The trees and their leaves change from deep and lovely greens to beautiful and vivid hues of red, orange and yellow. Apple trees burst with hundreds of branches all sagging and bending with the weight of apple; the promise of crisp and sweet or tart delights with every fresh picked bite. The fields yield a bounty of winter squash varieties and the appearance of the beloved pumpkin signals that Halloween is around the corner and then, Thanksgiving is just around the bend too.
Yes, it’s a great time to live in New England in the Fall and better yet, it’s a great time to eat fresh and local in the Fall. For the littlest amongst us. it’s an incredibly lucky time to be venturing into the tastes and textures of solid foods!
Winter Squash is a great food for babies, a wonderful beginner food even. These squashes contain an abundance of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B-6, Calcium and even Iron. Easy to prepare, roast a winter squash and you not only have a tasty side dish but a veggie that you can share with babies from 6 months old and up.
Apples are another wonderful food of the Fall. Apples are a great choice for a first fruit for babies just beginning solid foods. One medium sized apple has 10 mg of Calcium and offers Vitamin A, Vitamin C and even Folate. Apples are very versatile and can be baked. roasted, steamed or boiled or even prepared using a crockpot/slow cooker. One of the favorite fruits of the Fall, you can make applesauce for baby while chopping apples for your next apple pie!
Here is a tasty recipe that combines apples and winter squash into one dish that is simple to prepare and easy to bake too.
- 1 butternut, delicata or acorn squash
- 3 or 4 Macintosh apples
- olive oil - optional
- 3 pats of butter - optional
- pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or ginger
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
- Peel and then roughly chop the apples
- Peel and then roughly chop the squash
- In a large baking dish, combine the apples and squash
- Drizzle olive oil, or add pats of butter, over the apples and squash
- Sprinkle with desired spices
- Cover pan with tinfoil and bake 40 minutes or until squash is tender
- Puree as needed, adding water to thin if required. You may also chop or dice and serve as a finger food meal.
The apples will cook faster than the squash and may be reduced to sauce. You could wait until mid-way through the baking of the squash to add the apples if you desire a more firm apple result.