Apple Butternut Baby VEGGIE BLEND
This is a naturally sweet baby veggie blend rich in fiber, fat, and easy to digest protein that babies love. Most commercial vegetable baby food varieties do not contain adequate fat or protein. Usually they are rich in carbohydrates and therefore do not provide lasting satiety. Plus, this is a great way to expose babies to new flavors and support healthy eating habits later down the road. I like to serve it along with a little bit of pasture-raised egg, either scrambled, or just straight from my soft boiled egg/sunny side up egg for added choline.
Makes ~10 servings
Time: ~30 minutes or less
1 cup peeled and cubed raw butternut squash (see note)
1 medium-large honeycrisp apple, cored and sliced
½ large sweet onion, peeled and quartered
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon peeled ginger root
2 tablespoons hydrolyzed collagen peptides
2 tablespoons grass-fed butter
Pinch salt and pepper
Place a steamer basket in a large pot and enough water to fill right below the basket. Add the squash, apple, onion, garlic clove, and ginger. Heat over high until the water is boiling. Then reduce heat to medium and steam until tender, about 15-20 minutes.
Place the veggie fruit mixture into a food processor. Add the butter and collagen and blend until desired texture. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Divide mixture into a baby food tray (or ice cube tray) and freeze. I often leave out a portion for part of a meal that day. Once frozen place into a sealable freezer bag or large mason jar. When ready for use, remove one cube and place into a small glass or ceramic bowl. Drizzle with a tsp water and microwave for 10-15 seconds. Stir and feel to make sure it is not too hot to serve. Alternatively, thaw in fridge overnight. Toren loves eating this cold so it doesn't need to be warm.
Note: You can also use previously frozen or leftover roasted butternut squash and just warm it in the microwave before adding into the food processor. I am sure other squash varieties with firm flesh like Red Kuri, Acorn, or Delicata would work great as well.
FYI: You can make a variety of veggie purees at once! Simply steam other veggies all at the same time. I usually make two batches at once for more variety at meal times.
Nutrition (per serving): 45kcal, 5.5g carbs, 1.2g fiber, 2.4g fat, 1.6g protein
Cooking the perfect quinoa does not need to be complicated. I have seen some recipes call for straining cooked quinoa in a colander after cooking and most calling for too much water leaving you with wet, soggy grains. Either way is not ideal...too much work for unappetizing soggy grains. Try my super easy way to make perfectly fluffy quinoa every time.
1 1/2 cups quinoa (any color)
2 1/2 cups water
In a medium pot add quinoa and water. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat to low and keep covered, cooking for an additional 5 minutes. Then turn off heat and leave covered for another 15 minutes or more. I usually just cook it and forget about it until I am ready to serve it for lunch/dinner, etc. For example, sometimes I prep the quinoa in the morning and leave it on the stove until lunch.
What you are left with is perfectly cooked and fluffy quinoa that required very minimal work/attention. If you are using it for salads, it is best to let it cool to room temperature on the stove or let cool in the refrigerator.
Celeriac Root Puree
Celeriac root is related to celery and it has a ton of flavor! Commonly used in Europe (and very cheap), it is often only found on menus in high end restaurants and a bit more pricey to buy in the grocery store in the USA. However, you can most definitely find it at your local farmer's market. Celeriac root is also a low carbohydrate choice that is much tastier than cauliflower puree (I think). With only 6g of carbs per 3.5oz serving it is an excellent mashed potato alternative for those struggling with metabolic syndrome, diabetes, or decreased insulin sensitivity.
Makes 6 servings
Time: 45 minutes
2 cups organic whole milk (optional)
3-4 cups water
1 tablespoon salt, plus more to taste
2-2 1/2 pounds celeriac root, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 large potato (or 2 medium), peeled and coarsely chopped
1 medium yellow onion, quartered
3 tablespoons grass-fed butter
Fresh ground pepper
In a large pot bring to boil the water, milk, and tablespoon sea salt (enough to cover the veggies when added). Add the chopped celeriac root, potato, and onion. Simmer on medium to medium low until soft and tender when pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes.
Once tender strain the liquid and leave the root veggies in the pot. Add the butter and blend with an immersion blender. Add an extra splash or two or milk or bone broth until you achieve your desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper.
Serve as a side with your choice of protein. I love to pair it with pastured pork!
Note: Cooking the celeriac root in milk mellows out its flavor. You can opt to use just water if you prefer not to use milk, using ~5-6 cups of water total.
I hope you enjoy my creative, flavorful, and nutrient dense approach to whole foods cooking. All recipes are gluten free.