A Sweet or Savoury Spice, For Baby Food That’s Twice as Nice

Posted on Apr 16 2010 - 1:18pm by Christine

As you’ll know if you’re a regular visitor to our site, we just LOVE to add a little pizazz to our baby food recipes with the use of complementary herbs and spices. The rich and varied flavours they provide can help you turn the simplest purees into all sorts of yummy treats, both expanding and developing your baby’s palate and preventing the dreaded ‘fussy feeding’ as he grows towards toddlerhood!coriander

Today, we’re taking a look at a spice that works well in savoury AND sweet recipes… and that’s corinader seed.

Coriander seed comes from the coriander plant, the leaves of which are used as a herb. In Europe and other parts of the world, the herb is known as ‘coriander’ leaf, but in North America the herb is often known as ‘cilantro’. The seed, however, is (usually) universally referred to as coriander!

Despite the fact that coriander (the herb) and coriander (the seed) come from the same plant, they taste quite different and are NOT interchangeable in recipes. So please note that we are referring to coriander seed (or ground coriander) throughout the rest of this post, and NOT to the herb.

The health benefits of corinader seeds

Like many other spices, coriander offers several health benefits to the diet in its own right, making it a nutritious AND flavourful addition to your homemade baby food recipes.

Rich in phytonutrients (naturally occurring plant chemicals that may have a positive impact on human health), coriander seeds also contain iron, fibre, magnesium and manganese. Believed to be good for digestion, they also have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties – what’s more, they are currently being investigated for their potential to lower cholesterol… all great reasons to encourage your baby to appreciate their unique flavour from an early age!

Sources:
Nutrition Facts – Spices, Coriander Seeds
WHFoods

Using coriander seeds in your homemade baby food recipes

If you are only just beginning to think about adding herbs, spices etc to your baby food recipes, then please take a look at our page Can Babies Eat Spicy Food?, which contains a few pointers for getting started.

When using coriander seeds in your baby food recipes, you’ll want to add them in their ground form… but we don’t recommend buying ground coriander at the outset!

This is because pre-ground coriander loses its flavour very quickly.

Instead, buy the whole seeds and grind them yourself – why not splash out on a Mortar and Pestle which, once you have one, will quickly become your favourite kitchen accessory! Then, you can simply grind seeds as needed -always assuring they’ll taste fresh – and store the rest in a lidded glass jar, where they’ll keep for up to a year.

TIP: To really bring out the flavour of coriander seeds – or, indeed, any of your favourite spices – simply toast them briefly in a dry frying pan before grinding.

The taste of ground coriander is hard to define – it is definitely citrus-y, with a hint of sage! Try adding it to…

  • homemade burgers
  • homemade meatballs
  • soup
  • stews
  • casseroles
  • warm rice pudding (it may sound odd, but it tastes divine!)

Two homemade baby food recipes with coriander seeds

SOMETHING SAVOURY…

1 small, boneless, skinless white fish fillet
1/2 small potato, peeled and deiced
1/2 carrot, peeled and diced
1/2 small zucchini/courgette, peeled and diced
good pinch of ground coriander
milk (either breast milk, formula or whole/full cream milk)

Place the diced potato and carrot in a small frying pan and cover with milk.
Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the fish fillet, diced zucchini and coriander and simmer for a further 5 to 10 mins, until all the veggies are tender and the fish is cooked through. Add more milk if the mixture looks too dry.
Mash well or puree all the ingredients together.

For a more subtle coriander flavour, add whole coriander seeds to the milk when poaching the fish, then strain the liquid to remove them before mashing or pureeing.

SOMETHING SWEET…

2 tbsp cooked sweet potato
1 tbsp natural yogurt
2 tsp unsweetened coconut milk
drop vanilla extract
pinch of ground ginger
pinch of ground coriander

Stir all the ingredients together and serve as a unique breakfast or tasty dessert. This is particularly good if you freshly cook the sweet potato and it is still warm when you mix it with the yogurt..mmm!

Please do tell us if you have any yummy baby food ideas that include ground coriander as an ingredient!

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