7 months +, Toddlers, Adults
Pears are a superb source of a class of polyphenolic compounds called flavonoids which can promote heart health and help prevent Type 2 diabetes and cancer. The skin of pears contains a large proportion of its flavonoids so I suggest buying organic pears and leaving them unpeeled for toddlers and older kids. Pears also contain Vitamins C and K and are a great source of fiber.
1 pear peeled and chopped for babies, unpeeled and chopped for toddlers and kids especially if using organic pears
1 clove (beginner) or 2 cloves (advanced) cardamom smashed lightly or half the seeds from 1 pod freshly ground for a stronger flavor
1/4 cup water
Add the water to a pot with a lid, a pressure cooker if you’re using one or your baby food gadget of choice.
Add the smashed or ground cardamom and chopped pears. If steaming without direct contact with the water, you can add the pod to the water, which will impart some flavor and essence but much less so compared to directly cooking the fruit in cardamom infused water. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the pears are soft enough to eat or puree for younger babies. Make sure there is enough water to prevent them from burning and sticking to the pot. Remove the cardamom pod and any seeds you spot although a couple left behind won't hurt. Depending on how watery you’d like the puree, you can add some of the cooking water to the pears and blend or leave in pieces and serve.
Offer the puree to your baby as is, in cereal, with yoghurt or mixed with other fruits and veggies. Some combinations that work nicely:
Cardamom pears with banana
Cardamom pears with peach
Cardamom pears with green beans
Cardamom pears with peas and broccoli
Cardamom pears with mango and spinach
If combining with veggies, cook the pears together with the veggies adding the cardamom as described above. Then add in the uncooked fruit (mangoes, bananas) and blend.
Toddlers, older kids and adults can enjoy these purees with yogurt or in cereal, oatmeal or whatever other combination strikes your fancy. Or skip the pureeing step and offer the cardamom infused fruit or veg in pieces to your entire family.
Other fruits and veggies that can be cooked similarly with cardamom:
Butternut or acorn squash