Vanilla Pumpkin – Homemade Baby Food Blog

Icon

Homemade Baby Food Recipes – Pure as babies

Pumpkin Oatmeal

I’ve recently roasted a few pumpkins and pureed them for use in baby foods and probably a few breads and cookies in the next few months. My toddler loves oatmeal, and even though we have been using apples primarily, we’ve started using pumpkin, both roasted and canned. She now asks for “punka” almost every morning! Great way to get baby some veggies first thing in the morning. First time roasting pumpkin? Click here to read instructions.

Ingredients
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup soy milk (or you can use regular cow’s milk)
1/3 cup pumpkin puree (if you’re using puree that you’ve stored in ice cube trays, 1/3 cup equals 5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon, so use either 5 or 6 cubes since a cube is roughly a tablespoon. Either way, you really can’t go wrong here.)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice, note that if you’ve already spiced your pumpkin cubes using this recipe, you don’t need the ground cinnamon)

1/2 tsp agave nectar (in a pinch, you can use honey or brown sugar to taste)

Instructions
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and stir. If you’re using frozen pumpkin puree cubes, just throw them in frozen
Heat over medium heat, stirring consistently about 8-10 minutes or until desired consistency is reached.

I’ve found that this makes about 3 meals for my little one, each about 3/4 cup. Enjoy!

Filed under: Cinnamon, Dairy, Grains, Herbs and Spices, Oatmeal, Pumpkin, Uncategorized, Vegetables, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Homemade, DIY Vegetable Stock

So many dishes benefit from good, quality vegetable stock and how gratifying would it be to be able to use your own homemade stock? By saving and freezing unused veggie scraps, peelings, leaves and stalks, you can quickly accumulate enough to make your own stock.  This post by The Kitchn has some useful suggestions and tips for this project including vegetables to use and what not to use:

Vegetables to use: Onions, carrots, and celery are the key ingredients in vegetable stock, but many other vegetables can add depth and flavor. Wash and save roots, stalks, leaves, ends, and peelings from vegetables such as…

Additionally, The Kitchn has a great post detailing the recipe for using your new stockpile.

After using The Kitchn’s recipe and trying out a few others, I’ve found that one of the most important things to remember is to make sure you don’t overcook your stock or the flavors will turn bitter. I’d also suggest adding a bay leaf and a few peppercorns to the simmer for a more complex taste. Feel free to experiment as depending on your vegetable mixture, you’ll get a different flavor. Good luck!

Filed under: Around the Play Yard, baby, Bay, Carrots, Celery, Corn, Family, Freezer Friendly, Herbs and Spices, Medley, Recipes, Tomato, Vegetables, , , , , ,

Slow Cooker Applesauce

Choose naturally sweet apples such as Empire or McIntosh to reduce the need for added sugar. For baby’s breakfast, I’ve stirred in oatmeal cereal and ground flax seed. I haven’t tried freezing this recipe since it never lasts long at my house, but if you try, let me know how it works out! Update – I froze applesauce in 8 oz Ball freezer containers with success!

Ingredients

Sliced Macintosh Apple

Sliced Macintosh Apple

  • 8-10 medium sized apples
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Instructions

  1. Wash, peel, core and slice apples.
  2. Combine apples, water and sugar in slow cooker.
  3. Cover and heat on high for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally. Apples will “mash” on their own, but for younger babies, you may want to blend further.

Filed under: Apples, Cinnamon, Fruit, Herbs and Spices, Holiday Menu, Slow Cooker or Crockpot, Thanksgiving, , , , , , ,

Veggie Patties

Toddlers love finger food and being able to pull apart and inspect their food. These veggie patties are easy, quick and healthy and are a big hit when served with a little tomato sauce or sour cream for dipping. This recipe makes 6-7 small patties.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup grated zucchinicarrot
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup wheat flour
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tb dried parsely
  • olive oil
  • tomato sauce (optional)

Instructions

  1. Using a mixing bowl, combine, zucchini, carrot, beaten eggs, onion, flour, cheese and parsely. Stir thoroughly.
  2. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. 
  3. Drop mixture into skilled by spoonfuls and cook for a few minutes on each side until golden.
  4. Serve with tomato sauce for dipping.

Photo credit to John-Morgan.

Filed under: Cheese, Dairy, Finger Food, Parsley, Zucchini, , , , , , , , , ,

Lentil Vegetable Soup

Lentil Veggie Soup is most appropriate for babies at least 9 months, and can be made in a saucepan or a crockpot!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups water
  • 1/3 cup dried lentils 
  • 1 cup organic vegetable stock
  • 1 medium organic carrot, diced
  • 1 medium organic yellow potato, diced (could also substitute sweet potato or winter squash)
  • 1 stalk of organic celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup organic tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp of dried basil 

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan, combine water, lentils, vegetable or beef stock, carrot, potato and celery.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for about 4-45 minutes. (may need to add a little more water)
  3. Add tomato sauce and basil and heat until thoroughly warm
  4. Remove from saucepan, blend or puree if needed

FREEZER FRIENDLY

  1. Pour into ice cube trays
  2. Cover and freeze overnight

Filed under: Basil, Freezer Friendly, Herbs and Spices, Legumes, Lentils, nutrition, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Around the Play Yard: January Roundup

Each week or so I’m posting my favorite baby-related finds from around the web:branchorganicmbr

  • I usually don’t include products in the roundup, but I had to share this mint and brown organic onesie from My Baby Rocks.
  • Making your own Vanilla Extract, from Bethany Actually. Obviously you wouldn’t use this in your baby’s food, but nice gift, nonetheless.
  • Ok, another product website, but Sticks and Stones site has really inspired me to look more closely at the environment around me and create one of these photo alphabet projects for Baby K. This family run business specializes in photo gifts, with photos of letters taken in nature and architecture. Check it out, this would be a cool project to start as our babies start to learn their letters. I’ll post mine as it progresses!
  • I’ve collected several newpapers from this year and 2008, mainly election and inauguration news for to show Baby K all of the historical events that took place in the year that she was born and during her first year. How to preserve them? This article from Columbus Dispatch tells how. Whatever you do, don’t laminate!
  • Gardening season is just around the corner. Have you thought about Growing Your Own? As in food and herbs? It’s much easier than you think, visit Seeds of Change to get started. More on organic gardening for baby and your family to follow.
  • The recall on peanut butter products seems to grow every day. Stay up to date using the FDA’s searchable site.

Filed under: Around the Play Yard, baby, Best Of, DIY, Family, Gear, News, Reading, Recalls, Vanilla, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Carrots and Stars in Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 organic carrots, sliced
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1Tbs no salt added butter
  • 1 tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese
  • 2Tbs whole grain pasta stars
  • 1 tsp dried parsley

Instructions

  1. Steam carrots until tender
  2. Meanwhile, saute tomatoes in butter until tender
  3. Remove from heat and stir in cheddar cheese
  4. Cook pasta in water in another sauce pan until tender.
  5. Combine carrots with cheesy tomato sauce.
  6. Add desired amount of cooking water from carrots.
  7. Blend until you reach desired consistency.
  8. Add pasta stars and dried parsley, mix well.
  9. If freezing, pour into ice cube trays, cover and freeze overnight.

Filed under: Carrots, food, Freezer Friendly, Grains, Herbs and Spices, nutrition, Parsley, Pasta, Uncategorized, Vegetables, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Quinoa Veggie Pilaf

I found this recipe at allrecipes.com, and have adapted it for baby. Quinoa Veggie Pilaf is family friendly, in that you can easily double this recipe for your family, or for smaller families, just remove a portion for baby at end and puree.

Although quinoa is relatively new to the American market, it has been named by the United Nations as a “super crop”, and is considered a complete protein.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oilquinoa, by net_efekt
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup no salt added, frozen green peas, thawed
  • ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Pour oil into a medium saucepan, and place over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrots; cook and stir for 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
  2. Using a strainer, rinse quinoa under cold water. Drain well.
  3. Stir into the vegetables; cook and stir for 1 minute.
  4. Add water, bay leaf and lemon rind and juice; bring to boil. Cover, and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender.
  5. Remove bay leaf and discard.
  6. Stir in peas, and season to taste with pepper.
  7. Puree and serve.

I haven’t tried to freeze this meal yet, so I don’t have any recommendation on its freezer-friendliness. Have you tried it? Please comment!

Filed under: baby, Bay, Carrots, Celery, Family, food, Grains, Herbs and Spices, nutrition, Peas, Quinoa, Vegetables, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Lasagna: Italian Dinner for the Whole Family

As Baby K gets older and is able to eat more complex meals, I find it easier at times to prepare parts of our family meals for her. Lasagna is a family favorite at my house, and I’ve adapted my tried and true recipe to suit her needs as well. As a bonus, both the family portion and baby’s portion are freezer friendly!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef (or turkey)
  • 1 jar of organic, basic tomato sauce
  • 12 oz shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 1 12 oz container of cottage cheese
  • 1 package whole wheat oven ready lasagna
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat tiny pasta for baby (I used acini di pepe)
  • 1 diced tomato
  • 1/4 finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2 tbs dried parsley
  • 2 whole bay leaves

Instructions

  1. Brown ground beef (or turkey) in pan, drain excess fat if any and return to pan.
  2. Add chopped onions and continue to cook on low for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently
  3. As onions start to turn translucent, add chopped mushrooms, garlic and tomato, continue cooking for about 5 minutes
  4. Stir in tomato sauce and bay leaves, bring to a boil
  5. Remove mixture from heat
  6. Remove bay leaves

Baby’s Dinner

  1. Cook baby’s pasta, drain, rinse and set aside
  2. Remove about a cup of the beef and sauce mixture and place into a mixing bowl
  3. Add 1/2 cup of cottage cheese, mix well
  4. Blend this mixture into a puree
  5. Combine with baby’s pasta
  6. Add 1/2 tbs of dried parsley if desired
  7. Serve, or pour into ice cube trays, cover, freeze overnight and store

Family’s Dinner

  1. In an ungreased 9×13 pan or 2 9×9 pans, spread a layer of about 1/3 beef and sauce mixture on the bottom of the pan.
  2. Add a layer of lasagna noodles
  3. Add a layer of 1/3 of the cottage cheese
  4. Add a layer of 1/3 of the shredded cheese
  5. Sprinkle with parsley if desired
  6. Cover with foil and bake for about 1 hour at 350 degrees

Filed under: Bay, Beef, Chicken, Family, food, Freezer Friendly, garlic, Herbs and Spices, Parsley, Pasta, Proteins, Turkey, Uncategorized, Vegetables, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Herbed Chicken with Corn and Rice

This dish can easily be doubled or tripled to feed the rest of your family as well. Just skip chopping the chicken and pureeing. Also try it with turkey for a different flavor. Freezer friendly!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 cups low sodium organic chicken or vegetable broth or water
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) corn
  • 1/3 cup cooked basmati rice (may substitute brown rice)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • sprig of parsley
  • 1/2 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 tbs whole wheat, organic flour
  • 2-3 whole peppercorns

Instructions

  1. Combine the chicken breast, broth or water, bay leaves, parsley and peppercorns in a large stock pot.
  2. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until chicken is cooked thoroughly
  3. Remove chicken and chop finely
  4. Strain the remaining water or broth and reserve, be sure to remove bay leaves, peppercorns and parsley sprig
  5. Melt unsalted butter in a pan, add the flour, stir and cook for a few minutes.
  6. Add the remaining water or broth, bring to a boil, and simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  7. Add the corn and continue to simmer for another few minutes.
  8. Mix in chopped chicken and rice.
  9. Serve, or cool then puree to reach desired consistency.
  10. If freezing, pour into ice cube trays, cover, and freeze overnight.

Filed under: Basmati Rice, Bay, Brown Rice, Chicken, food, Freezer Friendly, Grains, Herbs and Spices, nutrition, Parsley, Proteins, Turkey, , , , , , , , , , ,

Explore

All A-Twitter