Cardamom For Baby
Many parents and caregivers are often confused and intimidated about when to introduce baby to bold flavors and spices, and cardamom is no exception. Introducing baby and kiddo to interesting flavors early on will help create a fun and sophisticated little eater! Cardamom has a warm flavor somewhat similar to cinnamon and is delicious paired with semi-sweet fruits, used in baked goods or added to savory Indian stews. Cardamom is not only tasty, it's known for its many medicinal properties as well. Cardamom oil can be used as an antiseptic and is helpful for digestion and upset tummies. It also has unique antioxidant properties that play a role in preventing disease! Cardamom has a bold, rich flavor, and when used in moderation, lends a sweet aroma to beverages, sweet desserts, and savory dishes that baby and kiddo will love!
Highlighted Nutritional Importance of Cardamom
Vitamin C - necessary to form and repair red blood cells, bones and tissues and helps keep baby's gums and skin healthy
Thiamin - this B vitamin is essential for baby's brain development and aids the normal functioning of the nervous system, muscles and heart
Vitamin B6 - this vitamin regulated the body's natural sleep cycles and helps support normal and healthy brain development
Manganese - this potent antioxidant helps to protect cells from damage
Iron - responsible for making hemoglobin in the blood, the protein that helps keep oxygen moving and helps us feel energized
Magnesium - this mineral helps keep bones strong, the heart rhythm steady and supports the immune system
Zinc - helps keep up a strong appetite and is essential for good digestion
How to Select and Store Cardamom for Baby Food
When buying cardamom for baby food, most people will prefer to purchase the dried powder at their local spice market or grocery store. If purchasing the dried version, consider going organic in order to avoid irradiation (a process where the spices are exposed to radiation as a preservative). The dried spice should be stored in a glass, airtight container in a cool, dark place in order to prevent spoiling. Cardamom stored this way will last about a year, but be sure to do a "smell check" to make sure the spice still smells sweet and potent before using.
If purchasing the whole cardamom pod, look for those that are heavy for their size and give a sweet aroma when rubbed between your fingertips. The whole pods are often used to flavor soups, stews and beverages and can be removed before serving.
Do your kiddos like cinnamon rolls? Cardamom is a great alternative option to cinnamon and will give baby and kiddo a taste of something out of their comfort zone. It also pairs perfectly with a sweet apple or pear puree, and adds a fun flavor to pureed veggies and meats. Expand baby and kiddos' palate with the sweet, exotic flavor of cardamom - they will love it!
Recipes Using Cardamom