Vanilla Pumpkin – Homemade Baby Food Blog

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Homemade Baby Food Recipes – Pure as babies

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, , , , , , ,

Finger Food Ideas

Many older babies enjoy self feeding and as a bonus, self-feeding helps develop their pincer grasp and refines a baby’s manual dexterity. Here are some fun finger food ideas, but as always, be sure to check with your pediatrician before introducing new foods. Vegetables (steam, bake and cut into bite sized pieces)

  • peas
  • cherry tomatoes
  • asparagus
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • baby carrots
  • cut green beans (large seeds removed)
  • sweet potato bites
  • boiled potatoes
  • garden burgers
  • beets
  • zuchinni
  • squash
  • Veggie Nuggets

Fruits (bake or steam most and but into bite sized pieces)

  • baked apples
  • melon (no need for cooking)
  • quartered strawberries (12+ months)
  • quartered kiwi
  • bananas
  • avacado
  • halved blueberries
  • halved rasperries (12+months)
  • ripe peaches (no need for cooking)
  • pears (no need for cooking)
  • ripe plums (no need for cooking)
  • apricots
  • pineapple bites (12+ months)
  • orange bites (12+months)
  • ripe mangos
  • nectarines
  • grapes (skinned and quartered)

Dairy

Legumes

  • garbanzo beans
  • kidney beans
  • black beans

Proteins

  • hard boiled egg yolk
  • scrambled egg yolk
  • ground beef
  • diced chicken
  • diced turkey
  • salmon (flaked)
  • mahi mahi (flaked)
  • diced tofu

Starches

  • bite sized pancakes
  • bite sized waffles
  • whole grain toast bites
  • rice
  • Cheerios
  • torn bagels
  • biscotti
  • broken rice cakes
  • graham crackers
  • any small pasta
  • cous cous
  • broken torilla chips

Watch for posts with meal ideas with the finger-food-loving baby in mind later this week!

Filed under: Apples, Avocado, Baked Bites, Banana, Beef, Blueberry, Broccoli, Butternut Squash, Carrots, Cauliflower, Cheese, Chicken, Dairy, Finger Food, Fruit, Grains, Green Beans, Legumes, Mangoes, Pasta, Peaches, Pear, Peas, Potato, Proteins, Snack, Teether, Turkey, Vegetables, Yellow Potato, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Apple Mango Medley

This is a freezer friendly recipe with apples and mangoes. Ripe mangoes usually don’t require steaming or baking since they are naturally soft.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sized apples (red delicious, Macintosh or another sweet variety)
  • 1/2 cup chopped ripe mango
  • 2-3 tablespoons of apple juice or water

Instructions

  1. Wash, peel and core slice apples
  2. Steam apples on low for about 20 minutes, or until soft
  3. Combine steamed apples with chopped ripe mango and water or apple juice
  4. Blend until desired consistency is reached
  5. Serve or pour into ice cube containers, cover and freeze overnight

Enjoy!

Filed under: Apples, baby, food, Freezer Friendly, Fruit, Mangoes, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , ,

Avocado Mash

Avocados are considered superfoods, and one of the most easily digestible protein and healthy, unsaturated fats. They provide the perfect ratio of protein, fat and carbohydrates, all in one fruit. Unsaturated fats are helpful to baby’s developing brain and central nervous system. Additionally, avocado requires no cooking, and boasts the simplest prep process of all of the baby foods I’ve tried, except bananas of course.

Ingredients

Avocado halves

Avocado halves

  • One ripe avocado
  • Lemon juice (if you plan to store in freezer)

Instructions

  1. Using your hand, roll avocado around on prep surface to aid in peeling
  2. Slice in half
  3. If you’re going to use only half, leave the pit in the half you are storing and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
  4. To remove pit, stick a knife in the pit, twist a little, and pull out pit
  5. Remove flesh from avocado skin using a fork
  6. Mash avocado flesh and serve

Avocados are best frozen in slices, dipped in a little lemon juice to prevent them from browning.

Avocado Combinations

Ripe avocados

Ripe avocados

  • Mashed banana
  • Pureed pear
  • Pureed apple
  • Yogurt (if baby is eating dairy)
  • Crushed whole grain crackers and basil (for older babies accepting of more inconsistent textures)

Filed under: Apples, Avocado, baby, Banana, Basil, food, Freezer Friendly, Fruit, nutrition, Pear, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Spiced Pumpkin Puree

A favorite recipe at my house, Spiced Pumpkin Puree is easy, versatile, nutritious, and plentiful. Gentle enough to be a first food. One medium sized pie pumpkin yields about two quarts of frozen puree cubes. Check out all photos of Spiced Pumpkin Puree at Vanilla Pumpkin’s Flickr Feed.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pie Pumpkin (be sure to use a pie pumpkin, not a jack-o-lantern pumpkin, as pie pumpkins are more flavorful and less stringy)
  • 1 cup of water (slightly more or less to reach desired consistency)
  • Vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, cinnamon

Steps:

Pumpkin Seeds
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Wash pumpkin thoroughly
  3. Halve pumpkin horizontally
  4. Scoop out seeds and stingy fiber (save seeds for planting or roasted pumpkin seeds)
  5. Place halves face down in 9×13 pan
  6. Fill pan with about a 1/2 inch of water
  7. Bake for about 90 minutes, begin checking after 60 minutes. Check by sticking fork into skin, should be VERY soft. (baking time will depend on thickness of skin and meat)
  8. When fork slides through skin and flesh easily, remove from oven
  9. Remove flesh from skin and place meat in blender (may need to divide meat into 2-3 blending “sessions” to avoid overfilling blender)
  10. Blend with 1/2 to 1 cup of water until desired consistency is reached

    Pumpkin Puree Cubes

    Pumpkin Puree Cubes

  11. Pour into ice cube trays
  12. Cover and freeze overnight

Serving:

Sprinkle with one or a combination of

  • pumpkin pie spice
  • vanilla
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg

Pumpkin puree mixes well with:

  • Apple puree
  • Sweet potato puree
  • Banana

Mix one pumpkin puree cube with one of the above cubes, warm and serve

Filed under: Freezer Friendly, Fruit, Vegetables, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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