Banana Avocado Whip

Banana and avocado are one of those combinations that I have seen over and over on baby sites.

Seriously, don't knock it until you've tried it.

The color is that gorgeous avocado green but the majority of the flavor is the sweet banana.

The secret ingredient in my banana avocado whip is the silken tofu.

Years and years ago I made a Cooking Light recipe for strawberry mousse that had silken tofu.
It blends right in and noone would ever know that it's in there.

It's softer then firm tofu, making it perfect to blend and you can put it with just about anything.
Add it to your fruit or veggie purees, serve it as finger foods
or pretty much mix it into anything.

Banana Avocado Whip
1 banana (Make sure it's ripe! The riper, the sweeter)
1 avocado
1/4 cup silken tofu

Simply puree all the ingredients together!

-Serve it chilled on a hot day.
-Mash into chunks with a fork.
-Eliminate the tofu to serve as a first food.
-Add yogurt and/or milk and make this into smoothie for baby or for you.
No really, people drink these shakes, just google it!

Hmmm, this is really a matter of opinion.
It will easily refrigerate for up to 3 days but it does get brown.
Both the avocado and banana get brown like guacamole that has been sitting out.

This doesn't mean that it's bad.

You can avoid this by putting the puree in a container and filling it to the top
or covering the top with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap sits on the top of the puree.
I would still put a lid over that.

If the air doesn't get to it then it won't brown.
If you do get some brown parts you can mix them in,
eat them yourself or skim it off the top and throw it away.

I used 2 ounce containers and filled them to the brim.
These keep perfectly until opened.

Bananas are packed with potassium and fiber but they are also good for the digestive system
and have been known to be binding (which is a nice way to say that it aids in diarrhea).

Avocados are fantastic for your baby.  Yes, they do contain some fat but it's the good fat.
The fat in avocados is monounsaturated which helps lower cholesterol and is high in omega-9.
Besides, babies could use the healthy calories in avocado.
They contain lutein, an antioxidant that helps maintain the health of your eyes and skin.
All this in addition to fiber, potassium, folate & vitamin A and you have a perfect first food.

Tofu is a great, simple source of protein without the added fat of some meats.
It also provides iron, omega-3 fatty acids and calcium.

Roasted Roots


Although this might seem more a fall dish, I make it pretty often because Peanut loves it.

A combination of several different "roots",
I used carrots, parsnips, rutabaga and sweet potato but
you could certainly use any kind of root vegetable in this.
Typically I don't even have equal amounts of everything.

Roasting brings out their natural sweetness, requires very little as far as effort goes
and maintains a maximum amount of nutrients.

I usually do twice as many veggies as listed below, splitting the batch
and placing half on a sheet tray for B & I.
Toss with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and roast.

Picnik collage

Roasted Roots
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
1 small sweet potato or yam, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
1 small rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1" chunks

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Place all your roots into a baking dish and cover/seal with a piece of foil.
Bake for 45- 1 hour or until fork tender.
Puree to the desired consistency, adding water or unsalted stock if needed.

If you want to make your puree chunky then puree only half of the cooked vegetables.
Mash the other half with a potato masher or fork and add it to the puree.


-Use any combination of root vegetables
-Add fruit like apple or pear to the mix before baking
-Once cooled, mix in minced herbs like oregano, sage, chives or basil
-Add in some onion for some extra flavor
-This would be perfect mixed with cinnamon or nutmeg
-Add cooked chicken or turkey
-Top with a pat of butter and serve the family for dinner


Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, potassium, fiber and beta-carotene.
Parsnips are packed with folate, calcium, potassium and fiber.
Carrots are a great source of antioxidants, boosting the immune system and building eye strength.
Rutabaga has loads of potassium as well as calcium, magnesium, vitamin C and fiber.

Big & Little: Minted Melon

I suspect that some of you have been baking in the summer heat these days.

A few days ago I had veggies to roast but I could not bring myself to turn on the oven.
Peanut was lying on the floor in nothing but his diaper and looking slightly wilted.
Well, as wilted as a moose can look.

So I decided to make us both something refreshing.

What could be more refreshing then sweet summer melon and the cool touch of mint?

Picnik collage

I've broken these down into 2 very, very simple recipes.

I did them each twice using both cantaloupe and honeydew
but you could just pick your favorite and stick with it.

Each recipe uses half of a melon (both about 4 lbs) but could easily be adjusted to use the whole melon
or more for one recipe and less for the other.

Make sure your melon is ripe!
Ripe melon = yummy sweetness

"I cantaloupe, I cantaloupe"  "Please honeydew, please honeydew"

Get it?  Can't-elope? Honey-do?

Anyone else say that or was it just my mom?

I say that in my head whenever I see either one of those...every.time.

Picnik collage

When B and I lived in LA above Grand Central Market we would head downstairs 
to this amazing booth that sold tons and tons of different kinds of agua fresca.

It's basically a drink made from fresh fruit and very little else.
The possibilities really are endless.

Minted Melon Agua Fresca
-adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Half of a 4 lb cantelope or honeydew (or 1 small 2 lb melon), 
seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes, roughly 4 cups
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup of mint leaves
1 tablespoon of lime or lemon juice
pinch of salt
2 cups club soda

extra mint for steeping or garnishing

Add melon, water and mint leaves to your blender and puree.
Place a colander lined with cheesecloth, a kitchen towel 
OR a muslin swaddler for your baby drawer :)
over a deep bowl, add the puree and let it drain for about an hour.
Gather the towel/swaddler and gently squeeze any excess juice.  
Throw away the solids, stir in remaining ingredients and taste.
If you want more mint flavor add in a few sprigs of mint before chilling

Chill for at least an hour, it should be ice cold when served.

Pour into 4 glasses and top with 1/2 cup of club soda each.

*Agua Fresca Variations
-hold the club soda and serve this to your little
-Add vodka but don't mix it up with the ones you set aside for your kids
-Try this with watermelon although you may want to cut back on the water a bit
-Omit the water and soda and freeze these as popsicles

Picnik collage

Now on to the baby food.
This puree is refreshing and Peanut really enjoyed eating it straight from the fridge.
I'm sure it was cooling for a hot day and 
probably a relief from the 4 teeth that popped up in the last 10 days.

This recipe could easily be cut in half.
Also note that the puree in the pictures had less mint and I ended up adding more later.
I added apples for texture more then anything as the real star here is the melon.

Minted Melon Puree
Half of a 4 lb cantelope or honeydew (or 1 small 2 lb melon), 
seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes, roughly 4 cups
2 apples, peeled, seeded, cored and cut into chunks
1 1/2 teaspoons of minced mint

Steam your apple chunks or simmer in 1 tablespoon of water, 
until the apples are fork tender.
Allow the apples to cool.
Puree the apples, melon and mint.


-Leave out the mint (or add more if you like)
-Try this with watermelon
-Mix with peach or blueberries
-Instead of mint substitute a small amount of grated ginger.
I would start with 1/4 teaspoon and taste, adding more if needed
-For older kids serve this semi-frozen, like a healthy slushy or granita

Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months

Cantaloupe is packed with potassium, beta-carotene, fiber and vitamin A.
Honeydew also has loads of fiber and potassium as well as calcium, magnesium and vitamin C.

Big and Little


As soon as flickr starts cooperating with me, I'll be posting my first "Big and Little" recipe.

It's basically 2 different takes on the same ingredients or the same basic recipe.

One recipe for Bigs (adults) and the other for Littles (kids).

Yes, kids can often eat adult foods and adults can often eat baby foods,
but I thought I would show you a few variations anyway.

I'm all about variety.

I'll be back with Minted Melon,
a pureed version of cantelope and honeydew as well as an agua fresca version!

Baby Food Jars


Everyone wants to know where I get these baby food jars!

The answer is... from family who save them for me!

I also save the glass jars when I buy commercial baby food.  

The jars are passed to me, I strip them of their paper labels, 
sanitize them and use them for storing my baby food.

I love that I can write directly on the outside of the jars (type of food and date made)
 and then scrub the writing off with the rough side of a sponge when I clean them.
So ask your friends to save their jars!

If you don't have anyone to give you jars you can find them on ebay.

There are actually quite a few people selling the empty jars.  
Make sure you get the lids.
This would be your cheapest option.  Well, besides the free ones.

Just buy the 4 oz Mason or Ball canning jars.  You can find them at most grocery stores.

You can also google 4 oz jars (or larger) and find them on various websites 
like here and here.

There are all kinds of glass jars to be had, they don't need to be specifically for baby food.

What do you use to store your baby food?

A note about freezing in jars:  Make sure you leave space at the top of your jar, about 3/4 of an inch will do.  As the food freezes it will expand up.  Leaving that space will give it some growing room.

Otherwise the food will press against the lid and then expand out causing the glass to crack.

Turkey with Sweet Potato & Peas


Peanut is a big fan of peas and this is a great combination.

You can do this in several variations and with strained peas or peas with skins.

I usually double this recipe as I do many of these recipes.

Picnik collage

Turkey with Sweet Potato and Peas

1 medium sweet potato (about 1/2 lb) or 1/2 a large one, peeled and cut into chunks
1/4 cup lean ground turkey or cubed turkey breast
1 cup frozen peas

Place your sweet potato in a saucepan and add enough water to cover.
Boil your sweet potato until it's fork tender.
Meanwhile, rinse your peas and set aside.
Running water over them helps remove any ice crystals.
Add in your turkey meat to the boiling water and stir to break it up.
The turkey will cook thru almost immediately.
After a minute add in your rinsed peas.  Let it boil for a minute and take it off the heat.
Allow your mixture to cool.  This gives the peas time to cook all the way thru.
Place the mixture in the food processor and puree.
There will be skins from the peas in your mixture.


If you do not want the skins from the peas you can cook your peas separately.
 Increase the amount of peas to 2 cups.
Simply steam or boil them and then rinse with cold water.
Puree with a bit of the water and then strain by pressing the mixture thru a fine mesh sieve.
Add the strained peas to the cooled mixture of sweet potato and turkey.

~The pictures of the purees are of the mixture with strained peas.~


-Use this as an introductory food by eliminating the turkey
and following the directions for the strained peas.
-Use chicken breast instead of turkey
-Substitute broccoli or spinach for the peas.

Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Turkey is a great source of protein for baby.  It also has niacin, vitamin B6 and tryptothan which is an amino acid.  I wish I could say it would also put baby right to sleep but there just isn't enough turkey for that thanksgiving-like food coma.  :)
Sweet potatoes are high in fiber, antioxidants, potassium, vitamin A and a bit of calcium.
Peas are high in vitamin K & C, manganese, thiamin, folate and potassium.
As peas are on the sweet side it's a great way to introduce green foods and round out baby's diet.

Gingered Carrot


I love the combination of ginger with carrots.  
The sweetness of the carrots is the perfect vessel for the ginger which,
 in a larger amount can be a tad spicy.

Here we're adding just a small amount to brighten up a dish your baby is probably already used to.


Gingered Carrot
5 or 6 medium carrots (or the equivalent of 1 lb), peeled and sliced
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

I slice my carrots into 1/2 inch rounds (with the thin tips cut longer)
 because they steam faster in smaller pieces.
Steam in basket over 1 inch of water for about 15-20 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.
Cook the minimum amount of time possible to retain the most nutrients for your babe.

Add your carrots and the freshly grated ginger and puree.
Use the water from the steamer to get your puree to the desired consistency.


-Add 1/2 cup cooked, pureed chicken
-Add a small dollop of plain, whole yogurt
-Mix with pureed apple
-Add a pinch of mild curry
-Add 1/2 teaspoon of minced cilantro


Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months

Carrots have loads of different kinds of carotenoids which work as anitoxidants,
convert to Vitamin A, boost the immune system
as well as protect and enhance your eyes.
Ginger has a soothing quality that calms the stomach and rids you of nausea.
It has also been known to increase circulation and immunity in addition to anti-inflammatory properties.
All wonderful things of for your little peanut.

This recipe is classified as 8-10 months because of the use of spices.
You may introduce spices earlier or later than this.

Simple Dried Fruit (Prunes, Apricots, etc)


Well, these aren't the prettiest of purees but they taste great and are very nutritious.

The drying process really concentrates the sugar, so you end up with a fantastically sweet puree.

Dried fruits compliment an incredible amount of foods.

Pictured above are both prune (the darker of the two) and apricot purees.

Off the top of my head you could use prunes, apricots, peaches, raisins, figs or dates... 
I'm sure there are a ton more out there.

Picnik collage
For this recipe I used prunes

Dried Fruit Puree
1 cup prunes (you can do any amount of dried fruit)

Place your dried fruit in a small saucepan.
Add just enough water to cover the fruit.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 3 or 4 minutes.
The fruit should be easily pierced with a fork.
Just give it a test-mash in the pan.

Add the fruit to the blender or food processor and puree,  
adding as much liquid as needed.  
I used all my water but if you do have extra then don't toss that juice,
give the cooled juice to your little to drink.


You can thin it all the way down to the consistency you would need to serve it to baby.
In this case you would most likely need more water.

I like to leave mine on the thick side and then freeze it into cubes.
This way, if I make something later on that needs to be sweetened and/or thickened
I already have some frozen purees ready.

Then I just pop in a cube or two to perfect the recipe.


Look for unsulfured fruit.  You want fruit that is naturally dried.
Read the ingredients and avoid sulfur dioxide or paraffin.

Some babies and adults may be allergic to sulfides.
Sulfur dioxide does preserve the lovely apricot color 
so keep in mind your unsulfured fruit will be brown, as shown in the pictures.

Try to find organic raisins or domestic raisins if you can as imported grapes fall on the "dirty dozen" list.
Yay, California raisins!


-Mix with apples, pears or other fruit
-Great to mix with yogurt as it adds an intense sweetness to the tart yogurt
-Add to oatmeal or other grains

Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months

Dried apricots are a good source of beta-carotene, vitamin A, potassium and iron.
Prunes are high in fiber, vitamins A and C, potassium, iron and tons of antioxidants.
Raisins also have antioxidants, potassium, calcium & magnesium.
Dates have calcium, magnesium, fiber and potassium.
Figs are packed with fiber, potassium and calcium.

Yummy, Yucky


A while back I stumbled upon A Little Yumminess and found that they had a tab dedicated to foodie books.  You can imagine how excited I was and still am. 
 I just had to jump on that idea as I'd started to look at food books before Peanut was even around.


Yummy Yucky by Leslie Paticelli is simple, colorful and fun.


It takes you thru a series of items that are both yummy and yucky.

The main character is very dramatic in his yummy and yucky expressions and he even leaves me giggling.

What are your favorite foodie children's books?

Simple Stone Fruit (Plum, Peach, Nectarine, etc)


This puree can be done with any stone fruit or any combination of.

I needed to use up several different kinds so I ended up with a combination
of donut peaches, nectarines and plums.

There are all 3 in both of the purees shown but one has more plums then the other.

There are a so many different types of stone fruit on the market these days.
There are different varieties of fruit as well as hybrids like apriums and pluots.

Picnik collage

Simple Stone Fruit 
3 medium nectarines, plums or other stone fruit (or combination of)
-make sure your fruit is ripe-

Boil a pot of water.  Meanwhile wash your fruit and cut an X on the bottom of each piece.
Place the fruit in the boiling water for a few minutes.
Remove and run cold water over the tops and simply peel back the skin.
Cut the flesh from the pit and puree.

If you are using this as a first food and prefer to cook it
 you could also place the fruit in a small saucepan and simmer until fork tender, then puree.

Taste your puree.  If the end result is too tart
 you could add pureed dried apricot or prunes for additional sweetness.


-Mix this puree with just about any fruit under the sun
-Mash with banana (another easy way to sweeten)
-Add 3/4 teaspoon minced mint
-Add a generous pinch of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice (about 1/8 teaspoon)
-Mix with oatmeal or other cereal

Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months


Peaches have lots of vitamin C and K as well as potassium, calcium and fiber.
Nectarines are high in antioxidants and vitamin A along with beta-carotene and potassium.
Plums are a good source of fiber, potassium, vitamin C, K and A.

What is your favorite stone fruit?

I'm particularly obsessed with donut (or saturn) peaches right now.
The white flesh is so full of flavor with a hint of almond and
are much sweeter than some of the other stone fruit.
They are really easy to eat as the tiny little pit can be removed easily,
leaving you with tons of the yummy flesh.

Blueberry & Apple with cinnamon


I promise this is the last blueberry post for a while!
It's just that I had all these blueberries and Peanut loves them, so I couldn't help myself.

I had this craving for pie the other day and ended up eating this mashed up and still warm with nilla wafers and graham crackers and topped with whipped cream.

Not that it's a replacement for pie. 
It was late and I wasn't about to whip up a pie.

Yes, I did give some to Peanut.
Only without the extra fixins.

Picnik collage

Blueberry & Apple with cinnamon
2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped into chunks (about 3 cups)
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon water

Place the ingredients into a pot or saucepan with a lid.  
Simmer for about 4 minutes or until fork tender, stirring occasionally.
Blend to the desired consistency.

Taste test!  I suggest starting with the 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon and tasting to see if you would like to add more.  I ended up adding another generous pinch but I'm a big fan of cinnamon.


-Switch things up a bit and try using 1/2 teaspoon of minced mint instead.

Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months

Apples are a great source of fiber and contain nutrient that help regulate blood sugar.
Blueberries are full of antioxidants and vitamin C.  
Truly brain food, they help your little one maintain brain power.
Cinnamon has been said to lower blood sugar, improve blood flow, fight bacteria, relieve gas 
and reduce inflammation.
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