Saturday, December 27, 2008

Strained Yogurt and Two Sauces

The yogurt part is hardly a recipe. However, some parents I talked to hadn't thought of this idea and I think it's a good one for babies and toddlers. If you're in the pro-dairy camp, or at least the pro-probiotic-dairy camp, yogurt is a great food for little ones. Unfortunately, it's often so runny that it's difficult to get it to stay on the tiny spoon. Once they start feeding themselves, the problems worsen. I was considering buying Greek (style) yogurt, but I was surprised to see that there were more ingredients than just milk and cultures. Instead, I either buy Straus organic whole milk yogurt or the Trader Joe's European Style organic whole milk yogurt (quite possibly made by Straus, really) and strain it. This yields a delectably thick and rich yogurt that stays very well on the spoon. The past two mornings Elspeth has basically fed herself huckleberry yogurt without making that much of a mess and managing to get quite decent amounts into her mouth at a time (though she still likes some supplementation from my spoon from time to time).

When serving the yogurt, I almost always mix it with fruit of some kind--mashed banana, cooked pears or berries, prune puree--and some flax- or pumpkin- seeds. I've also been adding a big spoonful of Hippie Grain Porridge for added fiber and nutrients. Along with some Ezekiel raisin bread or some Flax Bran Muffin, you've got a well-rounded breakfast.

I made the pear and huckleberry sauces to accompany Evan's homemade sourdough waffles from the Christmas brunch we hosted for the first time this year. (The starter came from his parents and is the same used in the Delicious Crusty Bread recipe). I had been making the pears for Elspeth for quite some time to mix with yogurt or eat by itself, but the huckleberry sauce was new to her and she couldn't get enough. We have some cute photos of her with huckleberry stains all over her face. Both of these sauces are easily made in the microwave, though you could make them on the stove, of course.

PEAR SAUCE INGREDIENTS
1-3 organic pears, cored and cut into pieces (I don't peel mine)
1 whole clove per pear
A dash of water

DIRECTIONS
  1. Place all ingredients in a microwave-save dish and cover loosely (don't seal the lid or else it might explode)
  2. Cook on high power for 5 minutes
  3. Check the pears; the texture should be very, very soft. If needed, cook another few minutes
  4. Once the pears are soft, puree them using an immersion blender, blender or food processor
HUCKLEBERRY SAUCE INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 c. huckleberries (I'd frozen a bunch from this summer)
1/4 to 1/2 of a cinnamon stick
2 TBSP sugar or agave nectar (or to taste)
A dash of water

DIRECTIONS
Place all ingredients in a microwave-save dish and cover loosely (don't seal the lid or else it might explode). Cook on high power for 3 minutes. Serve hot, warm, or cold. Use as a topping for pancakes or waffles, mixed with yogurt or as an ice cream sauce.

No comments: