homemade

Mango-Avocado-Kale Puree

mango-avocado-kale

Another fruit puree perfect for adding to baby cereal or giving to your baby for lunch. This one, like most purees I have made, was very simple to make. I chose to use a lot of mangoes for this one so that I could have plenty extra to freeze. I use fruit on most days to add to my son’s cereal for breakfast so I go through it pretty quickly.

mango-avocado-kale

 

mango-avocado-kale

Here’s how I made this one:

Keep in mind I wanted to make a lot so you could cut this down if you wanted to make less. If you wanted to make a single serving I would suggest using half of each fruit and then 1 or 2 kale leaves.

 

Use:

-5 mangoes

-1 avocado

-1 whole bunch of kale leaves

-water or breastmilk

 

The only thing that I cooked for this baby food is the kale leaves. Everything else can simply be cut up and tossed into the blender. Since the fruits are not cooked, I would suggest that this puree not be used for one of baby’s first solids. Make sure to rinse the mangoes, avocado and kale leaves. Peel and pit the mangoes, slice into small pieces and put into the blender. Peel and pit the avocado, slice into chunks and put it into the blender. Cut the stems off of the kale leaves and steam the leaves for about 10-15 minutes. Rinse leaves when you are done and let cool for a bit or run cold water over them. Add the kale to the blender and blend well. You won’t need much liquid for this one. Add small amounts of water or breastmilk as needed. This made 8 – 4oz jars and a whole ice cube tray for me.

mango-avocado-kale

As you can see, this is what I do when I run out of jars while making baby food…improvise by using an ice cube tray! Ice cube trays work great, you could also use them if you don’t have any jars or some other sort of baby food storage. I let the tray freeze and then pop all of the cubes out and put them into a ziplock bag and back into the freezer. This way you can just grab however many cubes you want as you need them.

My son loves this one by itself or mixed with cereal!

 

 

Whippersnappers

Chicken – Cheddar Broccoli Baby Food Puree

Chicken - Cheddar/Broccoli

It’s official…we are starting meats now!

My son had his 9 month appointment a couple of weeks ago and his pediatritian suggested to start him on meats now. I had been previously giving him little pieces here and there from my own plate at dinner but now he can have his own for a whole meal! This opens up a whole new world of possibilities with his homemade baby food so I was very excited! However, little road block…he doesn’t really like it pureed :/ I can tell it is definitely a texture thing. I will put it in his mouth and he immediately sticks out his tongue and lets it fall out. But it’s okay, we are working on it and hopefully he starts to like meats a bit more.

For his first meat meal I decided that chicken would be easiest and I wanted to add a veggie. Plus, it will be better flavors by adding a veggie or something else instead of trying to give them just the meat plain. I decided on Chicken – cheddar/broccoli. Since I usually like to make his food in bulk and then freeze it, I wasn’t sure how good the cheese would be so I decided to just make the cheddar broccoli and then add some of the cheese when heating up his meal after thawing it. But if you are going to make it and give it to your baby fresh then you could just add the cheese at the same time.

Chicken - Cheddar/Broccoli

Chicken - Cheddar/Broccoli

How I made it:

-1 lb chicken

-1 small bushel of broccoli

-1 Tbsp cheddar cheese

-Breastmilk or water

 

Cut chicken in bite-sized pieces. You could also leave them not cut up to cook them but I cut them into pieces to ensure that they would be fully cooked and also figured it would be much easier to puree that way. Steam the chicken for 20-30 minutes. The chicken could also be cooked on the stovetop or baked in the oven. Remove the chicken and add to your blender and set aside. Steam broccoli for about 15 minutes. Towards the end add the cheese to melt it in. Like I previously said, if you are going to be making a whole batch and freezing it, you could simply melt the cheese in later when heating up a single meal. Add the cheese and broccoli to the blender as well and let it all cool a bit. Add a small amount of breastmilk or water. You may need to add more once you start blending if it is to dry or needs to smooth out. Blend well, and that’s it!

I actually thought that this smelled really good! I would eat it myself if, well you know…it wasn’t pureed!

This made about 5 – 4oz jars for me but varies depending on how much meat and broccoli you use.

 

 

Whippersnappers

Homemade Canning Jar Gift Ideas

canning gifts

I hope that everyone had a very Merry Christmas!

Things were very hectic this year for the holidays and I have been very busy non-stop! Not to mention, we were having many relatives come to visit for Christmas through New Years day so I kept trying to think of ideas that we could do that may work for everyone and not be too costly. I knew I wanted to do something homemade so that effort and thought could go into the gifts instead of a ton of money! Around this same time my husband and I kept saying that we had been wanting to get into canning and preserving for something to do. Then it clicked! There is no better time than to start now and make some preservatives for gifts!

The nice thing about this is it does not have to be used for Christmas gifts! This would be a wonderful gift idea for many occasions such as birthdays or housewarming gifts! I’ve even used canning jars for other things instead of actually using them for canning. For example, I have used them for party favors! I threw a baby shower for a close friend and added chocolate chip cookie dry ingredients to a jar. The possibilities are endless!

canning gifts

For this years Christmas gifts my husband and I decided on giving homemade canned items as I mentioned so we picked out 3 completely different recipes so that we had some good variety. We decided on doing homemade salsa, apple butter and blueberry chia seed jam. We had so much fun making all these and were SO excited that we even ended up with a few extra jars to keep for ourselves.

Homemade Salsacanning giftscanning gifts

Homemade Salsa

First I must start out by saying, this is one of the best salsas I have ever had! It is delicious! If you like a salsa that is spicy but also very sweet, then this is the one for you! In fact, next time we make this (because there definitely will be a next time! It is deeelicious!) I would even make it a bit more spicy and add some more jalepenos. So if you are a big fan of very veeeery spicy, then I would suggest adding more of a kick with more jalepenos in this recipe.

Find the salsa recipe I used here. I got the recipe from Food.com and it is simple and you can’t go wrong with the amazing taste!

For the tomatoes I used about half fresh tomatoes and half canned crushed tomatoes. This was simply because I ran out of the fresh 😛 But hey, it worked out okay! I chopped all of my ingredients very fine in order to have a smoother salsa versus chunky but you could go either way. This recipe made 7 pints for me.

 

 

Homemade Apple Butter

Ooooh my goodness…this stuff is amazing! My husband could not stop “sampling” it to make sure it tasted okay 😉 Thankfully we had a couple of jars to keep for ourselves! The other best part about making the apple butter is that it was SO simple! You literally throw a few ingredients into your crock pot and let it go! The most time consuming part was just peeling and coring the apples but that of course didn’t take too long either.

canning gifts

Find the apple butter recipe I used here. I found this recipe at Money Saving Mom’s blog through Pinterest and it is fantastic! She even offers some adorable free printouts for apple butter labels! However, I decided to make my own.

After the apple butter was completely done we decided to throw it all in the blender and puree it up so that it was completely smooth. This totally depends on preference so you wouldn’t have to do this but I really loved the smoother texture. This recipe doesn’t mention anything about canning but we wanted to be able to preserve them so we just put them in a hot water bath for about 15 minutes.

canning gifts

Blueberry Chia Seed Jam

This is also a really good recipe! My only advice is definitely do not make it when blueberries are out of season and the only ones you can get are in the grocery store for about $4 for an itty bitty container! And it STILL did not make all that much for me. But hey, it’s okay, I just used some little adorable 4oz jars so that I could have more.

Find the blueberry chia seed jam recipe that I used here. I also found this one through Pinterest at Lexi’s Clean Kitchen.

The best thing about this jam is that it is healthy and doesn’t have any bad additives or extra sugar! Instead of using extra sugar or pectin that is often used in homemade jams, this one just adds honey and lemon juice along with the blueberries and chia seeds. I doubled this recipe since it doesn’t make very much. However, if you are just making it for yourself it would be the perfect amount.

canning gifts

canning gifts

 

canning gifts

As you can see, I also had some fun decorating the jars, making some labels and putting them in gift baskets! I just added a kitchen towel and a mini spatula and it makes a great gift!

 

 

Whippersnappers

Blueberry-Raspberry Baby Puree

Blueberry-Raspberry Baby Food

Here’s how to make this super simple fresh berry fruit puree for your baby!

 

What you’ll need:

-1 container of fresh blueberries

-1 container of fresh raspberries

 

Make sure to rinse both berries well first. Cook all berries together in boiling water for about 10 minutes. Rinse with cool water and add them to the blender. The berries have enough of their own juice that you shouldn’t need to add any extra liquid. If it is too thick just add a bit of water. This made about 5 servings of fruit for me. Of course, that’s by using the itty bitty yet super duper expensive containers from the grocery store. If you got them in larger bulk while they are in season somewhere like the farmer’s market, then you could probably make a lot more for cheaper!

Blueberry-Raspberry Baby Food

That’s it! See what I mean? Very simple! My 9 month old absolutely loved this combination mixed in with his cereal in the mornings. Hope your baby enjoys this as well!

 

Whippersnappers

 

 

Celery-Spinach Baby Food Purée

Celery-Spinach Recipe

Celery - Spinach Baby Food

I have been making homemade baby food since my son turned 6 months old. I love making his food homemade and love coming up with new recipes and combinations to try! He has been starting to eat a lot more lately since he is almost 9 months old so I have been trying to make a variety of new foods for him. I will soon be starting him on meats so that will bring all kinds of new recipes! For now, here is a new veggie idea! I wasn’t really sure if he would go for the taste of celery but he gobbled it right up!

I would suggest starting this one around 8 months and up.

Celery - Spinach Baby Food

Celery - Spinach Baby Food

Use:

-1 whole bunch of Celery

-2 Cups spinach

-2 Tbsp Coconut oil

-1 Cup water for cooking

-1/4 – 1/2 Cup water or breastmilk for blending

 

How to prepare:

Wash celery off well. Chop into smaller pieces making sure to cut off the ends. Cook in skillet or saucepan on med-high with about 2 Tbsp of coconut oil. Make sure to stir well to coat the celery with the coconut oil. Let cook for about 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, add 1 cup water and lower heat. Cook for an additional 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.

Steam spinach for about 10 minutes. You could instead blanch it by boiling in water for about 10 minutes and then putting it into ice water but I prefer to steam the spinach to preserve the nutrients.

Add both spinach and celery into the blender with about 1/4 Cup water and blend well. If it’s still chunky, add more water. You could also use breastmilk or formula.

This made 5 – 4oz jars for me and I put them in the freezer. Double or triple the recipe if you like making in bulk and freezing. This one was very easy and my son loved it!!

Celery - Spinach Baby Food