I’m always looking for fun ways to incorporate veggies and fruits into a meal for my little guy. I find it’s usually easy to create just a sweet or savoury dish so I wanted to challenge myself by making something that incorporated both veggies and fruits.
The other issue I’ve been having is that my toddler always wants the purees that I make for the baby. I don’t mind giving him some as a snack but I tend to make more savoury purees, which means that it tastes more like a meal to my 2-year-old than a snack. And so I went to the grocery store on the hunt.
Since it’s been a really cold winter here, I wanted to make something delicious but with some warmth. What’s better than a mix of butternut squash, apples, and pears? Add a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon and you end up with a meal that’s:
- sweet & savoury
Now, this isn’t the fastest dish to prepare. I found that it was a great meal to make while I was tidying up the main floor and folding laundry. But it is easy to put together, especially since there’s very little cutting and no chopping involved. Best of all – there’s only a little bit of clean up (yay!). Both of my boys (almost 3 and 1) gobbled up the puree so this dish is a winner and now a staple in my recipe book.
I decided to add some chicken to this recipe last-minute so that I could throw in a little protein but you could use any meat that normally pairs well with butternut squash (such as beef or pork) or even make this a completely vegetarian meal.
Start by preheating your oven to 425°F and then begin prepping your ingredients.
The toughest part of making this meal is to cut the butternut squash and seed it. My tools of choice are a really large knife, such as a chef’s knife, and a regular tablespoon for scooping. I usually cut off the top of the squash and then insert my knife into its thinnest part and start pushing down vertically. You’ll notice that the squash will easily cut in have once the knife pierces through to the other end and you begin to push down. Then use the spoon to scoop around the perimeter of the seeds and scoop them out. It takes less than a couple of minutes.
Once your oven is ready, pop the butternut squash in it in a large oven-safe dish or on a tray lined with foil (the ingredients will leave liquid). Then set the timer for 30 minutes and go do something else (this is a great time to take a shower if your kiddo is sleeping!).
A little bit on using a timer. This is my saving grace. The only reason I’m able to multitask while cooking is because of my timer. I usually use my oven timer when cooking because I can leave and do other things without having to constantly check up on my food. As soon as the timer goes off, BAM!!, I’m right there checking on my food and moving on to the next step. I completely recommend using one, whether it’s on your phone, stove, Alexa, Google – whatever. It’s gotten to the point that my son likes to use the timer so he knows when it’s time to eat!
Vertically cut and seed both your pear and apple about 5 to 10 minutes before your timer goes off. If you forget to do this – DON’T WORRY – take the squash out of the oven and place it on your stove while you work on the apple and pear. Just like before, I use my tablespoon to seed each of the fruits.
I filled each apple core with unsalted butter. Why? Because I’m lazy. I really didn’t want to melt the butter separately in a bowl and have another dish to clean so I filled each apple core with as much butter as it could hold. The apple gets infused with the butter and adds a healthy fat to the baby food.
Butter and other natural fats (such as avocados and olive oil) are very important for babies and toddlers to have in their diet. It’s important to add these healthy fats to each of their meals. The main thing to remember is that these fats need to be unsalted since your little one’s kidneys cannot process more salt than is in their breast milk or formula.
This is around the time that I decided to add some chicken to the dish. Since I didn’t have any fresh chicken on hand, I quickly defrosted half a chicken breast, threw it on a small oven-safe tray, and put a dollop of unsalted butter on it.
When the timer goes off, add the fruits to your dish and put the veggie/fruit dish and the chicken dish in the oven. Set a new timer for 20 minutes and do something else. This is when decided not to I folded some laundry and took a break instead – one of the only times in the day that I get to take one – Am I right?
When the timer goes off, take the dishes out of the oven and let them cool for 5 to 10 minutes before handling the food again.
Add 1.5 cups of previously boiled water to your blender. Then add the other cooked ingredients, making sure to scoop the butternut squash out of its skin. Add the spices to it and blend until the mixture is pureed, about 30 seconds.
It makes over a litre of food!!!
You’re all done! Scroll down for the full recipe. Hope you enjoy making this and that it helps you make something delicious and healthy for your little person.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH DELIGHT
Prep Time: 15 mins | Total Time: 1 hour | Serving Size: Makes about 1300 mL
• 1 butternut squash
• 1 red apple (red delicious, red prince, gala)
• 1 pear
• 1/8 tsp cinnamon
• 1/8 tsp nutmeg
• 2-3 tbsp unsalted butter
• 1.5 cups previously boiled water (for infants)
• optional: 1/2 skinless boneless chicken breast (or 1/2 cup to 1 cup of minced beef, turkey, or pork)
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Cut the butternut squash in half vertically and seed. Place on a oven-safe dish and place in the oven. Cook for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut the apple and pear in half vertically and seed. Add enough unsalted butter to fill each of the apple holes. Add to the butternut squash dish.
- At the same time, place the chicken breast on an oven-safe tray and put a tablespoon of unsalted butter on it. Put it in the oven next to the butternut squash, apple, and pear dish. Cook for 20 minutes.
- Scoop the butternut squash out of its skin
- Add water to a blender.
- Add all of the ingredients to the blender and blend until pureed, about 30 seconds.
Hope you enjoy making this baby food. Please share your experiences below so we can work together to help other mommies in their maternal journeys. And don’t forget to take a pic of this dish and tag #notasupermommy or @notasupermommy on Instagram!
My favourite thing is to add the mixture to these reusable pouches (I’m not affiliated with this company, nor am I getting paid to advertise their product). It makes the puree ready-to-go in case I take my little guy out. To serve, I can place the package in hot water until the puree is warm or squeeze some out into a bowl and microwave. I love that it’s reusable so I feel like I’m helping the planet. If you’re interested, you can buy them here.