We hope that you and your little ones had an absolutely WONDERFUL Christmas Day and that you are continuing to enjoy all the fun of the festive season.
Just in case – like us – you’re dealing with rather a lot of leftover food from the big day, we thought you might enjoy today’s simple recipes for four healthy and tasty sauces.
We find that sauces work well on two levels. They can completely transform the flavour of leftover meats – or veggies – into whole new dishes! And a nice, smooth sauce can encourage your baby to enjoy the little lumps he may otherwise spit out.
For us, the liberal use of homemade sauces has really helped make that transition from smooth purees to lumpy textures.
As noted above, these sauces can be used on any meats you may have leftover, whether you enjoyed turkey, chicken, or perhaps lamb or beef on the big day. They would also be delicious served over leftover vegetables. And you can always stir in some cooked whole wheat pasta, brown rice, barley or other whole grains to add some nutritious ‘bulk’ if needed.
Please note that these recipes are ideal for babies who are at least 6 months of age and already enjoying the ingredients they contain (it might be a good idea to delay introducing any new foods over the holiday season!).
For a VERY basic sauce for younger babies, simply puree veggies with enough homemade stock (or even cooking water) to give a ‘coating consistency’.
So let’s get cooking those holiday leftovers…
Cheeky Cheesy Sauce
Why is this sauce cheeky? Because there are nutritious beans hiding in it!
4 oz (1/2 cup) navy beans or other white beans
around 2-4 fl oz (1/4 to 1/2 cup) milk – use whole milk, breast milk or formula
4 tbsp grated Cheddar cheese
Puree the beans in a food processor, adding the milk gradually until you’ve created the ‘saucy’ texture you desire.
Transfer to a small saucepan and warm gently, stirring.
Stir in the grated cheese.
Remove from the heat and stir well until the cheese has melted.
Easy Eggplant Sauce
Preheat the oven to 375 deg F, 190 deg C.
Sit the eggplant (aubergine) on a baking sheet, pierce the skin, then roast it for 45 mins to 1 hour until soft.
Cool to a handling temperature.
Meanwhile, saute the onion in a little olive oil for 2 mins.
Add the crushed garlic, saute for a further minute, then stir in the tomatoes and oregano.
Cook for a few more minutes until everything is tender.
Split open the eggplant and scoop out the flesh.
Transfer to a blender and add the onion/tomato mixture.
Puree until smooth, a little water to create a ‘saucy’ consistency (if necessary).
Return to the pan to warm through, if needed.
Curry In a Hurry
2 tbsp olive oil
4 fl oz (1/2 cup) homemade or low sodium chicken stock
2 tbsp chopped onion
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and chopped
big pinch of curry powder
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp flour
4 fl oz (1/2 cup) milk – use whole milk, breast milk or formula
Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan and saute the onion for 3 mins.
Add the curry powder and chopped apple and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 mins.
Stir in the flour then gradually mix in the stock and milk, stirring constantly.
Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 mins.
Puree until smooth (this is best done in the pot with a hand blender, if you have one).
Silky Sweet Potato Sauce
1 small, cooked sweet potato
1 garlic clove, crushed
around 2 fl oz (1/2 cup) milk – use whole milk, breast milk or formula
Saute the garlic in a little olive oil in a small saucepan for a couple of minutes.
Meanwhile, mash the cooked sweet potato flesh until smooth, or puree in a blender.
Add the sweet potato to the garlic and warm gently over a low heat.
Stir in as much milk as you need to create a nice saucy texture!
And there you have it – four tasty sauces packed with goodness for baby! Please do share YOUR ideas for using up your holiday leftovers too!
Here are some of our older (related) posts you may find useful…
Baby Food Recipes Using Your Thanksgiving Leftovers (which are often similar!)