The festive season has begun and we can find it sparkling in all corners of the world with pooja preparations,sale discounts,special recipes,big sales and purchases. I wish to begin this season of festivals with a recipe I had recently tried. This recipe is adopted from my grandmother’s traditional method of making TIRUNELVELI HALWA. She used to make it for every Diwali it seems.Tirunelveli(my home town) is very famous for its Halwa and it is very uniquely prepared and the taste will tangle in your taste buds forever. I made few changes to make it 100% healthy and adhering to my blog’s purpose. Yes I have used whole wheat instead of normal wheat and have replaced sugar with palm sugar and added some beet root to make it little crunchy for your little ones. I am sure you will enjoy it. I have written a few thoughts on when wheat can be given to babies and what are the benefits of a whole grain especially whole wheat. I have already made an attempt to make whole wheat porridge and hence this idea implementation was not tough.
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- Whole wheat/Red wheat-1 cup
- Palm sugar-2.5 cups(powdered)
- Beet root-1/2 cup(grated)
- Ghee-3 tbsp
- Dry fruits-to garnish
1.Remove all impurities from wheat and rinse it well.
2.Soak it for 8 to 12 hours. The wheat should have turned soft.
3.Drain the water and add the wheat to a mixer.
4.Add few spoons or half a cup of water of water and grind it well.
5.Extract the milk of wheat. Repeat this till 3 times by adding water.
6.In a pan add ghee,roast the dry fruits and separate them.
7.Add the grated beetroot in the same pan and saute them well until raw smell vanishes.
8.In the mean time,add the powdered pal sugar in the milk of whole wheat and filter it thrice.
9.Add the milk of whole wheat to the beet root and keep stirring.
10.Add ghee then and there to enable easy stirring.
11.Continue to stir until it becomes thick like halwa.
12.Add the dry fruits and serve.
Extract a maximum of 2 cups of milk of whole wheat.
Do not make the milk too diluted or too thick.
Adding ghee lavishly enhances the taste and helps in easy cooking.
If you are allergic to wheat,you can skip and use ragi milk too.
Keep stirring continuously in medium flame.
The colour depends on quality of palm sugar used.
Always consider family history of allergies before introducing any new food.
Have a word with your doctor before introducing any new food.
This can be given to babies above 8 months after having introduced wheat and beet root separately.
Avoid palm sugar and dry fruits for babies below one year.
Choose small beet roots to have natural sweetness.
For babies below one year you can use some dates to sweeten.
This can be stored outside for 3 days and to a max of 7 days in refrigerator.
I missed capturing the whole wheat. Sorry about it.
Wheat for Babies:
This topic is yet another debating topic and has no fixed common answer. Wheat is suggested as the last grain to be introduced in baby food by few doctors whereas few recommend to offer by 7 months so that the allergy is outgrown. Ideally wheat can be introduced by 8 months after having introduced all grains.Wheat is a gluten food and hence few recommend a delay in introduction. How ever recent studies have proved that allergens must be introduced before 9 months so that baby out grows it soon. When you first introduce wheat you may try my recipe whole wheat porridge
Why Whole Wheat/Red Wheat?
I always prefer whole grains/grain flour to refined grains/flour because refining/milling processes involve several chemicals in it and refined grains become less nutritional as the bran and germ are removed. The glycemic index of whole wheat is much lesser than others and it aids in controlling optimal weight gain. The fiber content and vitamin contents of a grain remains in it when it is whole. This helps in developing healthy gut and protecting/curing constipation. It helps in fighting against breast cancer,colon cancer,heart diseases and helps women in developing in gastro intestinal health.It improves metabolism and helps in protecting against Type 2 diabetes. In children it helps in preventing ashtma.
In 100 g of whole wheat,we have 27% of protein,24% of carbs,34% of niacin,28% of thiamin and other minerals like manganese,magnesium,phosphorous and selenium.