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I'm not a healthy eater by any means. I am the "see food and eat food" type of person. When I go to Costco with my Mum, she does her shopping and I go off scanning every aisle for free food samples from the promotional stands.
I'm a true Asian at heart, being born in Germany and then moving to Australia has not affected my hunger for free goodies in the slightest of ways. Free, you say? Oh, look! It's a unicorn! *Swipes all the free samples and pisses off*
But when it comes to starting my little Chubba on solids, I can't fathom his food not being organic or homemade. I think about all the preservatives and unpronouncable ingredients listed on baby food packaging and have come to the conclusion that I'm going to make it all myself. That way I know it's fresh, where it comes from, and what's in it. Don't fall for the organic labelling. The packaging may state that it's got "nothin' but 5 apples" or something of the likes which leads you to think it's pure and good.. Well, what it fails to mention is the preservatives it contains which will probably give it a shelf life to survive through nuclear warfare and time travel.
But hey, I would eat it. It's still food to me, and if it's free, even better! Just don't give it to my baby alright?
Most people will recommend starting bub on rice cereal because it's fortified with iron and other supplements, plus, it's easy-to-swallow puréed form makes it the 'perfect' first food. Why brown rice? It's unrefined, whole grain and is packed with naturally occurring goodies, like Vitamin B, magnesium, fibre, iron, calcium and more! Before white rice became white rice, it once was brown rice. White rice is only more popular because for as long as I've been eating rice, it's all I've known. I think the same goes for a lot of people out there.
You'd be surprised how quick and easy it is to prepare it yourself. Just make a large batch, freeze it, and you've got yourself organic brown rice cereal to last bubsy for days, or weeks. And it's cheap too, double bonus!
You will only need a blender or food processor and a bag of organic brown rice which you can get from Coles or Woolies.
Some people prefer blending the rice in its raw state until it turns into a powder. I feel like that gives my blender too much of a beating and I still would like it to last me a few years before it decides to die on me. So in true Asian form, I cook it in the rice cooker with craploads of water so it turns into a congee (Chinese rice porridge) and then blend it to a consistency that I find is right for bubs. Plus, if you don't have a food processor and use a stick blender like me, you get whipped like a bitch from the hard rice flying out at 200km/hr in the direction of your face. I have experienced this first hand and vow to never make that mistake again.
This recipe probably makes about 12 or more baby sized servings which will last you for weeks and if you're weaning (less if your baby is a hangry chubba like mine).
- 1 cup organic brown rice
- 6 cups water
- Breastmilk or formula (optional)
- Blender or food processor
- In a rice cooker or large pot, rinse the rice a couple times in lukewarm water. Drain, then pour 6 cups of water in.
- If cooking on stove, turn the heat high until the water boils and then turn down and simmer on medium heat. Ensure that you stir often so that the bottom doesn't burn.
- Add more water if necessary. You can mix in some breastmilk or formula to give it a little bit of sweetness, and it's also a familiar taste for bub.
- Pour into food processor or blender... and blend the living crap out of it! Stop when you have the consistency you want it at.
I have a stick blender, so I pour the rice congee into a tall jug and then blend it. Trust me, if it ain't tall, you're gonna have bits of sticky rice all over your kitchen and all up in your hurrr.
Enjoy and let the messy life of solids begin!