Depending on where you are in the world, you will know this tasty root vegetable as a swede, a Swedish turnip, a rutabaga or a brassica rapa!
Quite a variety of names for a simple vegetable, which is woefully neglected as a source of baby food. Swede is actually a member of the cabbage family and is a cross between a turnip and kale. It is a rich source of vitamin A (from beta-carotene), vitamin C and minerals.
Swede can be included in your baby’s diet from 6 months of age (or from 4 months if your doctor recommends introducing solids before 6 months of age). It was actually among the first foods we offered to our little ones!
When choosing a swede, select one that seems heavy for its size, with smooth, unblemished skin.
It can be cooked in a variety of ways, including baking, steaming, boiling and roasting and it takes a little longer than potatoes to cook.
For babies under 6 months, the simplest way to prepare a swede puree is to peel the swede, dice it, then steam the dice until tender.
Mash the cooked swede, or puree it in a blender, adding a little breast milk or cooking water to thin it if necessary.
Here are two very healthy and nutritious baby food recipes using swede/rutabaga that your little one will love!
Image courtesy of khumthong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
1/2 swede (rutabaga), peeled and diced
1 parsnip, peeled and diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
16 fl oz (2 cups) homemade vegetable stock/broth
2 tsp fresh, chopped parsley (optional)
You can easily thin or thicken this recipe by adjusting the amount of stock that you use. You can also make it into a yummy vegetable ‘pie’ by reducing the stock (creating a thicker texture) then making a special ‘crust’ by adding grated cheese and wheat germ.
Just pop under the grill/broiler until the cheese has melted.
This tasty recipe could be served to your baby as a dip, along with cubes of lightly toasted bread or bagels, or simply given to a younger baby as a wholesome puree, straight from the spoon!
1/2 tbsp olive oil
4 oz (1/2 cup) carrots, chopped
4 oz (1/2 cup) celeriac, chopped
4 oz (1/2 cup) swede, chopped
1/2 turnip, chopped
1 small potato, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped (optional)
4 fl oz (1/2 cup) homemade chicken stock
tiny pinch of ground nutmeg
1 tbsp fromage frais
2tsp chopped chives
pinch freshly ground black pepper (optional)
Your baby may also like to try this swede (rutabaga) recipe from our blog
Help! My baby won’t eat vegetables