Vanilla Pumpkin – Homemade Baby Food Blog

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Homemade Baby Food Recipes – Pure as babies

Pumpkin Waffles by Weelicious

Ok, you all know how I feel about pumpkin. We love it in oatmeal and soup, Little K still loves it as a puree. Catherine at Weelicious posted a recipe for Pumpkin Waffles which of course I had to try. Delicious! They are indeed as good as they look in the photo. I served them for breakfast and K was hooked. She asked for them again at dinner and I used Catherine’s suggestion of making a sandwich. I sliced one waffle in two and made a sandwich using about a tablespoon of cream cheese and thinly sliced apples.These would also be fantastic as finger food or a snack for younger, self feeding babies (torn into small pieces, of course).

Great recipe, I’ll definitely be making a batch to freeze for quick, healthy meals.

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Filed under: Finger Food, Freezer Friendly, Pumpkin, Snack, , , , , , , , ,

A Hurried, Sneaky Chef Mom’s Dream

First, I want to make a quick apology that I haven’t been posting much lately. Recently I lost my job (thank you economy!) and am working on some freelance projects to bring in a little income. My goal is to continue posting for chefs of both toddlers and babies. That said, onward!

While perusing Walmart a few weeks ago (yes I peruse Walmart occasionally since I don’t typically YoBaby Meals, Apple and Sweet Potatoshop there), I saw they are carrying the new Stonyfield Farm’s YoBaby 3-in-1 Meals. Yes, sneaky chef has arrived to the dairy case. The packaging boasts, “yogurt + fruit + veggies” and is certified organic. It comes in a 6 ounce container, which is the perfect size for my 2 year old. Basically the meals are plain yogurt with the fruit and veggie puree at the bottom. Stir it up and you’ve got a fruity and creamy delicious yogurt meal. As I’ve mentioned before, she has turned into an incredibly picky eater, and refuses to eat anything green, let alone green AND leafy.

Currently, the YoBaby Meals are available in Apple and Sweet Potato, Pear and Green Beans, and Peach and Squash. (Any of these combos sound familiar, baby food makers?) Little K likes any of them, but loves the Apple and Sweet Potato.

Not to be fooled by clever marketing, one question remains, how much fruit and vegetable puree is actually in this little cup of wonder? I emailed Stonyfield Farms and got a friendly and very timely response:

Thanks for reaching out to us regarding YoBaby Meals! Great to hear that your family is a fan of our latest baby yogurt 🙂

In regards to your question, our current 6oz cup contains 2 tablespoons of fruits & vegetables, which is considered to be one serving for children 0-5 years old. (combined, not each).

Considering Little K will eat the entire cup with no hesitation or fight, I’ll take 2 tablespoons for fruits and veggies ANY DAY. Plus it’s pretty nice that YoBaby Meals cost about $1.

Let me just throw this out there: Dear Meijer, I usually shop at your stores but you’re not currently carrying YoBaby Meals. I’d love it if you did so I didn’t have to go to Walmart for a single item on my list. If you could fix that, it would be great, thanks! Love ya!

In all seriousness, do you shop at Meijer? Tell them you’d like to see YoBaby in their stores by sending them a message.

Disclosure: I have not been compensated, received payment, or accepted any product or service for this review. Please see this blog’s disclosure policy in full here.


Filed under: Apples, Around the Play Yard, baby, Best Of, Butternut Squash, Dairy, Fruit, Green Beans, No-Cook, Peaches, Pear, Reviews, Sweet Potato, Vegetables, Yogurt, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Steamed Parmesan Carrots and Parsnips: Beaba Babycook Recipe

I also have a puree version of this recipe here for younger babies. Beaba Babycook fans, I know you’re out there!! I’m working on a page listing all of the Babycook recipes so check back soon. Thanks for visiting! If you have a Beaba Babycook recipe you’d like to share, please let me know by emailing me at vanillapumpkin at ymail dot com. Thanks so much!

Ingredients

  • One carrot, washed, peeled, sliced
  • 1/4 cup of parsnip (about a quarter of a parsnip) , washed, peeled, sliced into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 tbs parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Place sliced carrot and parsnip in steaming basket of Beaba Babycook, or steam them in a steamer, or place them in the microwave in a bowl of water or chicken broth for about 10 minutes. If you’re using your Babycook, fill the water reservoir.
  2. Remove veggies, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, and serve!

 

Filed under: Babycook, Carrots, Parsnips, Vegetables, , , , , , , , , , ,

Butternut Squash Puree

Butternut squash is a fantastic source of both vitamin A and C, and just one vegetable can go a long way. Widely available in October and November, butternut squash has a sweet, creamy flavor, and is enclosed in a tough skin. Stored correctly in a cool, dry place, butternut squash will keep for 2-3 months.

You can serve Butternut Squash puree alone, or mix it with apple puree, carrot puree, applesauce, mashed banana, pumpkin, sweet potato, rice or homemade rice cereal, chicken or peaches. Baby K loves her Butternut Squash Puree with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

For a toddler, I’ve had success with mini bagel “pizzas”, that is, halve a whole wheat bagel, spread about a tablespoon or two of butternut squash puree over bagel, sprinkle with a little parmesan or asiago cheese, and bake for about 10 minutes.

To make the puree:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degreesButternut Squash
  • Wash butternut squash just before slicing
  • Carefully cut the vegetable in half lengthwise
  • Scoop out the seeds and fibrous strings
  • Using a small knife, carefully peel the skin from each half
  • Cube the remaining squash into about 2 inch cubes
  • Place cubes on a foil lined pan, and drizzle a little olive oil over the squash
  • You will probably have a pretty full pan, be sure to use a spatula and toss the cubes around making sure that all sides have a little EVOO
  • Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, using the spatula to turn the cubes occasionally.
  • Squash should be baked until tender.
  • Allow the butternut squash cubes to cool
  • Transfer to cubes to blender or food processor with about 1/2 cup of water
  • Blend away, adding water if necessary.
  • Pour into ice cube trays, cover and freeze immediately.

Photo credit to Rex_roof.

Filed under: Butternut Squash, Finger Food, food, Freezer Friendly, nutrition, Vegetables, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Green Supreme Smoothie

My once adventurous eater, now 18 months, has turned to the infamous toddlerGreen Smoothie “white diet” of only wanting bread, pasta, potatoes, bananas, Cheerios, crackers and cheese. Like any concerned parent, I wanted to make sure she was getting enough nutrients, especially since flu season is here. I turned to the “sneaky chef” method, and started making super food packed smoothies for her, which she usually drinks as a snack.

The great news is that this smoothie recipe, and the ones to follow, freeze well: just portion them in 8 ounce freezable Ball containers and label. You can semi-thaw them in the refrigerator, or for (nearly) instant smoothie snacks, submerge the container in a mug of hot water for a few minutes. Either way, just keep shaking the smoothie container to make sure the icy parts are evenly distributed. She will usually drink about 6 ounces over the course of an hour or so. I usually serve Baby K’s smoothie in a sippy cup that I’ve widened the nipple, but she also likes drinking them with a straw.

Yields 1 liter

  • 3 cups of spinach, washed and dried
  • 1 orange, peeled and seeded and sectioned
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and sectioned
  • 1 seeded and peeled papaya
  • 1/2 of a banana
  • 1/2 cup soy milk OR 6 oz container plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 tbs flaxseed meal (optional)
  • 6 ice cubes

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients except ice cubes into blender and blend until well blended.
  2. Add ice cubes and pulse until well blended
  3. Serve or freeze immediately

Also, I’ve found that when I feel like my diet needs a little boost, I drink one of the 8 ounce containers as a meal replacement. To see the (adult) nutritional data and analysis on this recipe driven by NutritionData.com, click here.

Photo credit to ilovemypit.

Filed under: Apples, Banana, Family, Freezer Friendly, Leafy Greens, Oranges, Recipes, Smoothies, Spinach, 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, , , , , ,

Sweet Potato Minestrone

Filled with healthy antioxidants, this recipe makes enough minestrone to freeze for baby, or share with the entire family!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (28 ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 large carrots, sliced thin
  • 6 ounces green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. 
  2. Saute onion, celery, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper until tender, about 5 minutes. 
  3. Stir in tomatoes, with the juice, broth, sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans and garlic. 
  4. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.

Filed under: Carrots, Celery, Family, Freezer Friendly, garlic, Green Beans, Recipes, Sweet Potato, Vegetables, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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, , , , , , , , , ,

How to Grow Your Own Potatoes | Home Gardening from Foodie Mama, a Foodie Mom Social Network

Spring is officially here – and what better way than to start planning your garden? 

How to Grow Your Own Potatoes | Home Gardening from Foodie Mama, a Foodie Mom Social Network.

Filed under: Around the Play Yard, Grow Your Own, Potato, Reading

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