Quinoa and Tomato Sauce for Babies

One of my favorite grains to cook with is definitely quinoa.  Not only does it taste good but its so sooo good for you!  Don’t take my word for it though…just read this.

Naturally I wanted to introduce this super food to baby J, since I don’t often give him much meat, I wanted him to be exposed to an alternate source of protein.  Because I wanted to make sure it was easy for him to swallow and chew with his gummies {we only have 2 teeth remember?}, I decided to make a homemade organic tomato sauce to go with it.  **Be aware that tomatoes are acidic and not recommended for babies who are just starting to eat solids as it can cause upset tummy and diaper rash.  Well cooked tomatoes are better though as much of the acid is destroyed in the boiling process.**

A big challenge in cooking any baby food is the lack of spices and salt.  So for the tomato sauce I used a little bit of balsamic vinegar instead, to give it a bit of a salty taste, but feel free to take that out all together.

Cook Quinoa

1/3 cup according to package instructions.

Tomato Sauce Recipe

1 tomato {you can use fresh, or one that you’ve frozen in the freezer} chopped.

1/4 of an onion finely chopped

1/4 red pepper finely chopped

1 celery stalk finely chopped

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1 cup of water

directions

Heat up the oil in a skillet.

Sautee the onions until they are clear and glass-like. {about 1 minute}

Add peppers and celery and sautee for another minute.

Add tomatoes and water.

Bring to a boil, reduce the temperature to a simmer, cover and cook until all the veggies are very tender. {about 30minutes}

Continue to check on the sauce and if the water level gets to low, just add more.

Once vegetables are soft, add the balsamic vinegar, and simmer for 2 more minutes.

Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.

Cool.  Add the desired amount of quinoa to a dish, top up with tomato sauce and serve.

Baby and Toddler Friendly Muffins

Since baby J started eating on his own he has become obsessed with eating EVERYTHING!  He loves loves loves Cheerios, but I’m afraid they have too much sugar so I wanted to limit the amount of cereal I gave him {I did try the healthy kamut cheerios but he hates them}.

I decided to experiment with making healthy sugar-free muffins that would be safe for babies and toddlers…and thus the Apple-Banana-Blueberry Toddler Muffin was born!

apple banana and blueberry muffins

Ingredients {makes 12 muffins}:

2 ripe bananas

1 cup of grated apple

1/4 cup of apple juice {I used juice that I made}

1/2 cup of frozen wild blueberries

2 cups of flour {see below for substitutions}

1 egg

1/4 cup of melted butter

1 tbsp cinnamon

1tsp baking soda

1tsp baking powder

** Substitutions:**

all purpose flour = gluten free flour = rice flour

egg = binding agent

apple  and apple juice = crushed pineapple and pineapple juice

*note that I used all organic ingredients but you don’t have to.

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 370 degrees and grease a muffin tray.

2.  Mash the ripe bananas, add the melted butter, egg, apple juice and grated apple and whisk.

3.  In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon and sift together.

4.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well.

5.  Add the frozen blueberries.

6.  Spoon mixture into the muffin tray and bake for 30minutes or until golden brown.

**please note that because of the grated apple the inside of the muffin will be very moist!…perfect for those little guys and girls.  You can freeze half of the muffins and thaw them as needed in the microwave for 20 seconds.

apple banana and blueberry muffins

apple banana and blueberry muffins

Baby J loved every bite!

apple banana and blueberry muffins

Fall Desserts

The weather is starting to turn outside, and I can’t help but be inspired to make some yummy and deliciously sweet comfort foods.  How about you?  Will you be doing any fall inspired baking this weekend??

{peanut butter cup browniesold-fashioned birthday cakeautum delight cake, pumpkin ice cream sandwiches, new peanut butter smores, hot chocolate fudge cakes}