Two Can Learn Better than One!

Tags: soup

Pumpkin Surprise

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Food, Drink and Eating , Tags: curry, halloween, pasta, pumpkin, puree, seeds, soup

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Now that another Halloween has passed, the shops will be looking to offload their surplus pumpkins as quickly as possible to make way for Christmas; you may have thought that pumpkins are good for nothing but carving, but actually you can make turn them into pretty tasty treats.  Here are just a few pumpkin recipes to introduce this unusual food to your children:-

  • Toasted pumpkin seeds: Scrape out the seeds from the middle of a pumpkin, dry fry them in a heavy based frying pan for 4 to 5 minutes and eat!  For adults, add a little bit of olive oil and salt, but leave unsalted for children.
  • Pumpkin Puree: Perfect for babies!  Cut your pumpkin in half, cover each half with foil and bake in the oven for an hour.  Blend the flesh and freeze into ice cube trays.
  • Pumpkin Soup: Cook the pumpkin as above, add to a pint of chicken or vegetable stock and blend.
  • Pumpkin Pasta: Cook some pasta, dice some pumpkin and sautee it in a skillet with a lid for 3 - 5 minutes.  Toss into your cooked pasta, add a tablespoon of creme fraiche and serve.
  • Pumpkin Curry: follow any traditional chicken curry recipe substituting diced pumpkin for the meat.

We tend not to consider pumpkin as a food, rather a novelty item to adorn Halloween, but actually it's very versatile and can be used in lots of different ways!  Look out a pumpkin in the post-Halloween sales and see for yourself!

Soups for Children

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Health, Food, Drink and Eating , Tags: chowder, cooking, healthy eating, onion, soup, stock

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Soups make for a nutritional and filling meal for adults and children and a good home made soup is easy and quick to make.  You can use the same basic steps to make almost any soup, here are those steps:-

  1. Dice your main ingredients
  2. Precook the ingredients to soften them by frying in butter or oil, or maybe roasting in the oven
  3. Add a stock or other liquid base, bring it to a boil and simmer for up to 10 minutes
  4. Serve as is or blend in a food processor

Your stock might be a vegetable or chicken based stock or bouillon, or you can use other liquids such as coconut milk, regular milk, tomato juice, a tinned soup or even water.  What about the main ingredients?  How about:-

  • Pumpkin Soup: fry up onion and diced pumpkin, add coconut milk, boil and blend
  • Bean Soup: fry up some onion and diced bacon, add stock and tin of whatever beans you like (drained first), boil and serve
  • Vegetable Soup: fry up any left over vegetables and add stock, or simply boil fresh ones in a stock, blend and serve
  • Fish Chowder: Dice and cook bacon; dice and fry leek, potato, mushrooms and sweetcorn until softened; add a pint of milk and bring to a boil
  • Carrot and Apple Soup: fry onion and carrot until softened, add diced apple and stock, bring to a boil then blend

Use your imagination and use flavours that you know your children like.  Here are some extra tips to guide you:-

  • Onion adds depth to almost any dish, but you can also use leek which is closely related
  • Add extra flavour with a bit of garlic and/or some fresh herbs or even spices such as paprika, cinnamon or star anise
  • Warm winter soups are great at this time of year, but you can serve up summer flavours as cold soups in the summer, try melon and mint or cold leek and potato (vichyssoise)
  • Try making fruit soups as an interesting desert
  • Check the salt and sugar levels for stocks or tinned soups that you use as a base, look for stocks with a lower salt content
  • Make soup ahead and simply reheat it, most soups can even be frozen
  • Soups with low salt and sugar content are terrific for babies; once blended, freeze into ice cube trays and defrost just two or three at a time
  • Serve with panache - keep fresh herbs on hand to garnish with and add a little extra freshness to

Soups really are easy to make and offer a really versatile meal, they are also a really healthy option for the whole family!


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Hi! I'm Tikal the Toucan, the mascot for ToucanLearn. Follow my blog to find out interesting things relating to babies, toddlers and preschool children!

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