The huge challenge/worry/doubt of all moms is about kid refusing cows milk .I have received a lot of queries about how can a parent can make his/her kid drink milk without any battles.My answer would prefer plain milk or instant dry fruits milk or Prefer no milk at all.Yeah..I prefer no milk at all if the kid has enough milk products on daily basis or takes other sources of calcium.I don’t force my kid to take milk.In fact milk is only used rarely in cooking or for direct consumption at home.I stopped it way back in 2012.And none of us take coffee/tea too. But we consume all milk products like butter,ghee,cheese,paneer,curd regularly.This kesar almond mix is one of the oldest preparations at home.I made this for little one as I kept forgetting soaking almonds every night for daily consumption.I have finally come with a post on details to avoid a gooey mix when prepared at home.And you know what this is sugarless.So it is safe to use even for 6 months baby.The below procedure might seem complex but I can ensure a 100% non sticky powder which will just mix with warm milk.This will stay good even for an year if you freeze it.
Introducing Nuts to babies:
Introducing any dry fruit/whole nuts is generally recommended after one year by most pediatricians. It is because nuts are one among the most common allergens for babies. Few studies say that delaying introduction of nuts might not help in escaping from the allergy and few studies also say the earlier the introduction of foods,the lesser the allergen reaction. Always have a personal discussion with your pediatrician on when to introduce nuts in your baby food because it is most important to discuss with doctor on possible allergens before introducing any new food.Also consider family history of allergies.You can always introduce all foods except milk,sugar,honey and salt before one year as per latest studies of WHO.There are also researches which conclude that “The earlier the introduction,the lesser are the chances for allergies” . Almonds,pistas,pea nuts,wal nuts,hazel nuts,cashew nuts are the most allergy causing nuts.
Having almonds included in baby food improves brain growth , reduce cholesterol by improving Vitamin E , improves bone strength , reduces risk of cancer and heart diseases,strengthens immunity, prevents against diabetes and blood pressure,maintaining skin and hair,helps in maintaining optimal weight.
Pistas help you to maintain weight optimally,prevents dryness of skin,helps in absorption of iron, control diabetes and aids digestion.
How to use this powder?
- It can be used in making porridges.
- You can garnish salads/purees with this.
- It can added to milk like any store bought supplements.(after one year)
- You can add to cakes/cookies. I have used in my carrot cake
- You can add to all gravies and rice varieties.
- You can add to kheer to make it rich.
- You can consume a spoon of this daily in the morning.
- You can mix with smoothies/shakes.
- Add to idly/dosa batter and make dosa/idly.
- This is an excellent thickening agent.
The reason why my blog didn’t have this so long is my little ones started having whole nuts before one year and my pediatrician was so keen about introducing all possible family foods/ingredients except milk,honey,sugar,salt before one year(Infact ten months).I have never seen my son being fussy about food and this didn’t make me innovate recipes where I have to hide any ingredient.The mix was made for our entire family and we shared among our cousins and in laws.hence it was made in bulk and ground at mill.You can make in small batches at home in a mixer too.I have shared the procedures for both below.I haven’t made any changes in the image.I hope you can find the non sticky texture in it.If you make it bulk quantity please freeze it.
- Almonds-1 cup(250 gm)
- Saffron-1 tbsp
- Cardamom-3 (I skipped)
1.Measure the ingredients and keep them ready.
2. In a dry and clean pan,dry roast the almonds in medium flame until they become warm.
3. When it slightly turns brown(max 5 minutes),add to a bowl of water and boil it.
4.Boil them until they bubble up as shown below.You will notice a puffiness in the skin.
5.Stop boiling and immediately drain the water.
6.Wash in flowing cold water completely.
7.The skin can be separated now easily.
8.Peel them and spread on a clean cloth to remove the water.
9.You can sun dry this too for four hours or dry in room temperature for 8 hours.
10.When it is completely dry,dry roast in a pan for 5 minutes in low flame.
10.The almonds would have turned crisp by now. Bring them to room temperature and add saffron .
11.Grind in a mill ,bring to room temperature and freeze it for 10 days before use.This will turn it totally non sticky.
12.If you are grinding at home in a mixer,run the almonds with saffron in pulse mode for 5 seconds.
13.Wait for 2 minutes and again pulse for 5 seconds.
14.Sieve the powder if you have lumps and run the residue for 5 seconds.By now it should be done.
15.Store in a air tight container and refrigerate.
Don’t skip any step mentioned above. Be patient in every step and maintain the timing and texture.
If you are using your mixer ensure that the jar is not turning hot as you grind.
The last step of roasting should turn your almonds crispy.That shows the perfection in the recipe.
Don’t grind it before they become completely cool.
Don’t run in the mixer in normal mode.Use only quick and short pulse modes.
Use a two blade jar at home.This will ensure a no oily dry fruits mix.
I wouldn’t recommend adding cashews to this if you are storing for a long time.
One more trick for a non sticky texture is to add palm candy while grinding(not white sugar or palm sugar).(Palm candy which is crystalline,the non moist variety )
The ratio is purely your choice.
If you would prefer other dry fruits,toast them(pista,cashew,walnut) in a dry pan until they turn crispy,cool it and grind.
Walnuts might add a bitter tinge.Hence be careful about the quantity.
Don’t dry roast before the peeled almonds turn completely dry.
Please sterlise the mixer jar and storage jars before use.
Use only dry spoons.
If you are approaching a grinding mill, please mention them that this is for your baby.They shouldn’t grind in a vessel where they had ground chilly powder earlier.
In case your powder becomes sticky,spread it well and air dry for few hours.Sieve it well and freeze for 10 days.Now it is ready for getting mixed with milk.Trust me it would have turned non-sticky.This tip is from the mill owner.
Though I have written and made this recipe,I would strongly recommend only offering and consuming whole nuts /dry fruits to kids because we parents can always hide every healthy ingredient in every recipe.
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