Monday, January 30, 2012

Puree Monday - Prune Pudding



Tried and true prunes are a wonderful baby food.  Prunes are actually dried plums and richer in both antioxidants and fiber then in their fresh state.  The fiber makes them a wonder cure to constipation in babies.  I paired them with bananas (which are binding) in this recipe to balance it out and give them a creamy consistency.  You can easily reduce the amount of banana or eliminate it if need be.  Bebe B has always loved prunes and still at age three eats this recipe.


Prune Pudding - 6 Months+
Ingredients:
10 dried plums (prunes)
1/2 ripe banana
1/2 tsp nutmeg
water for steaming

  
Steam the dried plums in either a steaming basket on the stove or in the Beaba babycook.  If using the babycook fill water to the 2 mark for a full basket of dried plums.  If steaming on the stove use about 2-3 inches of water and steam for about 10-12 minutes.  This will help rehydrate them a bit and make them easier to puree.  If you try to puree them with out steaming them you will end up with a sticky, gooey mess.  

Puree the steamed dried plums and banana in a food processor or babycook until smooth.  Then add nutmeg and puree until well blended.  The longer it is pureed the smoother it will get. This recipe will keep up to 3 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer.  This recipe will fill about 1-2 ice cube trays (5-10 servings).   

Vegan. Dairy-Free. Gluten-Free.



Some of the Awesome Health Benefits:
-Prunes are naturally rich in antioxidants and packed with dietary fiber. 
-Bananas are rich in vitamin b6 and they are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, magnesium and potassium and easy to digest.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Lunchbox: Week of January 23



Above is a picture of one of Bebe B’s lunches from this week, containing:

  • Homemade Pita Pizza 
  • Apple Slices With Cinnamon on top (shaken on by Bebe B)
  • Snow Peas
  • Yogurt & Strawberry Dip
  • Pretzels & 1 Yogurt Covered Pretzel

Happy Lunchtime Everyone!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Madison Sourdough - Restaurant Review



This restaurant review is LONG overdue!!  Only about a year...I started getting morning (i.e. all day) sickness right around the time I did this review and never got a chance to post it, then it got a bit forgotten, which was not intentional because it’s a fab little joint.  Madison Sourdough Cafe is a local place which we visited for breakfast.  I ordered a mocha and a blueberry scone, I was delighted when they gave me the coffee in a glass mason jar mug (how cute).  I ordered for Bebe B off the Children’s Menu two eggs scrambled which came with fresh fruit.  She gobbled it up (my memory is not great but I have the pictures to prove it).  

So Sweet



Yum!

We didn’t have any of their fresh baked bread but I have purchased it at Whole Foods Market before and it’s wonderful.  The cafe itself is sweet, full of mis-matched wood tables and chairs and big windows.  They do have highchairs as well.  One draw back is there isn’t a ton of parking but we were able to find a spot in the adjoining lot.  Another plus is that they use local ingredients!!  From their Website : “We proudly serve dairy from Sassy Cow Creamery, eggs from Yuppie Hill Poultry and New Century Farms, and beef and pork from Fountain Prairie. We use local and seasonal ingredients whenever possible.”  Prices are fair and all items on the Children’s Menu are $4.95.  Bebe B (and Bebe I) and I will be visiting this place again soon for lunch and I’ll add any new info and favorites I find. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 pm and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. The kitchen serves breakfast and lunch from open until 2:30 p.m. daily – after that, beverages (coffee based/tea), soup, bread and pastries are available from 2:30 p.m. -5:00 p.m. (also free wi-fi is available to patrons).

Oranges!!


Footnote:  This is a completely unbiased review, I received no compensation for this review.  We paid for our meals ourselves.

Madison Sourdough is located at 916 WILLIAMSON STREET, MADISON WI 53703

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Apricot Pita Pockets



This time of year I like to try and find creative ways to use dried fruits and nuts, we are limited here in wisconsin to what fresh, organic fruit is available to us right now.  Here is a fun way to add a little sweetness to a savory food.  This makes a great lunch or snack!


Apricot Pita Pockets - 12 Months+
Ingredients:
2 whole wheat pita pockets (small)
2 dried apricots
1/4 cup shredded cheddar
1/4 cup mixed greens
1/4 ripe avocado (diced)

Cut the apricots into as small of pieces as you can (they will be quite sticky).  Chop the mixed greens fine.  Mix together the apricots, greens and cheese and fill the pita pockets with it.  Toast in either a toaster oven or oven at 350 degrees for about 3 minutes.  Sprinkle in avocado and serve!

This recipe is vegetarian.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Puree Monday - Super Green Puree



This one is a hero recipe full of super nutrition.  It seems like a lot of fresh greens but they do wilt down quite a bit during cooking.  This combo is mild, earthy and a great mix of savory and sweet.  Both Bebe B and I adore it as a veggie dip.



Super Green Puree - 6 Month+
Ingredients:
1 lb of fresh Spinach
1 lb of fresh Kale
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 ripe Avocado
1/2 ripe Banana

  
Clean and remove the stems from the spinach and kale.  Steam them together in either a steaming basket on the stove or in the Beaba babycook.  If using the babycook fill water to the 1 mark for a full basket of greens.  If steaming on the stove use about 2-3 inches of water and steam for about 3-5 minutes.  They will wilt down quite a bit and reduce in size but should still be bright green in color.  Plunge greens into cold water for a few minutes to stop the cooking process.  Drain, pat dry and set aside.  Discard cooking liquid.    

Puree the avocado and banana in a food processor or babycook until smooth.  Then add steamed greens and cinnamon and puree until well blended.  The longer it is pureed the smoother it will get. This recipe will keep up to 2 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer.  Also makes the perfect addition to toddler meals- a perfect dip for veggies and pretzels. This recipe will fill about 2-3 ice cube trays (10-20 servings).   

Vegan. Dairy-Free. Gluten-Free.


Some of the Awesome Health Benefits:
-Avocados are a wonderful "good fat" food for baby's brain and physical development. They contain valuable nutrients including folate, fiber, potassium, vitamin E; and iron. 
-Bananas are rich in vitamin b6 and they are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, magnesium and potassium and easy to digest.
- Spinach and Kale are both VERY nutrient and antioxidant rich.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Butternut Mini Quiches



Here is a recipe that I created for a fun and easy dinner.  Bebe B was able to help make these and loved that they were “little”.  We paired them with some toasted whole wheat english muffins and a mixed green salad.  Leftovers made a great breakfast the next morning!


Butternut Mini Quiches - 12 Months+
Ingredients:
6 medium eggs
2 tbsp butternut squash puree
1 green onion (finely chopped)
5-6 cleaned crimini mushrooms (rough chopped)
3 links cooked chicken sausage (rough chopped)
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh rosemary (finely chopped)
1 tsp fresh thyme (finely chopped)
1/ tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Splash of milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly oil a 12 cup muffin pan (to prevent sticking).  Sauté mushrooms and sausage in olive oil for about 3-4 minutes on medium heat, mix in green onion and set aside.  In a large bowl whisk together eggs, squash puree, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper and milk till well combined.  Fold mushroom mixture into egg mixture.  Fill each muffin cup about 2/3 full and bake for about 20-25 minutes, it might be lightly quicker if using convection.  Cool for about 5-10 mins before serving.  Enjoy!


This recipe is gluten-free.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Lunchbox: Week of January 16



Here was a fun lunch.  My snowflake cookie cutter was actually made by Dee a few years back.  Some of you may be wondering what I do with the leftovers when I cut a shape sandwich out...that’s what husbands are for! 


Above is a picture of one of Bebe B’s lunches from this week, containing:
  • Cream Cheese & Almond Butter Snowflake Sandwich
  • Applesauce w/ Cinnamon on top (shaken on by Bebe B)
  • Orange Slices
  • Baby Carrots & Homemade Pickles (recipe coming soon)
  • Yogurt Covered Pretzels

Happy Lunchtime Everyone!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Vanilla Bean Peach Pancakes



Here is a fabulous recipe for homemade pancakes that little ones will love helping with.  Bebe B’s favorite part is sifting the flours together.  Making this recipe with fresh peaches is wonderful but if you have some frozen peach puree in your freezer this is a perfect way to add a bit of summer to a winter day. Bebe B was loving these so much last spring, I think I made them at least 6 times.  If you don’t have any puree and do not have access to fresh peaches you can substitute with thawed frozen peaches.  Happy cooking!



Vanilla Bean Peach Pancakes - 12 Months+
Ingredients:
1 cup unbleached flour
1 cup oat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
2 Egg, separated
1 cup yogurt
1/2 of a vanilla bean
1 tsp olive oil (for griddle/ pan)
Peach slices for garnish (optional)


Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt together, set aside.  Whisk egg yolks, yogurt and peach puree together.  Scrap the seeds from the inside of the half of vanilla bean into the mixture.  Gradually whisk in the dry mixture until incorporated.  Lastly fold in the egg whites.  Cook the pancakes on a hot griddle or pan.  I love to top these with fresh peaches when they are in season but they are wonderful with pure maple syrup too! 


This recipe is vegetarian.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Puree Monday - Black Bean Apple



Packed full of protein from the beans, slight sweetness from the apples and full of good fat from the avocado this recipe is a superstar! Because it consists of 3 easy to digest foods it can be introduced early on.   


Black Bean Apple Puree - 6 Month+
Ingredients:
1 can of unsalted black beans (or cooked dry beans)
2-3 large apples
1/2 ripe avocado
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

  
Clean, core and slice the apples leaving the skins on during steaming (this helps lock in the nutrients during steaming).  Steam the apples in either a steaming basket on the stove or in the Beaba babycook.  If using the babycook fill water to the 2 mark for a full basket of apple slices.  If steaming on the stove use about 2 inches of water and steam for about 10 minutes (as your child gets used to chunkier textures less steaming time will be needed). Reserve half of the cooking liquid, but you may not need it.  Let the apples cool till almost room temperature then remove the skins.  This should be fairly easy to do with your fingers or a spoon. Set aside.

Drain and rinse the black beans well (rinsing helps reduce the gassiness factor).  Puree the beans in a food processor with the apples, add apple cooking liquid if needed to thin out a bit.  Then add the other ingredients and puree until well blended.  The longer it is pureed the smoother it will get.  You can adjust the texture and chunkiness, as your bebe needs. This recipe will keep up to 3 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer.  Also makes the perfect addition to toddler meals- filling for a quesadilla or pita. This recipe will fill about 2-3 ice cube trays (10-20 servings).   


Vegan. Dairy-Free. Gluten-Free.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Breakfast Pita Pockets



At our house we love eggs and I’m always looking for fun ways to serve them up.  Here is a great breakfast for the little ones and grown ups of your house.  Bebe B thinks it’s fabulous to have her own little “boat” of eggs to eat.  Another tip I have found is the finer the spinach is chopped the better the results and the better the chance it gets eaten.


Breakfast Pockets - 12 Months+
Ingredients:
1 Whole Grain Pita Pocket
1 Egg
1 tbsp finely chopped Spinach (fresh or frozen thawed)
1 tbsp shredded Cheese
pinch of Salt
1 tsp olive oil (for pan)


Split the pita pocket in half.  I like to warm it up a bit in the toaster oven for a minute.   Warm a small pan on the stove with olive oil.  Scramble the egg and spinach mixture.  Whisk the egg, spinach and salt together with a fork in a small bowl. Fill the pita pockets with the cooked eggs and sprinkle with cheese.  Enjoy!


This recipe is vegetarian.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Lunchbox - The Week of January 9



The Lunchbox is BACK again!!  

Above is a picture of one of Bebe B’s lunches from this week, containing:
  • Peanut Butter & Jam on Whole Wheat Bagel
  • Cheddar Bunnies
  • Kiwi & Grapes
  • Green Peppers & Wavy Cut Carrots w/ Plain Greek Yogurt to dip
  • String Cheese

Happy Lunchtime Everyone!!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Happy New Year 2012



Happy New Year Everyone!!  The last four months have been crazy for me; having Bebe I, My in-laws moving to town all the way form India, Moving to a new house, the holidays and to top it all off I ended up in the hospital on New Years Eve with emergency gallbladder removal surgery.  

I’m slowly recovering and despite it all have high hopes for the new year and Bebe Meals.  There are differing opinions about what leads to the failure of the gallbladder but even my surgeon’s opinion is that “western diet” plays a huge roll.  And in all honesty it has only been in the last 5 years that I have studied nutrition and changed the way I eat dramatically.  Much of my life without thinking I made the wrong choices when it came to food.  

So I am now even more determined than I was before to help parents feed their families in a healthy way.  I will be posting recipes, lunchbox, purees, restaurant reviews and more every week here, so please spread the word and pass my site on.  Let’s give our children the best chance for a healthy life!