Vanilla Pumpkin – Homemade Baby Food Blog

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Homemade Baby Food Recipes – Pure as babies

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, , , , , ,

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, , , , , ,

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

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

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.

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!



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

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, , , , , , , , ,

Kitchen Gear: Beaba Babycook

Calling all gadget lovers, time savers, multi-taskers, and lovers of the all-in-one. Let me introduce you to my newest love, the Beaba Babycook.

babycookThe BPA-free Babycook is made to gently steam baby’s meals in 15 minutes or less, and then blend them into perfect purees, all in the same little appliance. And when I say little, the Babycook is so compact that it fit perfectly into a smaller wall cabinet. No sacrifice of counter space or rearranging existing cabinet contents to accommodate the Babycook. Already have have some of baby’s food frozen? Babycook also defrosts and warms precooked foods in the same unit.

For those of you that have read my posts, I’m sure you’ve noticed my preference to steaming most of baby’s foods. The gentle steam helps preserve the nutrients in food because, unlike boiling, the nutrients aren’t removed in the cooking water.

The Babycook was originally a French phenom, but is now making big splashes in the US. Babycook even won the 2008 JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturing Association) Innovation Award.

The Babycook even came with a little cookbook of starter recipes to try out. Baby K loved the Whiting, Rice and Spinach recipe, and I loved how simple and fast it was. Baby K is a little young for a few of the recipes, which are all conveniently categorized by age, but I can’t wait to try the Tomato coulis recipe in the 12-36 months age range.

The first night we had the Babycook, I planned to have salmon, asparagus and potatoes for my husband and I, so I thought I’d put the Babycook to the test right off the bat and make Baby K an adapted version of our family’s meal.

  • small salmon fillet, about 1 oz.
  • 1 small yellow potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 asparagus spears
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • pinch of dried parsley

After steaming on the highest water level for about 15 minutes, the salmon, potato and asparagus spears were all perfectly cooked. I used the Babycook spatula to lift the steaming basket out of the unit, and placed the cooked food, olive oil and parsley into the blending container, which contained the cooking liquid. I then switched on the processor and a few seconds later, Baby K was eating her  little dinner.

Other Vanilla Pumpkin recipes well-suited to the Babycook:beaba-babycook

I will say though, that the Babycook isn’t really designed to prepare bulk batches of purees. It’s small steaming basket at 2 1/2 cups is perfect for preparing a few meals.

Beaba Babycook is available at Giggle.com.

Disclosure: I did receive a Babycook 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, Gear, Reviews, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Carrots and Stars in Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 organic carrots, sliced
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1Tbs no salt added butter
  • 1 tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese
  • 2Tbs whole grain pasta stars
  • 1 tsp dried parsley

Instructions

  1. Steam carrots until tender
  2. Meanwhile, saute tomatoes in butter until tender
  3. Remove from heat and stir in cheddar cheese
  4. Cook pasta in water in another sauce pan until tender.
  5. Combine carrots with cheesy tomato sauce.
  6. Add desired amount of cooking water from carrots.
  7. Blend until you reach desired consistency.
  8. Add pasta stars and dried parsley, mix well.
  9. If freezing, pour into ice cube trays, cover and freeze overnight.

Filed under: Carrots, food, Freezer Friendly, Grains, Herbs and Spices, nutrition, Parsley, Pasta, Uncategorized, Vegetables, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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