Friday, April 25, 2014

Apple, Carrots, Beans N Greens Puree

I am very happy to finally share with you another recipe. It's not that I haven't been trying. As you may have guessed from my recent posts, there has been a lot of angst in our household over feeding. Angst that I am sure will continue for the next 18 years.

Recent Challenges

In the beginning of the month, my husband and I got away on vacation leaving Baby G with my folks. They did a great job and even though I gave them the okay, they persevered and kept Baby G on an unprocessed diet. The only big change was my mom cut up all of her food into tiny pieces (I was giving her strips of steamed veggies) and apparently, she prefers small pieces so we have been readjusting our finger foods accordingly. Sounds like a small change, but it really threw us off at first.

Purees have been a bit of challenge since we got back. I was so excited to make her a green puree out of veggies she loves: asparagus, green beans, and snap peas. I thought it tasted amazing, Baby G took one bite and then clamped her lips shut. I think I was more upset that I "wasted" all that asparagus and then had to throw it out. I feel like our meals in the last few weeks have been one step forward and two steps back as we try to get back into a routine and keep food in the house that Baby G will eat.

Giving in to the Pouch

After a very messy outing on Tuesday, I decided to finally break down and buy the gadgets needed to make my own pouches. I was really resisting this which was really stupid, to be totally honest. I had this thing with not wanting Baby G to eat from a pouch. As I write it, I am embarrassed by how I was taking myself way too seriously. As my husband pointed out, at this point it doesn't matter HOW she eats, just WHAT she eats.  He also asked if I planned to go to school with Baby G and feed her off a spoon. Touche.

For this puree, I wanted to come up with something that could serve as a whole meal, so I wanted a protein, a veggies (or two), and a fruit.

Apples and carrots are two of Baby G's favorite things and they are sweet, so I knew they would be a winner. I had some leftover baby kale, so I thought I could sneak that in with some mild, creamy garbanzo beans. Because nutmeg pairs well with dark greens and apples, I decided that it would be a great spice to add sweetness and warmth. That's how I came up with this puree. Baby G loves it and I hope your baby does too.

Apples, Carrots, Beans N Greens Puree

12 carrots, ends removed and cut into 2-3 inch chunks
4 apples, cored and sliced
[1/2] teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup water

3 handfuls of baby kale or baby spinach

1 cup cooked chickpeas

1. Steam carrots, apples, and nutmeg. I prefer throwing them in the slow-cooker with a cup of water and cooking on high for 3-4 hours until carrots and apples are tender. Add kale or spinach for last 10 minutes.

2. Combine carrots, apples, nutmeg, kale (or spinach), and chickpeas in blender. Start by adding [1/4]- [1/2] cup water. Puree until you reach desired consistency. Add more water if needed.

3. Store in fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

*This makes a lot of puree! I filled 8 pouches and had enough for a few meals leftover.

Recipe Review

So far, so good. Baby G loved this the first night we gave it to her. The ground nutmeg adds so much to this puree. I highly recommend buying some whole nutmegs, like the ones you can see in the picture below.


Freshly ground nutmeg is so much better than the already ground stuff you normally see. Store them in the fridge and just grate them as needed. They last for a long time and pack a ton of flavor. 

I used kale in this recipe because we had some on hand, but you could also substitute in spinach. Both are leafy greens that add a nutritious punch to your diet. In addition to being a great source for calcium, spinach is also packed with antioxidants and vitamin K.  Kale also provides antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. (Click the links to learn more about their health benefits).

A Note About Pouches

I am using the Infantino Squeeze Station to make our pouches. I have to be honest, I didn't do a ton of research on them, but I am really happy with it so far. We are doing the disposable bags because I am too worried about not cleaning the reusable ones enough and let's be honest, it's easier to do the disposables.

Anyone else making their own pouches? What do you use? Any recommendations on where I can get more bags? Any reasons I should reconsider the reusable pouches?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Making Peace with Our Palate

It's been awhile since I last posted. I wish I had some great new recipes for you and some new ideas for finger foods.

Instead, I am going to write about something that has been under my skin for awhile.

I don't like cooked spinach or kale.

I don't like smoked salmon or really any kind of salmon at all.

I know I should like prosciutto and melon, but all I can hear is my mom exclaiming during wedding planning, "you want to serve our guests ham and cantalope...together?!!!" And I can't get past it either. It's kind of weird if you think about it.

There are a lot of foodie foods I just don't like.  And, as I have learned, Baby G doesn't either.

I wanted more for her. I wanted to develop a foodie palate that would overstretch mine. Instead, I am finding she is a lot like me and maybe that isn't so bad after all. And, at what point do I mention she is just 10 months old?

Yes, I have been having these internal wrestlings over a girl who has only been eating for about 4 months. I worry that she only likes the sweet stuff- carrots, peas, bananas, fruit, and carbs- bread, oatmeal, more bread. I guess she's not an idiot, right? Sweet is better than bitter cooked spinach and fishy salmon spread. Bread, especially my homemade bread, is awesome. She's not into meat, but I went through several vegetarian stages in my life. And really, after 4 months, I should probably just be happy that she gets food into her mouth, even if it is just to spit it out.

And yet....

I worry. A lot.

I question myself. A lot.

I hear other moms talk about their adventurous eaters and I feel a pang of jealousy. I watch Baby G make a terrible face after I give her some pureed chicken enchilada soup and I feel like I must be doing something wrong. I swear she was open to more tastes when we first started solids and now I already have a picky eater.

She's getting most of her nutrients from formula which I have to keep reminding myself, and we have plenty of time, a whole lifetime really, to develop her tastes. I didn't even have asparagus until I was in college.

Anyone else dealing with these type of worries? Any words of encouragement from the more experienced mamas out there?