Saturday 27 November 2010


The Remarkable Red Bean/Røde Bønner/红豆 [hóng dòu]

For Babies from 6 or 10 months – babies’ digestive tract are not mature enough to digest protein before 6 months, and after 6 months, babies need protein – plant source is better, as protein from meat may cause allergies if started too young. I serve it with banana as desert or snack to J).

1. Cook 1 cup of red beans with 4 cups of water for 45 mins. to an hour until tender (watch out that the water doesn’t dry up, if so, add more water) or pressure-cook for 15 minutes under setting no. 2.

2. Dish out the cooked beans from the water (tip: you can use the water for baby to drink or as broil for soup)

3. Add 5 teaspoons of formula milk powder and 5 teaspoons of vegetable oil

4. Puree with blender

Storage:1. Cool down, pour into ice cube tray and freeze.

2. Once frozen, knock the cubes out and store them in freezer bags (makes 2-3 ice cube trays, can store up to 8 weeks)

To serve:
1. De-frost 1 cube of red bean in fridge or room temperature, then warm for 15-30 seconds in microwave

2. When cooled, mash in ¼ fresh banana to make it more sweet for baby (optional) and serve.

1. If it is feshly made to be served on the same day, you can put it in the fridge so that it is cold, before adding banana and serving to baby. It tastes more like "ice-cream"

2. J doesn't have much problems with gassiness, but if your baby gets gassy, soak the beans for 8 - 12 hours before cooking will reduce the gassiness effect. Alternatively, you can do a quick hot soak to soften the beans. When cooking, use fresh water.

3. For kids, use mashed red beans in brownie and cookie recipes, replacing part of the fat ingredient with beans to add protein, fiber, texture and flavor while lowering fat, cholesterol and calories.

Nutrition Value:
Red bean is a rich source of protein, iron, folic acid, zinc, calcium, complex carbohydrates, vitamin B1 and vitamin B3.

Beans are a natural source of antioxidants and phytochemicals.

Beans rank very low on the list of foods that prompt allergic reactions.

The U.S. Government's Dietary Guidelines 2005 urge adults to consume three (3) cups of cooked dry beans a week.

1. For breast-feeding babies, do not serve red beans more than 1 time a day. Otherwise, baby will get protein overload.

2. Beans alone are not complete proteins, but combined with a grain are as complete as a meal. So it is important to eat beans with grain products like brown rice, corn, oats, barley, millet, quinoa, buckwheat or wheat (wheat may cause allergy for babies, thus introduce wheat when baby is older)

3. Many types of beans contain a class of proteins called lectins. These proteins have the ability to interfere with the cell membrane repair process that occurs as a part of digestion. If not destroyed by cooking, lectins can cause a severe form of food poisoning, with attendant nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Thus, dry beans CANNOT BE CONSUMED RAW. It is very important to cook the beans until tender for 45 mins to an hour, as in the process of cooking, the lectins is broken down.

Additional Comments:
Beans as a food source is believed to be originated from India (not all beans, but many of them), and was passed on to China, which has since become part of the traditional Chinese diet. Some beans such as kidney beans are also an integral part of South and Central America’s diet way back in history. Being a cross-cultural family, this is a good Chinese or the wider world tradition that I will be keeping and passing on to J.


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