New grains and texture! Ooooohh the excitement!Posted: April 7, 2011
Up until now the grains that Simon has eaten, rice and oatmeal, have been finely ground versions of the cooked grain mixed with water. Originally I followed the directions in the “Cooking for Baby” book; take whole rice and grind it and then cook it in water. Freeze in ice cube trays. We tried this for a few weeks, but honestly, it just got messy. It had a funny, inconsistent texture and was weird and slimy when defrosted. It was such a pain in the ass that I switched to the store bought brand; it just made life easier.
What? I never claimed I was going to go 100% homemade! Don’t judge me!!!
The problem has now arisen that very few grains are available in “baby” versions, so I’m having to now improvise. The grains I want to try next are barley, quinoa, and amaranth, as recommended by my cookbook. I bought this pearled barley in the bulk goods isle of the grocery store:
After some thought, I decided NOT to follow the directions in the cookbook. It wants me to grind the barley into a powder and then cook it in boiling water. Instead, I cooked the barley whole, 1 cup barley to 3 cups water, simmer for 45 minutes. When it was finished, I lay it out to dry and cool and dry on a baking sheet and then froze it into cubes.
To introduce it to Simon, I added one cube of barley to two cubes of sweet potato and ground it all together in my Magic Bullet with a bit of water. By using this approach I can control the texture of his food. So for now I ground it to have just itty bitty solid bits of barley in the puree. My willing taste tester was available to give me her opinion, but I made her wait for cleanup.
The bits were just enough for him to feel an actual solid in his mouth but without the risk of choking. I’ll slowly increase the size of the bits as he learns over time to handle them until eventually he can eat the grains whole. He made some great faces while trying it out. I could tell he was feeling out the new texture, experimenting with the feel of it in his mouth.
On a side note, Simon developed a rash the morning after I introduced the barley, so I’m going to discontinue it until the rash goes away. I don’t know if they’re related, it might be something else entirely, but if I try the barley again after the rash clears up and then the rash returns I will know it’s an allergy.