Posts Tagged ‘ sweet potato puree ’

The Best Fall Fruits & Veggies for Your Babe & How to Prepare Them

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Rich in fiber and packed with vitamin C, fresh apples make wholesome applesauce that’s an ideal first first. Diced apples are a delicious and popular finger food for toddlers, who can dip the fruit in hummus or peanut butter.

Dazzle your babe with the season’s freshest fruits and veggies. They’re colorful, filled with vitamins and minerals, and fun to eat. Here’s what to buy and serve right now — plus directions for pureeing, mashing, or serving as finger food.

APPLES

Puree: Wash, peel, and dice apples. Cook for 12 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Puree for a smooth texture. Add a dash of cinnamon, if you wish. Freeze in 2-ounce portions for up to three months.

Mash: Follow cooking and freezing steps above but instead of pureeing, mash the fruit with a potato masher. Or dice and serve as finger food. Add a dash of cinnamon, if you wish. Freeze in 2-ounce portions for up to three months.

Mix with: Sweet potato, red cabbage, butternut squash, pumpkin, pear, peach, plum, banana, beef, chicken

PUMPKINS

Puree: Cut pumpkin in half. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and save for roasting or discard.  Brush each half with olive oil and place skin-side down in a baking dish. To keep the flesh of the pumpkin moist, add a half-inch of water before baking. Bake at 450 degrees F until pumpkin is tender (about 45 minutes). Puree in a food processor or blender until you reach desire texture. Add a dash of nutmeg or cinnamon, if you wish.

Mash: Follow cooking and freezing steps above but instead of pureeing, mash the veggie with a potato masher. Or dice and serve as finger food. Add a dash of nutmeg or cinnamon, if you wish. Freeze in 2-ounce portions for up to three months.

Mix it with: Apple, chicken, pear, chicken, beef, lentils

BUTTERNUT SQUASH

Puree: Scoop flesh out of a roasted squash. Discard the skin. Puree squash flesh in a food processor. Add water until you reach a smooth consistency. For extra creaminess add a splash of pre-mixed formula, breast milk, milk, or plain yogurt. Add a dash of nutmeg, if you wish. Freeze in 2-ounce portions for up to three months.

Mash: Follow cooking and freezing steps above but instead of pureeing, mash the veggie with a potato masher. Or dice and serve as finger food. Add a dash of nutmeg, if you wish. Freeze in 2-ounce portions for up to three months.

Mix with: Apple, chicken, beef, peach, pear, carrot, lentils

SWEET POTATOES

Puree: Wash, peel, and dice sweet potato/potato. Cook until tender (about 15 minutes). Puree and add cooking liquid as needed until you reach desired consistency. Add a dash of cinnamon, if you wish. Freeze in 2-ounce portions for up to three months.

Smash: Follow cooking and freezing steps above but instead of pureeing, mash the veggie with a potato masher. Or dice and serve as finger food. Add a dash of cinnamon, if you wish. Freeze in 2-ounce portions for up to three months.

Mix with: Peach, apricot, apple, raisins, peas, carrot, lentils, chicken, beef

BROCCOLI

Puree: Wash broccoli and remove stems. Cook until tender (about 15 minutes). Puree broccoli in a food processor or blender, adding cooking liquid as needed until you reach desired consistency.

Dice: To serve as finger food, follow the cooking instructions above and then chop into tiny pieces.

Serve with: Sweet potato, raisins, apple, asparagus

CAULIFLOWER

Puree: Wash cauliflower and remove stems. Cook until tender (about 15 minutes). Puree cauliflower in a food processor or blender, adding cooking liquid as needed until you reach desired consistency. For extra creaminess add a splash of pre-mixed formula, breast milk, milk, or plain yogurt. Freeze in 2-ounce portions for up to three months.

Smash: Follow cooking and freezing steps above but instead of pureeing, mash the veggie with a potato masher. Or dice and serve as finger food. Freeze in 2-ounce portions for up to three months.

Mix with: Butternut squash, peas, carrot, green beans, apple

GRAPES

Dice: Skip this fruit for babies — it’s best for kids over age 1 because of the skin. Dice into fourths before serving. Freeze in 2-ounce portions for up to three months.

Serve with: Banana, apple, chicken, beef

What’s your babe’s fave summer fruit? How do you like to prepare it?

NOTE: Pediatricians have different opinions about when babies should try specific fruits and vegetables. Consult your pediatrician before starting your babe on a new fruit or veggie.

 

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In Which the Yogurt Foil Works

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

squash_face A smiling Mason after his first bite


Last Friday, I thought Mason had bailed on butternut squash. My heart was a little broken. It was his first yellow veggie and the wholesome goodness that once made him smile was suddenly making him cry. The first time he teared up during a bite I rationalized that he was just tired. The second time I thought perhaps the puree was a bit too warm. The third time, well, let’s be honest — he no longer wanted to eat the stuff.

But what to do with the organic butternut squash in my freezer (already pureed)?

In my mind, there was only one thing that could possibly work at this point: peach puree with yogurt. He had rejected squash mixed with apple and chicken (two blends he once loved) and yogurt is his absolute fave of all. I mixed the creamy yogurt with the nutritious butternut squash puree and luscious peach puree…score! He loved it, and I was rewarded with a big, gummy grin. I wonder what else I can get him to eat with yogurt…

squash_yogurt

Butternut Squash-Peach Puree with Yogurt

Basic Butternut Squash Puree

Ingredients

1.5 lb Organic butternut squash
Water
Pre-mixed formula, breast milk, or yogurt (optional)

Directions

1. Scoop flesh out of a roasted squash. Discard the skin.

2. Puree squash flesh in a food processor. Add water until you reach a smooth consistency. For extra creaminess add a splash of pre-mixed formula, breast milk, or plain yogurt.


Peach Yogurt

Ingredients

Organic Stonyfield full-fat plain yogurt or Greek yogurt*
1 bag frozen, organic peaches

Directions

1. Cook peaches. Drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Puree until you reach desired consistency.
2. Combine yogurt and pureed peaches.
3. Freeze leftovers in 2 to 4-ounces portions.
4. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.


To make Butternut Squash-Peach Puree with Yogurt, mix equal parts Butternut Squash Puree with Peach Yogurt.

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My Kid Loves…Broccoli?!

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

broccoli_baby2Best for Babies 9+ Months

My first experience with babies and broccoli was traumatic. I was 13. I had just arrived at a babysitting gig for an (awful!!) 2-year-old and the father was simultaneously force-feeding the kid broccoli, yelling at the two shrill dogs yapping at his feet, and arguing with his wife. “Eat your trees,” dad barked while the kid whined and struggled to escape from the table. I sat there wishing I was anywhere but there — $5 an hour wasn’t worth this horror show. I almost ate the kid’s “trees” just to end the torture for both of us.  I also swore I’d never make my kid eat “trees” or any other veggie if he or she didn’t want to.

Flash forward, um, 20 years. I have a nine-month-old son and I very much want him to eat his broccoli, as well as every other fruit, veggie, and meat out there. We want Mason to love food as much as we do – my hubby’s a restaurant critic, I’m a food editor. Loving food is in our DNA and Mason’s too, we hope. So when my friend Stefanie told me about a broccoli puree that her son loved — a mix of broccoli, sweet potatoes, and raisins — I just had to make it.

I pureed the organic broccoli first. It blended up surprisingly smooth and tasted fresh and clean, just like biting into a stalk of broccoli but without the satisfying crunch. (Yes, I taste everything before Mason eats it — I refuse to make him eat something I wouldn’t.) Next came sweet potato, our old friend. The beta carotene-packed veggie is so deliciously sweet and so mixable with many fruits and veggies. Lastly the raisins. Sugary sweet goodness that Mason loves in his oatmeal.

Monday was go time. My nanny introduced the new dish — I try to be there for all of Mason’s firsts but my work/travel schedule has been nuts so back up was in order. Noon came and I didn’t hear a word. I was hovering over my phone, waiting for the text I get from my nanny after lunch. When I’m trying to get Mason to like a new food — it usually takes a couple of days — I’m used to hearing, “Oh he haaaated it,” with a detailed reenactment of the gagging and spitting that took place. (I’m convinced my nanny takes a degree of joy in reporting lunchtime drama .) I finally pinged her at 1 and was astonished to see, “He loved it! Everything is great.” Seriously?! My boy who has a love/hate relationship with green veggies really liked this green giant?

As it turned out, he really did. His first-time affinity with broccoli wasn’t a fluke. He’s eaten it happily three times since (that’s Mason, above, grinning with a broccoli-sweet potato mask). Check out our recipe and let us know what you think!

broccoli33

 

Broccoli Puree

Ingredients

 

 

Organic Broccoli*
Cooking liquid/water

Directions

 

 

1. Wash broccoli and remove stems. Cook until tender (about 15 minutes). Set aside.
3. Puree broccoli in a food processor or blender, adding cooking liquid as needed until you reach desired consistency.

*1 medium-sized bunch of broccoli yields about 8 ounces of puree

sweet_potatoes2
Sweet Potato Puree

Ingredients

 

 

Organic sweet potatoes*
Cooking liquid

Directions

1. Wash, peel, and dice sweet potato. Cook until tender (about 15 minutes). Set aside.
3. Puree sweet potatoes in a food processor or blender, adding cooking liquid as needed until you reach desired consistency.

*2 organic sweet potatoes yields about 8 ounces of puree

raisin
Raisin Puree

Ingredients

8 ounces organic raisins
Water

Yield 10 ounces

Directions

1. Cook raisins until soft (about 20 minutes). Reserve cooking liquid.
2. Puree raisins, adding water until the puree is smooth.

To make Broccoli-Sweet Potato-Raisin puree, mix one ounce each of broccoli and raisins with two ounces of sweet potato. Add more raisin puree for extra sweetness; reduce amount of raisin for a less-sweet puree.

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