Health mix powder or Sathu mavu is one of the healthiest food that can be given to babies, toddlers and kids. In the current modern life, most of us opt to give instant baby foods due to the ease in their preparation as well as lack of time. Although such foods can’t be avoided during long journeys and while staying away from home, it is always better to give home made and traditional foods to babies to the maximum possible. Because nobody takes the best care during your baby’s food preparation than you and no food is better than the one that’s is prepared by you, in your home and right in front your eyes..!!
Even I was under an impression that sathu mavu preparation (especially sprouted one) is something that’s beyond my capability. But trust me, it’s really not that difficult as I thought.
All it requires is that extra dedication, care and effort.
And you know what? Once you have this mix in hand, it becomes a handy and easy to prepare instant food for your baby. Especially when you are running out of time.
Goodness of sprouting:
- Sprouting increases the nutritional values (especially vitamins – Vit C, B2, B5 and B6). Also it increases Carotene.
- Helps in easy digestion (Some of the fat content dimnishes during sprouting and also the dense vegitable protein gets converted into simpler amino acids. Some complex carbohydrates also break down to simpler glucose molecules. Hence, all together, it eases the digestion).
- Flushes out the impurities and detoxifies our blood.
- Also in this health mix we bring in together various grains, pulses and nuts thus making it fully packed with nutrition.
So, keeping in mind the bunch of goodness that this health mix can provide, this is doubtlessly a ‘must-give’ food for babies.
Here I go with the recipe for making sprouted sathu mavu. We have two kids in our family (my daughter and my niece at the age of 17 and 22 months respectively). So we make this in bulk such that it lasts for 4-5 months. Following are the proportions I use for my own.
Always consult your paediatrician before introducing this food to your baby for the first time
To be sprouted:
- Whole wheat or godhumai (atta) – 250 gms
- Green gram or pasi payaru (moong) – 250 gms
- Black gram or karuppu ulundhu (sabut urad dal) – 250 gms
- Horse gram or kollu (kulthi) – 250 gms
- Chick peas or kondaikadalai (chana) – 250 gms
- Finger Millet or kelvaragu (Ragi) – 250 gms
- Pearl millet or kambu (bajra) – 250 gms
- Sorghum or red cholam (jowar) – 250 gms
To be dry roasted:
- Red rice or Mappillai samba arisi – 250 gms
- Fried gram or pottu kadalai – 250 gms
- Groundnuts – 150gms
- Sago or javvarisi (sabudhana) – 150 gms
- Almonds – 150 gms
- Cashews – 150 gms
- Pistachios – 150 gms
- Walnut (akroot) – 150 gms
- Barley – 50 gms
- Sesame – 25 gms (optional)
- Cardamom – 25 gms
- Carom seeds or Omam (ajwain) – 15 gms
- Dry ginger – an one inch piece
Examine and wash well each ingredient listed under ‘to be sprouted‘ separately in running water. Remove any spoiled grain or pulse and even stones if any. Soak them with drinking water (ensure you fill sufficient water above the level of the ingredient). Soak them overnight.
Next morning (or after 8-10 hours) drain the water completely and tie each ingredient separately in a clean and soft cloth. Hang them away from direct sunlight or wind but in a clean, dry and warm place. Leave them for 24 hours or more than that if required.
After 24 hours you will see the sprouts. Please note that the millets will not sprout as fast as the grams. So it is okay if you see small sprouts in them compared with green grams, chick peas etc. You can also leave them for a little longer duration if you wish.
When you are done with sprouting, dry them in sun for a day.
While drying them put a mat and spread the sprouts on a clean and soft cloth (you can also use the same cloth you used for sprouting). Don’t put them directly on stainless steel or other metal plates as they might get burnt as the plates get very hot in sun.
When they are nicely dried, you can remove them.
How do I know if they are completely dried?
- They should be crisp
- Should not stick to each other
- No moisture or dampness at all
Now dry fry each of them separately in a heavy bottomed pan in medium flame. Fry them until their colour slightly changes to brown and you get the nice aroma.
You can also bite a pinch of them in and if they are crunchy, then they are done.
The nuts (peanuts, cashews, almonds and walnuts) will not be crunchy soon after frying. But once they are cool, you can find them crunchy).
Now dry fry all other ingredients (except dry ginger) individually in the same way. Allow them to cool completely.
Deskin the peanuts (also break them into halves as much as possible). Now they are ready to be ground. Mix all these together along with dry ginger.
Get them ground in a power mill.
Choose a mill that has separate machines for grinding chillies and spices. As this is a baby food, failing to do so may make the health mix to be hot or spicy.
Generally I give a kilo gram or two of wheat or finger millet first to be grounded and use it for myself (this is to clean off any leftovers that may exist in the machine). Then give the batch of sathu maavu to grind.
Store them in a clean and dry airtight container. This health mix lasts for more than six months if refrigerated properly. And normal shelf life is more than a month.
Once ground, allow them to cool completely before storing.
My personal note:
- I buy all the ingredients from organic stores.
- If you are redoing the sprouting of one or more ingredients or if you want to sprout few ingredients for a longer duration than others, here is how you can balance the wait time. Just go ahead and sun dry the items that are ready. And then fry them too. Once fried and cooled, they can be kept in a clean and dry storage container or simply in a tray (covered and safe) until the other ingredients are ready as well.
- It takes a solid 3-4 hours to dry fry each of them. In my case, my mom and I work in parallel in two stoves and pans. That way it gets a bit easy and quick.
- You can also split and fry them in two different slots. But ensure that you keep them safe until then. You can even sun dry them again for half an hour to one hour before proceeding to fry them.
- The above proportion is what I use. Many women have their own way of doing this. So if your mom or grandma is suggesting you a different recipe (proportion), just go ahead! Because, after all you are carrying forward your family’s recipe to the next generation! However, with my personal experience I suggest you to keep the proportion of (peanuts, almonds, pistachios, walnuts & sesame) to other ingredients, almost close to this ratio. Because, all of these tend to become slightly oily when ground and if you increase their proportion, you might face some difficulties while grinding and the outcome may not be very powdery and may not be too perfect for storage.
- Please note that it needs utmost care and attention in each and every step of this. If you take care to do all the steps perfectly, you get a nice sathu mavu or health mix which is home made! And it can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and lasts for more than 6 months.
- I prepare in bulk and refrigerate them in a Tupperware container. Also I keep a month’s stock outside.
- The total process takes approximately 2-3 days and it differs depending upon the climatic conditions and other environmental factors.
- If you are a working mom you can even plan and do this with your friends or relatives (who wants to make this too) and share the work and expenses. It costed approximately ₹600 per kg for me (as I mentioned earlier I bought everything from organic store).
Please note that the sprouts have been linked to the outbreak of E.coli and Salmonella infections (the warm and humid environment in the sprouting process is also ideal for the growth of these bacterias). Hence, it is strongly advised to cook the sprouts thoroughly before consumption. In this method, we sun dry the sprouts and and then dry fry them and finally cook with water or milk before feeding the baby. Hence they are thoroughly cooked.
Also we cool them completely before and after grinding, thus ensuring that we store it completely dry and without any moisture. This gives a longer and safer shelf life.
However it is very important to maintain clean hands, vessels and hygienic environment throughout this process.
For more details please go through the following links:
How to prepare the porridge:
This porridge is ideal for babies older than 11 months. This is how I prepare the porridge.
Add two tablespoons of health mix in 250 ml water. Mix well without lumps. Then cook well in medium flame adding one or two crystals of salt. Bring to boil. And then continue cooking in low flame for 10 more minutes (stirring occasionally). Before turning off the flame add 25ml of boiled milk and cook for two more minutes. Allow it to cool. Strain and give in feeding bottle or beaker (the way your baby likes it).
Instead of salt, you can also use palm jaggery. Also you can add more milk if required.
Please consult your doctor before introducing to babies less than 1 year. Also, initially start with one teaspoon health mix in 200 ml water and gradually increase the quantity.
This drink can be prepared in various ways according to your taste preferences. Also this is equally good for adults, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.
For adults you can prepare the porridge with required salt. Allow it to cool. And then mix with with buttermilk for a tasty and healthy drink.
For buttermilk version you may want to skip the cardamom and carom seeds from the ingredients(you can powder it separately and add when required).