Taste the Rainbow! Creative Recipes for your Baby

Happy Tuesday sweet friends! If you follow me on Instagram (sandiegolex if you wanna follow along) then you saw that on Sunday I whipped up a batch of creative baby food for our 8 month old, Ethan, while he took a nap. He’s been eating solids for about two and a half months now and seems to be pretty enthusiastic about pretty much every kind of food.

One of my goals for him is not only to feed him good, healthy, organic fruit and veggie combos, but also to introduce him to all kinds of flavors including herbs and spices. I haven’t seen much of that in packaged baby foods so this week I made my own! So many of you commented that you’d love the recipes for your own babies so I thought I better share them. All you need is a saucepan and mesh steamer and either a blender or food processor (we used our amazing Vitamix — it’s the best!). I whipped up about 3 weeks worth of food — 4 different flavor varieties — in around 30 minutes. It’s really SO easy.

Also, sorry about the lack of photos. I didn’t make the food with the thought of doing a blog post on it so I only have a handful of photos…none of them very helpful with the process. Eek! Sorry.

ZUCCHINI + APPLE + SPINACH

• 2 organic small zucchini

• 2 organic apples OR 1.5 C organic unsweetened applesauce

• 1-2 C organic baby spinach

Chop zucchini into 2 inches pieces, core and chop apple into segments. Place zucchini, apple then spinach into steamer in that order over boiling water for 10 minutes or until zucchini is tender to prick. Do not mix and keep spinach on top.

Combined all ingredients into blender or food processor and pulse until you achieve desired consistency. My lil guy prefers super smooth. Add more applesauce or a tablespoon or so of the steamer water if you need to thin.

Makes roughly 20 ounces of puree. Store in airtight container in fridge for 3 days or 2 months in freezer.

 

ZUCCHINI + KIWI + MINT

• 1 organic small zucchini

• 2-3 organic kiwis

• 2 mint leaves

Chop zucchini into 2 inches pieces. Place zucchini into steamer over boiling water for 10 minutes or until zucchini is tender to prick.

Scoop out the kiwi from it’s skin and add to your blender or food processor with the steamed zucchini and mint leaves. Combined all ingredients into blender or food processor and pulse until you achieve desired consistency. My lil guy prefers super smooth. Add some extra kiwi, applesauce, or a tablespoon or so of the steamer water if you need to thin.

Makes roughly 16 ounces of puree. Store in airtight container in fridge for 3 days or 2 months in freezer.

 

MANGO + CARROT + GINGER

• 1.5 Cups fresh or frozen organic mango

• 2 organic carrots (orange, yellow or white is fine)

• 1/8 tsp fresh ginger

Peel and cut your carrot into 1-2 inch pieces. Add to your steamer pot with the fresh ginger and steam for about 12 minutes or until the carrots are super soft. Combine the carrots, ginger and mango in your blender or food processor and blend until super smooth. Add steamer water by the teaspoon if you need to thin the mixer to get the perfect consistency.

Makes roughly 16 ounces of puree. Store in airtight container in fridge for 3 days or 2 months in freezer.

 

BLUEBERRY + PURPLE CARROT + NUTMEG

• 3 large purple carrots
• 1 cup blueberries
•  a dash of nutmeg

Peel and roughly chop carrots. Bring 2 inches of water to a boil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add the carrots to a steamer basket and cook for 12 minutes. Add the blueberries to the carrots and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Reserve steamer water.

Place the carrots, blueberries and nutmeg into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth, adding reserved water, breast milk or formula in teaspoon increments if needed.

Makes roughly 12 ounces of puree. Store in airtight container in fridge for 3 days or 2 months in freezer.

PS I found all of these recipes…or recipes very similar to these…on this awesome website.

Getting Healthy With Thrive Market

Thrive-box

Have you guys heard of Thrive Market yet? It’s a new membership-based online market full of all the natural, organic and non-GMO food, beauty items that you love at 25-50% off retail prices. I decided to give it a try when I discovered that they offered a free one month trial PLUS an extra 25% off your first order PLUS free shipping for orders over $50. I liked the idea of it even more when I discovered they followed a one-for-one model — for every person who subscribes to Thrive Market they give a free membership to a low-income family giving them access to great nutritional items for less. What a great thing!

thrivestandards

On Friday I placed my first order. We’ve started a new gluten free, dairy free, non-GMO eating plan so this was a great place for me to stock up on some great pantry basics. We’re also trying to avoid toxins, chemicals and parabens in our hair and skin care as well as cleaning supplies so I decided to grab a few things that I was out off.

In full disclosure, I ordered 16 items for $109 — with 25% off and free shipping my grand total was $84.25. I had a few higher priced items including some moisturizer, almond butter, organic raw cashews and organic grass fed ghee, so I felt like this was a good price. We have a camping trip coming up in a few weeks so I also wanted grab a few items for hiking snacks thus the granola bars and jerky treats. They’re aren’t things I would normally buy but I wasn’t sure how hard it would be to find gluten free granola bars and I knew that the jerky was a great deal. You can see everything I got here.

Thrive-inthebox Thrive-stuffSome of the other things you can find at Thrive Market includes:
-canned fruits and veggies
-non-GMO corn items
-baby food
-diapers and baby accessories
-vitamins
-makeup
-hair and skincare
-home cleaners
-spices
-baking supplies
-teas
-shop by category such as paleo, gluten-free, raw, vegan, moms, staples

I also thought it would be fun to do a bit of a price comparison to see if I really saved money. Check it out: PrintAs you can see I save money on everything other than the almond butter which cost about $1.50 more on Thrive than the price I found on Amazon, but overall the savings were pretty significant! And I didn’t have to leave my house! I love the thought that I could get all my pantry staples this way and save my grocery runs for things like fresh produce, meat and cheese. I’ll definitely be keeping my membership to Thrive with this kind of savings.

If you want to give Thrive Market a try just use this link (http://thrv.me/34RJTo) to their page and then let me know what you think! Remember, your first month of membership is not only FREE but you also get an extra 25% off your order plus free shipping over $50. Try it for yourself!

 

3 Step Roasted Chicken

3 step roasted chickenAfter eating my weight in chocolate this weekend from all of the Easter festivities and fun, J and I are back to healthy eating (and a few pieces of leftover chocolate when needed). Lately I’ve been following less recipes and instead have been making quick and easy dinners that I can just throw together with whatever is in the pantry and fridge. And lately I always try to have a whole chicken or two in the freezer.

Enter the roasted chicken.

Like many people, I was initially intimidated by the chicken roasting process. After all, some recipes require all sorts of complicated instructions from the tying of legs together, rubs, brines, stuffings and other complicated measures that make it seem like roasting a chicken is near rocket science. Thankfully it isn’t. And while I absolutely LOVE a brined chicken, I rarely plan far enough in advance for that.

Today I’m excited to give you the easiest, quickest way to roast a chicken. This seriously could be the easiest thing to make. Trust me! In fact, it’s so easy that you can finish it in just three steps. The finished chicken will be full of flavor with a golden crispy skin and moist and delicious meat. It’s so good that I think it might become my go-to entree for when we have friends over for dinner! Just add a side salad and you have a meal!

Are you ready?

What You’ll Need:Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

– defrosted whole chicken
– a lemon
– olive oil or butter
– salt and pepper
– fresh herbs of your choice — my favorite combo for chicken is rosemary and thyme
-cast-iron skillet or roasting pan

Get Cooking:

Step 1 – Prepare the chicken.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with g3 preset Preheat your oven to 425° F. Take out your chicken, remove whatever is inside it (gizzards and usually a freshness packet – I just toss all of this), rinse the chicken inside and out and pat it dry. Place the chicken in a skillet or roasting pan and rub it generously all over with olive oil or butter. I like to separate the skin from the body with my fingers and try to rub some oil or butter in that in-between space as well. Sprinkle the chicken with a generous amount of salt and pepper inside and out, then stuff the insides with the lemon (cut into slices or wedges) and a bundle of fresh herbs. It’s ready to cook!

Step 2 – Quick roasting. The secret to a crispy but moist chicken is to start hot and then finish cooler. With your chicken all prepped and ready, place the skillet or roasting pan in the oven for 15 minutes at 425°F

Step 3 – Cook until done.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetAfter your 15 minutes is up, turn the oven temperature down to 375°F and continue to cook your chicken for 45-60 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 190°. Larger birds might take an extra 10-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and enjoy while it’s still warm!