In my homemade baby food making journey, I got to the point on my list where okra was in the next batch of vegetables I wanted to introduce to M. “Hmm, okra,” I thought.
I love okra. I love it roasted and I love it in a quick sauté with tomatoes and onions and peppers. My husband makes a shrimp and okra gumbo that’s delicious.
It’s a very Southern food and it’s oh so good. You really don’t have to fry it to make it yummy.
But for a baby? You have to puree it. And that gets a bit messy.
It’s slimy. The various ways I eat it, it’s not slimy at all. But once you cook it until soft and puree it? Yes. Slime central.
I wouldn’t have been able to spoon that into her little mouth in a million years all by itself, so I decided to mix it with some whole wheat couscous. It absorbs right into the okra puree and they mix up to a great spoonable solution.
Except for the “eww” factor.
I’ll be the first one to tell you I think this is a little icky. It’s the only thing I have ever made for my babies that I did not want to eat myself.
So why would you do it? Why would you make this green goo and then serve it to your sweet baby?
Because she’ll grow up loving it and when she’s 2 ½, and you have friends over for an afternoon party, and she asks what’s for dinner, and you bend down and tell her “okra couscous,” and she proceeds to yell, “Yippee! Okra couscous! Okra couscous! My favorite! Yummy, yummy, yummy! Thank you Mommy!,” you will derive a strange satisfaction from the looks coming your way from all across the room as the other parents shake their heads in wonder. And you’ll give a shy shrug and turn away.
They love it. I always thought maybe it was just M having a weird food moment, but J devours bowls of this stuff, too. I still make it for them, and M is almost 4. She literally will jump up and down when I tell her that’s what is for dinner. It makes me happy, but to be honest, it also creeps me out a little bit.
Okra couscous. Who knew?!
- 1 cup whole wheat couscous
- 1 1/2 cups water, divided
- 1 16-oz. bag frozen cut okra
Prepare the couscous:
- Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a small pot.
- Pour in couscous and gently swirl so that all of the couscous is covered by the water.
- Put the lid on the pot, turn off the burner and remove from the heat.
- Let it sit for 5 minutes, then uncover, fluff with a fork and put into a medium bowl.
Prepare the okra:
- Bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil in a large pot.
- Add the bag of frozen okra.
- Wait for the water to return to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat and let simmer for 8-10 minutes, until very tender.
Put it all together:
- Transfer the cooked okra to a blender — or use an immersion blender — and puree until smooth.
- Pour the okra over the couscous and mix very well to combine.
- Let cool then serve to your little one and watch in amazement as they take it down.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 800kcal Total Fat: 2g Carbohydrates: 168g Fiber: 23g Sugar: 7g Protein: 31g