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My family and I have dinner every Sunday. It's become quite the tradition, where we all come together at our parent's house and enjoy each other's company at the beginning (or end, depending on the work shift) of the week.
We all sit together and eat dinner and there's almost always a sweet treat to be shared afterwards, accompanied by a hot cup of tea or coffee. While I love this tradition and have come to really cherish my Sundays, I always felt bad that my little girl would sit in her high chair and watch as all the adults enjoyed dessert. That's why I created this recipe! It's a delicious and healthy treat for your little one that is guaranteed to fill their belly and has always helped mine wind down for the evening. While it may seem like too much work it's most definitely worth it for the taste alone and your wallet (and little one's tummy) will thank you. Trust me. It's so good that I have had to actively convince myself NOT to eat baby food for a meal.
- 4 medium yams
- Okay, yams and sweet potatoes ARE different. Yams are the tasty orange ones. Sweet potatoes are the yellow ones which, while delicious, truly taste like sweeter starchy potato. You'll want yams, which are creamier, less mealy, and a lot sweeter. Besides, who wants a yam pie? We're just going to call them sweet potatoes, for the sake of simplicity.
- 6 sweet apples
- 6 dates
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon clove
- 1 cup of breast milk, formula, or water
- Cutting board
- Large Pot
- Large mixing bowl
- ANY kind of blender — yes, an immersion blender works WONDERS for this, but when I first made it all I had was a magic bullet and plenty of patience.
- Peel those 'tatoes! If you're looking for an extra oomph of fibre for your little one, you can give them an extremely thorough scrub and cut off any tendrils you may see. This will require you to have a powerful blender, however, because while that skin will soften up it still blends to a mealy consistency. Just make sure they're extra clean and then begin to dice them into medium chunks. This will determine how long your potatoes take to cook — smaller chunks and a bigger pot with more water will take less time, bigger chunks in a smaller pot will take longer. Place them in your large pot with some cold water. Place that on the stove and bring them to a boil.
- While the sweet potatoes are softening, begin to peel, core, and then dice your apples. As we did with the sweet potatoes, you can leave the skin on, but this will compromise the end consistency.
- After about 15 minutes of boiling, add the apples to your sweet potato pot. The sweet potatoes should be able to be pierced with a fork, but not soft.
- Once your sweet potatoes are soft and are easily sliced through with a fork, add in your 6 dates. While this won't add much flavour, dates are a delicious and quick way to sweeten something up without adding processed sugars. Let this cook for about 5 more minutes, just until your dates are soft, and then strain the entirety of the pot. Reserve some cooking liquid, just in case.
- Take your now tender sweet potatoes, apples, and dates and pour them into the large bowl. While they are still hot, add in your spices. I like to take this time to begin mashing with a fork, just to make the blending process even easier.
- Blend, blend, blend! If you're using an immersion blender, this process is really simple. Just blend until everything is smooth, using your breast milk, formula, or water. I used breast milk and it produced a very silky finished product, as I'm sure formula would do as well. If neither formula nor breast milk is available to you, feel free to use water, but try to use that cooking liquid first! It's full of flavours leeched from the cooking process and will create a richer finished product. If you're using a standing blender, or heaven forbid a magic bullet, you just need to be patient. I recommend blending in small portions and using sparing amounts of liquid to ensure the ease of blending, and then putting the puree into a large mixing bowl one batch at a time. This way you can blend your finished product altogether to completely incorporate all the flavours.
- Taste! Adjust accordingly using your spices, but be careful: babies palates are different than ours and are therefore more sensitive to seasoning. If it's just slightly spiced but still tastes like Thanksgiving, you're probably good to go. You can even add just a sprinkle of vanilla here. A good rule of thumb I learned working as a sous chef was: If you taste a product and immediately want seconds, stop and don't add anything. It's perfect just the way it is.
- Allow it to cool then portion. This process is totally up to you. If you are fortunate to own an Infantino Squeeze Station, then go ahead and use that bad boy. Personally, I used six ice cube trays and just filled and then froze them. Once they were frozen I just popped the cubes into freezer bags and then put them in an air tight container.
When you want to feed these to your baby, I recommend pulling from the freezer, allowing to thaw in the fridge over night, and then heating for a couple seconds in the microwave. For my daughter, I like to pull three cubes per meal and place them in a small container in the fridge before bed, so that all her meals for the next day are prepped!
And there you go! Delicious, super easy sweet potato pie for your little one! Great for dessert, but suitable for breakfasts and lunches, too.
Happy cooking and even happier eating!