Today’s recipe has tons of healthy benefits thanks to the particular combination of ingredients. It’s a lovely baby friendly meal that can be served both in the puree’ form or in small pieces starting from 6 months of age.
I wanted to share with you a baby recipe using cardamom, an amazing spice typically used in the Indian cuisine and that you can also find in the medical cabinet thanks to its medical properties.
Before turning the heat on, let’s talk a bit about this little pod that contains tiny black round shaped seeds: cardamom.
WHY ADDING CARDAMOM? BENEFITS FOR BABIES
Cardamom is commonly used in Indian recipes, both for adults and kids. It comes in 1 inch long pods that contain more or less a dozen of small round seeds. The seeds can be grounded and added into recipes or the full pod can be added to the recipe and removed later for a milder flavor.
If you never tried Cardamom, it’s similar to cinnamon, rich and aromatic. It’s great both for sweet and savory recipes, like cinnamon.
It’s safe for babies, starting from 6 months of age, with moderation. It’s recommended not only for the taste but also for the medical properties for what it is well known.
Cardamom helps with digestion, nausea and upset tummies, has great antioxidant properties, antibacterial properties for the teeth and gums health and also has expectorant properties helping thinning mucous. A long impressive list, I know.
There are different kind of cardamom, the one usually used in recipes is the green one. There is also another variety, the black cardamom. It has a different taste, bolder. For baby and toddler recipes I use the green one only.
HEALTHY BENEFITS OF THIS COMBO
Today I added cardamon to a baby friendly combo: pear and sweet peas. I like to add spices and herbs to my baby food recipes for many reasons. They can boost up the flavor of the recipe transforming a bland baby food into something special. They extend the baby/toddler’s palate in terms of flavors. They can have healthy properties, like with the cardamon, that only add to the benefits of the recipe.
Each of the three ingredients has a specific benefit.
Pear = helps with constipation
Cardamom = helps with digestion + oral care + expectorant properties
Sweet peas = source of protein
Now that you know a bit more about cardamom and the other ingredients, let’s cook!
HOW TO MAKE CARDAMOM PEAR AND SWEET PEAS BABY MEAL
Let’s start with peeling, coring and chopping the pear in pieces.
Take one cardamon pod and open it using your fingers. Remove the seeds from inside and discard the pod. To ground the seeds you can use a meat mallet or meat tenderizer or even the bottom of a glass and simply press the seeds agains a flat surface in a circular movement. The room will be filled by a wonderful aroma and you will obtain more or less 1/2 tsp grounded cardamom.
In a steamer add all the pear, sweet peas and sprinkle the cardamom on top, cover and steam for 8 min up until the pear will be soft enough to be mashed with your fingers.
If you are following the baby led weaning method, remove from the steamer and transfer in a baby bowl, mix gently and serve to your little one in bite size pieces.
If you offer purees to your little one, transfer everything in a tall container and blend into a smooth puree using an immersion blender. The pear should have enough liquids to puree nicely. For a more liquid texture you can thin the puree’ adding few tablespoons of:
- The boiling water left in the steamer
- Baby formula
- Surplus Breastmilk
WHICH OTHER FRUIT CAN I PAIR WITH CARDAMOM AND PEAS?
Pears are not in season? You can switch with apricots, peaches, mango, banana, apples.
WHICH KIND OF PEAR TO USE?
There are so many varieties. I like D’Anjou, Bartlett, Comice, Concorde as they are the sweetest. One suggestions. In order to enjoy them, wait when they are a bit soft and with brown dots here and there; that’s when they are at the peak of their sweetness.
WHAT CAN I ADD TO THIN MY PUREE?
Your baby might like a more liquid texture so you might want to add a bit more liquid to the puree. You have many choices you can choose from: warm water is the easiest, but also breastmilk (to be added at the end and only in the needed quantity not to waste it), or formula milk if you have some extra ready.
If you want to learn more about thinning your baby food, aka making it more liquid, you might be interested in this video too.
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVERS?
Store any leftover in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze them for up to 4 months.
If you have any puree’ leftover you might want to transform them in a baby popsicle. Refreshing in the summer and a nice relief for gums or tooth discomfort. Simply pour any leftover in a popsicle mold and freeze it!
MORE RECIPES TO HELP WITH BABY CONSTIPATION
- What foods will help your baby poop? Baby Constipation.
- Oatmeal with Pear Prunes Apricots and Ginger – baby constipation +6M
- Peach Cardamom Oatmeal +6M GF
- Avocado & Sweet Potato & Spinach Baby Puree’ – Powerful First Food Recipe +6M
- Asparagus Almond Pear Baby Puree +9M
- Quinoa Kiwi Pear Carrot Baby Puree +6M
- Avocado Squash Persimmon Pear Beet Baby Puree +6M
- Sweet Potato Pear Puree +6M
- Homemade Fruit Juice: Peach +6M
- Red lentils puree
- Lentil soup with pasta (+10 months)
If you are interested in the bowls and utensils featured in my video/images, you can find them in my BuonaPappa Amazon Store.
- 1 medium D'Anjou pear
- 1/2 cup sweet peas, frozen or fresh
- 1 pod green cardamom (1/2 tsp grounded cardamom)
Peel, core and chop the pear.
Open the cardamom pod, remove the seeds and ground them.
In a steamer add the pear, sweet peas and sprinkle the cardamom on top. Cover and steam for 8 min up until the pear will be soft enough to be mashed with your fingers.
If you are following the baby led weaning method. Transfer everything in a baby bowl, gently mix and serve warm.
If you serve purees to your baby. Transfer everything in a tall container and puree into a smooth texture with an immersion blender. For a more liquid texture you can thin the puree’ adding the boiling water left in the steamer or baby formula or breastmilk.