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Review || Organically Raised: Conscious Cooking for Babies and Toddlers

by verdemama on August 1, 2010

Anyone with kids knows that cooking for finicky munchkins is tough business. Striking the perfect balance between balanced nutrition and wanna-scarf-it-down deliciousness is the Holy Grail for parents, and we’re forever chasing that elusive combo. Orion’s food is something I take very seriously (read: get psycho obsessive over) so when I was asked to review Organically Raised: Conscious Cooking for Babies and Toddlers by Anni Daulter (with Shanté Lanay), there’s no way I could say no.

First off, the book itself is gorgeous—a glossy paperback overflowing with beautiful photography of the recipes and some truly adorable kids, as well. The book starts by outlining some deets on eating organic and seasonal, as well as some fundamental nutrition info, and then dives into the recipes, which are divided into sections based on age. The theme running throughout the text is “conscious cooking”—an emphasis on preparing your children’s food with awareness and love, which is nice to be reminded of every once in a while.

What I like best about the book, though, is that the recipes stretch beyond the standard ho-hum fare you’ve seen in so many other kids’ cookbooks gathering dust on the bookshelf. These recipes don’t shy away from exotic flavors—expect to see plenty of fresh herbs and spices utilized—and unique food combining, such as a green bean, broccoli, kale and banana blend, to name one example.

I dove right into the “Cultural Café” chapter and prepared the California Quinoa with Superseeds, Coconut, and Cinnamon-Spiced Apples. (Quinoa is amazing and versatile supergrain that is high in protein and other nutrients. It’s really worth checking out if you’re not familiar with it. SO easy to use!)

Here’s the recipe.

1 cup peeled, diced apples
½ tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground sesame seed
½ teaspoon ground flaxseed
2 teaspoons coconut flakes
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups filtered water
½ teaspoon sea salt

:: Place the apples and butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in cinnamon, sesame seed, flaxseed and coconut. Add the lemon juice.
:: Reduce the heat to low and let the mixture cook while you prepare the quinoa. You want the apple mixture to be soft and the flavors to be well blended.
:: Combine the quinoa, water and salt in a medium saucepan over high heat. Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low. Cover simmer for 10 minutes, or until the quinoa is fluffy. Add the apple mixture and stir.

I substituted coconut oil for the butter, added a spoonful of honey (because my apples were still a bit tart even after cooking them) and held back some of the quinoa from the final mixture. The result was a yummy, nutty flavored dish that I ended up sharing with Orion for breakfast for a couple of days.

Voila! Cinnamon apples and quinoa goodness.

I’ll definitely keep reaching for my dog-eared copy of Organically Raised at mealtimes and wholeheartedly recommend to anyone looking to add a little healthy flavor to their children’s meals.

For more info, visit author Anni Daulter online at www.consciousfamilyliving.com.

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