Sunday, February 8, 2009

Butternut Squash for Babies, Two Ways

(Adding the face is optional. This little guy was sitting on my counter looking an awful lot like a Veggie Tales character, so we had a little fun.)

Oddly enough, I made butternut squash as one of my baby's first few foods. She hated it. But I was persistent because I had heard that it takes a baby trying a food 10 times before you know if they truly dislike it or if it is just a texture thing they have to get used to. It ended up being one of her favorite foods. I thought I'd share two baby food recipes that are her favorites using butternut squash.
Butternut Squash and Lentils

1/2 butternut squash
1/2 cup lentils (I use green, but red are fine too)
4 cups water
1 tsp cinnamon
juice of one orange
optional ingredients: 1/4 sweet onion, 1/2 bell pepper, any color

To a pot, add water and lentils, and bring to a boil. Meanwhile peel and chop one half butternut squash, and add to the pot. If you are using the onion and bell pepper, chop them and add them to the pot now. Sprinkle in the cinnamon, turn the heat to medium, and simmer for 40 minutes. By then, the lentils should have absorbed almost all of the water, and everything should be very, very tender. Squeeze in the juice from one orange. If you did not use the bell pepper, use your Mix n Chop or a pastry blender to mash everything together. If you did use bell pepper, use a food processor or blender to puree (this will chop the skin so it's not a choking hazard). I usually reserve enough for dinner, then freeze the rest in ice cube trays overnight.
Roasted Butternut Squash
1/2 butternut squash
Cut the butternut squash in half, and clean out the seeds and 'guts.' Add about an inch of water into the bottom of a baking dish. Sprinkle about 1 tsp. of cinnamon. Add the butternut squash cut-side down. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes or until the squash is tender to the touch.
(The poor little dude got a sunburn!)
Remove from oven and let cool enough to handle. Scoop the squash out of the skin and process in a food processor or blender until smooth. If your baby is old enough, like mine, a simple mash with the Mix n Chop will do. Freeze in ice cube trays overnight. Yum!

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