June 10, 2015

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Spiced Summer Recipes for Kids

Summer is finally here and with it comes the promise of glorious food and languid days spent on porches, backyards and beaches.  Your recipe books may already be dog-eared with refreshing summer dishes, but these spice inspired baby and toddler friendly recipes by the very talented Kanchan Koya at Spice Spice Baby are sure to become a family favorite!

My happiest memories of childhood are of summer. School’s out, the sun won’t stop shining, swimming pools beckon and glorious fruits and vegetables abound. Extended family would often visit and lazy afternoons were spent with cousins and friends devouring orange creamsicles and freshly cut watermelon to beat the heat.

With summer upon us then, here are five spiced summer delights for your kids and families. Nature’s summer bounty of fresh fruit and veg come together with anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant-rich spices to elevate your babies’ and kids’ plates, palates and health.

With Love & Spice,
Kanchan
Spice Spice Baby

TURMERIC SUNSHINE SMOOTHIE
6 months+, Toddler, Kid, Adult

Spice Science Corner

Turmeric is a miracle spice with a dizzying number and range of benefits. Its active ingredient curcumin, has anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, digestion-boosting, antidepressant, antibacterial and many other positive effects. In one fascinating study, a diet enriched in curcumin prevented symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, specially the recall of fear memories. Nature, as we say, knows best.

Yield

2 8oz servings

Ingredients

1 cup plain Greek yoghurt
1 cup chopped fresh or frozen mango
1 banana chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh or frozen peach (about one medium peach)
1/2 - 1 inch turmeric root grated (with gloves on to prevent fingernail stains although these are easy to get out with a rubbing of fresh lemon)
1 tablespoon honey (skip for babies under 12 months)
1/4 inch piece ginger grated

Method

Mix all the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Enjoy as a healthy and yummy breakfast or snack. Feel free to make extras and freeze for divine popsicles!

 

CARDAMOM CHOCO MANGO POPS
Toddler, Kid, Adult

Spice Science Corner
Cardamom, a beautiful, aromatic spice is chockfull of health benefits including anti-cancer, digestion-boosting, detoxification and anti-nausea effects. In one study on 300 patients, merely smelling an aromatherapy oil blend of which cardamom was a critical component reduced nausea symptoms and the need for nausea medication post surgery. The next time nausea strikes in pregnancy, it might be worth sniffing the luxurious aroma of a few cardamom pods!

Yield
4 -6 popsicles depending on the size of your pop molds

Ingredients
1 cup full-fat Greek yoghurt
2 tablespoons unsweetened coco powder
1 ripe mango chopped (about 1 cup, frozen is fine)
2 cardamom pods, seeds removed and ground
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Method
Dry-roast the ground cardamom in a skillet for about 30 seconds to release its volatile oils. Blend all the ingredients until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze. Enjoy on a hot summer afternoon and don’t be afraid to have seconds!

 

CINNAMON KIDDIE PINA COLADA
6 months+, Toddler, Kid, Adult

Spice Science Corner
Cinnamon, another one of nature’s superheroes can lower blood sugar and improve other molecular measures of disease in type 2 diabetes patients. It’s a potent antimicrobial / anti-fungal, reduces unwanted inflammation and may even boost brain function! In one study, rice pudding seasoned with cinnamon spiked blood sugar less aggressively than regular, spice-free rice pudding – the kind of drug the pharmaceutical industry would spend a billion dollars to discover!

Yield
2 8oz servings

Ingredients
3/4 cup coconut, almond or regular milk
1 large banana
1 cup chopped pineapple
½ cup pineapple juice
Small pinch, 1/16th teaspoon cinnamon

Method
Blend all the ingredients until smooth. Serve with pineapple chunks for garnish. Spike with Malibu rum for a mum and dad-worthy treat.

 

GARLICKY CUMIN GUACAMOLE
6 months+, Toddler, Kid, Adult

Spice Science Corner
Garlic is one of the oldest medicinal foods. A sulfur-containing compound in garlic called allicin is responsible for its potent biological properties including reduction in bad (LDL) and an increase in good (HDL) cholesterol, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects, reduction in triglycerides and immune-boosting activities. Cumin is no exception to the health-boosting spices club – it demonstrates anti-cancer and digestion-boosting effects and also packs a punch when it comes to the important mineral iron, particularly important for kids.

Yield
Serves 4 adults and 1 toddler as an appetizer/snack

Ingredients

4 large avocados
2 shallots finely chopped
1 large garlic clove crushed
2 large limes juiced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander / cilantro
Pinch, 1/8th teaspoon cumin powder
Salt to taste

Method
Mash the avocado flesh in a bowl, a good activity to involve toddler in! Add in the other ingredients and mix well. Check for salt and lime, adding more if necessary. Enjoy with chips, raw veggies, in sandwiches or on its own for a delectable, delightful, creamy, nutritious treat. 

 

CORIANDER AVOCADO TOMATO EDAMAME SALAD
Baby-led weaning friendly, Toddler, Kid, Adult
 

Spice Science Corner
Coriander (cilantro) is an ancient spice with several health benefits. There is modern scientific evidence for its ability to balance insulin levels in diabetes, lower bad (LDL) and elevate good (HDL) cholesterol and most well documented, its anti-bacterial properties. It contains a meaningful amount of vitamin K, which helps retain calcium in the body, making it a perfect additioni to this salad with calcium-rich edamame. A match made in heaven in every possible way!

Yield

1-2 toddler servings

Ingredients 
1/2 avocado chopped
1/2 tomato chopped
1/4 cup edamame boiled in salted water for 4-6 minutes until soft
1/2 small lemon juiced 
Salt, pepper to taste
Pinch, about 1/8 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon olive oil

Method
Mix all the ingredients well in a bowl. Give them a loving stir. Serve as a delicious, refreshing, ultra-nutritious side dish to BBQ’d chicken or fish.

 

About Spice Spice Baby

Kanchan Koya is a scientist, passionate foodie, founder and Chief Spice Mama at Spice Spice Baby through which she inspires moms, dads and caregivers to elevate babies’ and kids’ plates, palates and health. Kanchan combines her doctorate in Molecular Biology from Harvard and her training from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition to bring to light the medicinal powers of spices and encourage their use in kids’ food, helping raise the next generation of adventurous, healthy foodies. To learn more, visit www.spicespicebaby.net


Aquin Dennison
Aquin Dennison

Author



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