Nearly three decades of living and for the most part of it, I have been anaemic. Every time my haemoglobin levels go low, I'll pop iron supplements for up to 2 weeks. But during pregnancy when my haemoglobin level went as low as 7 (12 to 15.5 is the normal range), I had to start hogging every food item that had iron in it. But it was beetroot which helped me the most - within a month of consuming beetroot on a daily basis my Hb levels jumped to 12.
After delivering Baby Boo, I reverted back to my careless self and thought I don’t need it anymore. But I was so wrong. My haemoglobin levels are still hanging by a thread and the worst part is that my baby has also inherited iron deficiency from me. When he was just 10 months old, his haemoglobin levels began to drop. Hence it became necessary to include beetroot in our diets because just like me, he doesn't take medicines.
I am totally and sincerely in love with my mum’s soup recipe and I wouldn't mind eating it my whole life. But my little racoon hates eating the same dish again and again. There is a constant fear engulfing me that soon he'll be bored of beetroot and before that day arrives, I want to feed him as much as I can.
When it comes to food, Baby boo behaves like a typical food critic, he shows his disapproval immediately. If he doesn’t like something he'll spit it out while rolling his eyes at me, with one hand raised in the air and reminding me of the sin I have just committed. Eating the same thing again is against his pride. After several episodes of spitting, eyes rolling and finger-pointing, the two of us settled for the below-mentioned recipes. I dread the day he gets bored of these.
1) BEETROOT CARROT PUREE
1. Wash one small and tender beetroot, one carrot and one baby potato thoroughly.
2. Peel them and chop them into small pieces.
3. In a pressure cooker, add ghee and when it gets hot enough, add chopped vegetables, a pinch of black pepper powder and salt (optional). Sauté them.
4. Add water and cook for 2 or 3 whistles. Using blender make a puree out of the contents and serve.
2) SPICED BEETROOT PUREE
1. Wash 1 small sized beetroot to remove all the dirt. Peel the skin and chop beetroot into small pieces.
2. In a pressure cooker, add one clove, one black peppercorn and chopped beetroots and salt (optional). Add water and cook for 3 to 4 whistles.
3. Once cooked, puree it using a blender. Temper the puree with ghee and cumin seeds before serving.
3) BEETROOT DOSA
1. Make a beetroot puree using any one of the methods mentioned above or simply boil a beetroot and puree it. My baby prefers Spiced Beetroot Puree.
2. In a dosa batter (preferably prepared at home or you can use store-bought as well), add beetroot puree in the ratio 2:1.
3. On a hot dosa pan, pour the dosa beetroot batter and cook with ghee.
4. Serve dosas with dal of your baby’s liking.
4) BEETROOT WEDGES
1. Take a tender beetroot and clean it properly to remove any dirt.
2. Cut the beetroot into equally sized wedges. Parboil them.
3. In a small bowl, add olive oil, black pepper powder and salt. Mix well and brush this mixture on the beetroot wedges.
4. Bake these at 180 degrees in the microwave oven, till they start browning.
5. Before serving, sprinkle a little bit of roasted jeera powder.
5) BEETROOT CORN RICE
1. Wash and peel a small sized beetroot.
2. Wash and soak some rice in a small bowl.
3. Then, Boil and puree a few corn kernels.
4. In a pressure cooker, add ghee. Once it gets hot enough, add small pieces of ginger, the beetroot, and the corn puree. Sauté.
5. Next, add rice, black pepper powder, salt, and water. Cook for 3 to 4 whistles. Once everything is cooked, mash well before serving to your baby.
6) BEETROOT CHIPS
1. Wash and clean a tender and a small sized beetroot. Cut it into thin slices. It shouldn’t be too thin otherwise they may break when you steam them.
2. Add water to the steamer and steam beetroot slices Al dente.
3. Remove from the steamer and let it cool.
4. Meanwhile, puree boiled potato/carrot. Mix black pepper powder and salt to the puree.
5. Using a spoon, put the puree on the steamed beetroot slices and spread to cover it from one side.
6. Drizzle some melted ghee and finely chopped coriander leaves. Serve to your baby.
Few things to remember-
- Though beetroot is rich in minerals and vitamins, it also has nitrate. If overfed, it can cause baby blue syndrome. Always feed in moderate quantities.
- While buying beetroot, always go for small sized and unbruised ones as they are tender and have a comparatively smaller amount of pesticides.
- After having beetroot, your baby's poop might be pinkish. Don’t be alarmed by this, it is perfectly normal.
There are many more things you can do with beetroot, this is only the beginning.
Hi mommies. This is Niharika. Thank you for reading my article. You can read more by clicking here.
Until we meet again, happy Feeding!