Monday, October 22, 2012

Baby Food: Quinoa and Bananas

    Quinoa is my new favorite food. It is so very good for you and your baby. It is very versatile and so yummy. It is protein packed and found in your grain section. Quinoa is also gluten free, has the highest iron content of any grain and is a complete protein. It is great for adults too and is easy to cook and incorporate into your meals. Our family now loves Quinoa even Xavier you should try it! I am including two recipes in this post the recipe for Basic Quinoa which is plain so you can make it for yourself or your baby and add whatever you would like also, the Quinoa and Bananas which makes a great puree for your baby. These recipes and nutritional information are courtesy of the book Easy Gourmet Baby Food 150 Recipes for Homemade Goodness By Chef Jordan Wagman & Jill Hillhouse, BPHE, RNCP.

Notes About Recipes:
- Depending upon where your baby is in terms of eating solid foods, quinoa can be pureed or left whole and added to another puree to provide a nutritional boost and textural contrast.
- When choosing bananas for cooking use the most ripe. Regular yellow long bananas, dwarf, finger or red bananas all work well for baby food purees. Avoid using plantains for baby food recipes.

Nutrition Tips:
- "Quinoa is an ancient grain and is gluten-free, has one of the highest iron contents of any grain and is a complete protein. That means it contains all eight essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of everything in your baby's body. We call them essential because they must be obtained from the diet. Most complete proteins are found in animal products, making quinoa a particularly valuable protein source for vegetarians".  - Wagman and Hillhouse
- "Bananas have a low allergenic potential and quinoa is gluten-free. Consequently, this is a relatively safe recipe to try if you think your baby might have an allergic reaction, based on allergies you or your partner may have". - Wagman and Hillhouse

Basic Quinoa Recipe
- makes about 1 1/4 cups

- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 cup of water

- Warm a saucepan over medium heat. Add quinoa and toast, stirring constantly, until golden and fragrant, about 4 minutes.

Add water and bring to a boil. Cover reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Set aside to steep until quinoa is soft and water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before serving to baby or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Not Just For Babies:
- Chill the quinoa after cooking and use it to make a cold salad with the addition of some chopped red or green onion, celery, carrots and vinaigrette. Or serve it warm with olive oil, fresh garlic and Parmesan cheese. 

Quinoa and Banana Puree Recipe
- makes about 1 1/4 cups

- 1 banana peeled and sliced (as ripe as possible)
- 1 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa (see above recipe)

- In a saucepan, combine bananas, water and quinoa. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until bananas are soft, about 5 minutes.

Transfer to a blender or use and immersion blender in the saucepan. Puree until smooth. Let cool until warm to the touch. Serve immediately or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Not Just For Babies:
- Turn this into a salsa by adding 1 tbsp each unsweetened coconut milk and diced tropical fruit. Serve with fish, such as grilled red snapper.

1 comment:

  1. A few people have asked me what the pronunciation is for Qunioa it is pronounced "kinwa". You can find it in the grain section or international food section of the grocery store. I bought it in bulk at Whole Foods.



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