Since my daughter has started solid foods, I've wanted try cooking some fresh homemade baby foods for her. It allows me to introduce her to some unique flavors which will hopefully expand her palate, as well as offering healthy foods outside of the typical apple-pear-banana combinations.
I've loved forbidden rice, a type of black Chinese rice, ever since I first tried it at a dinner with some friends of ours. Its texture is similar to brown rice, but it has far more antioxidants and other nutrition than any other type of rice. Best of all, it has a slightly sweet flavor that makes it much more delicious than brown rice. It's commonly used in Thai desserts like forbidden rice pudding. Because it's so healthy but still yummy, I decided to try making a forbidden rice puree for Anwen to try once she was old enough to eat brown rice (around 7 months). She loved it, especially when I mix it with some pureed mango (just like in the Thai pudding!). Since I love eating it too, I decided to my set of mother/daughter recipes for forbidden rice.
Pureed Forbidden Rice for Baby
1/4 cup forbidden rice
1/4 cup liquid (juice, formula, or breast milk)
Put the rice in a pot with four cups of water, and bring it to a boil. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Continue cooking rice for 40 minutes or until the rice is very tender. Drain the rice, and let it cool until it's cool enough to handle (at least ten minutes). Put the rice in a blender (I used a nutribullet) with 1/4 cup of liquid and puree until smooth. I used apple juice for my liquid, but formula, breast milk, or any other juice should work just as well--if your baby is old enough to eat coconut milk, that would be delicious as well. Mix the pureed rice with a bit of your baby's favorite fruit puree (my baby loved it with pear or mango) and serve.
Note: The pureed rice can be a bit sticky, but don't worry, it comes off the blender really easily if you rinse it with hot water.
Forbidden Rice Pudding for Parents
1 cup forbidden rice
2 cups of unsweetened almond-coconut milk blend (regular almond milk is fine, too)
1 can of low fat coconut milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 mango, diced
Combine the forbidden rice and the two cups of almond-coconut milk in a pot, and bring it to a boil (watch carefully that it doesn't boil over). Reduce heat to low and cover the pot. Simmer rice for twenty minutes, or until it absorbs most of the almond milk. Stir in the can of coconut milk and continue simmering for another ten to fifteen minutes, or until rice is tender and coconut milk is mostly absorbed (I like mine a little on the wet side). Mix in the sugar and the diced mango. You can chill the pudding if you like, or eat it hot. I think it's delicious either way:)