Thursday, 23 August 2012

Homemade Baby Cereal - Raw

Clockwise from top left, we have here milled chia seed, ground flax seed, oatmeal and hulled hemp seed also known as hemp hearts.

Hemp Hearts (Hulled Hemp Seed/ can also be called a nut)
Can be blended to anything, adding amazing nutrition. Including all omegas, protein, fat. Mom and dad, add it to your smoothies, salads, berry yogurt and cottage cheese parfaits, you deserve it!

Milled Chia Seed
Like hemp, chia is another raw superfood! This ancient seed was cultivated by the Azteks. It can be used a an egg substitute in some baked recipes and is one of the healthiest things you can feed your little one. Read an earlier blog post about how to prepare it, here.

Milled Flax Seed
Soak it for up to 3 days or simply add before or after blending when child is over 8 months. Flax is insoluble fiber and a constipation remedy especially effective combined with prune water.

To ease diarrhea, feed instead homemade brown rice cereal, banana, avocado, apple and other soluble fibers.

Eat raw oatmeal in moderation but it is do-able!

Know any others? Grateful if you would share in the comment section below!!!

To be or not to be raw baby?

Nobody said you have to choose, you can mix! That's what I do. Per instance, today I pureed raw yellow bell pepper, some tomato and will be adding mashed steamed carrots prior to freezing.

Here are some of my baby's favourite mixes:
  • plain greek yogurt & mango, pineapple, hemp hearts
  • any cooked puree & avocado
  • quinoa mix (peppers, bok choi, whatever) & tomato
  • cottage cheese & apple & berries (use mesh strainer) apples chunks are hard to see in the sauce... when feeding baby, check spoonfulls by squishing agains side of bowl
  • cooked green bean puree & banana
  • apple, mango, peach - oh wait - that's all raw!!! Bet you everyone in your house loves it ;-)
  • any puree & chia gel. chia gel is liquidy so I don't hesitate to keep the commercial cereal on hand because it is a great thickener.
  • hulled barley (one less manufacturing step than pearl) homemade cereal & apple & spaghetti sauce, ours isn't spicy, has beef
  • brown rice homemade cereal & spinach (or other raw) juice & pureed leftover zucchini boat (various veg, spices, olive oil) removing cheese and bread crumbs! ;-P
You can see now that the possibilities are endless and that it is not difficult to make your baby's healthy food while introducing a wide variety of vegetables.

Combinations are especially made easy when you have a small bullet type blender, a good knife and cutting board.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Homemade Baby Cereal - Cooked

There are many advantages to making your baby's cereal; you have the opportunity to choose the healthiest unprocessed grains, there are no unpronouncable ingredients and you save a few dollars especially when making it organic. Not to mention the pride you will feel in knowing that you are giving your child the best food available! 

The first step is grounding the cereal to a sandy powder. My photo above shows the grains in both forms. They can be economically purchased in bulk quantities.

Ready? Using a food processor, blender or the milling blade in your Baby Bullet, ground either brown rice, kasha (roasted buckwheat) or hulled barley to a powder and store in an airtight container. I re-use glass jars. Note that hulled barley is less processed than pearl so contains more nutrients but you can use either form of the cereal.  

Inspired by The Wholesome Baby Food Guide Recipe Book, here are the directions I follow:
Add 1/4 cup of ground cereal to 1.5 cups boiling water, whisk constantly for 10 minutes and add water as needed, keeping the cereal at a low boil.

Let cool and serve with vegetable, fruit, raw juice or the protein puree of your choice. Cooked baby cereal can be refrigerated for up to 48 hours or frozen in batches and should be fortified using breastmilk or commercial baby formula just prior to serving -  not while it is cooking.

I prefer not to have to cook cereal every day and since I feed my baby various types of cereal, including raw cereals, I only need to prepare cooked cereal once or twice per week. When I cook a batch, I freeze half and refrigerate the rest.

For optimal smoothness, blend the cooked cereal with your puree just before serving. This is no trouble if you are used to blending partially raw meals on demand anyways! 

Even if you don't always serve homemade food, be proud of making the best choices for your family without forgetting about yourself. I didn't even consider making my first baby's cereal. We are all on this planet to learn and progress at our own pace!!! Live well ; )