Fall and winter recipes for children (and adults!) from Little Bug
Pear-Smothered Sweet Potatoes & Pear Cider for Dessert
Serves 4 hungry finger-food-eating babies or 2 toddlers
- 1 large Happy Boy Farm sweet potato
- 4 Pomo Tierra Farm pears, Bosc or French Butter
- water, washed, trimmed of seeds and tops.
Peel and dice sweet potato and add to a small pot, adding just enough water to cover potatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and partially cover.
In another pot, this one medium-sized and heavy-bottomed, bring pears to boil, adding a small amount of water - about 1/2 cup - to prevent fruit from sticking.
When both potatoes and pears are soft, remove from heat. Strain pears, reserving any leftover liquid -set this liquid aside. Blend pears in a Cusinart, then pass through a sieve. Drain water from potatoes and add them to a small bowl. Add pears, toss, then serve immediately.
For a warm dessert drink, warm the reserve pear liquid in small pot with a cinnamon stick. Serve for your little ones in espresso cups alongside sugar cookies!
Variations: *Add a splash of cream to pear puree before tossing it over potatoes.
*Serve pear puree as a dip for potatoes in a small dish on the side.
Kaki Farm Persimmon Spread
Makes about 2 cups
- 8 Kaki Farm Fuyu persimmons
Wash persimmons in cold water. To trim them efficiently, cut them in quarters, then remove the leafy top, any rough or black spots, or errant seeds (not all persimmons have them, but if they do, they're hard to miss). Add them to a heavy-bottomed, medium sized pot with a splash of water.
Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and allow persimmons to stew, adding water if necessary, until soft. Depending on the skin's thickness, this could take anywhere from 10-30 minutes. Blend in Cuisinart, then pass through sieve.
Remaining spread can be spread on Vital Vittles persimmon bread, spooned over ice cream or yogurt, used as a dip for sharp cheeses, or folded into a homemade mini-muffins. Babies love it straight from the spoon!
Little Bug Kiwi-fortified Applesauce
- 8 Pomo Tierra Farm Apples
- 8 Swanton Farm Kiwis
Wash and trim both fruits, removing all skin from kiwis and seeds from apples. Add to a heavy-bottomed pot with about 1-inch of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Stew, adding water if neccesary, until both fruits are soft and completely broken down.
Remove from heat, and blend together, adding water if necessary to smooth puree.
Pass through a sieve to remove any tough skins.
Use as you'd use an applesauce
About Melissa Swanson:
Little Bug owner Melissa Swanson studied history and Italian at Boston University before returning to the Bay Area where she pursued her interest in all things Italian by working at Oliveto restaurant in Oakland. Originally a host, she segued into serving and became an expert on Italian food and wine, spending occasional Saturdays in the kitchen with chef Paul Canales. She met and married Oliveto cook Peter Swanson who is now a chef at Dopo. While at Oliveto, she began a freelance food writing career and her work has appeared in many Bay Area publications and Gourmet Magazine.
Melissa's first child was born in November, 2005, and like many new parents she was dedicated to feeding him the purest possible food. She shopped at farmers markets where she could speak directly with farmers about growing practices - organic produce from unknown growers was not on her agenda - and she also knew that flavor was directly related to freshness. By July, 2006 when her son was six months old, she and her mother, who had raised four children and was equally committed to healthful food, had hit upon the idea of Little Bug. "We knew that the Bay Area was full of parents who shared our concerns, who wanted food that was not only organic but local and traceable and flavorful." Initially, Melissa and her mother sold Little Bug foods at farmers markets, and today, just two years later, they have expanded to a certified kitchen in Richmond and their products are available throughout the Bay Area.