Raise your hand if your eyes widen when you hear the first sneeze in the house. I definitely do. Reality is that colds/coughs/running noses are totally normal during this time of the year, but that doesn’t mean they are welcome 🙂
This is the time when I switch my menu plan into “immune system boosting mode” and I create yummy recipes using all the natural foods that help protecting our bodies. A stronger body simply reacts faster and better to viruses or bacteria.
Vitamin C has a very important role in strengthening our immune system as it stimulates the production and function of white blood cells (our body defense soldiers). It also helps our body produce important antibodies (consider them defensive navy seals in the war against microbes).
Today I would like to share with you a baby friendly fruity puree that is loaded with Vitamin C without being too sour or acidic for a baby palate.
It’s a mandarin applesauce with banana and mango, powdered by chia seeds. It’s a great fruit spread on toast for parents too and can also be enjoyed by toddlers or older kids either in the smoothie or popsicle form.
The preparation is simple: you will need to core the apples and chop them in pieces. Leave the peel. The pectin contained in it will help thickening our applesauce. Place the apple pieces in a saucepan and add the tangerine zest and juice all together with 1/4 cup water.
Bring to boil, reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
Turn the heat off, add the chia seeds, banana, mango (peeled and chopped in pieces) and turmeric.
Using an immersion blender transform into a smooth creamy puree. Serve warm or at room temperature.
HOW TO STORE THE APPLESAUCE?
You can store the applesauce in the refrigerator in air tight containers for 3/4 days or freeze it for up to 3 months.
CAN I GIVE CHIA SEEDS TO MY BABY?
Yes! Starting from 6 months of age. Chia seeds are classified “super foods” thanks to their amazing content of Omega 3 fatty acids, essential for your baby’s brain and eyesight proper development.
Their protein and soluble fiber content is great too. The fiber will help regulate your little one’s bowel movements.
Do not exaggerate with chia, simply follow the quantities in the recipe. Too much chia equals to too much fiber and might end up in an unpleasant tummy ache.
Chia seeds cannot be eaten dry but they need to be soaked in a liquid. They will absorb the liquid, increase their volume and get gelatinous: that’s where the binding property comes from.
WHAT OTHER FOODS ARE RICH IN VITAMIN C?
If you want to keep going with the Vitamin C boosting campaign, there are many other foods you might want to consider. All the members of the citrus family are excellent sources of Vitamin C: oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes. In addition you can enjoy bell peppers, strawberries, broccoli, kiwi, Brussel sprouts: all excellent sources of Vitamin C.
WHY ADDING TURMERIC?
It’s safe to add a dash of turmeric in your baby food starting from 6 months of age. This super yellow root is a wonderful spice with so many health benefits.
- Turmeric is an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory that reduces inflammation.
- Turmeric helps with digestion, gas and bloating.
- Turmeric is anti-microbial and helps with infections.
MY BABY DOESN’T LIKE PUREES, WHAT CAN I DO?
If your little one is following a baby led weaning method or is an older kid you can still have him/her enjoy the puree as a smoothie. Simply add a bit of water (or milk) to thin it out and serve in a cup with a straw.
Another fun idea is to transform the puree into a popsicle. The cold will add a shooting property to it!
- 5 medium Fujii or Pinklady apples
- 2 cups mango chopped in small cubes (1 big mango)
- 1 medium banana
- 4 tangerines (or 2 oranges)
- 2 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 cup water
Core the apples, do not peel, chop in pieces.
In a saucepan add the apples, tangerine zest, tangerine juice, water.
Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
Turn the heat off and add chia seeds, banana, mango, turmeric.
With an immersion blender transform everything into a smooth puree.
Serve warm or at room temperature.