Spiced Butternut Squash & Apple Soup

Local butternut squash and a day of apple picking inspired me to combine the two in this delicious soup. (That and the fact that as soon as Fall arrives I have the urge to make soup; it’s just so warm and comforting).

There are a variety of spices you can add to this soup depending on your tastes, but for this one I chose cinnamon and nutmeg.  Mainly because I know my kids like those ones, but I also think they just compliment the squash and apples well.

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Ingredients:

1 Tbsp Butter

1/2 Medium Red Onion chopped (you can use white also)

1 Butternut Squash peeled and chopped into small cubes

4 Gala Apples peeled and chopped in similar sized pieces as squash

1/2 Tsp Sea Salt

1 Tsp Cinnamon

Pinch of Nutmeg

2 Cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock (homemade would be awesome!)

To Make:

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and melt the butter.  Add the chopped onion and cook stirring occasionally until it softens.  Add the chopped squash and cook until soft (about 10 minutes).  Add the apples, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and stock.  Then add water just until the mixture is covered.  Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and let simmer stirring occasionally until the squash and apples are soft (about 25-30 minutes).

Puree the mixture in a food processor blending until smooth and creamy.  At this point you can add more water a little at a time for desired consistency.

Serve in bowls topped with thin apple slices.

*Bonus – freezable! (you may have to add water again to adjust consistency after it is warmed)

Roasted Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Puree

I don’t know about you, but lately when it comes to my almost one year old I am often finding myself staring blankly into the fridge wondering what to feed him.  He’s in that awkward stage where he still prefers some food pureed but will also try some of the food that we make for ourselves.  So I’ve found lately that he seems to be getting odds and ends and I don’t really feel like he’s getting enough variety in his diet.  I often fall back on the things I know he likes just because I know he will eat them.  But that means he’s missing out on other foods (and nutrients).

So I decided that for the next couple of days I will be in full on cooking mode!  I am loading up the freezer with healthy purees, stews and cooked veggies to have on hand for him.  It makes life so much easier…..it’s just finding the time to do it.  It’s worth it.  Take one or two days to get it all done and be stress-free about meals (most of them anyway) for the next little while.

This roasted red pepper and goat cheese puree is the first one I whipped up.  It can be used as a pasta sauce, dip or spread.  High in Vitamin A and C with some Folic Acid, Potassium and Niacin the peppers are a great nutrient boost combined with protein rich goat cheese.

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Ingredients: (This makes about 1 cup you can store in the fridge for a few days.  However if you’re stocking up your freezer you will want to multiply the ingredients according to how much you want)  I used 8 peppers!

1 Large Red Pepper

2 Tbsp. Goat Cheese

Lay your Pepper (s) on a foil lined baking sheet and broil for about 15 minutes, rotating them every few minutes to make sure all sides get roasted.  You want your peppers to become black and charred on the outside, so don’t worry about burning them.  This makes the skin come off very easy.  Once done, set your pepper(s) in a bowl and cover for a few minutes to allow the steam to also help remove the skin easier.  Once they are cool enough to handle peel of the skin (you can use a knife to get it started), pull out the stem (it should come off very easily), slice the pepper down the middle, flatten it out and scrape out the seeds.

Roughly chop into pieces your food processor can handle.  Add the pepper(s) to your food processor along with goat cheese and process until smooth.

Store in a container in the fridge for up to a few days or freeze in baby-friendly containers in the freezer.

Apple Apricot Puree

I LOVE this simple puree because it works for the entire family.  You can use it for baby mixed with oatmeal in the morning or mixed with other purees throughout the day.  But why I love it so much is because it is so versatile and works for my toddler and myself as well!

This puree can be added to oatmeal, spread on toast, muffins, pancakes, waffles and more.  We especially love it on french toast with a drizzle of real maple syrup!

Make up a batch and store in the fridge in a glass jar, or freeze to use later.

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Ingredients:

-4 Large apples (I use organic Gala)

-20 dried apricots

To make:

Peel apples and chop into pieces of the same size.  Add water to a pot with a steamer tray and steam the apples until soft but not mushy.

In another pot add your apricots with just enough water to cover them.  Bring to a boil and then simmer until soft.

Add the softened apples and apricots to your blender, reserving the cooking liquid.   Add roughly 3/4 cup (total) of the cooking water from either the apples or apricots or a mixture of both.  Blend until you get a nice consistency.  (You may have to stop the blender and move the fruit around and start again until it all gets blended).  You can also add more liquid if needed.

Put your puree in a glass jar and store in the fridge or you can freeze in individual containers for your baby for later.

Yum yum.