Thai Carrot Baby VEGGIE BLEND
Vitamin A is essential for proper growth and development, protecting the single cell layer of the gut lining called the epithelium, vision development, and along with vitamin D is involved in the development of the immune system. Therefore, vitamin A (along with vitamin D) is a very important fat soluble vitamin to prevent the development of allergic disease. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene (a pre-vitamin A) which requires enzymatic action to become the active vitamin A (also known as retinol). The conversion rate is relatively low, and in some individuals genetic alterations reduce the activity of the enzyme BCMO further making it even more difficult to produce enough active vitamin A. Egg yolks are a rich source of retinol, and therefore can be an excellent addition to ensure proper vitamin A status in your little one. Plus, egg yolks are one of the best sources of choline which is important for optimal brain development. Therefore, as babies start eating complimentary foods, it is very important to ensure adequate choline intake. Babies need ~ 150mg of choline per day, which is most easily met via the intake of egg yolks (1 egg yolk provides 150mg) or liver (1oz provides 80mg) . Supplementation may be helpful/essential if your baby does not tolerate eggs or liver. Work with your dietitian or health care provider if this is the case.
Makes 10 servings
Time: ~20 minutes
1 bundle fresh organic carrots (7-8 medium)
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon , peeled ginger root (or more to taste)
3 whole pasture-raised eggs
1/4 cup organic canned coconut milk
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Place a steamer basket into a medium pot, and fill with 1-2 inches of water. Wash the carrots, trim the tops, and cut in half. Place carrots, along with garlic cloves, and small piece of peeled ginger root into the steamer basket and cover.
Bring to a boil, and set timer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, add the whole eggs, and steam for another 10 minutes. Remove the eggs and strain under cold water. Pierce the carrots with a fork to make sure they are fork tender (if not, steam another 3-5 minutes). Transfer the veggies into the food processor and process along with the coconut milk and salt to your desired texture, keeping it very smooth for younger babies.
Meanwhile, peel the eggs, and remove the yolks. Save the whites if desired*. Add the yolks to the processor and process until incorporated.
Transfer mixture to a baby food freezer tray, and freeze. Once frozen, transfer into a sealable freezer ziplock bag or glass mason jar. To serve, allow to thaw in refrigerator overnight or place into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir, and feel the mixture to make sure it is not too hot.
*Note: Some babies do not tolerate egg whites, but egg yolks are fine. If your baby is able to tolerate egg white and enjoys finger foods, you can give them small pieces of the egg white with their meals. Or you can mash them up with avocado and a pinch of salt for another easy protein and fat rich baby puree.
Tip: I like to use bundled carrots with the greens because they are more fresh and have a more delicate skin.
Nutrition (per serving): 45kcal, 2.6g fat, 4.5g carbs, 1.5g fiber, 1.2g protein, 45mg choline.
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
I hope you enjoy my creative, flavorful, and nutrient dense approach to whole foods cooking. All recipes are gluten free.