Baby Food | how to


This blog is about food, pictures of beautiful food, for food, and all things food- enter BABY FOOD.  Knox has been eating solids for 2 months now, and if you know us at all, I hope you know we have been making everything he eats at home.  Jason and I don’t eat every meal out of a jar, so why would we feed our baby out of a jar, am I right?  I was pretty excited to start making this little guy’s food, he was practically begging for each bite we put in our mouths when we were eating in front of him- poor guy!  I can’t wait till we can just serve him what we’re eating each night, for now we make him his own fruit and veggies purees and combos!  He’s actually inspired us to eat better again, I swear since pregnancy we’ve been spoiling our sweet tooth and ourselves with decadent meals, pizza and the like.  This week we made a great meal plan and have stuck to it.  We do a Sunday food prep as long as we’re home, where I baked sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, roasted acorn squash, washed and packed baggies of grapes, boiled chicken for southwest style wraps ( packaged beans/ shredded cheese/ avocado/ made brown rice with Salsa), baked bacon ( for loaded potatoes), boiled whole wheat pasta and threw together a backed ziti with zucchini slices, and of course made some fruits for Knox.

I do mega batches 1-2 times per month and so far he’s had: apples, pears, acorn squash, butternut squash, cantaloupe, peas, green beans, avocado, sweet potato, parsnips, prunes.  It’s been pretty easy, I’ll do 2 fruits and 2 veggies all at the same time by steaming the sliced fruits in a saucepan with a touch of water and a lid at the same time the squash or potatoes are cooking/ roasting in the oven.  As one item finishes cooking I toss it in the food processor.  For the apple and pears, I remove the skin after it’s steamed and cool- it’s just easier and you don’t lose as much fruit.   Once each item is blended, I pour/ plop it in to an ice cube tray, cover with plastic wrap and freeze.  Once frozen I transfer the cubes to a labelled bag and store in the freezer.  To serve, I place 1-2 cubes ( mix and match!) and microwave in a small bowl with 10-20 second intervals till just warm and smooth.  I’ll stir in some milk to thin it out if necessary, add in rice powder for extra calories.


photo source

Knox’s favorite, as an example Acorn Squash!

2 acorn squash


To start, wash the acorns, cut in half then place face down in a rimmed pan lined with foil ( I drizzle with EVOO), bake for 35 minutes @400 degrees.  When cool, scoop out soft flesh in to your food processor and blend until smooth, adding liquid gradually (and adding more if needed to purée). Then pour into freezer cubes and store in freezer.


Suggested Combos:
Sweet Potato and Apple

Apple and Cinnamon

Pear and Parsnips

Acorn Squash and Rice

Peas and Sweet Potato

Cantaloupe and Yogurt

Peaches and Cream ( mommy’s milk)



or Treat- Baked Apples!


We couldn’t resist sharing a delicious Halloween treat, Mulled Cider Baked Apples!  So sweet and perfect for the fall and beautiful to share, we are eating these tonight…


First HOW TO CORE AN APPLE, we had to google it but you can just review the above tools and method below to get you going all on one page:

  1. Wash the apples prior to coring them. Remove all surface dirt from the apples  and place them onto the cutting board.
  2. Insert the tip of the paring knife approximately 3/8-inch to one side of the  center stem of the apple. Push the tip of the knife into the apple and rotate it  around to cut out an even circle around the stem of the  apple.
  3. Push the knife into the apple and angle it under the stem to remove the  entire stem from the top of the apple.
  4. Insert the tip of the spoon into the hole in the center of the apple. Dig out  the core of the apple, including the seeds, with the spoon and discard these  pieces. Continue digging until you remove the entire core area of the  apple.
  5. Dig with the spoon until you reach approximately 1/2-inch from the bottom of  the apple. Do not cut all the way through the entire apple—leave this 1/2-inch  of apple at the bottom to contain the brown sugar and other fillings you will  add to the empty core area. Make the hole in the center of the apple  approximately 3/4-inch wide


4 medium baking apples- Roma recommended

2 cups Apple Cider

3 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

3 whole cloves

Zest of 1 orange

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

4 cinnamon sticks

Core apples, place in the bottom of a medium size saucepan with a lid.  Add in the cider, honey, syrup, cloves, zests and juice then place 1 stick in the cored center of each apple.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until tender but not falling apart 15-20 minutes.  Remove apples from pan to a serving plate and set aside covered to keep warm.

Increase the heat under your pan to medium/ high and boil to reduce the cider mixture, uncovered, stir occasionally until slightly syrupy and reduced to 1 cup of liquid.  Strain the mixture through a mesh sieve reserving the liquid, toss the solid and drizzle of each apple to serve.

Apple Haven Orchard Pie

Oh sweet sweet fall, it’s a little easier to forget about summer’s passing when you can crank on your oven and begin to bake delicious treats such as zucchini breads and apple pie and pumpkin muffins… the smell of sweet cinnamon wafting through the air, the anticipation of the first warm bite- I’m not sure there’s anything better about fall then that.  Well apple picking comes pretty close- it’s really great to reach up and grab an apple and bite into- so fresh and perfect.  And it’s a great way to learn about different types of apples- those best for cooking, those better for eating and those that keep really well for a while ( bonus!)  We had a great camping trip up in New Glarus Wisconsin, to enjoy Oktoberfest, New Glarus beers, great friends, camping fun and apple picking at the Apfel Haven Orchard.  The couple who met us as we eagerly awaited our picking, were so adorable.  They set up a couple chairs under a canopy tent, with their dog running around and greeting everyone, to enjoy the day outside sharing their apples.  What a great way to spend the afternoon!  They shared their story about how they have had the orchard and educated us on the apples and generally were the happiest looking, nicest people we’ve ever met.  Picking is from 12-5pm on the weekends only during the apple season.  They had about 6 different varieties, here are our 2 favorites:
Jonafree apple: Medium size, bright red, fully or nearly fully colored.
Flavor is Jonathan-like, but less acid. Keeps 10 weeks.
Priscilla apple: Medium in size. 65% red blush over yellow background.
Crisp, coarse, mildly subacid. White to slightly greenish flesh.
Good flavor and quality. Will store for three months. Fruit hangs well.
As September comes to a close, we are coming up on the best month of the whole year- my favorite month actually 🙂  October, gorgeous colors start to appear and crisp days with bright sunshine will be had.  We will be sharing more apple recipes ( maybe some apple sauce for muffins!), and I’m sure some fall squash will creep in here and there… always a healthy version to be had that is just as delicious as it’s original. 
The following recipe is one we found with a struesel type topping ( mmm my favorite!) and the key to a great apple pie is mixing 2 types of baking apples.  This is not a quick recipe by any means, there are a lot of “make this, wait 30 minutes” etc. but I swear you will not be disappointed when it is done, the whole wheat crust is perfection, I love the crunchy topping and cinnamony apples- oh the apples are the best part! This recipe includes orange as well and you really taste it as a perfect complement to the apple filling, do not leave that out.  I would even use some zest of orange next time in the filling. 


Oatmeal Crunch Apple Pie

Adapted from Eating Well

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, (Neufchâtel)
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons ice water
3 medium Jonafree apples, peeled and thinly sliced
3 medium Priscilla apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour

1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed


1.To prepare crust: Whisk flours and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Cut in 4 tablespoons butter and cream cheese using a pastry blender or a fork until the mixture is pebbly. Add oil; stir until evenly moistened. Sprinkle water over the mixture; toss with a fork to combine. Knead the dough in the bowl a few times. Gather into a ball, press into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days.

2.Roll the dough into a 14-inch circle between 2 large pieces of parchment or wax paper. Peel off the top sheet and invert the dough into a 9-inch pie pan. Peel off the remaining paper. Press the dough firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Tuck the overhanging dough under, forming a double-thick edge. Crimp the edge with your fingers. Using a fork, prick the dough in several places. Refrigerate the crust for 15 minutes.

3.Position a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 375°F. Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool, about 30 minutes.
4.To prepare filling: Combine apples, 1/2 cup brown sugar, lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a large bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour over the apples and toss again; mound the filling into the cooled crust. Coat the crust edges with cooking spray, return the pie to the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
5.Meanwhile, prepare topping: Combine 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour, oats, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Cut in 2 tablespoons butter with a pastry blender or a fork until evenly distributed. Stir in orange juice concentrate and nuts.
6.After the pie has baked for 30 minutes, remove it from the oven and scatter the topping over the apples. Return it to the oven (covering the edges of the crust with foil if they’re browning too quickly) and bake until the topping is golden and the juices are bubbling around the edges, 20 minutes more. Cool for at least 1 hour before serving.
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare and refrigerate the dough (Step 1) for up to 2 days.

Equipment: 9-inch pie pan
NutritionPer serving: 340 calories; 13 g fat ( 6 g sat , 2 g mono ); 21 mg cholesterol; 53 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 4 g fiber; 110 mg sodium; 199 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (18% daily value)
Carbohydrate Servings: 3.5
Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 fruit, 1 1/2 fat

Apple Walnut Muffins

Another great, whole grain, fruity vitamin packed muffin recipe!  There are several ways you can make this muffin your own, using what you have on hand!  For instance, if you don’t have walnuts you could us pecans… if you don’t have apple butter or apple sauce you could use pumpkin or carrot puree.. if you don’t like cinnamon, don’t use it…. and if you don’t have an apple, this muffin works without it, according to our reliable sources.  Don’t have buttermilk?  Use 3/4 c. fat free milk and a squeeze of lemon juice- tastes and works just like the real thing.  We made this recipe as follows and the result is a real treat of a muffin, decadent crumble topping with the brown sugary nutty goodness and a tender moist muffin full of apple flavors from Arnie and Julie’s homemade apple butter and apple sauces ( thank you for the Christmas gift!), and the chunks of apples really bring this one home.  So gooooooood, please try it:

Cooking spray
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1/2 cup natural applesauce

1/2 cup apple butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk
1 Gala apple, cored and cut into 1/4-inch pieces

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 12-capacity muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar, the walnuts and cinnamon.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flour, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk the remaining 3/4 cup sugar and oil until combined. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in the applesauces and vanilla.

Whisk in the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Whisk just until combined. Gently stir in the apple chunks.

Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan and sprinkle with the pecan mixture. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of 1 of the muffins comes out clean.

Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the muffins to loosen them and unmold. Cool completely on the rack.  These can be wrapped up and stored in the freezer for easy grab and go breakfasts or snacks.  Just pull one out the night before or toss in the microwave for 45 seconds and enjoy!