I truly believe that what we eat and how we nourish our bodies is the foundation of good health and a happy life. Healthful food can also be delicious food – food that you crave and enjoy eating. When you partake in a diet of real foods, your body will crave real foods. That’s why I love the idea behind my friend Renee Kohley’s book, Nourished Beginnings Baby Food. When we present our children with nourishing, healthful, real foods from the very beginning, their palates will develop the desire to continue eating these foods as they grow. Today I’m lucky enough to be sharing a recipe from this beautiful book, Nourishing Pastured Chicken Stew, as well as giving you a sneak peak at some of what this book has to offer for you and your family.
I’m not a mother. However, at this time in my life I’m surrounded by little ones from family and friends. As I watch these children grow, I’m amazed at the leaps and bounds they make from week to week and month to month. So much happens in such a short period of time! With so much physical growth and mental development, why wouldn’t they need to best foods we can offer to achieve their highest potential and best health?
Sadly, conventional wisdom has led this country down the road of soy formulas and rice cereal as the best we can offer to our children. Our ancestors raised strong, healthy children without foods from a laboratory. Why can’t we do the same? That’s why I love this book. Renee has broken down this book into three parts: Simple Starts for Baby, Nourishing Meal Ideas for the Whole Family and Babies over 6 to 9 Months, and Transitioning into Toddlerhood.
Simple Starts for Baby discusses first foods and how to introduce them. Simple but nourishing dishes spanning fruit and veggies purees, meat and fish purees, drinks, and simple soups. Some of my favorite offerings in this section include: peas with bone broth, butter, and sea salt, soft-boiled pastured egg yolk with grated liver and sea salt, and colic-calming chamomile and lemon balm tea for baby.
Nourishing Meal Ideas for the Whole Family and Babies over 6 to 9 Months includes today’s recipe, Nourishing Pastured Chicken Stew, as well as nutrient-dense vegetable breakfast porridge, herbed cauliflower “rice” and veggie bowls, garlic buttered “zoodles”, and garlic-roasted cabbage wedges.
Transitioning into Toddlerhood has some of my favorite recipes: cranberry walnut baked oatmeal, soaked buckwheat pancakes with homemade berry syrup, nourishing raw cocoa avocado pudding, and buttered raw cacao hot cocoa. Yum!!
I’ve never really understood the idea of “kid food”. Shouldn’t food that appeals to children also appeal to adults and vise versa? This cookbook delivers just that! My husband absolutely loves the recipe I’m about to share with you – Nourishing Pastured Chicken Stew. I’ve made it a few times exactly as written and then most recently tweaked it to comply with an AIP (autoimmune paleo) diet. I’ll share my modifications with you and I promise you will enjoy this soup either way!
A quick note on my favorite products used for Nourishing Pastured Chicken Stew
As in all of my recipes, I highly recommend using organic vegetables and high quality pastured chicken. If I cannot source local, pastured chicken, US Wellness meats offers whole chickens as well as bone-in and boneless pieces. I always suggest using homemade bone broth for all of my recipes as it is so easy to make and very economical, but if you are short on time or haven’t stocked your freezer with broth, Epic makes a wonderful pastured bone broth. I love using grass-fed tallow for this recipe and this is my favorite brand.
- 2 acorn squashes
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 4 medium carrots, chopped
- 4 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 medium potatoes, chopped (substitute parsnips, turnips, or rutabagas for AIP)
- 1/3 cup friendly fat to cook in, such as butter, or use tallow, lard, coconut oil, or avocado oil for AIP
- Sea salt to taste
- 1 head garlic, about 8 cloves, minced
- 2 quarts (2 liters) chicken bone broth (homemade is best, but this is a clean store bought version)
- 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (omit for AIP)
- 1/4-1/2 pound fresh organic baby spinach
- Ground pepper to taste (omit for AIP)
- Put the acorn squashes in the oven on a baking sheet, whole, at 425 degrees for one hour. When you take them out, cut them in half and let them cool to the touch while you start making the soup.
- Saute the onion, carrot, celery, and potatoes (or alternate veggies for AIP) in the fat of your choosing with a few big pinches of sea salt to bring out their juices and sweeten. Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
- While the veggies are cooking, scoop out the squash from the shell and puree the flesh in your food processor or blender with a little of the bone broth to be sure it gets fully pureed.
- Add the garlic to the pot and cook for a minute. Add the squash puree, bone broth, chicken, and cayenne pepper if using. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the spinach to wilt and season with sea salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve the stew to baby on a spoon. If baby isn't handling bits of soft vegetables yet, you can puree his or her portion so it is smooth or semi-smooth.
What are some of your favorite foods for the little ones in your life? Do you have any tips or tricks for encouraging healthful eating for children? Please share them in the comments!