3 delicious recipes for purees with red lentils – ideal for baby food pouches

Eva pretty much eats on her own. We of course prepare her meals, but unless we are eating something she is not, she won’t let us help her with a spoon, fork or anything else. Though she’s great at eating finger foods and mostly eats what we’re eating, I still like to prepare my own food pouches with purees for her. I do this because I love to have something on hand for the unexpected trip, the delayed dinner or for the times when she is extra hungry. Often she’ll get a food pouch before a nap or if I’m not there to breastfeed her.

I know that sucking purees from a food pouch is not exactly something that would be described as helping babies with developing their feeding skills. But unless that’s all you’re giving your baby, I don’t think there’s anything to worry about. Eva has no problem with biting, chewing or eating with her fingers. She seems to love whatever we put in front of her (except raspberries for some reason) and we make a conscious effort to present her to a great varierity of tastes and textures. And she has a lot of food pouches on her conscience by now.

We do buy some food pouches at the store, but I still prefer to make my own using reusable food pouches for two simple reasons:

  1. I can control what’s in them meaning a whole lot less fruit (if any at all), more fat and I can keep them savory instead of sweet
  2. It’s cheaper

It does take a little extra time, but I fint it’s worth the effort.

In the last few weeks I’ve been experimenting with making food pouches with lentils and especially red lentils. They’re great for purees, since they become mushy when cooked. They are also high in protein, iron and fiber and then they taste great.

I’ve come up with three awesome recipes which Eva loves. Two of them are more savory than the other, but Eva seems to love all three of them. The recipes could just as easily be used as purees if you’re baby is being spoon feed – or if you don’t blend it, they’re also great dishes on their own. Just make sure the root vegetables are soft enough for you baby to eat without the risk of choking.

1. Recipe: Red lentils with orange and cinnamon 

This recipe is more on the sweet site and kind of reminds me of Christmas (must be because of the oranges and cinnamon).

Ingredients (makes about 4 food pouches of 140 ml/0.6 cups)

  • 1,5 dl (0.6 cups) red lentils (or about 120 grams / 4.2 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons of oil (I usually use either olive or avocado oil)
  • 1 large or 2 small carrots
  • 3-4 small oranges
  • 1-2 tablespoons of cinnamon (don’t use cassia, but the real Ceylon cinnamon)
  • 4 dl (1.7 cups) of water (you can add more if you think the texture is too thick)

The food pouches will keep for at least 2-3 days in the fridge and longer in the freezer. I’m guessing a few months. The ones I make usually only last a few weeks before they’ve been eaten.

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How to:

  1. Chop the carrots into smaller pieces.
  2. Add the oil to a pot or pan and fry the carrots at medium heat for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add the red lentils and water and let it simmer under a lid for 15-20 minutes. Cook until the lentils are soft.
  4. Either juice the oranges or just peel them and add them to the pot in slices.
  5. Add the cinnamon and let the dish simmer for about a minute.
  6. Puree the dish with a blender until smooth. I prefer to use a hand blender.
  7. Let it cool and fill your reusable food pouches with the puree.

You could heat the food pouch in a bowl with hot water (never in the microwave!) if you like. Eva likes it both hot and cold, but I like it better cold, so that’s how she gets it.

2. Recipe: Red lentils with carrots and celery

This is a savory recipe with ingredients that we often have in the fridge. I like to use different dried herbs when cooking for both Eva and ourselves. This time I used oregano, but I’ve also tried thyme and coriander with success.

Ingredients (makes about 5 food pouches of 140 ml/0.6 cups)

  • 1 dl (0.4 cup) red lentils (or about 85 grams / 3.0 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons of oil (I usually use either olive or avocado oil)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 3 small carrots (could easily be substituted by parsnips, parsley root or similar)
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 teaspoons of oregano (or whatever dried herb you prefer)
  • 4,5 dl (1.9 cups) of water (you can always add more to get the texture you prefer)

The food pouches will keep for at least 2-3 days in the fridge and longer in the freezer. I’m guessing a few months. The ones I make usually only last a few weeks before they’ve been eaten.

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How to:

  1. Chop the onion, garlic, carrots and celery into smaller pieces.
  2. Add the oil to a pot or pan and fry the vegetables at medium heat for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add the red lentils and water and let it simmer under a lid for 15-20 minutes. Cook until the lentils are soft.
  4. Add the oregano and let it simmer for 2 more minutes.
  5. Puree the dish with a blender until smooth. I prefer to use a hand blender.
  6. Let it cool and fill your reusable food pouches with the puree.

You could heat the food pouch in a bowl with hot water (never in the microwave!) if you like. Eva likes it both hot and cold, so I never bother heating it. Especially not when it’s hot.

3. Recipe: Red lentils with sweet potatos

This is a semi sweet, semi savory recipe. It makes quite a big portion, but you could easily half it or even use less potatos. Just be cautious about the amount of water if you decide to cut down on the amount of potatos. It’s easier to add more later than trying to take some of it out.

Ingredients (makes about 8 food pouches of 140 ml/0.6 cups)

  • 1 dl (0.4 cup) red lentils (or about 85 grams / 3.0 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons of oil (I usually use either olive or avocado oil)
  • a big buket of brocolli (or about 100 grams / 3.5 ounces)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • a small chunk of ginger (or about 20 grams /0.7 ounce)
  • 2 medium sized sweet potatos (or about 450 grams / 1.0 pound)
  • 6,5 dl (2.7 cups) of water (I can always add more to get the texture you prefer)

The food pouches will keep for at least 2-3 days in the fridge and longer in the freezer. I’m guessing a few months. The ones I make usually only last a few weeks before they’ve been eaten.

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How to:

  1. Chop the sweet potato, garlic and brocolli into smaller pieces and grate the ginger.
  2. Add the oil to a pot or pan and fry the vegetables at medium heat for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the red lentils and water and let it simmer under a lid for 15-20 minutes. Cook until the lentils are soft.
  4. Puree the dish with a blender until smooth. I prefer to use a hand blender.
  5. Let it cool and fill your reusable food pouches with the puree.

You could heat the food pouch in a bowl with hot water (never in the microwave!) if you like. Eva likes it both hot and cold, so I never bother heating it. Especially not when it’s hot.

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