Coming up with interesting and fun ways to incorporate vegetables into children’s food is a stumbling block every young parent I know has encountered. Every family has a list of vegetables that is on their regular grocery list – cauliflower, beans, broccoli, carrots, okra, cabbage, eggplants and leafy greens are on ours. Then there are the occasional buys – like mushroom, pumpkins and bell peppers. I have a third list that consists of vegetables that I LOVE but know only so many ways to cook – like bitter gourds and beets. Growing up the only way I remember eating beets was boiled. More recently I started to enjoy Beetroot+ Apple juice when I have the chance. But boiled and juiced beets are not usually on a kids favorite foods list. Its more often than not the vegetable most kids show little to no enthusiasm for. Yet beets are of exceptional nutritional value; and I was therefore keen to weave them into Keya’s diet. These cutlets are a complete hit with little Keya as well as her beet-hating (now beet-loving) dad! 🙂
Nutrition report: Rich in iron,vitamin C, folic acid ,manganese, potassium & fiber.
– 1 med. raw beetroot, peeled & finely grated
– 1/2 cup raw oats, coarsely powdered
– 1/4 cup crumbled paneer (optional)
– 2 cloves garlic, peeled & grated
– 1 small onion, very finely chopped
– 1 egg, beaten (optional)
– 1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
– 1-1/2 tbsp dried basil or mint
– salt & pepper, to taste
1. Place grated raw beets, oats, paneer, onion, and garlic in a mixing bowl. Add the dried basil or mint leaves and season with salt and pepper.
2. Crack one egg in a seperate bowl. Whisk lightly. Pour the whisked egg into the beet mixture followed by the breadcrumbs. (For vegetarian kids, leave out the egg and add only breadcrumbs. I’ve tried this recipe with and without the egg. Both are just as good.) For recipe with egg, you might need a little more breadcrumbs to help soak up the excess moisture.
3. Once the mixture is well combined, divide it into lemon sized balls. Roll around between your palms to make the ball and pat down gently to flatten into a cutlet.
This recipe freezes very well. I prefer to make up a batch of 6-8 cutlets and freeze these to be used over the next few of weeks. Once you make all the cutlets, you can place them on a non-stick paper and freezer till hard, then transfer the frozen cutlets into a ziplock freezer bag to store in the freezer. Please thaw frozen cutlets to room temperature before cooking.
4. Heat a little olive or vegetable oil in a non-stick pan. Lightly fry the cutlets on both sides till a nice crusts forms on the outside. Place cooked cutlets on a paper napkin till they’re cool enough to feed your child. Cut up into age-appropriate sizes before offering to your child.
These are outstandingly delicious when sandwiched with toasted bread or burger buns and some tomato ketchup 🙂 Great for meal times, snacks and also lunch boxes for older kids (and parents!)
I came up with this recipe when Keya was about 13 months old. But am positive this recipe can be used for babies as young as 11 mos – specially those who have 6-8 teeth and enjoy chewing on their food.