Here’s to New Mom’s! with Baby Puree Recipes

 

Approaching mother’s day I’ve been reflecting back on becoming a mother myself.  We all know how time flies and it seems like just yesterday I was feeding my kids their very first bites of food.  I’ve always loved being there for a first taste of something new.  Their first apple, strawberry, broccoli, fish, etc.  I still enjoy that.  But now it’s first escargot, starfruit, escarole, etc.  Sometimes I think being a new mom was easier than where I am today.  I’d take sloppy kisses and naps, any day over eye rolling and working school carline.  Although certainly while you are in the thick of it (diapers, no sleep, constant crying), you can’t imagine.  If only you had the sleep and awareness when they are babies, to appreciate every minute.

Right now I know lots of mom’s with babies.  Some are just starting motherhood while others have new babies to add to their families.  So here’s to new and experienced moms alike.  And to the new flavors and experiences we introduce them to.  Whether our kids are 6 months, 6 years, 26 years or 66 years.  We can always come up with firsts and new foodie adventures.  But be careful…it’s not always pretty.

Apple Puree (The Petit Appetit Cookbook, page 59)

Apples are a great first food because of their sweetness and versatility.  Besides being for baby, this puree can be used in all kinds of recipes.  Use it to sweeten baked goods, as a topping for pancakes, or even to dress up grilled meats.

Golden and Red Delicious as well as Fuji apples have the least amount of acid, and thus are the most tolerant for babies.  You may peel apples before or after cooking.  Cooking with skins on allows the apples to retain more nutrients.  Be sure to choose organic apples as they are number 1 on the Dirty Dozen list for pesticides.

6 medium (2-3 ounce) organic apples, washed, quartered and cored just before cooking

Steamer Method:

Place prepared apples in steamer basket set in a pot filled with a small amount (about 1 – 2 inches, but not to touch fruit) of lightly boiling water.  Cover tightly for best nutrient retention and steam for 10 – 12 minutes or until apples are tender.  Apples should pierce easily with a toothpick.  Set apples and cooking liquid aside to cool.

Scrape apples for skin and puree in a food processor with a steel blade.  Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of reserved cooking liquid to puree to make smoother and adjust consistency.

Makes 16 – 18, one ounce baby servings.

TIP:  An apple a day…When baby is ready for more texture, chunks on steamed apples are good finger foods.  Also for teething baby, put steamed apple slices in the freezer for a soothing treat.

First Fish (The Petit Appetit Cookbook, page 98)

This is an easy way to prepare fish for your baby or toddler.  Because of the mild and “non-fishy” taste, Tilapia is a good introduction to seafood for a little one.  Fish can be thinned with reserved cooking broth or mix with plain yogurt or cottage cheese for a more creamy texture.

1 cup organic vegetable broth

2, (4 ounce) white fillets

Heat broth in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until simmering.  Add fish fillets.  Broth should not cover fish, but come up about halfway.  Simmer fish 3 to 4 minutes per side or until opaque.  Fish should flake easily with a fork.  Remove fish from pan and mash to desired consistency, or puree with some of the cooking liquid in a food processor.

TIP: No bones about it.  Be sure to check fish carefully for small bones before feeding to baby.  Fillets have fewer bones than steaks.

 

 

 

 

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Happy Mother’s Day! (Chocolate Dipped Strawberries)

Happy Mother’s Day to you, yours and mine (especially mine).  If you’re lucky enough to celebrate with your mom, head to the farmer’s market for some fresh, organic strawberries to dip in chocolate.  What mom doesn’t like chocolate?  And if you’re the mom being celebrated, pass this hint on to dad and the kids.

 

Chocolate strawberries always seem so fancy.  You see them in chocolate shops and bakeries during strawberry season.  They are actually easy to make and make quite an impression.   Unfortunately this is difficult recipe for children to assist, as much is done over a double broiler and water can spit and burn if not careful.  Let them help by arranging strawberries on a special platter once chocolate is cooled and hardened.  These would look great on a Mother’s Day brunch table and they were recently a big hit at my son’s school potluck too.

 

2 pints organic strawberries (18 – 20), washed and dried
with leaves on

6 ounces dark chocolate, chips or chop into pieces

1 tablespoon shortening

Place a baking rack over two glasses or pans to allow rack to sit above counter. (Alternatively line a baking sheet with waxed paper). Bring large pot of water to a boil.  Turn down to simmer and place chocolate in top of double boiler over boiling water. Be sure water from bottom pot does not boil or spit into chocolate mixture.

Once chocolate has melted add shortening and stir until combined. Insert toothpick or skewer into top of strawberry and carefully dip and swirl into chocolate.

Place toothpick side down through hole in baking rack so strawberry sits on leaves, upside down,   and chocolate can solidify.  (Alternatively place dipped strawberry on waxed paper to dry)

Arrange strawberries on platter and serve.

 

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