It’s not so much that my kitchen hasn’t been in use all summer long, but more that I’ve been spending my time making kind of boring (although comforting) things like chocolate chip cookies and braised pork. And those really aren’t the types of things that I feel like sharing with you in this space.
The fresh fruit pies and cobblers that should be high on the summer baking list have been getting side-lined for a different type of food category. We’ll call them, “purees”.
You see, The 10 lbs. bun is growing bigger and bigger and hungrier and hungrier and we knew the evening he started trying to pry an ice cream cone out of his pappa’s hand that it was time for solid food. In order to make these tasty purees for my toothless friend, I’ve been getting a lot of use out of one of my new favorite household appliances- the stav mixer. The stav mixer takes making homemade baby food from tedious to kind of fun and satisfying. And, quite frankly, every baby deserves a mom who is having fun and is satisfied.
So- a few changes will be made around these parts. This is what to expect over the next few months (or until Lasse grows a couple of teeth and starts eating 12 oz. steaks like his Grandpa):
-If you check in here strictly to obtain recipes for baking, I’ll have apologize right here and now. It’s not so much that I’m in denial and want to believe that everyone actually wants to learn how to make mashed peas or meat you could sip through a straw. Then again, this site has been going through constant changes over the past two years, moving beyond cakes and cookies in favor of the occasional photo story, salsa recipe, and farmer’s market exchange. In retrospect, baby food may not be completely off-the-wall for The Transplanted Baker.
-continued recipe posting for my latest favorite pie, bun, and loaf.
-me, lying awake at night, hoping that people want to read what I have to write, and that they will feel the urge to give me feedback once in a while. Ok, not really. But maybe just a little bit...
-absolutely no claiming to be the perfect source for infant nutrition (although I do plan to provide my honest opinion, trial-and-error recipes, and a few tips I’ve picked up regarding homemade baby food).
Now let’s get started on those purees!
The first chicken meals I prepared for Lasse were made from boneless, skinless chicken breast. But then I did a little research and found out that chicken thighs (our preferred part of the bird) are almost twice as high in iron than white meat, not to mention, are much more moist. So for this dish, I recommend using bone-in thigh meat, although for convenience or personal preference, you can still go with boneless, skinless chicken meat.
As for the fruit and veg portion of the meal, apples and sweet potatoes were a natural fit. Local apples are finally hitting the stores and sweet potatoes are always a baby (and parent) pleaser since they are so creamy and, well, sweet. Together, they add a really nice fall flavor to the meal.
Then lastly, the thyme. We have fresh thyme growing in our garden this summer (one of the few things besides weeds growing out there, mind you) and as it turns out, a lot of herbs and spices are quite safe for babies to ingest. A little cinnamon on a kid’s porridge, a dash of cumin in their carrots, a pinch of thyme on their chicken, in moderation, is fine. In fact, the more flavors a baby is introduced to before about 10 months of age, the less likely they’ll grow up to be picky kids at the dinner table or that weird co-worker who won’t eat anything that’s not white. Check here for a brief list of spices and herbs that are safe to give to (most) infants.
Sweet and Savory Chicky
Chicken with apple, sweet potato, and thyme
-A Transplanted Baker Baby Food Recipe-
*makes (about) 6- 3 oz. (85 g) portions
1-2 teaspoons olive oil or butter
1 shallot, peeled and chopped (optional)
1- 4 oz. (100 g) chicken thigh (alternately, one boneless, skinless chicken breast), sliced
1 large sweet potato (about 10 oz/300 g), peeled and chopped
1 apple, cored, peeled, and chopped
1 cup (240 ml) unsalted stock or water with a bay leaf
1-2 sprigs fresh thyme
1. Heat the oil or butter in a saucepan, add the shallot (if using) and sauté till softened.
2. Add the chicken and sauté until opaque
3. Add the sweet potato, apple, and stock or water with bay leaf.
4. Add the sprig(s) of fresh thyme and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are soft enough to mush with a fork. Toss the bay leaf and thyme.
5. In a blender, food processor, food mill, or with a stav mixer, puree everything to your baby’s desired consistency. *you may choose to reserve some of the simmering broth to prevent the puree from becoming to runny. Store in the refrigerator for up to three days, freeze any servings that will not be eaten within that time period.