Tasty amber hunks of soft and squishy sweet potato, roasted in olive oil and spices
Way better for you than chip shop chips, plus with B-vitamins 1, 2 & 6 they are a perfect food for veggies and vegans
At around five months old Elsi and I began our weaning adventure. She was expressing an interest in food, fascinated by what I was putting in my mouth and reaching out to grab whatever I had! Her first food was banana. We were stuck in traffic after buying flowers for my dad’s funeral and she was really fed up of being in the car. At just five months she had made the long journey back and forth to Wales a number of times and while a very happy baby out of the car seat, in it was a different story. I let her taste the banana as a distraction and she really enjoyed it. Once we were back in London I began to wean her with baby rice and then some purée but I knew I wanted to try baby led weaning as much as possible. She mostly tried fruit first with mango and strawberries going down well (who can blame her). Next things like steamed broccoli, not mashed but chunks to suck on, and the same with wedges of avocado. After trying some sweet purées like my butternut squash, apple and cinnamon, sweet potatoes felt like a no brainer. I knew she liked the taste of cinnamon so I sprinkled some in some garlic infused olive oil and roasted chunks in the oven. Sweet potatoes are so much softer than regular potatoes and when roasted they become gooey and unctuous, almost caramelising in places as the juices escape. As she has gotten older I have increased the amount of spice (don’t be scared of it!) and introduced paprika and rosemary as it’s my favourite combination. Oil may be high in calories but that doesn’t make it bad for you. In fact it is rich in vitamins, antioxidants and healthy fats which are all great for your baby as they grow. The guidelines say wait until six months, which is what I followed with no problems.
WEANING RECIPE INGREDIENTS
Suitable from 6 months
1 small sweet potato
- 1 tsp olive oil (garlic infused is nice for this or rub some garlic on the baking tray)
- A sprinkle of cinnamon
Set the oven to 190°.
Leave the skin on your potato! It roasts better and there are so many great vitamins in the skin alone. If you can buy organic all the better, if not give it a good scrub. Then tidy up the skin, cutting off any roots before chopping into chunks about 1” wide. A good way to do this is by slicing the potato in half lengthwise and cutting into half moon shapes. They need to be big enough to hod in those tiny fingers! Then add the oil and cinnamon to a small oven dish. I love my old fashioned Falcon Enamel pie dishes and find the smallest one perfect for this. Then toss it all together, making sure the potatoes have a coating. I think the best way is to use your hands really. Then roast!
Exactly the same as above but I add a pinch of garlic granules, a pinch of rosemary and a healthy sprinkling of paprika and cinnamon. I tend not to add salt but a good grind of pepper is always nice too.
Other tasty variations:
- Garlic and rosemary
- Smoked Paprika
- Garam Masala
Butternut squash works well roasted with the sweet potato, as does carrot!