Written by Cassandra Curtis — Mom of 3, Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer at Once Upon a Farm
My First Homemade Baby Food Recipe
Green Kale & Apples was one of the first baby food recipes that I hand made for my daughter. I recall spending hours in the kitchen on Sundays, preparing homemade baby food for the week (before refrigerated, fresh baby food was a thing!). I wanted to make something that was tasty for both myself and my little one, while also providing a higher level of nutrition than any of the store-bought, shelf stable baby food that existed at that time. Hence, Green Kale & Apples was born.
Behind the Recipe
Apples (Skins & All!)
I picked Fuji Apples, because they were sweet, tart, and crisp; and made sure to leave the skin on because I knew that skin had extra fiber and prebiotic power for my baby's gut. I knew that shelf stable baby food took that bright fresh apple and demolished its very best parts. The process of skinning it, heating it multiple times, and straining it, takes out the precious fiber and phytonutrients, and key vitamins and minerals. Why do that when I could capture all of nature's goodness by simply cold-blending the whole apple?
Then bananas. Not only are bananas a great prebiotic to help feed the healthy bacteria in our guts, but they are also a great source of Vitamin B6, a key nutrient for brain development. They also add an irresistible creaminess.
And of course, Kale. Every mom wants their baby to love vegetables, especially the green ones! And for good reason. Eating leafy greens has been shown to have a host of health benefits such as decreasing inflammation in the body (1), increasing muscle strength (2) and decreasing cancer risk (3). Also, getting your kiddo to love greens from an early age may increase their veggie acceptance later on in life. So I found a way to blend the earthiness of kale with the sweetness of banana and the tartness of apple to create a blend that tasted better than any applesauce I had ever tried—and with the extra benefit of all the added nutrients!
Hemp Seeds for the win! Hemp seeds were a staple in my own diet, given that they are a complete protein and full of Omega-3s with an ideal balance of Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio to help fight inflammation. I added a spoonful into the mix, for an extra boost for brain development and to give even more creaminess to this blend.
Delicious and Nutritious Green Kale & Apples Baby Food & Snack Pouch
The result was a blissful tasting blend that has stood the test of time. Not only was this one of my daughter's favorite recipes almost 9 years ago, but it is still one of her all-time favorites today. She will eat it as a snack, as an adjunct to a quick breakfast or as a lunchbox favorite.
I've learned that nutritious and delicious don't have to be disparate functionalities. Food can be—and should be—both delicious and nutritious in a way that your kids will love to eat. Then it becomes a truly nourishing experience for the whole family.
- Cassandra Curtis, Integrative Nutrition Coach. Co-founder & Chief Innovation Officer, Once Upon a Farm
- https://www.nature.com/articles/s41396- 021-00968-0