Are you looking for a dish that fulfills nearly all of baby’s nutritional needs in a mushy spoonful? Do you want your child to get protein, fiber, folate, Vitamin-C, and brain-craving iron? You need my recipe for curried lentils baby food. Remember, the best way to absorb non-heme iron (from plants) is to pair it with foods rich in Vitamin-C like red peppers.
I’ll admit that this recipe takes time. But if you’re committed to giving your little one the best nutrition and taste—plus introduce her tiny taste buds to new flavors—make a big batch and watch her lap it up! A helpful fact is that this is actually a great dinner to make for yourself too. Just stop before the blending phase and eat it yourself.
- 1 c. dried lentils
- 2 c. vegetable broth (plus more, as needed)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. curry powder
- 1 red pepper
- 1 T. olive oil
- 2 c. fresh spinach leaves
Add lentils, broth, one cup of water, curry, and salt to a saucepan. Boil, then turn on simmer and cover with a lid. Be sure to check back and stir. The lentils will likely boil down before they’re soft, so you’ll have to monitor them from time to time and add more liquid. Plan on 25 minutes, but it could take longer before they’re soft.
Turn on the broiler in your oven to high. While it heats up, remove the stem and ribs from the red pepper. Cut it in half length-wise and then cut on the seams until you have about six to eight pieces.
Lay them flat on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. Brush with olive oil and broil until the skin is blackened (not all black, but at least spotty). Remove from the oven, and pull the sides of the aluminum foil over so that the pepper is now covered. Leave to cool for about 10 minutes. Once they’re cool, peel off the blackened skins.
Look at your lentils. Has most of the liquid cooked down? That’s where you want them. Taste your lentils! Do they have enough flavor? Of course we don’t want our little person to get too much salt or spice, but they should have a nice taste. You want baby to enjoy his meals, and that’s the reason you’re taking the time to cook in the first place!
Add two cups of spinach to the lentils and cover with a lid. It should wilt quickly. Then stir in the red peppers. Now you’re ready to blend! I strongly recommend an emulsion blender (it’s less messy). Blend until smooth. Taste. Yummy, right?
Freeze the rest in individual portions.
Q: Share how you made this dish! How did your baby like it, and did you change it up?