Viewing entries in
Fall / Autumn

Fall Farmer’s Market Scavenger Hunt

Fall Farmer’s Market Scavenger Hunt

Fall is officially here! With the new season comes a whole new array of fresh, in season fruits and vegetables. If you’ve been to your local farmer’s market or grocery store lately, you will have noticed the disappearance of corn in place of beautiful pumpkins and squash. A great way to involve your children in the excitement of the new season is with this scavenger hunt, just like the one we did for the summer!

Take your child to the market and involve them in the purchasing process by having them locate the various fruits and vegetables on the printable card above. This is a great opportunity for your child to learn the different benefits coming from their produce as well. The more your children are involved in the process of their food, the more willing they will be to taste them!

Many of these delicious fall produce items can be made into baby food with ease!

Brussels Sprouts:

Heat oven to 350F. Cut off end and any loose leaves and then cut in half. Place Brussels sprouts in a rimmed baking sheet and add a few tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix up with your hands and roast until fork tender - about 30-40 minutes. Cut them up into small enough pieces for your baby to chew or puree them in your food processor!

Acorn Squash:

Approximately 1 lb of squash (one small one)

Cooking spray

1 tbs of water or breastmilk/formula (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and membrane. Place the squash inside down in a baking dish coated with cooking spray. Using a fork, poke the outer surface of the squash multiple times, creating many holes. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Allow squash to cool for 15 minutes. Remove cooked squash and puree. Puree until smooth, adding 1 tbs or more of desired ingredient to achieve proper consistency.

Produce shopping this fall is sure to be fun! Enjoy your lovely, in-season finds!

 

Written by: Chloe Cerino

 

Image Sources: 

http://www.cooktimewithremmi.com/remmis-recipes/salad-with-candied-pecans-pears-dried-cranberries-and-blue-cheese

http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/red/images/34590395/title/red-apples-3-photo

http://www.charliesfruitmarket.com.au/all-products/australian-red-cabbage-half-head/

http://eofdreams.com/turnip.html

http://augustafreepress.com/specialty-pumpkins-growing-popularity/

https://www.morningagclips.com/sweet-potato-project-for-kids/

http://baby-recipes.com/acorn-squash-baby-food-recipe/

http://www.oregonquinces.com

http://www.babyfood101.com/brussels_sprouts_baby_food_recipes/

http://sekapporchard.com/shop/broccoli/

 

 

Slow Cooking for The Whole Family

Slow Cooking for The Whole Family

As the weather continues to cool down, families may be spending more time playing games and reading books to the little ones inside to keep warm.  One great option to warm up on chilly nights is to make a slow cooker dinner.  Placing all the ingredients into your soup pot or crock-pot and then allowing the dish to simmer uninterrupted for while allows you to create an easy but tasty meal.  This also lets you spend more time connecting with the family while dinner basically cooks itself.  The dishes below are great options to try this season and all members of the family can enjoy them together.  

White Bean and Rosemary Soup

This dish is a simple yet tasty dinner, and, depending on the age of your youngest child, the cook time can be altered to make the ingredients softer and easier for infants and toddlers to eat.  

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dry white beans, soaked overnight in water, then drained
  • 15 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable stock, plus more if needed
  • 8 cloves peeled garlic
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, minced, or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients to the bowl of a slow cooker. If needed, add more stock so that the beans are covered with liquid.
  2. Cook on low for 10 hours or high for about 6 until the beans are tender.
  3. Taste the beans, and add as much salt as you'd like.

Sweet Potato Lentils

This recipe is perfect for those families with infants just starting to eat soft purees.  Even for those families without them, this dish is quick to throw together and yummy as well.

Ingredients:

  • 3 large sweet potatoes, diced (about 6 cups)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoon each ground coriander, garam masala, and chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups uncooked red lentils (masoor dal)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 cup water

Instructions:

  1. Place the sweet potatoes, vegetable broth, onion, garlic, and spices in a crockpot. Cook on high for 3 hours, until vegetables are soft.
  2. Add the lentils and stir once. Replace the lid and cook on high for an additional 1½ hours.
  3. Stir in the coconut milk and as much water as needed to get the right consistency.

Mama’s Vegetable Soup

Another delicious option that cooks a bit faster than the other recipes is this hearty vegetable soup.  Again, cook time can be altered to better fit your little ones needs.  

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 diced onion
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 medium red potatoes, diced
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 1 pound cut green beans
  • 1 cup fresh cooked corn kernels
  • 28 ounces whole tomatoes (or diced) in their juices
  • 1 quart vegetable stock
  • 4 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • Crackers of your choice for serving
  • Sliced green onion, for serving

Instructions:

  1. Preheat a soup pot to medium heat with the olive oil. Add the onion with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes. Add the potato with more salt and stir to coat in the olive oil - cook for 3 minutes more. Add the garlic to the vegetables and cook for 1-2 minutes, just until fragrant. Sprinkle the flour over the potato mixture and stir it into the vegetables.
  2. Add the vegetables to the pot, and squish the tomatoes into the pot with your hands. Add the stock, and stir the soup to combine everything and pick up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Increase the heat to medium-high and cover the soup to bring it to a boil. When the soup boils, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the soup for 20 - 30 minutes until the potatoes and other vegetables are tender. Taste, and add more salt or pepper to the soup as desired.
  3. To serve, add a handful of spinach leaves to the bottom of a bowl. Top with soup and add any desired toppings.

Have you tried these recipes or have a personal favorite slow cooker meal? Let us know in the comments below!


 

Written by Katie Tessier

 

Sources
Title Image: http://images.kiwicrate.com/live/main/tstep/ic26820b8a4c1/2e31f625f730.jpg
White Bean Soup Image: http://i1.wp.com/funnyloveblog.com/wpcontent/uploads/2014/11/IMG_3912.jpg
White Bean Recipe: http://funnyloveblog.com/2014/11/04/slow-cooker-white-beans-rosemary/
Sweet Potato Lentils Image: http://dagzhsfg97k4.cloudfront.net/wpcontent/uploads/2013/09/lentils-21.jpg
Sweet Potato Lentils Recipe:  http://pinchofyum.com/crockpot-sweet-potato-lentils
Vegetable Soup Recipe: http://funnyloveblog.com/2013/11/07/mamas-vegetable-soup-vegan/
Vegetable Soup Image: http://i1.wp.com/funnyloveblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/IMG_8388.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Fruit Spotlight...Apples!

Fruit Spotlight...Apples!

Fall is finally here: the colors are changing, the weather is cooling down, and it is time for some perfect, delicious apples. Apple season lasts until the middle of October, which means the prime time to buy apples, is right now! So, next time you take a stroll through the local farmer’s market, pick up a few and take advantage of their sweet, sweet perfection.

Packed with nutritional benefits, apples are a reliable source of antioxidants, soluble fiber, and Vitamin C.  Incorporating the magical fruits into your diet will help your body build a strong immune system and promote a healthy heart.

Eating an apple on its own is certainly delicious but sometimes its also good to mix things up! Keep apples exciting by eating them in fun, new, and EASY ways! Here are some ideas to every day easy apple eating:

Spread peanut butter, almond butter, or maybe even pumpkin butter (t’is the season, right?) onto your toast and top it with a some thin apple slices. Drizzle a little maple syrup and cinnamon over the top and breakfast is served! Granny Smith’s are a great apple to use for this because it adds a nice tart flavor to the mix

Dip them! All kids love a chance to play with food, so, slice up an apple and let them dip away! Prepare easy, ready-to-go dips like peanut butter, almond butter, and hazelnut butter.

OR make your own! Here is an easy homemade dip to satisfy that sweet tooth while eating your apples:

Raw Caramel Dip

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup organic coconut oil
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons of raw almond butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla2 dates, pitted¼ tsp salt

Directions:

Combine all of the ingredients together in a high-speed blender until thick and smooth. Enjoy!

Lastly, another classic way for the whole family to enjoy and benefit from this fruit is by making applesauce! Try this recipe, which purees raw apples instead of boiled ones. The benefit of using raw apples is that you consume all of the original nutrients in the apple instead of boiling them away in cooked recipes. Try out this recipe:

Raw Apple Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 4 apples
  • ½ lemon
  • cinnamon (to taste)

Directions:

  1. Peel and core the apples. Cut them into chunks and add them to a food processor. Pulse to puree.
  2. Squeeze the juice from ½ lemon into the food processor and blend
  3. Add the cinnamon to taste and blend until completely pureed.

Note: If you are making these delicious snacks to pack in a lunch remember to sprinkle some lemon juice over your apple slices to keep them from browning throughout the day.

Happy Apple Eating!


Written by: Julia Pollack

Sources:
http://followpics.co/apple-snack-you-will-be-addicted-uses-only-an-apple-orange-and-lemon-seriously-the-best-apple-snack-ever-i-ate-3-apples-today-because-i-couldnt-stop/http://www.fromthelittleyellowkitchen.com/2013/02/06/maple-apple-toast-with-nut-butter-tahini/http://www.nutritionstripped.com/raw-caramel-with-apples/http://www.buddinglotusbody.com/nourish/2011/01/raw-apple-sauce/http://elanaspantry.com/raw-apple-sauce/