Vanilla Pumpkin – Homemade Baby Food Blog

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Homemade Baby Food Recipes – Pure as babies

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.

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

Applesauce: A Beaba Babycook recipe

Apples

Apples

If you haven’t checked out a Beaba Babycook, I highly suggest you do so. It is one of the most valuable tools I’ve used while making my own baby food. You can read my full review here.

Several readers have emailed me, requesting recipes specific to the Babycook. Pretty much any food that you would steam, you can Babycook. Here’s one to get you started, a single serving (or 2) of applesauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 large apple (I used a Honeycrisp, but consider McIntosh or Red Delicious, think sweet so you don’t have to add sugar)
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)

Steps

  1. Wash, core and slice apple (you can also peel apple for younger babies who might have a hard time digesting the skin)
  2. Fill Babycook water reservoir
  3. Place apple slices in steam basket
  4. Turn Babycook to “steam”
  5. Let Babycook complete steaming, about 15 minutes
  6. Empty steamed apples into the Babycook blender container and turn to “blend”.
  7. Sprinkle a little cinnamon before serving and relish the moment when there aren’t many dishes to clean!

Does baby love applesauce or do you have a windfall of apples? (Tis the season!) Try my Slow Cooker Applesauce recipe!

Photo credit to A Million to One.

Filed under: Apples, Fruit, , , , , ,

Blueberry Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Sounds a little bizarre, I know, but give these a try, no syrup needed!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • Cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Combine cottage cheese, flour, blueberries, beaten eggs and oil in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Heat lightly sprayed skilled over medium heat.
  3. Pour 1/3 cupfuls of batter in to the skilled. Carefully flipping when bubbles appear on the surface.

Filed under: Blueberry, Dairy, Finger Food, Fruit, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

iPlayPhone

If your todler is anything like mine, or any of the other millions of tots of tech-savvy parents, she loves mommy and daddy’s cell phones. Baby K has a fisher price phone and an old Blackberry, but nothing is as entertaining to her as the real thing. Enter iPlayPhone for the iPhone by Ryan Neudorf:

“I’ve just released my first iPhone app – iPlayPhone – it’s a toy phone for toddlers. I built it for my 1yr old son who’s always running off with my phone. It’s simplictic but super fun. All the buttons play goofy sounds. The onShake sound totally baffles my son, he’s like “woah, i shake it and is makes sounds…weird.”

Here’s the iTunes link: http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=308425921

Ryan’s Blog: OHRYAN.CA – Ryan Neudorf Certified Web Expert » OhRyan.ca.

Filed under: Around the Play Yard, baby, Family, , , , , , ,

Pants-Free Potty training in three days or less

From BabyCenter, one of my favorite web parenting resources, this article appeared about the Diaper Free Toddlers Program: Potty training in three days or less | BabyCenter . Although I think the name is a little misleading, since the program suggests that baby go “bare-bottomed” for  3 months following the 3 day “initiation” period.

Diapers and training pants are okay for nap time and bedtime, but if you rely on them more often you’ll undo your potty training progress, Fellom says.

“If you really want this to work, it only works naked,” Fellom says. “There are absolutely no pants in the house for the first three months.”

Think of the 3 days as a kick-off to pottty training I suppose. When she’s old enough for this program, I might give it a try – my toddler is going to LOVE being diaper free for 3 months!

Filed under: Around the Play Yard, Family, Reading, , , , , ,

Blueberry Parfait

The blueberries in this dessert or snack are easily substituted. Try raspberries, peaches or bananas for variety!

Ingredients

  • 3 tbs fresh blueberries or frozen blueberriesblueberries
  • 1 tbs whole milk vanilla yogurt
  • 2 tbs rice or oatmeal cereal
  • Cheerio or graham cracker “dust”

Instructions

  1. Clean and thaw berries if using frozen
  2. If serving to a younger baby, microwave blueberries for 20 seconds or so to soften them. Mash berries.
  3. Mix together the yogurt and rice or oatmeal cereal until throughly blended
  4. Combine berries with yogurt and cereal mixture
  5. Sprinkle with Cheerio or graham cracker dust
  6. Enjoy!

Photo by lepiaf.geo.

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Filed under: Dessert, Snack, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

No-Cook Baby Food Recipe: Avocado and Banana

As Baby K gets a little older and her foods don’t need to be pureed beyond recognition anymore, it’s easy to combine soft foods and mash them with a fork for a quick, no-cook meal. I’ve already sung the praises of the banana, but have you thought about combining the sweet tasting banana with another no-cook food, the buttery and smooth avocado? (Need avocado guidance?)sliced avocado

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 ripe banana

Instructions:

  • Combine avocado and banana
  • Mash with a fork
  • Warm if baby prefers

Doesn’t get any easier!

Photography courtesy of ms. Tea on Flickr.

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Filed under: Avocado, Banana, food, Fruit, No-Cook, , , , , , , ,

Baby Gear Giveaway and Prose: WooBee Bib

Let me paint a picture of dinner time with my almost 11 month old:

Twas the time before dinner, when all through the house,

There was a creature stirring, a little bigger than a mouse

The pureed food cubes were stored in Ziplocks with care

Pumpkin, bananas, carrots and pear

As Baby K chose lasagna, my heart skipped a beat

Visions of tomato sauce, covering her clothes, face and feet

As dinner was heating we prepped the scene

We needed a bib that would keep Baby K clean

Not this one or that one, everyone would agree

The only bib for the job is the posh Woobee

Beautiful and stylish, plush in a ranch print

For bib after bib I’d no longer sprint

When up from the high chair there rose such a clatter

I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter

Baby K’s newest trick is to spit out her food

Soy milk and lasagna, quite a colorful brew

Armed only with faith and laundry soap

A clean Woobee bib was really my hope

Away Cheerios, lasagna, sweet potato bites and soy milk

Out came the Woobee just as clean as new and softer than silk

Amazing! I cried, happy to see, this snap-closure bib

One of the coolest things since the convertible crib!

I know Christmas has passed, but we could all use a little Christmas spirit every now and then right? Seriously, these bibs are the best. They’re made locally in Seattle by Rain or Shine Kids and feature the WooBee plush fabric that’s both beautiful, soft and water resistant. Rain or Shine Kids also makes WooBee blankets, perfect for outdoors, and WooBee burp cloths in the same fantastic fabric.

Wanna WooBee bib of your own? Check out RainorShineKids.com and comment below about your favorite feature of the WooBee bibs. Rain or Shine Kids has a fantastic sale going on right now until January 31st. Great time to try any of their products out, or stock up for baby shower gifts.

Comments must be entered by January 31st at 5 pm, EST.

When entering our giveaway, please leave a valid email address or make sure your email is available where you can be contacted in the event that you win. Winner must respond within 5 days of email. I can not be held responsible if you do not provide the correct e-mail address or if the e-mail was delivered to your spam folder. US residents only, please.

(Not sure what’s going on with my photo of Baby K in her WooBee bib, she really doesn’t glow, I promise!)

Vanilla Pumpkin is participating in Bloggy Giveaways blog carnival, please visit Bloggy Giveaways for more giveaways.

This contest is now closed! The winner, chosen by random.org, is MRSMOMMYY:

seriously the machine wash had me hooked

Thank you all for entering!

Dear friends, I try hard to exceed your expectations with my posts. If you enjoyed this one, please share it via Delicious, Technorati, StumbleUpon, Twitter or Facebook. Thank you!

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Disclosure: I did receive a bib to try, but I believe in transparent and honesty in blogging. Receipt of this product did not influence my review. You can read my disclosure policy in full here.

Filed under: baby, Best Of, Family, Gear, Giveaways, Reading, Reviews, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Around the Play Yard: Week of January 20

Foodpairing.be – Whether you’re a seasoned gourmet or just getting started in the kitchen, Foodpairing gives you, well, pairing ideas as well as substitutions represented graphically.

CoolMomGuide – I loved CoolMomGuide’s post on “You Know You’re a (Seasoned) Mother When…“.

My favorite is “You see a half-chewed skittle on the table and pop it in your mouth.

$5 Dollar Dinners – Frugality is queen in 2009, and $5 Dollar Dinners shows you not only how to save big on your family’s meals, but still cook healthy, by shopping sales, couponing and meal planning. $5 Dinners even has a section on frugal cooking for babies using the Babycook. What is a Babycook?

Filed under: Around the Play Yard, food, Reading, , , , , , , , ,

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