I have hosted Thanksgiving for the past several years. It may just be my favorite holiday. Low stress (as far as holidays go) and just good food, family and friends-what’s not to love?!
In the past I have discarded the turkey remains without a thought of how much more I could get out of the leftovers. This year (having a toddler) I have learned the importance of bone broth and the many health benefits for both adults and children (especially babies and young toddlers). After much research, I’ve recently been buying (whew is it expensive!) bone broths from my local butcher and having Berlin drink it straight like a juice. It helps her gain weight and aids in her bone development. But now after making stock from the leftover turkey scraps I realize just how easy it is, you won’t see me buying bone broth any time soon!
1 leftover turkey carcass
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/2 large onion
3 sprigs of thyme
3 sprigs of rosemary
Place turkey carcass and any leftover skin and bones into a large stock pot and cover fully with water
Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low for approx 4 hours
When cooking is complete strain all vegetables through a fine mesh strainer
You can then use the broth to cook a soup using the leftover turkey meat or store in mason jars in the freezer for future use.
Health Benefits: Fights inflammation, helps a leaky gut, helps with bone growth and repair and very important for this time of year; fights off colds and the flu.
Bone broth can also be used as a replacement for dairy in making homemade baby formula, its a great alternative to commercial formulas and extremely beneficial for those mothers unable to nurse.
After the stock was complete I carried on using the leftover turkey meat and made a delicious turkey soup using half of my homemade stock (the rest I froze to use for Berlin).
Homemade Turkey Soup
6 cups of turkey stock
2 cups of leftover turkey meat
1 cup of diced potatoes
1/2 cup of barley
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped kale
1 cup chopped onion
1 sprig of rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium sized frying pan sauté the onion and kale in olive oil for approx 5 minutes
In the large stock pot used for the stock, add 6 cups of the stock and bring to a boil
Once boiled, add barley and boil for 15 minutes
Add kale mixture and spices, reduce to a simmer for approx 20 minutes
Both recipes are so simple to make and utilize all the turkey leftovers without any waste, while providing an amazing amount of nutrients.
Berlin and I have been snacking on the soup all week long, we both love it.
Hope you enjoy!
Kale & Quinoa Bars
1/2 cup millet flour
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup organic oats
1/3 cup minced kale (I used a food processor)
1/3 cup almond butter
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
1 ripe mashed banana
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a baking dish with olive oil spray
Combine all ingredients and mix well
Pour into greased baking dish and bake for approx 20 minutes
The consistency of the bars turned out to be more like bread due to the millet flour I used (as well as the baking dish), but didn’t stop Berlin from gobbling them up. I added the kale to the recipe as an experiment since its been harder to get Berlin to eat all her veggies lately, she didn’t seem to mind it, however if I was making the bars for myself I would definitely eliminate it and add some maple syrup for more sweetness. But as is they are a perfect nutritious snack for a toddler.
Please remember to cover and refrigerate the baked bars immediately as they go bad quickly. I ended up cutting up the bars into serving sizes and freezing each individually to preserve them longer.
Adapted from here.
Lentil & Squash Stew
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 diced small onion
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 cup red lentils
1 half of a cooked butternut squash (bake at 375 for 50 mins)
1/2 cup minced kale
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup water
1 teaspoon organic tomato paste
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
In a large pot heat olive oil. Add onions, garlic and ginger and saute for approx 5 minutes on medium heat
Add lentils, coconut milk, water, curry powder and nutmeg and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and cook for 10 minutes
Add cooked butternut squash and kale and cook for an additional 10 minutes
I just adore the change of the season because it brings on a new perspective to cooking. Just as I was getting bored with the summer seasonal fruits, fall arrived and renewed my excitement in the kitchen.
Berlin has been the pickiest eater the past several months, so I proceeded with caution on this recipe and cut the ingredients in half. I have spent many an hour slaving over dishes for Berlin lately to have her simply turn her nose up at them. However this recipe, I can proudly (finally!) say was a hit! She totally loves it. Hallelujah!
This is a perfect fall dish for the entire family-not just your little one (of course). Enjoy.
Recipe adapted from here.
I’m always trying to figure out new ways to make healthy finger foods for Berlin since she refuses to eat anything that involves using a utensil. I love using the mini muffin tin to make her meals, but I’ve lately been experimenting with making anything and everything into rolled balls (why does that sound so weird!?).
Sweet Potato Spinach Balls
2 large organic sweet potatoes
1 cup organic finely chopped spinach
1/2 small onion finely chopped
1 tablespoon garbanzo bean flour (or flour of choice)
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray baking sheet with olive oil or use parchment paper to avoiding sticking.
Boil chopped sweet potatoes for approx 10 minutes or until soft
Saute spinach and onions in a skillet for approx 3-4 minutes
Mash sweet potatoes in mixing bowl and add all other ingredients, mix well, adding more flour if necessary
Roll into small balls and place on baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes
These are perfect finger foods for the littles while sneaking in some veggies-yahoo!
Blueberry Peach Popsicles
1 cup coconut milk
1 organic chopped peach
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup organic spinach
Place all ingredients in a high power blender and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze overnight.
As you can tell I’ve been experimenting with ice pops with the recent heat wave around here. I made “adult” pops for us, so I felt it was only fair to make a batch for Berlin as well. I made sure to use different tray molds for each-don’t want to get her started on the tequila just yet!
As you already know I’m a big fan of using coconut milk in all of Berlin’s recipes, it adds great flavor and gives her the extra fat she needs, however cashew or almond milk would also be a great substitute. There was a small glass of mixture leftover so I served it to Berlin as a smoothie and she loved it. Honestly the popsicles may be a bit advanced for her age, she ate some, but mostly played with them (creating a lovely mess). For the next few months I may stick to the smoothies-until she gets the whole popsicle thing.
However, these are perfect for the older toddler and it sneaks in some greens without them even knowing.
Vegan and Gluten-Free Carrot Cake
1 1/2 cup Trader Joe’s Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons Egg Replacer
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 organic shredded carrots
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, spray baking dish of choice with olive oil spray
Mix all dry ingredients; flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices
In a mixer blend the wet ingredients; oil, egg replacer, maple syrup, applesauce and vanilla. Once mixed add the carrots.
Then add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients and mix well
Pour the mixture into baking dish and bake for approx 30 minutes.
Cashew Creme Frosting
1 cup raw cashews soaked overnight
2/3 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup pitted dates soaked for an hour
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Place all ingredients into a Vitamix and blend slowly until creamy
Frost cake and serve
For Berlin’s birthday I wanted to make her something that she could dig into that wasn’t loaded with dairy and sugar.
As I stripped out all the sugar from the recipe, I honestly thought the taste would be less than desirable, but it turned out to be delicious.
The cashew creme frosting adds the perfect sweetness to the cake and truth be told I ended up eating most of the cake myself.
*If you are feeding to a toddler or young baby, please make sure to test for cashew allergies before serving.
Ground Chicken Meatballs
1 pound ground chicken
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray mini muffin tin with olive oil spray
Place ground chicken in mixing bowl and add chopped onion and cilantro, then add spices and oats and mix well
Form into balls placing in muffin tin and bake for approx 15 minutes
I’m pretty much obsessed with the mini muffin tin. I’ve discovered that I can whip together almost any recipe and bake them in the tin to provide Berlin with perfect finger foods. This is a great recipe as it takes very little time and you can freeze several batches to last quite awhile. They are also great over pasta with a little sauce for yourself and the hubby.
Berlin is just about 11 months now and her appetite has suddenly gone mad! It seems she is hungry all the time and as of recent has been throwing baby tantrums when I don’t share my food. She has quite the personality lately if you haven’t already figured out…
Its a bit difficult to cart around prepared meals for her all the time and since I’m trying to avoid introducing her to gluten, dairy, or processed foods (yet anyhow) I’ve been struggling with what snacks to feed her.
These mini muffins are a great gluten and dairy free alternative and offer lots of nutritional value through the chia flour and almond butter. As mentioned in previous posts, chia is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids and soluble fiber. While almond butter contains a high level of protein.
Almond Butter Mini Muffins
2 cups chia flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup organic almond butter
1 cup pumpkin puree
3 drops of Stevia
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix all ingredients together, stir well getting out all the lumps
Spray mini muffin pan with olive oil spray and pour mix into muffin cups
Bake for about 25 minutes
These are perfect finger foods for older babies and can be stored in the freezer to keep their freshness. They are also great served with jam for toddlers (or yourself).
As a side note, I would test a dollop of almond butter on your baby’s skin prior to preparing this recipe. Simply place a small amount of almond butter on the back of the baby’s leg (or somewhere they can’t rub it off easily) and wait an hour. Check for rashes or skin discolorations, if there are none then its most likely your baby doesn’t have an intolerance to almonds. I would suggest you wait until your baby is at least 10 months of age and check with your pediatrician to get the green light.
I believe most parents are familiar with these mesh food feeders (the green contraption Berlin is munching on). If not I highly recommend them. We use the Munchkin brand, however there are plenty of others on the market as well. They are great when your baby is first starting solids as you can put any food; veggies, fruits, or meats into the net and your little one can suck it down without the risk of choking. They are also beneficial when the munchkin is teething (not that we would know yet), just add a piece of frozen fruit or even an ice cube to the feeder and let them teeth away.
Initially I was serving Berlin frozen fruits in the feeder-mango being her favorite, but I was worried about the high amount of sugar and the possibly of her gaining a preference for sweet fruits over savory vegetables. So I attempted these homemade fruit cubes and they came out great-and Berlin loves them. There are an endless amount of possibilities with them really, just pick up some fresh fruit, veggies and herbs at the farmers market (or store) and go to town. Summer is such a perfect time to make these as there are so many tasty fruits in season, plus they make for a refreshing treat.
Prior to preparing, make sure to rinse all the fruit and vegetables, then peel for easier digestion. I would lightly steam all the vegetables, however if your child is a bit older (approx 11 months and up) this is not entirely necessary. To begin, steam the zucchini and apple in one pot and the broccoli, kale and spinach in another-due to the high nitrate levels of these vegetables. When steaming vegetables with nitrates make sure to always dump the water after steaming and never use to blend with as nitrates are toxic to young babies.
Once the fruits and vegetables are lightly steamed, simply puree each combination in a blender (you may need to add some of the water from steaming the apples) and pour into ice cube trays and freeze.
This is a great way to introduce fresh herbs to your baby’s diet. Parsley is a good source of calcium and Vitamin C and helps the body’s defense mechanisms. Ginger strengthens immunity and aids in digestion-great for preventing gas and mint also aids in digestion by settling the stomach and providing a calming effect.
These combinations are also great made into smoothies or even popsicles for the toddlers. I personally love the blueberry, cucumber and mint combo, super refreshing on a hot day! As you can tell Berlin thoroughly enjoys them, hope your little one does as well.
At nine months I introduced fish into Berlin’s diet. Fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and I believe provides the perfect nutrients for a growing baby. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to enhance cognitive development-actually making your baby smarter, improve vision and boost their immunity.
I strongly suggest getting your fish from a reputable source, your local butcher is great, however Whole Foods also has good fish. It’s best to introduce your baby to white fish first (flounder, cod and sole), these fish are easiest to digest and have low mercury levels. Avoid shark, tuna and mackerel for awhile due to their high mercury content. Before cooking, clean and fully debone fish, be careful to remove all bones as they are a choking hazard.
Coconut Cod Fish
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 chopped onion
1 minced garlic clove
1/4 pound cod
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 can of organic coconut milk
Heat olive oil in skillet and add onion and garlic, saute for 5 minutes. Add cod and spices, then coconut milk. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until fish flakes You can puree or serve as is with a side of veggies
This recipe was actually so tasty that I ended up eating half of it myself! Hope your baby (and you) enjoy.