Baby Bar Friday…Artichoke Puree

Baby D is really into eating by himself these days.  He does a pretty good job of eating everything I put down for him, but he still eats anything I feed him on a spoon too!  Reality here is that some nights I’m too tired to cook!  Miss A is good with a jelly sandwich or some noodles, but Baby D isn’t quite there yet, and I’m also trying to be better at offering him nutritious delicious food so he fights me less when he’s bigger!  Just a little experiment in the Mommy game.  I’m sure he’ll eat nothing but french fries and cheese sticks one day!  But I’m nothing if not persistent!

Since I do like to have various jars of food in the house to feed Baby D when I don’t want to cook fresh lunch or dinner, I decided that some artichokes might be a fun flavor for him to try next!  This was super simple to throw together, and reminded me of something that we might eat with any mediterranean inspired dinner I might prepare.

Makes approximately 4 4oz jars

  • 1 bag of artichoke hearts (I used Trader Joes)
  • 2 teaspoons good olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed, or ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste (if making for baby, skip the salt)
  1. Boil frozen artichokes to thaw & heat through.
  2. Strain and put artichokes and other ingredients into a blender or food processor.
  3. Process until smooth

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Happy baby food making!  Hope everyone enjoys their weekend.  Ours is a busy one, but I’m hoping to get to make the kids some finger foods this week!

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Baby Bar…Long Island Branch…

A little while ago, Grandma got Auntie H a Vitamix.  She fed her youngest homemade baby food, and the kid’s friends loved it.  So she sold over the summer under the name “Baby Bar”, which I thought it was pretty clever.  Then…Grandma upped her game and bought ME a Vitamix for an early Hannukah present!  This was amazing since I’ve never even owned a blender.  I was making smoothies and soup and loving it.  Then Baby D turned 6 months old and it was time for him to eat some real food!

When Miss A was starting food I had high hopes of making her food from fresh fruits and veggies.  Then we moved.  And we had no kitchen.  And we had ants in a major way in the bathroom we used to prepare her bottles.  She ate organic jarred food…and she is perfectly fine!  I, however, enjoy cooking and really wanted to make baby food like my lil sis’.

Here we are at 9 months and Baby D has devoured every puree I’ve ever made him.  All the basics have been covered.  I’ve done some reading and have decided that at this point we are jumping right in.  With Miss A…we fed her almost every “high allergen” food before we were supposed to…and didn’t even realize it until months too late.  With Baby D…it’s more on purpose, because he has no family history of food allergies & I don’t really believe that waiting to introduce these foods has any real benefit other than perhaps … well … I don’t really think there are any.  If they’re older and need some Benadryl, they are harder to get it into without a fight, and respiratory distress looks like respiratory distress at any age.  All this to say that if I see a recipe floating around that has nuts in it…he’s probably eating it.  If I see a citrus or strawberry concoction that I’d like to try…some of that will be mashed or smoothed or cut up for Baby D.  I do still make separate baby food for him but mostly because I don’t always cook for us and I’d like to have things for him on hand and easily accessible!  This has turned into a seriously fun endeavor for me.  I plan to share the recipes that are a huge hit here…particularly the ones that can be turned into adult food, like the amazing soup I made for New Years Eve!  (That soup will get it’s very own post!)

The meal I most need to prepare in advance for Baby D is breakfast.  See…I don’t really eat a proper sit down breakfast.  These days I drink a Shakeology shake and am on my merry way.  There will be no sharing of that stuff with the baby…no matter how healthy they claim it is…at least not until he can drink it from a straw!  On the hunt I went for a yummy, nutritious, make ahead breakfast that wasn’t oatmeal or rice cereal (those things bind him).

Enter…Polenta.

Blueberry Almod Breakfast Polenta to be exact.  With some modification since the recipe calls for honey, and honey for babies does not = allergy.  It = Botulism, and there’s no Benadryl for Botulism.  So I used a drizzle of maple syrup, 1 because it is a safe sweetener for babies and 2, because I wasn’t making it for myself, so I didn’t see the need to over sweeten it with 1/3 cup!

The other adjustment I made was that I cooked down the blueberries before I whisked them in.  I found it brought out their natural sweetness a little more and also made them softer so I didn’t have to chop them up first to prevent choking.

Makes approximately 8 4oz jars.

  • 4 cups milk
  • 3/4 cups quick cook polenta
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla extract – or the 1/4 teaspoon of the inside of a vanilla bean if you have one!
  • pinch of cardamom (up to 1/4 teaspoon)
  • creme fraiche or sour cream, optional
  1. Bring milk to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to low and add polenta, whisking constantly until smooth. Add almond meal and continue whisking until the polenta thickens to a creamy consistency. Add butter and whisk until it melts completely.
  3. In a separate pan, cook the blueberries down until they are mostly soft and a little bubbly.
  4. Turn heat off and whisk in syrup, blueberries, vanilla and cardamom. Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche or sour cream and an extra sprinkle of blueberries.

I didn’t do the creme fraiche for Baby D…I’ll reserve that and the extra sweetness for the day I eat breakfast with him!

Vanilla Almond Blueberry Breakfast Polenta

Vanilla Almond Blueberry Breakfast Polenta2** The above views on feeding my baby are MY opinions.  If you’re interested in this recipe and have a baby under 12 months old, please consult your doctor before feeding your child anything you are unsure about.  

Baby D can’t get enough of this breakfast cereal.  If anyone is interested in some for their baby or toddler, and they are local, let me know and I’ll whip up a batch for you!