Vanilla Pumpkin – Homemade Baby Food Blog

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Homemade Baby Food Recipes – Pure as babies

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, , , , , ,

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

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

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

Lasagna: Italian Dinner for the Whole Family

As Baby K gets older and is able to eat more complex meals, I find it easier at times to prepare parts of our family meals for her. Lasagna is a family favorite at my house, and I’ve adapted my tried and true recipe to suit her needs as well. As a bonus, both the family portion and baby’s portion are freezer friendly!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef (or turkey)
  • 1 jar of organic, basic tomato sauce
  • 12 oz shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 1 12 oz container of cottage cheese
  • 1 package whole wheat oven ready lasagna
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat tiny pasta for baby (I used acini di pepe)
  • 1 diced tomato
  • 1/4 finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2 tbs dried parsley
  • 2 whole bay leaves

Instructions

  1. Brown ground beef (or turkey) in pan, drain excess fat if any and return to pan.
  2. Add chopped onions and continue to cook on low for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently
  3. As onions start to turn translucent, add chopped mushrooms, garlic and tomato, continue cooking for about 5 minutes
  4. Stir in tomato sauce and bay leaves, bring to a boil
  5. Remove mixture from heat
  6. Remove bay leaves

Baby’s Dinner

  1. Cook baby’s pasta, drain, rinse and set aside
  2. Remove about a cup of the beef and sauce mixture and place into a mixing bowl
  3. Add 1/2 cup of cottage cheese, mix well
  4. Blend this mixture into a puree
  5. Combine with baby’s pasta
  6. Add 1/2 tbs of dried parsley if desired
  7. Serve, or pour into ice cube trays, cover, freeze overnight and store

Family’s Dinner

  1. In an ungreased 9×13 pan or 2 9×9 pans, spread a layer of about 1/3 beef and sauce mixture on the bottom of the pan.
  2. Add a layer of lasagna noodles
  3. Add a layer of 1/3 of the cottage cheese
  4. Add a layer of 1/3 of the shredded cheese
  5. Sprinkle with parsley if desired
  6. Cover with foil and bake for about 1 hour at 350 degrees

Filed under: Bay, Beef, Chicken, Family, food, Freezer Friendly, garlic, Herbs and Spices, Parsley, Pasta, Proteins, Turkey, Uncategorized, Vegetables, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Herbed Chicken with Corn and Rice

This dish can easily be doubled or tripled to feed the rest of your family as well. Just skip chopping the chicken and pureeing. Also try it with turkey for a different flavor. Freezer friendly!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 cups low sodium organic chicken or vegetable broth or water
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) corn
  • 1/3 cup cooked basmati rice (may substitute brown rice)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • sprig of parsley
  • 1/2 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 tbs whole wheat, organic flour
  • 2-3 whole peppercorns

Instructions

  1. Combine the chicken breast, broth or water, bay leaves, parsley and peppercorns in a large stock pot.
  2. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until chicken is cooked thoroughly
  3. Remove chicken and chop finely
  4. Strain the remaining water or broth and reserve, be sure to remove bay leaves, peppercorns and parsley sprig
  5. Melt unsalted butter in a pan, add the flour, stir and cook for a few minutes.
  6. Add the remaining water or broth, bring to a boil, and simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  7. Add the corn and continue to simmer for another few minutes.
  8. Mix in chopped chicken and rice.
  9. Serve, or cool then puree to reach desired consistency.
  10. If freezing, pour into ice cube trays, cover, and freeze overnight.

Filed under: Basmati Rice, Bay, Brown Rice, Chicken, food, Freezer Friendly, Grains, Herbs and Spices, nutrition, Parsley, Proteins, Turkey, , , , , , , , , , ,

Chicken, Brown Rice and Peas Medley

This recipe is for older babies learning to eat chunkier food and meats, using the familiarity of peas and brown rice. You can even substitute any of the ingredients, see below for details.

Peas by Gaeten Lee (Flickr)

Peas by Gaeten Lee (Flickr)

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sized boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup shelled peas (or frozen, salt free peas if fresh aren’t available)
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 clove chopped garlic (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Steam or boil chicken until tender
  2. Finely chop chicken
  3. Steam peas on LOW for about 20 minutes, or until tender, reserve excess water
  4. Combine cooked brown rice and peas in blender or food mill
  5. Blend until desired consistency is reached, may need to add milk, formula or excess water to thin
  6. Combine rice and peas mixture, chopped chicken, optional garlic and mix well
  7. Serve or pour into ice cube trays to freeze

The great thing about this recipe is that it’s so versatile, you can substitute any of the ingredients with a similar one, for a completely different taste.

Chicken: Turkey

Peas: Broccoli, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans, Leafy Greens, Cauliflower

Brown Rice: Quinoa, Oatmeal, Barley, Whole Wheat Pasta

Filed under: baby, Brown Rice, Carrots, Chicken, food, Freezer Friendly, garlic, Grains, Medley, nutrition, Pasta, Proteins, Quinoa, Spinach, Sweet Potato, Turkey, Vegetables, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Lentil and Veggie Medley

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound dry lentils
  • 1/2 pound vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans
  • 1 small onion

    Lentils

    Lentils

  • 3-4 cups of water

Instructions

  1. Bring water to a boil, and simmer lentils for about 1 1/2 or 2 hours
  2. Drain lentils and let cool
  3. Finely chop onion and saute wite a tiny bit of olive oil
  4. Steam choice of vegetables or vegetable medley until very soft
  5. Combine lentils, vegetables and onion in blender, food mill or processor
  6. Blend until desired consistency is reached, you may need to add more water
  7. Pour into ice cube trays, cover and freeze (makes about 4 ice cube trays)

With this recipe, there are so many options, just use the ratio of 1 cup of lentils to 1 cup of vegetables. You can combine lentils with a medley of vegetables, lentils and carrots, lentils and broccoli, the possibilities are endless.

Filed under: baby, Carrots, food, Freezer Friendly, Legumes, Lentils, Medley, nutrition, Vegetables, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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