I don’t like spinach, and I’m glad I don’t, because if I liked it I’d eat it, and I just hate it. ~ Clarence Darrow
Here are two recipes that I’ve found to be winners in the endless guessing game called “Will The Baby Eat It”. They also, coincidentally, happen to be loaded with nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables. That’s right! This just may get your child eating spinach! WOOT!
One-pound bag (or carton) of washed baby spinach leaves
One pound bag of frozen peas
One ripe pear
Tunes of your choice (something that you find relaxing, I think)
A nice glass of wine
Turn on your tunes and pour your wine. Have a sip. Now, remove the stems from each spinach leaf (this is boring, time-consuming, and the reason why you need both wine and tunes.) Once they are all de-stemmed, put them with a healthy splash of water in a covered, microwavable container and microwave them on high just until they are all wilted. Try not to overcook them, as they can become bitter. When that’s done, cook the frozen peas as you normally would for yourself (I use a ‘frozen vegetable’ setting on my microwave to steam them). While that’s cooking, chop the pear. If you want, you can stew it a little, but it’s not really necessary. Drain both the peas and the spinach. Add everything (except the wine and the tunes) to your mixing bowl or blender and puree it as smooth as you can. Because the peas don’t tend to puree very smoothly, Speas are best served to babies who can handle some texture, say, six months and up. It is also BY FAR tastiest served a bit warm.
12 oz bag of frozen blueberries
Roughly 8 oz of frozen peach slices (two thirds of a bag)
Still got that wine? Maybe another glass?
More tunes. Blues are appropriate, but you can just leave on whatever you were listening to if you’re liking it. We’re cool like that.
Dump the peaches and blueberries into a microwavable bowl. Cover loosely and microwave until thoroughly defrosted, or even a bit cooked (it’s mostly just important to get all the excess water out). Once done (the blueberries should be looking a touch shrivelly), strain the fruit as well as you can — you don’t want to squeeze all the juice out, but you do want to remove any that’s already out from the defrosting process. Set the juice aside (maybe to use in a bit of a cocktail, hmmm? Maybe with some vanilla vodka?) Puree the fruit with your hand blender and chill it well in the refrigerator. Don’t add any cereal or thickeners to it before you chill it — it’ll seem quite runny when it’s warm, but it’ll thicken up as it cools. If you still want it thicker after it’s completely chilled, you can add baby cereal.
Now, you may be wondering why I paired these particular recipes. I found that, although my baby will eat Speas, they’re not his favorite. But he eats them happily enough when I alternate spoonfuls of Peachy Blue with the Speas. I feel good about the combination because he’s getting all the nutrients of dark green leafy vegetables AND the antioxidents from the dark fruit. It’s an all-round winner of a fruit/veg course! Hurrah!