Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Baby Soup: Lamb and Squash

Following my standard baby food recipe, here is one of Leena's favorites!

1/4 lb ground lamb
1 cup butternut squash (or sweet potato), peeled and diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 cup spinach
2-3 cups broth

Follow the standard baby soup recipe and enjoy!

Baby Soup Method: Turkey Parsnip Soup

It's winter time and it's perfect for root vegetables like parsnip and squash for baby. My method for making baby soups is generally the same - I pick a carb, several veg and a protein and some of our homemade chicken broth. I combine them all together and cook until very tender. In most cases I blend it - even though Leena can handle picking up chunks of food and putting them in her mouth. Usually her lunch is a soup that I feed her and breakfast and dinner she gets foods that she can feed herself with.
You can also vary the consistency - more, or less broth, depending on what your baby needs.

I love doing this because it gives them good bone broth which is good for their skin, bones and body with all the minerals and collagen. It also makes an entirely balanced meal with the carb-veg-protein mix.

Basic Method:
Boil broth (or water)
Dump in 1/4 lb meat
1 cup squash or root veg (or you can do 1/2 cup of a grain like quinoa, rice or amaranth)
3/4 cup zucchini
1 cup green like spinach or chard
Sometimes, 1/2 cup of fruit like apple or pear

I usually start with ground meat (free range, grass fed, organic - don't go cheap on this). You can do whole, and then chop, but ground skips a chopping step. The one thing I do differently with beef and lamb is I boil it first in just water, and then skim any foam that comes to the top. Once that boils for about 5 minutes, I add the rest.
Cook until all the veg is really tender. Let cool. Blend and puree!

This usually makes enough for half to be eaten within 3 days, and then the other half to be frozen. I freeze in ice cube trays for a day, then defrost and put in a labeled ziploc bag. This is great because then you have lunches/dinners ready any time baby needs to eat.

Turkey Parsnip Soup
1/4lb ground turkey
1 small parsnip, peeled and diced
1 small fennel bulb, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
2 cups broth
1/2 pear, diced (you can keep peel on)

Follow baby soup method above.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Baby Congee

Congee is such a warming and delicious adult food - and babies love it too! I have been making this for months for Leena and it's about time I share my baby soup recipes on my blog!

Baby Congee

1/2 cup brown rice (ideally, soaked overnight or for 6 hours, drain and rinse)
1 cup water

Bring water and rice to a boil. Simmer until rice is just done (if you undercook the rice, it’s perfectly ok since you will continue to cook with the other ingredients)

While the rice cooks, prep the other ingredients: 
1/2 chicken breast, cut into chunks
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 cups chicken broth (ideally homemade, or if store bought do low/no sodium)

When the rice is done or almost done, dump all of the above into the pot. Bring to a boil and then let simmer (covered) until the carrots are really tender and the liquid is mostly soaked up by the rice. Usually for the baby food I leave extra liquid because as this sits in the refrigerator it will continue to soak up - which is ok, but to make it palatable for baby, you are going to want to water it down (or broth it down) before serving. One way you can do this is freeze broth into ice cubes and when you defrost or warm this soup, throw one of those in. This dish freezes amazingly well too. 
After everything is cooked, throw in a blender or food processor to make smooth and easy for baby to eat. 

I make this for myself too, but I don’t blend it :) and I add salt (a good amount of salt). So in our house, usually I make this for the grown ups, and before I add salt, I separate some for Leena and cook hers in a separate pot sans salt. 

Feel free to add zucchini, some greens and perhaps a bit of thyme or oregano to change it up.