Spices Baby! - The Gingered Whisk

Monday, May 2, 2011

Spices Baby!

Sorry sweet girl, crayons don't count as a food group!

Yikes, its been a while since I posted a Baby Food entry! Sorry guys! I've got a ton of good stuff stored up for you, though, so don't worry! This entry will kick off a WHOLE WEEK of baby food posts! I've got lots of deliciously awesome things for you coming up!

By the time your cute little chunk-a-lunk is 8 months, they are ready to enter a whole new world of food tasting. You can now introduce (I'm so excited!!!) SPICES!

Yes, don't for a second think that your baby wants bland food! With all those taste buds and a brain busy learning about the world around her, who would? However, please remember that your baby does NOT need sugar or salt in his diet, so leave that out please! :) And don't forget the 4 day rule - it applies to spices, too!

Apples and Pears with Vanilla Bean - Oh my!

Here are some suggestions for using spices in your baby food:

Apple: use cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, ginger
Pears: use ginger, cinnamon, a drip of vanilla or even mint
Bananas: use cinnamon, ginger, allspice, vanilla

Sweet potato: use with nutmeg, cinnamon and/or cardamom
Pumpkin: use with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and dash of vanilla
Carrots: use with basil & garlic - baked cinnamon carrots are yummy too.
Green beans: use with garlic
Mashed potatoes(white) : use with dill weed or garlic
Winter Squash (acorn, hubbard, butternut etc.): use with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger

** A note about Cinnamon - Please make sure that you are using actualy real cinnamon. Also, please read this exerpt I copied from http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/:
Cinnamon Allergy:  Most often, a skin (dermatological) reaction to cinnamon is from the cinnamon oil and cinnamic aldehyde within.   Many people with a cinnamon sensitivity cannot even chew gum or brush their teeth with any product that contains even a hint of cinnamon oil.  (Side note: I have this! Can't eat a red hot or chew cinnamon gum without my tongue swelling up! Wierd, huh?) A reaction to the actual powder seems to be less severe and less common than is a reaction to the oil.   Cinnamon allergy is so very rare and cinnamon is not amongst the “usual suspects” when it comes to a sensitivity or an allergy.    In looking at cinnamon allergies, there are two components of cinnamon that doctors know to cause an issue: Cinnamon oil and cinnamic aldehyde. Cinnamic aldehyde is the most common of the allergenic constituents and is used in many forms in many products. It’s extensive use makes it difficult to diagnose what caused a reactions.
Many doctors note that people react to cassia, a relative of cinnamon, and not to cinnamon itself. This is mostly true for those who seem to experience a reaction from a food that does not contain cinnamon oil. Cassia is so closely related to cinnamon that it is used as a spice and called “culinary cinnamon”. Cassia has a bigger, more intense flavor and is also more of an astringent than is “true” cinnamon. “True” cinnamon is the highest grade of cinnamon and is more mild and sweet.  The odds are 99 to 1 that the cinnamon you purchase in the grocery store is not true cinnamon but is actually cassia. True cinnamon is a very rare find in a grocer’s spice aisle.
If your baby shows skin sensitivities to certain foods and there is a history of many food allergies on either side of the family, you may wish to wait to introduce cinnamon until 10-12 months of age.   You may do a “test” for a sensitivity by gently placing a small amount of the ground cinnamon powder on your baby’s arm or cheek. Dip a cotton swab in a bit of cinnamon and tap some of the spice off. A reaction will occur in the form of redness and/or swelling.

** A note about Vanilla - make sure that you are using either the vanilla bean or an essence of vanilla that is not labeled as "pure", as most vanilla extracts often contain a high amount of alcohol. However, it is ok to use vanilla extract when baking (such as in muffins) as the alcohol will bake off.

(information from this post comes from http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/)

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