My cute-asaurus is now eating food! And what an exciting (and sometimes challenging) foray it has been into the world of solids in recent weeks... At the age of around 5 months I introduced Roman to rice cereal and some basic fruit and vegetable purees and we have now worked our way up to more meal-like purees. Nowadays most babies don't start on solids until 6 months. However, we decided to move this forward after much consideration and advice from our GP as Roman was becoming very unsettled in between feeds and it had become apparent that milk wasn't quite enough anymore.
'Lovely Lentils' is a definite favourite of the Emperor's at the moment. I introduced lentils to him about two weeks ago once he was taking around 5-6 tablespoons of vegetable puree at lunchtime as sometimes proteins can be a little tough on little digestive systems if they're not quite ready. As a vegetarian baby, lentils will be very important part of his diet, so I'm much relieved that he enjoys eating them already! As a general guide, this recipe is suitable for babies 6-9 months of age, but (as always), use your own discretion and seek professional advice if unsure.
I can hardly describe how delighted I am to now be posting about baby food and hope to do so on a regular basis for all my mama readers out there! So here we go... Oh, and if you're making this you might notice the amount I make in my photos looks a lot more than the recipe makes.. this is because I doubled this recipe on this occasion.
An adapted recipe from 'Top 100 Baby Purees' by Annabel Karmel
30g unsalted butter
125g (4oz) leeks, finely sliced
30g (1oz) celery, chopped
30g (1oz) red pepper, cored, de-seeded and chopped
60g (2oz) red lentils, picked through and rinsed
100g (4oz) 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
250g sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
15 fl oz (approximately 900ml) vegetable stock* or water
* Preferably homemade and salt-free. I just use water at the moment. ALSO, the actual amount of stock/water you will need depends on your saucepan size. As a rule of thumb, add enough to cover the veggies and lentils... you can always add more during cooking if required :)
1. Melt the butter in a saucepan and sauté the leeks for 2 to 3 minutes.
2. Add the celery, red pepper and carrot and sauté for 5 minutes.
3. Add the lentils, saute for one minute, then add the sweet potato and bay leaf and pour over the stock.
4. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables and lentils are tender. Remove the bay leaf and blend to a puree. Make it as smooth or chunky as your baby prefers. If it is too thick, add a little boiled water/stock.
Once the mixture has cooled you can transfer it to ice cube trays to freeze and then transfer to labelled and dated freezer bags as I have done below. I don't know about you, but between one thing and another I simply do not have time to cook my baby food from scratch three times a day!
To serve simply defrost and heat... and offer to your little one with a big helping of love and patience <3