Monday, September 5, 2016

Sprouted Ragi Powder | Sprouted Finger Millet Powder | முளைகட்டிய​ ராகி மாவு | Homemade Baby Foods | Stage 1 baby food |

Ragi or Finger millet is recommended for its high nutritional content. It is rich in calcium, protein, carbohydrate, fiber, thiamine and iron. It is low in fat and helps to keep the body cool. Sprouted Ragi increases the vitamin C levels and helps in easier absorption of iron. It prevents malnutrition and provides adequate amount of energy too.

I was very particular in feeding home made food for my son Viyan. I followed his pediatrician and started semi-solids from 5th month. She recommended Rice cereal and oats cereal initially. Since then, I started collecting recipes for baby foods and I personally prepare his food from scratch. From the day I started this blog I have been getting many requests for kids recipes. I decided to share the recipes here in the blog so that new and would-be mothers will also be benefited. 

Today I am gonna share the detailed recipe for preparing sprouted ragi flour that can be stored. Readymade powders are available in the market. However I personally prefer to make it from scratch. So that I know what is being added and also no preservatives are added to increase its self life. You can make this powder and use it whenever you need or prepare it fresh every time you feed. Please be advised, you need more patience for preparing this sprouted powder as it is time consuming. Later this week I will posting recipe for Ragi Porridge using this powder. 

Please do read the full recipe along with the notes before trying this. I strongly recommend you to consult your pediatrician before feeding something new to your baby. What suits one child may not suit another. You need a lot of patience to try and find out what works for your baby.

Method :-
1). Remove stones or any impurities from ragi and make sure it is clean completely. Wash them thoroughly, by rubbing with your hands in lots and lots of water.  In a large pot, soak them in fresh water for at-least 12 hours or overnight.

2). Rinse them well again and drain it on a colander. Put the drained ragi seeds on a clean white cloth. Bring the edges together and make a very tight knot. Tight packing helps to sprout well. Place it on colander undisturbed(in a dark place) for at least 12 hours (I kept overnight). Keep it moist so that it sprouts. 

3). Next day you can see all the ragi seeds with tiny white sprouts on their top. They can sprout anywhere from an inch to 1 ½ inches long depending on climate and the quality of grains. Dry it well in the shade/sunlight, spreading it on a clean cloth. 

4). After it is dried well, dry roast it on medium flame until you get an aroma of roasted ragi. Cool it completely. If you are planning to grind it in the house (I prefer doing at home), store the roasted ragi in refrigerator for 2 hours. Refrigerating helps to powder them well without the mixer-jar getting heated.  

5).  Grind them to a fine powder either with blender at home or in a commercial mill. If using the blender, sieve the ragi powder to get a fine powder. This helps to remove coarse particles. Hard fiber particles may cause stomach upset or throat irritation in few babies. Allow it cool and store it in an air tight container.  

Notes :-
# Sprouting ragi is optional, but it is better as its easier to digest and much more nutritious after its sprouted. 
# Dry roast the sprouted ragi to ensure proper cooking. 
# If using mixie, leave a gap of 10-15 minutes in between to prevent the mixer from getting heated. 
# This recipe is for an infant who is 5months so I did not use any nuts or other ingredients. 
# This powder has a shelf life of 3-4 months if stored in the refrigerator. If stored in the freezer, it can be kept for more than 8 months. I store 1-week of stock outside for daily use.
# Ragi is loaded with high calcium and iron, it is ideal for pregnant mothers as it helps to build immunity to the baby in the womb. It is also good for lactating mother. 
# The fiber content in ragi lowers cholesterol and help to maintain blood sugar levels. Mothers having gestational diabetes can use ragi/ ragi products instead of other grains as it will help control their blood sugar levels.

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