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

Link: No more food fights from BabyCenter

These recipes are geared more toward older children (older than babies at least), but this article is definitely worth a look, since there is much to be learned from the strategies used in the creation of these recipes. I especially love the White Bean Puree, I’ve used it as a bagel spread, quesadilla filler, sandwich spread and sneaky addition to macaroni and cheese. No more food fights: The Recipe, BabyCenter

Filed under: Around the Play Yard, baby, links, Reading, , ,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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