Potato Fennel with Greens BABY VEGGIE BLEND
Increasing the variety of ingredients that baby gets is essential to increase the nutrient density and phytonutrient density of their diet. If babies only get the same foods over and over again, the chances are nutrient deficiencies can develop. Plus, more variety exposes your baby to new flavors, discouraging picky eating later down the road. This recipe highlights prebiotic rich onions, leeks, and garlic, with the gentle sweetness of fennel to hide the more bitter compounds in dark baby greens. You can use grass-fed butter or heavy cream, or a combination of both to ensure adequate fat for the absorption of fat soluble vitamins.
Makes 10 servings
Time: ~30 minutes
1 medium yukon gold potato, washed and quartered
1/2 fennel bulb, core removed
1/2 medium onion, halved
1/4 leek stalk (cleaned to ensure dirt is removed)
1 clove garlic
Handful tender baby greens (spinach, kale, collards, etc)
Handful chopped green herbs (I used basil, but parsley would work well too)
2 tablespoons grass-fed butter
2 tablespoons hydrolyzed collagen (optional)
Generous pinch sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
Place the potato, fennel, onion, leek, and garlic into a pot lined with a steamer basket and filled with water to reach the bottom of steamer. Cover with lid and bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat. Steam for ~15 minutes or until all is fork tender. Place your choice of baby greens into the steamer and steam for an addition minute until tender and bright green.
Transfer all the steamer ingredients to a food processor and add the fresh herbs, butter (or 4 tablespoons heavy cream), optional collagen peptides, salt and pepper. Process until smooth.
Transfer to a baby freezer food tray and freeze. Once frozen transfer to freezer safe container or silicone ziplock bag.
Place single serving into a microwave safe dish, and reheat for 30 second in the microwave. Stir. Make sure to feel the mixture before serving to baby to make sure it is not too hot. Alternatively, you can thaw overnight in fridge.
Note: In place of fennel, you can also use celeriac root.
Tips: You can use baby purees to make quick baby or toddler soups by simply adding more liquid such as bone broth, vegetable stock, or water to thin to soup consistency. You can also whisk in an egg and make a veggie "pancake" or "crepe".
Nutrition Facts (w/ butter & collagen peptides): 48kcal, 2.4g fat, 5.5g carbs, 1.1g fiber, 1.9g protein.
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 apple, cored and quartered
½ sweet onion, peeled and quartered
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon peeled ginger root (or more depending on taste)
2 tablespoons hydrolyzed collagen peptides (optional)
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. Add extra ginger as desired.
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. Microwave for ~30 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. I have also added some leek to this mixture and it turned out delicious!
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.
I hope you enjoy my creative, flavorful, and nutrient dense approach to whole foods cooking. All recipes are gluten free.