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Archive for the ‘Baby Food’ Category


Another great recipe idea for babies 7 months and older- Asparagus Delight.  Spring isn’t too far away and that means that the farmers markets will yet again be busting with fresh asparagus and broccoli, which will make this baby food even more nutritious for your wee ones.

Don’t be afraid to add a little taste to your little one’s palate by adding some seasonings (omit salt at all times), just because they are babies doesn’t mean they won’t appreciate good-tasting food.

Asparagus Delight
1 lb. of fresh asparagus, trimmed
1 head of fresh broccoli, cut
1 tsp. olive oil
1 clove of garlic
1/2 tsp. onion powder

After washing and trimming the vegetables- stem until tender. Add all ingredients in a processor and puree.

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When I told folks I was going to make my own homemade baby food..they laughed. “Yeah, we will see how much time you have for that after the baby comes…” It’s mind over matter people!

Well, if you were to come on over to my house and see the bags of baby food I made over a year’s times for my son- you would be impressed. I was always experimenting with new combinations of flavors and textures.

I choose fresh vegetables mostly (shopped at local farmers markets), and the fruits and vegs that are high in pesticides typically, I purchased either locally or frozen.

If you are unsure about the differences in homemade baby food compared to the jarred stuff- just make a batch of sweet peas.  I used this example the other day for a Parents As Teachers baby food cooking class I put on.  I made sweet pea puree and showed how brightly colored the peas were. The jarred stuff looked like a brown-green color and I’ve never known a baby to like peas. Well, mine did, it was one of his favorite foods as a baby and as a toddler.I’m also made sure Caston had an adventurous palate by incorporating things like avocado, salmon, pumpkin, butternut squash and even kale. I think kids are picky eaters bc they aren’t shown how fun food is!  By making your baby’s own food, you can show them the adventures of the food pyramid and the farmers markets is a great place to start.  And, don’t fret…just because it’s winter doesn’t mean that all market are closed.  There are many communities that offer winter markets.

If you are interested in making your own baby food check out these resources:
Baby Center
Wholesome Baby Food

Cookbook: So Fresh

Once a week I took about an hour and made a couple batches of baby food and froze the food in ice cube trays and some freezer cups. Then, when ready to use some of the food pull out only what you will need (yeah- no waste) and you can either thaw overnight in the fridge or microwave in a bowl.

I whole-heartily believe this is the best food for your baby….no preservatives and additives just fresh and healthy food!  Give it a try, you won’t be sorry.

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Interested in making your own homemade baby food?  I’m here to help…here ‘s a great recipe to start you out with.

If you have questions about recipes for baby and ways to freeze and store your baby food, just leave me a comment.  I’d love to help you, help baby eat locally.

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Why Make Your Own Baby Food?  Simple.  It takes less than an hour a week, less depending on how much food you make to freeze and store.  And, the best part- you have complete control on your little one’s nutritional needs.

There are three stages in your baby’s food: Smooth, Lumpy and Chunky.  These three stages will lead your baby up to eating like a pro by their first year.

It is intimidating at first making your little one’s baby food, but with these simple steps you’ll be a baby making momma in no time.  If you have any questions – leave me a comment!

4-6 months: Sometime when your baby is ready you will introduce baby cereal to your little one.  Every baby is ready at different times, so do not push them into eating cereal until they are ready.  They will be ready when they can swallow easy.

–        Be sure and introduce all different types of baby food (Wheat, Barley, Oatmeal, Rice).  Try each cereal for at least three days alone, before moving on to another to see if your baby has a reaction to a specific food.

–        If you or your spouse has any family history of allergies- always be on the lookout for those same food allergies in your baby.

5-6 months: Cereal and introduction of food.

–        A great food to start with is potatoes (both white and sweet potatoes).  The texture should be very, very smooth- like applesauce.  You can puree any well cooked veggie or fruit in a food processor or good blender.  (I highly suggest in purchasing a good food processor- they come in handy down the road.)

–        After you have introduced a variety of fruits and vegetables to your baby you can begin mixing them together.

–        Baby yogurt is also a wonderful addition to your baby’s diet

Some great starter recipes from my kitchen:

Asparagus and Broccoli
1 cup each of cooked asparagus and broccoli
1 clove of garlic
1 T. olive oil
Blend until smooth.

Spicy Sweet Potato
1 potato, diced and cooked
1/8 tsp. cumin
1 T. butter
¼ tsp. cinnamon
Mix and blend until smooth.

Fruity Tuttie
Blueberries
Blackberries
Strawberries
Cooked and blended.

* When thawing fruit purees: the mixture will be watery.  Add a little baby cereal to the mixture to thicken in for baby.

Apples and Cabbage
(My son’s fave by 6 months)
1 apple
1 c. shredded red cabbage
2 T. golden raisins
¼ c. water
Place all in pan and boil for 10 minutes.

Lima Beans My Way
1 pkg. lima beans, cooked
2 small squash, cooked
2 apples, cooked
Puree to desired texture and serve.

Salmon Surprise
(Salmon is wonderful for baby, bc it’s natural DHA)
2 c. of mixed white and sweet potato
1 c. carrot
3 ½ T. milk
1 T. butter
1/3 c. shredded cheddar cheese
3 ½ oz. salmon
Cook thoroughly and mix together.

Curry Peas
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen peas, cooked
1/3 c. plain yogurt
¼ tsp. curry powder
Puree to desired texture and serve.

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Fair Grove Farmers Market Visit

Kelsie and I were out in about early this morning traveling to the Cabool Farmers Market and were greeted by the vendors and the community with welcomed arms. Even one of my former high school teachers came out to support us.

At Cabool we fixed a cold Strawberry Soup, a Spinach Baby Food and interviewed vendors at the market.  We also learned that strawberry season might be a little short this year because of the cold tempertatures and very wet weather, according to Wayne Simpson of Simpsons Family Farm in Mtn. Grove.  So, better get to the market or you-pick soon!

After wrapping up at Cabool, we headed back towards Springfield to hit the Fair Grove Farmers Market.  The weather started looking like rain, which was no suprise.  (I’ve been to the Fair Grove Farmers Market four times and every time it has rained.)  Deb, the Market Manager even called me yesterday to tell me to leave the rain at home with me.

But, when we arrived at Fair Grove the weather teased us back and forth for about an hour with cloudy and cold to sunny and warm.  It turned out to be a lovely day and there were plenty of hungry consumers we fed with our market fixin’s.

At Fair Grove we started with Sloppy Joe’s that we topped with fresh spinach- one of my son’s favorite meals.  Our sandwiches were gone in no time and the kids kept coming back for more and recipes were flying off the table.

We ended our market demos with a Grilled Vidalia Onion and Tomato Dip that is perfect served with vegetables or crackers.  Great healthy snack for you mom’s out there looking for a healthy snack for the kiddos.

Head on over to our Facebook page for photos and don’t forget to “like” our page.

Here’s the recipe for the Market-Style Sloppy Joe’s…try it out on your family this week!

Market-Style Sloppy Joe’s
recipe from the Vidalia Onion website

1 large Sweet Vidalia onion diced
1 1/4 pounds ground beef chuck
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can tomato puree, (14.5 ounces)
2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 C. chopped fresh spinach
4 hamburger rolls

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook beef, breaking apart pieces with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned, 5 to 6 minutes.

Season with 1 ½ t salt and ¼ t pepper. Add sweet Vidalia onion and garlic; cook, stirring, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add pureed tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, tomato paste, cider, Worcestershire, and 1 1/2 cups water. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes. Add chopped spinach just before serving and divide evenly among the buns.

Remember when cooking for your family to include local products from your community farmers market to make your meal complete.

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Red Cabbage makes a great food for your baby

Baby food doesn’t have to be boring for your little one…spice it up!

My son loved trying new foods and last summer I experimented with all new flavors from the farmers market to tempt his taste buds.  One recipe that I found to be very simple and delicious (yes, I tasted every food I made for him) was a red cabbage medley that included the sweetness of golden raisins.  This recipe is a snap to whip up and I hope your little one enjoys it as much as my son.

Red Cabbage Fun
2 apples, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 cups of red cabbage
3 T. of golden raisins
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup water

Place all ingredients in a pan and boil for 10 minutes and then puree.

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The Market Lady Crew

Today we visited the Webb City Farmers Market and we were in for a treat!

I recall visiting the market about 4 years ago and was impressed by the tables of colorful produce and smiles across every vendor’s face.

Not much has changed at the Webb City Farmers Market…except there are more smiling faces, new farmers offering items like raw milk, cheese curds, a variety of breads and don’t forget about the wonderful plants, meat and produce!

What makes the Webb City Farmers Market so special (in my opinion)?  TOGETHERNESS

I’ve visited well over 100 markets and can walk into a market and get a “vibe” from the market.  At Webb City the vendors support and care for one another.  I had three of them tell me to go and visit another vendor, so I could try one of their products.  It’s a family atmosphere at the market…as all community markets should be.

Beautiful Tables

I talked with young mothers today about feeding their little ones locally this season and ways to make homemade baby food, and was so happy to hear mothers are interested in ways to incorporate fresh, local ingredients in their young ones diets.

Find ways to make your own homemade baby food here.

Today I’m sharing a recipe for Bok Choy- a Chinese cabbage that is sure to please your palates.

You won’t have trouble finding this cabbage variety at the market.  Look for a plant with firm stalks that is free of brown spots. Wrapped in paper towels and stored in the vegetable crisper section of the refrigerator, bok choy should keep for up to a week.

When cooking Bok Choy there are a variety of options from boiling, steaming, stir-frying and even deep-frying are all possibilities.

We are busy editing film and will be posting videos soon…see you at the next market!

Bok Choy Sidekick
3 T. olive oil
1 cup chopped green onions, including green ends
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound baby bok choy, rinsed, larger leaves separated from base, base trimmed but still present, holding the smaller leaves together
1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
Salt
1/2 cup chopped, roasted, salted cashews
Grated ginger and a shake of crushed red pepper flakes

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add green onions, then garlic, then bok choy. Sprinkle with sesame oil and salt. Cover, and let the baby bok choy cook down for approximately 3 minutes. (Like spinach, when cooked, the bok choy will wilt a bit.) Bok choy is light and sweet in flavor, has a crisp texture and a high nutritional value. Not only is bok choy high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and calcium, but it is low in calories.

Remove cover. Lower heat to low. Stir and let cook for a minute or two longer, until the bok choy is just cooked.

Eileen Nichols, Market Manager at the Webb City Farmers Market

Gently mix in cashews (that we have already toasted- by toasting nuts you release the oils in the nut, making for a richer flavor.)

I like to finish this dish with a little freshly grated ginger or you could shake in a little ground ginger and some chili pepper flakes.

If you have a recipe question, ask us and leave a comment.  We are here to answer all your questions about eating locally at the farmers market.

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