Sophia has been having roughly the same (hopefully healthy) thing for breakfast everyday and I can’t believe I never thought of sharing it with everyone. I call it baby bircher muesli but its merely a shadow of the original Bircher muesli but I can’t really think of a better name to call it. Here’s the original Bircher recipe:
oats soaked in water overnight
1 large grated apple
1 tablespoon cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon ground hazelnuts or almonds
Here’s my version:
1) I start with Bob’s Red Mill’s 8 Grain Hot Cereal (whole grain). Use as much of this as your baby can eat. Sophia now takes approximately 5 heaping teaspoonfuls. I used to use the 5 grain hot cereal but this has got more variety (which is good in my books as it means it covers more ground in terms of nutrients) and is already ground to a grit form (not milled into flour) because Sophia only has 8 teeth and with the 5 grain version which consists just rolled grains I will need to grind it into a similar texture myself. I wish there is an organic version of either though, which I imagine surely cannot be too hard for Bob’s Red Mill which already produces many organic products.
2) Add enough water to cover the grains and leave it to soak overnight, covered, in the fridge.
3) Just before serving, grate about 5 tablespoonfuls of fruit – I’ve used organic strawberries, papaya, apple, pear, honeydew, watermelon, grapes and basically anything the family happened to be eating at that time
4) Mix the fruit and muesli and top with 1.5 teaspoons of ground organic flaxseeds, preferably sprouted.
5) Optional: Add liquid multivitamin (I use animal parade) and Omega 3 (I use Nordic naturals baby DHA at the moment but may switch to Jarrow Formulas capsules soon. For soft capsules just cut them up and use the oil inside.)
6) Optional: Add ground nuts and seeds. I’ve been lazy so I add some organic almond butter. Walnuts would be good and perhaps this weekend I’ll chop up a batch finely for use.
I actually developed this recipe out of a combination of wanting to give Sophia the least processed food possible, more texture, more variety but also out of lazyness. It was just too difficult to cook baby portions of this hot cereal every morning so I resorted to soaking the grains overnight in water to soften them up, which means I don’t need to cook them. Its actually not such a bad thing: by not cooking you avoid destroying nutrients and by soaking the grains overnight you apparently “activate” the enzymes and all these funky stuff I don’t quite understand. All I know is, its a good thing and I’ll continue feeding it to Sophia as long as I can, rotating the fruits and nuts so she gets as much of a balanced diet as possible.
By the way, just a word of warning that overdoing the flaxseeds could potentially lead to constipation as they absorb a lot of water. Drinking more water can help avoid it to a certain extent but still, do not overdo it as you can’t really force a toddler to drink!