My kids are average picky eaters, they don’t eat all veggies, but they love broccoli. I can prepare them in any form (hidden in a recipe or even raw) and they will eat them, without comments and happy. Yes, I know, it can be just luck…but I am also convinced that me being a stubborn mum + introducing them to the broccoli taste at a very early stage is one of the main reason why they both like broccoli. I do not have scientific proofs…but I am pretty sure about it 🙂
The wider range of flavors you will offer to your baby at an early age, the higher chances you have that he/she will like the flavor, categorize it as “trusted/known/approved” in his/her mind and not reject it later on. Babies are more willing to try new foods rather than toddlers…or older kids. That’s a scientific fact!
I would start introducing broccoli in your baby’s diet at around 8/9 months of age, nothing before simply because broccoli (like any other vegetables in the cruciferous family like cauliflower or cabbage) can cause gas and tummy ache in delicate and not fully developed digestive system.
From a nutritional point of view broccoli are an awesome choice for your baby: high in Vitamin C, folate and a great source of fiber…that means a nice help for constipation or just to regularize bowl movements. That being said…everything needs to be taken with moderation: serving broccoli once or twice a week is more than enough in a baby’s diet.
The Vitamin C contained in broccoli makes it a superfood as it helps the absorption of iron and calcium, essential for an healthy growth of your baby. In addition, Vitamin C boosts your baby’s immune system. Not bad!
How to cook broccoli for a baby? you can either steam or roast in the oven, I would not recommend boiling as you are going to loose a lot of nutrients between the heat and the water. My favorite cooking method for broccoli is steaming: it gently cooks the broccoli keeping a lot of the nutritional values and at the same time doesn’t enhance the broccoli flavor like roasting might do.
So, for the very first broccoli puree I would suggest to steam the broccoli and maybe, like I did in the video, add a small clove of glarlic. Why?
From a culinary point of view I wanted to give an extra taste to the puree, and I love the broccoli + garlic combo. From a nutritional point of view Garlic has so many benefits for your baby: it helps fighting infections (and colds!!), it is antibacterial and antiviral…that why they suggest to eat garlic when you get sick!!!
How to make a broccoli garlic baby puree is super simple: remove the fresh florets from the broccoli head, wash them and chop them in pieces of the same size so that they will cook evenly.
Add the broccoli in a steamer with one clove of fresh garlic and steam for 10 min.
You do not want to overcook the broccoli as you will loose all the nutrients but at the same time you want them to be tender so that they will be easier to be digested by your baby.
Once steamed, place the broccoli AND the garlic in a tall container, add some residual steaming water, I added 1/2 cup, and create a smooth puree using and immersion blender.
How much water to add? all depends how running or thick you want the puree to be. It’s totally up to your baby’s taste.
Can you add something else instead of the residual steaming water? yes, check out all this “thinning liquids” options in this other post.
Of course, you can always use a food processor or blender, I have a weakness for the immersion blender 😉
Done, that’s how simple it is! Now…what can you do?
1 – serve the warm puree to your baby, maybe with a drizzle of extra virgin oil of olive on top and a pinch of grated parmesan cheese
2 – store the puree in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
3 – use the broccoli garlic puree as an ingredient for a recipe (replace the broccoli puree to the broccoli requested in every recipe below):
- 1 head broccoli
- 1 clove garlic
Remove the broccoli florets from the head
Wash them and cut them in pieces of the same size
Steam the broccoli florets with the garlic for 10 min
Place in a tall container
Add 1/2 cup of the residual steaming water to thin
Create a smooth puree with an immersion blender
Serve warm or store in the refrigerator for 3 days or in the freezer for 3 months