Eat Happy, Be Healthy!
Getting your little to eat greens can sometimes be difficult, especially early on when they do not have the pincer grasp down yet. This recipe combines two superstars broccoli and spinach carefully blended with naturally sweet onion and sweet potato to round out the slight bitterness of the greens. I love to make baby egg pancakes with this mixture. Toren absolutely loves them and is able to use his pincer grasp to eat them on his own. This way not only is he getting his veggies, but also his choline and active vitamin A from the egg yolk! Plus, for some reason Toren isn't a big fan of scrambled eggs lately, but total digs the egg pancakes (see below for instructions on making an egg pancake). Usually, Toren eats one egg pancake throughout the day.
Makes 10 Servings
Time: ~ 20 minutes
1/2 sweet potato (tan/white)
1 medium onion, peeled, and cut in halves
2 cloves garlic
10 florets broccoli
1 cup packed baby spinach
2 tablespoons salted grass-fed butter
2 tablespoons Great Lakes Hydrolyzed Collagen
Peel the sweet potato and coarsely chop. Add to steamer basket along with onion, garlic. Steam for 5 minutes and add the broccoli florets. Steam for another 10 minutes or until all the veggies are fork tender.
Meanwhile steam/cook the spinach in the microwave for 1 minute or until bright green and tender. Place the potato, onion, garlic, butter and collagen into food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Then add the broccoli and spinach and process until smooth. Add a little freshly ground pepper. Pulse to combine.
Transfer to a baby food freezer tray, cover, and freeze. Once frozen transfer to a silicone ziplock bag or glass mason jar and keep frozen.
To thaw simply remove one serving and leave in a bowl in the fridge overnight or quickly microwave for 15-30 seconds. Prior to serving make sure to test the temperature to make sure it is not too hot for baby.
Nutrition (per serving): 45kcal, 2.4g fat, 4.3g carbs, 1.2g fiber, 2.3g protein.
Baby Veggie Egg Pancake
This is a breakfast staple around our house and is great for older babies and toddlers. However, not all purees work because they have too much water. Avoid using the pre-made baby purees because the pancake will just stick and burn. Use the Broccoli Spinach Baby VEGGIE BLEND or the Apple Butternut VEGGIE BLEND for good results. Toren usually eats a couple slices of his egg pancake with a side of fruit like kiwi or berries. We refrigerate the leftovers for an easy protein throughout the day.
Makes 1 serving
Time: <5 minutes
1 cube of a VEGGIE BLEND, thawed (the Broccoli Spinach and Apple Butternut work well)
1 pasture-raised egg, beaten with a fork
Mix together the egg and the thawed single serving of a veggie blend of your choice. Meanwhile preheat a small cast iron pan over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of butter or ghee, and once hot add the egg mixture. Reduce heat to medium low, cover with a lid, and set timer for 3 minutes.
Remove lid, turn off heat, and let egg pancake sit another minute or two. Transfer to a plate, cut into slices, and serve once cooled.
Nutrition (per 1 egg pancake): 155kcal, 5g carbs, 1.2g fiber, 11.5g fat, 8.5g protein
Thai Carrot Baby VEGGIE BLEND
Vitamin A is essential for proper growth and development, protecting the single cell layer of the gut lining called the epithelium, vision development, and along with vitamin D is involved in the development of the immune system. Therefore, vitamin A (along with vitamin D) is a very important fat soluble vitamin to prevent the development of allergic disease. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene (a pre-vitamin A) which requires enzymatic action to become the active vitamin A (also known as retinol). The conversion rate is relatively low, and in some individuals genetic alterations reduce the activity of the enzyme BCMO further making it even more difficult to produce enough active vitamin A. Egg yolks are a rich source of retinol, and therefore can be an excellent addition to ensure proper vitamin A status in your little one. Plus, egg yolks are one of the best sources of choline which is important for optimal brain development. Therefore, as babies start eating complimentary foods, it is very important to ensure adequate choline intake. Babies need ~ 150mg of choline per day, which is most easily met via the intake of egg yolks (1 egg yolk provides 150mg) or liver (1oz provides 80mg) . Supplementation may be helpful/essential if your baby does not tolerate eggs or liver. Work with your dietitian or health care provider if this is the case.
Makes 10 servings
Time: ~20 minutes
1 bundle fresh organic carrots (7-8 medium)
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon , peeled ginger root (or more to taste)
3 whole pasture-raised eggs
1/4 cup organic canned coconut milk
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Place a steamer basket into a medium pot, and fill with 1-2 inches of water. Wash the carrots, trim the tops, and cut in half. Place carrots, along with garlic cloves, and small piece of peeled ginger root into the steamer basket and cover.
Bring to a boil, and set timer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, add the whole eggs, and steam for another 10 minutes. Remove the eggs and strain under cold water. Pierce the carrots with a fork to make sure they are fork tender (if not, steam another 3-5 minutes). Transfer the veggies into the food processor and process along with the coconut milk and salt to your desired texture, keeping it very smooth for younger babies.
Meanwhile, peel the eggs, and remove the yolks. Save the whites if desired*. Add the yolks to the processor and process until incorporated.
Transfer mixture to a baby food freezer tray, and freeze. Once frozen, transfer into a sealable freezer ziplock bag or glass mason jar. To serve, allow to thaw in refrigerator overnight or place into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir, and feel the mixture to make sure it is not too hot.
*Note: Some babies do not tolerate egg whites, but egg yolks are fine. If your baby is able to tolerate egg white and enjoys finger foods, you can give them small pieces of the egg white with their meals. Or you can mash them up with avocado and a pinch of salt for another easy protein and fat rich baby puree.
Tip: I like to use bundled carrots with the greens because they are more fresh and have a more delicate skin.
Nutrition (per serving): 45kcal, 2.6g fat, 4.5g carbs, 1.5g fiber, 1.2g protein, 45mg choline.
Potato Fennel with Greens BABY VEGGIE BLEND
Increasing the variety of ingredients that baby gets is essential to increase the nutrient density and phytonutrient density of their diet. If babies only get the same foods over and over again, the chances are nutrient deficiencies can develop. Plus, more variety exposes your baby to new flavors, discouraging picky eating later down the road. This recipe highlights prebiotic rich onions, leeks, and garlic, with the gentle sweetness of fennel to hide the more bitter compounds in dark baby greens. You can use grass-fed butter or heavy cream, or a combination of both to ensure adequate fat for the absorption of fat soluble vitamins.
Makes 10 servings
Time: ~30 minutes
1 medium yukon gold potato, washed and quartered
1/2 fennel bulb, core removed
1/2 medium onion, halved
1/4 leek stalk (cleaned to ensure dirt is removed)
1 clove garlic
Handful tender baby greens (spinach, kale, collards, etc)
Handful chopped green herbs (I used basil, but parsley would work well too)
2 tablespoons grass-fed butter
2 tablespoons hydrolyzed collagen (optional)
Generous pinch sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
Place the potato, fennel, onion, leek, and garlic into a pot lined with a steamer basket and filled with water to reach the bottom of steamer. Cover with lid and bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat. Steam for ~15 minutes or until all is fork tender. Place your choice of baby greens into the steamer and steam for an addition minute until tender and bright green.
Transfer all the steamer ingredients to a food processor and add the fresh herbs, butter (or 4 tablespoons heavy cream), optional collagen peptides, salt and pepper. Process until smooth.
Transfer to a baby freezer food tray and freeze. Once frozen transfer to freezer safe container or silicone ziplock bag.
Place single serving into a microwave safe dish, and reheat for 30 second in the microwave. Stir. Make sure to feel the mixture before serving to baby to make sure it is not too hot. Alternatively, you can thaw overnight in fridge.
Note: In place of fennel, you can also use celeriac root.
Tips: You can use baby purees to make quick baby or toddler soups by simply adding more liquid such as bone broth, vegetable stock, or water to thin to soup consistency. You can also whisk in an egg and make a veggie "pancake" or "crepe".
Nutrition Facts (w/ butter & collagen peptides): 48kcal, 2.4g fat, 5.5g carbs, 1.1g fiber, 1.9g protein.
I hope you enjoy my creative, flavorful, and nutrient dense approach to whole foods cooking. All recipes are gluten free.