The day that Chloe started eating solid foods, I was over the moon. I really love the baby food puree stage, but I find it so much more gratifying making Chloe foods that she can enjoy alongside the rest of the family. I believe that when a baby sees that the food on the plate in front of her is the same as the food mommy and daddy are eating, it serves as a powerful connection to the group for them.
Beans are an amazing first solid food for babies to try because they’re soft, easy to chew, packed with protein and full of flavor. They’re also great for baby’s developing dexterity as he/she learns to pick up the beans and feed him/herself.
In our house we eat black beans like they’re going out of style. Inexpensive, healthy and easy to store in the fridge, we keep a container of cooked beans on hand at all time to add to recipes like Chicken and Rice Burritos, Black Bean Cakes, Nachos or just to eat on their own or with some brown rice. Whether your family has a bunch of wee ones, big kids or all of the above, black beans are always a good idea.
- The night before you want to cook the beans (about 8-12 hours prior to cooking), cover the beans with water and soak them overnight (this reduces the cooking time of the beans). * If you don’t soak the beans overnight, just double the cooking time in step #5 and keep tasting until the beans are tender.
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a medium sized saucepan.
- Add the onions and cook for 4-5 minutes or until translucent.
- Add the garlic and cook another minute.
- Add the bay leaf, black beans, water and salt (if desired). Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 1 hour or until the beans are tender.
- *Allow to cool, place in appropriate tupperware or ziploc bag, label and freeze up to 4 months. When ready, defrost in a pot over low-medium heat or allow to defrost in fridge for 24-48 hours.