Vanilla Pumpkin – Homemade Baby Food Blog

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Homemade Baby Food Recipes – Pure as babies

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

Sweet Potato Bites

Sweet potatoes are one of nature’s superfoods, delivering beta carotene and Vitamins C and B6. Commonly one of baby’s first foods, sweet potato chips, bites, fingers or fries continue to please into the self-feeding stages.

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet potato
  • Water
  • Cinnamon, cloves or nutmeg (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Wash and peel sweet potato
  3. Cut into fingers (fries) or chips of desired size
  4. Boil bites in about 2 cups of water for 10 minutes
  5. Drain and transfer bites to baking pan
  6. Sprinkle with spice or spice mixture
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until slightly crispy
  8. Cool, then serve or refrigerate in an airtight container

Filed under: Baked Bites, Finger Food, Sweet Potato, 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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