When I was pregnant, I was told to eat a lot of Okro (Okra/ Lady’s fingers for my non west african friends); they said the sliminess of it would help the baby drop faster. I was also told by my mother not to eat ripped plantains too close to my delivery date otherwise I would sleep while in labour.I wanted to believe the okra myth with all my heart but it wasn’t true. It won’t speed up the process of childbirth but it does promote a healthy pregnancy with its high levels of Vitamin A, B and C. It also serves as a supplement for fibre and folic acid which are both vital to pregnancies.
In Ghana, okro soup or stew is a delicacy and even the little ones love it with banku as one of their first meals; I’m guessing because it makes swallowing easy for them and is of course delicious!
Here’s how to also give okro to your 6 month old without all the roughage.
You will need
and of course a blender
- First, cut the okra into smaller pieces and boil till it is soft and once cooled, blend till it is smooth.
- Then blend your onions and tomatoes
- Put a saucepan on fire and pour in your palm oil. (you want just enough for the quantity you are preparing. The oil doesn’t have to float on the surface of your stew like regular okro stew so you don’t need too much)
- When the oil is heated, add your pureed onion and tomatoes and stir for about 3 minutes till it is well cooked.
- Add your fish powder and stir into the mixture for about a minute.
- Add the blended okro to the stew and stir it finely into the mixture. Let it simmer for a few minutes.
There you have it. A smoother version of your regular okro stew without the chili, seasoning and ‘wele’.
This can be eaten with very soft banku and I can testify that babies love it!
This recipe was written by a dear friend of mine, Bernice Ibrahim. Bernice is the mother of 4-year-old Erel and 1-year-old Valerie and Valeria. I have watched Valerie and Valeria grow from tiny, tiny babies to chubby and active toddlers and I credit some of that growth to their nutrition. Bernice has some great ideas when it comes to baby food and I’m always blown away by her creativity. I will be sharing more of her recipes here.