Saturday, June 6, 2015

Real Deal Baby Food: Spiced Pumpkin & Apple Soup


Real Deal Baby Food: Spiced Pumpkin and Apple Soup

Have you ever tasted baby food? I think I did at a baby shower once where we played that game where you guess the baby food flavor. Umm, ick! Whoever came up with that idea probably never tasted baby food to begin with because, let me tell you, "Mac & Cheese with Vegetables" is not very appetizing. Doubly so when it is pureed into smooth, creamy..."Mac & Cheese with Vegetables." Yuck, yuck, yuck! If you don't think it tastes good, your baby probably doesn't think so, either. 

Many people turn to baby food because it is considered convenient, but it is even more convenient to whip up a tasty soup that you can eat right along with your little one! When we made this soup last week, we topped ours with shredded slow-cooked turkey and some grated raw cheddar cheese. It was delicious! This soup makes about ten servings so there is plenty for you to serve at home and then pack some of the leftovers into a small container for your little one the next day. 

It is really important to expose babies to various flavors and textures from a young age as their palate is developing. There is no need to shy away from spices, even for young babies. I would recommend keeping an eye on them for 3-4 days after introducing any new foods or seasonings just to be sure there is no reaction, but this is very rare. And, because this soup is blended, it makes a great first food even from the age of about six months old as you are first introducing solids.  I like my soup a little chunkier, but you can add more liquid to make it even smoother for your baby. We sometimes would feed Avery soup with a spoon, but sometimes he just dipped his hand in the bowl and went to town. Come to think of it, he is almost two years old and still does this. 

If you are still nursing, you could even add a bit of breast milk just to your baby's portion before serving to thin it out a bit. This was a practice we employed quite often with Avery as we were transitioning him to solid foods. He already loved the taste of breast milk so giving him a bit of that flavor with whatever we were serving (banana, sweet potato, soup, etc.) helped to adjust the consistency to his needs and get him used to the new flavors.

So, have you ever tasted baby food? What are your favorite foods to share with your baby?

Real Deal Baby Food: Spiced Pumpkin and Apple Soup


Spiced Pumpkin & Apple Soup
featuring products from Barefoot Provisions
Serves: 8-10
Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients
2 tbsp grass fed butter or ghee
1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled (optional) and diced
1/2 tsp unrefined sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp fresh grated ginger (or 1/2 tsp dried)
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground clove
3 cups chicken broth or water
2 15 oz cans pumpkin
1 14oz can of coconut milk (full fat or light)


Directions
Melt butter or ghee in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add diced onions and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally. About 5 minutes.

Add diced apples to pot and cook until soft and beginning to brown, stirring occasionally. About 6 to 8 minutes. Add all spices and stir well to incorporate.

Turn heat to medium-high and add broth or water. Stir to incorporate. When soup begins to boil, turn heat to medium-low and stir in pumpkin. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove soup from heat and use a submersion blender (or transfer soup in batches to a blender) to blend until smooth.

Stir in coconut milk and heat until warm, but not boiling. Garnish with an additional sprinkle of clove and serve.