Vanilla Pumpkin – Homemade Baby Food Blog

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Homemade Baby Food Recipes – Pure as babies

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, , , , , ,

Banana Veggie Blend

Nutrient-rich red bell pepper combined with the familiarity of carrot and banana. I haven’t yet tried to freeze this one. Have you? Let me know! Update: FREEZER FRIENDLY!

Ingredients

1/2 red bell pepperred bell pepper

1 carrot

1 banana

Instructions

1. Slice red pepper and remove seeds and core

2. Peel and slice carrot

3. Combine red pepper and carrot slices and steam until tender

4. Peel and slice banana

5. Combine steamed red pepper and carrot with banana slices in blender

6. Blend until you reach desired consistency. If baby is older, can also use “chop” setting for chunkier blend.

Photo by zoha_n.

Filed under: Banana, Carrots, food, Freezer Friendly, Fruit, Medley, Red Bell Pepper, Vegetables, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Chicken, Brown Rice and Peas Medley

This recipe is for older babies learning to eat chunkier food and meats, using the familiarity of peas and brown rice. You can even substitute any of the ingredients, see below for details.

Peas by Gaeten Lee (Flickr)

Peas by Gaeten Lee (Flickr)

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sized boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup shelled peas (or frozen, salt free peas if fresh aren’t available)
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 clove chopped garlic (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Steam or boil chicken until tender
  2. Finely chop chicken
  3. Steam peas on LOW for about 20 minutes, or until tender, reserve excess water
  4. Combine cooked brown rice and peas in blender or food mill
  5. Blend until desired consistency is reached, may need to add milk, formula or excess water to thin
  6. Combine rice and peas mixture, chopped chicken, optional garlic and mix well
  7. Serve or pour into ice cube trays to freeze

The great thing about this recipe is that it’s so versatile, you can substitute any of the ingredients with a similar one, for a completely different taste.

Chicken: Turkey

Peas: Broccoli, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans, Leafy Greens, Cauliflower

Brown Rice: Quinoa, Oatmeal, Barley, Whole Wheat Pasta

Filed under: baby, Brown Rice, Carrots, Chicken, food, Freezer Friendly, garlic, Grains, Medley, nutrition, Pasta, Proteins, Quinoa, Spinach, Sweet Potato, Turkey, Vegetables, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Lentil and Veggie Medley

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound dry lentils
  • 1/2 pound vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans
  • 1 small onion

    Lentils

    Lentils

  • 3-4 cups of water

Instructions

  1. Bring water to a boil, and simmer lentils for about 1 1/2 or 2 hours
  2. Drain lentils and let cool
  3. Finely chop onion and saute wite a tiny bit of olive oil
  4. Steam choice of vegetables or vegetable medley until very soft
  5. Combine lentils, vegetables and onion in blender, food mill or processor
  6. Blend until desired consistency is reached, you may need to add more water
  7. Pour into ice cube trays, cover and freeze (makes about 4 ice cube trays)

With this recipe, there are so many options, just use the ratio of 1 cup of lentils to 1 cup of vegetables. You can combine lentils with a medley of vegetables, lentils and carrots, lentils and broccoli, the possibilities are endless.

Filed under: baby, Carrots, food, Freezer Friendly, Legumes, Lentils, Medley, nutrition, Vegetables, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Baby’s First Thanksgiving Meal

Thanksgiving from a jar? Not with these easy and nutritious meal plans. Enjoy!

Turkey with Cranberry Sauce

Ingredientscranberry

  • 1 slice of cooked turkey
  • 1/4 cup cranberry sauce (recipes)

Instructions

  1. Combine slice of turkey and cranberry sauce
  2. Puree in blender, food mill or food processor
  3. May need to add a little water to reach desired consistency
  4. Warm and serve

Serve with one of the following

Filed under: Avocado, baby, Baked Bites, Carrots, Cinnamon, Finger Food, food, Fruit, Herbs and Spices, Holiday Menu, Medley, nutrition, Parsnips, Pear, Proteins, Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, Thanksgiving, Turkey, Vegetables, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Avocado and Pear Puree

My eight month old gives her approval to new foods by frantically kicking her legs with every bite. This recipe definitely got her legs going! Since avocado turns brown very quickly after exposure to air, this recipe should be prepared immediately before serving. Another option to store for a longer period of time is to mix in a little lemon juice and cover tightly with plastic wrap. This recipe is from Food Network – easy to prepare, nutritious and a big winner!

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 ripe pear

Instructions

  1. Wash, peel, core pear
  2. Cut pear into cubes
  3. Very ripe pears don’t require steaming, if pear is very ripe, skip to step 5
  4. Steam cubed pear for about 15 minutes on LOW (save excess water from pears to thin puree if necessary)
  5. Mash pear with a fork or transfer to blender or food mill (processor)
  6. Wash, peel and remove pit from avocado
  7. Cut  avocado into cubes
  8. Combine avocado and pear in blender
  9. Blend or process until desired consistency is reached (may need to add water or excess water from steaming)
  10. Serve immediately OR
  11. Combine with a little lemon juice, about 1/2 to 1 tablespoon to prevent browning
  12. Pour into ice cube trays, cover tightly with plastic wrap and freeze overnight

Filed under: Avocado, baby, food, Freezer Friendly, Fruit, Medley, nutrition, Pear, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Carrot and Parsnip Puree

I saw this recipe on Food Network some ago and just now tried it a few weeks ago. It was so easy to prepare and customize, as there are several herbs you can add to provide variety. Edit 11/18/09 – Now that I have a toddler, I just steam the sliced carrots and parsnips, or throw them in the Baby Cook. When after they’re steamed, I sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Unfortunately right now, the parmesan cheese is the only way she’ll eat her veggies! You could also melt a little butter and toss the steamed veggies with the butter and/or herbs in the recipe below. Good luck!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups carrots – cleaned, peeled, sliced
  • 1 cup parsnips – cleaned, peeled, sliced
  • Dill weed or basil (optional)

Steps

  1. Combine carrots and parsnips in steamer
  2. Steam on MED for about 30 minutes, or until vegetables are very soft
  3. Remove from steamer and allow to cool
  4. Add about 1 cup of water (more or less to reach desired consistency)
  5. Blend carrots and parsnips until desired consistence is reached
  6. Serve, or pour into ice cube trays, cover and store for up to 3 months
  7. When serving, consider adding a bit of dill weed or basil for variety and exposure

Filed under: baby, Basil, Carrots, Dill, food, Freezer Friendly, Herbs and Spices, Medley, nutrition, Parsnips, Vegetables, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

One of the many benefits of homemade baby food is versatility. Once baby has been exposed to herbs and spices, a single ingredient recipe can take on a multitude of culinary experiences. Although it is not recommended to add sugar or salt to baby’s food, the use of many common spices are a great way to help baby expand her familiarity with different tastes and learn to enjoy natural flavors.

I usually wait to add spices and herbs until right before serving instead of when freezing or storing. That way if I find something baby really likes (or doesn’t), I can tailor meals to her preferences and continually try new combinations.

Most pediatricians recommend waiting until 8 months to introduce spices, and keep in mind the 4 day rule. As always, please discuss the introduction of any new food, herb or spice with your baby’s doctor.

A few combinations to get you started:

Vegetables:

  • Sweet Potatoes – Cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg, vanilla*, pumpkin pie spice
  • Pumpkin – Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, ground cloves, vanilla*, pumpkin pie spice
  • Carrots – Basil, garlic, cinnamon
  • Green Beans – Garlic
  • White Potatoes – Garlic, dill, anise
  • Butternut squash and winter squash – garlic, ground cloves

Fruits:

Rosemary

Rosemary

  • Apples – Cinnamon, vanilla*
  • Bananas – Ginger, lemon zest
  • Pears – Ginger, vanilla*
  • Blueberries – vanilla*
  • Peaches – vanilla*

Grains:

  • Oatmeal – Cinnamon, vanilla*, nutmeg
  • Pasta – Oregano, basil, parsley

Meats:

  • Chicken – rosemary, cinnamon and coriander, garlic, basil, lemon zest, parsley, sage, thyme
  • Turkey – garlic, basil, parsley, sage, thyme

Dairy:

  • Plain yogurt – vanilla*, mint

*An important note about vanilla

Vanilla extract contains on average 35% alcohol, used to stabilize and preserve the flavor. Make sure you’re using natural vanilla flavor or a dash of ground vanilla beans.

Have you found any winning combinations? Let me know!

Filed under: Apples, baby, Banana, Butternut Squash, Chicken, Cinnamon, Coriander, food, Fruit, Ginger, Herbs and Spices, Medley, Nutmeg, nutrition, Parsley, Pasta, Peaches, Pear, Proteins, Pumpkin, Sage, Sweet Potato, Turkey, Vanilla, Vegetables, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Harvest Crockpot Medley

The crisp, fall air got me thinking about crockpot recipes and I thought I’d try making a fall medley of veggies using the crockpot. Although I started with sweet potatoes, squash and an eggplant, you can mix and match or substitute other vegetables or even fruits according to availability.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 sweet potatoes (washed, peeled and cubed)
  • 1 butternut squash (washed, peeled and cubed)
  • 1 eggplant (washed, peeled and cubed

Instructions

  1. Heat in crockpot on LOW with 2 cups of water (or less) or low sodium vegetable broth for 3-4 hours. Adjust time for smaller or larger cubes.
  2. Transfer to blender and blend until desired consistency. You may need to add a little water or baby’s milk depending on consistency.
  3. Pour into ice cube trays, cover and freeze.

Filed under: Butternut Squash, Eggplant, Freezer Friendly, Medley, Sweet Potato, Vegetables, , , , , ,

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