ensure your tot's immune system stays strong. It is good for you as well. Start your day with a teaspoonful.
Amla (Indian gooseberry) - 200 gms
Caster Sugar - 200 gms
Water - 100 ml
Organic Honey - 250 ml
Rinse gooseberries well and lightly dry them with a towel. Deseed and roughly chop into chunks. Run them in a mixie jar or processor for a couple of minutes and you get a grainy textured pulp. Add the caster sugar and water into a large, thick bottomed stainless steel dutch oven/pan (I use stainless steel to prevent metal/non stick leeching into the preserve)and simmer till the sugar has dissolved and the water acquaires a slightly syrupy texture. Add the gooseberry pulp. Now, get ready for them serious elbow grease :-) This part takes time,patience plus work! Set the flame to really low and keep stirring at regular intervals to prevent burning.Keep at it till the mixture acquires a jam/preserve like texture. Cool completely before you add half the quantity of honey to it. Mix well. Fill it into sterilised and completely dried glass bottles. Leave space for the rest of the honey to be added in. Shake the bottle gently to allow the honey to percolate well. The preserve gets better as it ages. Use a clean, dry spoon to serve the preserve and please don't let your spoon stay inside the bottle. Store it tight lidded. Give a little teaspoon of this to your little one and also indulge yourself.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Whole wheat banana, raisins, and chocolate muffins

Don't let the unassuming looks of this simple muffin put you off from trying it. This one is not just full on nutrition but is also extremely moist for something that doesn't have refined flour, eggs, or butter in it. To top it all, it's a breeze to cook up and stays soft for upto 4 days. Here we go,

Whole wheat flour - 2 cups
Fresh banana puree - 2 cups (really ripe, squishy bananas)
Baking powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Baking soda (Soda bi carbonate) - 1/4 teaspoon
Soft brown sugar - 3/4 cup (if you don't have demerara/brown sugar in hand, use plain white, powdered)
Unsweetened cocoa powder - 1 heaped teaspoon
Black seedless raisins - a handful (washed well, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes, and ground coarsely)
Soy milk (optional)- 2 dessertspoons (20 ml)
Extra virgin olive oil - 1/4 cup
Vanilla powder or essence - 1/4 teaspoon (I used powder since I couldn't find propylene free essence)

I used 5 medium sized bananas for the 2 cups puree yield. Use a hand blender or your regular mixie jar to blend all ingredients together. Dont over whisk. Preheat oven at 200° for 10 minutes. Line a muffin tray with cases and pour in batter to half full.Bake at 150° for 20 minutes. Pierce a fork or knife to check if done, if not cook at 120° for another 10 minutes. The lovely aroma that fills your kitchen will be your best guide to the cooking time.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Baby carrot saute

It's been ages since the last post... went home to India for a few religious ceremonies associated with baby; was busy for a couple of weeks. This was followed by an unprecedented 3 month delay in processing family visas at my husband's new job outfit; and, baby and I being stuck in India. And, I seriously can't blog when I'm away from my turf...read that as my kitchen, my stove, my blogging apparatus, and other paraphernalia ;-)

Here is a quick recipe your toddler will love...your family will equally love it.

Baby carrots - 200 gms
Small onions (shallots) - 4-5 Nos
Garlic - 3-4 cloves (crushed with a large knife, pestle, or even your rolling pin)
Curry leaves - a couple of sprigs
Olive oil - 2 teaspoons (or less)
Salt - for seasoning ( I use less)
Pepper corns (optional) - 3 or 4 Nos (crushed crudely)

Wash and rinse baby carrots thoroughly. Peel the carrots (unless your toddler has her teeth in place and is adept at chewing). Split the larger ones in two.Place them in a steamer or on a steel collander placed over a vessal of water. Steam for about 5-8 minutes till tender. Do not overcook.

Mince the shallots fine and crush garlic. Tear up the curry leaves for better aroma. Warm a saute pan and then pour in olive oil, add the minced shallots and crushed garlic. Saute till golden and then add the curry leaves. Saute for a minute and add the carrots. Saute for a couple more minutes for the flavours to merge. Season with salt and the crushed pepper.

PS: Remove the curry leaves before serving. They can get stuck on the palate and make it difficult for the baby.