Baby, Recipe

moroccan-ish carrots and yams

Friends, I didn’t mean to abandon you. But since I suspect you are here because you also have a little rugrat underfoot, I probably don’t need to tell you that the only thing — seriously, only — thing I have done since we last spoke nearly two months is blink. Maybe twice. The baby, however, started crawling, then pulling himself up, then cruising, then climbing, then he started chewing on carpets and shoes and taking rooms apart and then he stopped sleeping because why would you sleep if you could be awake at 4 a.m. (for the day) and practicing your standing? And yelling? Oof. Like I said, I only just blinked.


But sure enough, the tot is 11 months old and we’ve got a lot of catching up to do. I’ve missed sharing some purees. There was a strawberry-apple-rhubarb sauce (2 apples, 1 pound strawberries and a 1/2 pound rhubarb cooked with 2/3 cup water the usual way), there was a sort of soupy blend of parsnips, leeks and carrots (a pound of each; the leeks were slowly caramelized in olive oil, then everything was simmered with 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth, then pureed) and there were these tiny carrots I found at the farmers market early this summer that seemed destined for our tiniest eater. Carrots show up so often in Moroccan cooking, a place where the spices are mellow and occasionally almost sweet, and I imagined that a baby would delight in a smidge of cumin, coriander, cinnamon and lemon in his sweet vegetables. And he did, for a bit. But then I blinked again and we’d moved onto finger foods. I’ll tell you about that next time.

sweet potato

Confession: I’m pretty sure I have a photo of the finished puree but cannot tell you which of the photos of orange mush I’ve taken for this blog it is. But you get the idea, right? Orange mush. Yum.

Moroccanish Carrots and Yams

Want to bulk this up a little? Add chickpeas. I honestly only didn’t because I’d run out.

3/4 pound yam, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
1 pound carrots, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Few scrapings of lemon zest
3/4 cup water or vegetable broth

Bring everything to a boil together, then reduce to a simmer and cook with a lid on for about 30 to 35 minutes, until the ingredients are easily mashed with the back of a fork. Puree to your desired texture. Adjust seasonings to taste.

44 comments on moroccan-ish carrots and yams

  1. karen

    yay! It’s ok, Deb… since you last posted, mine has learned sit, army crawl, how to scream until mama comes running and popped 4 teeth!! whoa. Just made the spinach/yam mush today. looks promising. We’re on our 4th batch of those pears… and the mango banana was a hit with the hubbs AND baby! Keep ’em coming… when you can. :)

  2. Terry

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, for the updated post. My little munchkin loves everything that you have posted thus far!!!!!!!! Deb you are the best, I was just thinking today that I wanted to introduce strawberries and now I have a recipe for them! Am I reading the post correctly? Is it just 2 apples or 2 pounds of apples for the strawberry-apple-rhubarb sauce? Thanks for the post that you are able to put up, we all understand how extra time is pretty much non existent these days;-)

    1. deb

      Terry — Really just two apples. Which, if huge, can be nearly a pound each. I’d like to tell you that I crafted that recipe to the most precise ingredient level, but it was seriously what I had left in my fridge. The apples give it some heft but also anchor the flavors a little … smooths it out.

  3. Jessica

    So excited to see a new baby recipe, although no pressure! We have tried all of them so far and my 10 month old has loved every one. Spinach and white yams? Brilliant. Can’t wait to see what you have to say about finger foods, as we also are in the middle of that fun. Thanks!

  4. Heather

    I’m so excited for more recipes! And totally understand about the busy-ness…my little guy has been a 4 am waker since he was about 3 months old (he just turned a year). Over the past month he’s started waking at 5 or 5:30 am…I never thought there would come a day when 5 am felt like sleeping in! I haven’t even been doing as much baby food make as I’d like but your post today is re-inspiring me…thanks!

  5. Renee

    Are you using chickpeas to bulk up purees? I have just been adding oatmeal to the watery ones (zucchini, summer squash, tomatos, etc) but just feel silly doing it. I’ve been curious about giving him some sort of beans/chickpeas/etc and thought it’d be more nutritious. I’ve been too chicken about using spices…must start to.

    1. deb

      Renee — Bulk it up and of course add nutrients. I want his purees to be similar to foods that we eat — chickpeas are common in Moroccan cooking, and in our kitchen.

      Robin — I never got to meat. My MIL made Jacob a pot of soup with potatoes and carrots and stuff and chicken (she had roasted the chicken and then tossed pieces in). It was pureed and he liked it a lot. I don’t think it has to be gross. Think soup, not single-ingredient purees for flavor…

  6. Robyn

    Hi! Love your blog and have tried almost all the baby recipies so far. my guy is 6 months. it has been such a pleasure to cook with him in the kitchen (sitting in high chair, near the door way, away from the hot stove!) any thoughts on meat baby food? pureeing ground turkey without any seasoning sounds gross. thanks again!

  7. Jessica

    We did the soups also – with both chicken and beef. Sauteed with some carrots celery and acorn squash, added half water and half broth, some sweet potatoes and some barely. Then I pureed it. My 10 month old loves it. I also shredded some cooked chicken breast and added that to various veggies, and that went over ok, but not as tasty as the soups.

  8. deb – any ideas on first birthday cakes? i know your little man’s day is coming up, and i am selfishly looking for ideas for our daughter’s fast approaching first…

    1. deb

      megan — It’s coming, but it won’t be posted until after his birthday (17th). No surprise: I’m not going healthy (well, maybe some pureed fruit) with it. To me, cake should be cake. And cake always has butter in it.

  9. meredith

    I hope you continue to make baby food recipes even though your little has probably moved on to finger foods because you have such a great following and there are tons of moms out there cooking for their babies! This is great…thanks!

    Megan-for both of my kids, I made carrot cake for their first cake. They loved it! Good luck.

  10. Hannah

    I can understand how busy you are! I have a son who is a little over 2 years old. The past 2 weeks he has learned to count to 10, is on his way to 20, knows his ABC’s (upper and lower case), and has developed QUITE the attitude.

    Anywho, can’t wait to your ideas for finger foods! I also can’t wait to try your thick and chewy oatmeal raisin cookies (that oughta keep his busy hands out of trouble for a at least a little while).

  11. Kristina

    I just made this puree for my six-month old. It is so easy and also quite delicious! Seriously, it is good enough for adults — like, it would totally be welcome on the Thanksgiving table. Thanks for these recipes, Deb. I really appreciate it!

  12. nicole

    Thanks for all the wonderful baby food recipes, I can’t wait to see what you have up your sleeve next!

    I have made all the recipes to date and my little one approved wholeheartedly of them all.

    While the fresh fruit and vegis are in season I have been cooking up large batches and freezing them in cubes for the fall and winter season ahead. While my 13 month old is quickly outgrowing the puree stage, they can be used in so many different ways…. Think mixed in hot cereal, yogurt, smoothies, soups or stews etc.

    Up here in Northern Canada fresh produce is scarce in the winter months and what is available is outrageously priced and of sub-par standard. I’m trying to think ahead so that my baby can enjoy a wide variety of healthy, homemade meals throughout the seasons.

    Thanks for all the tips, advice and inspiration! Keep them coming…. I’m eagerly awaiting your approach to toddler foods.

  13. Erin

    Just found this site today-though I’ve been reading your main site for awhile. My babe is a couple months older than yours though so we are pretty much done with purees. I hope you keep this up as you move on to toddler foods. Do you have a spin on chicken nugget? :)

  14. Laurie

    Made this one today…another hit! The carrots are so beautiful and sweet right now – the timing couldn’t be better. Thanks, yet again!

  15. Ashby

    I’ve been making something similar for my 8 month old, but mashing it instead of pureeing, and smashing some chickpeas in with it. We skip the coriander and cinnamon but keep the cumin and add a little fresh cilantro (verrrry finely chopped, of course). I always sneak tastes!

  16. Sooz

    Thanks for posting a new recipe Deb! I first discovered your site when I was pregnant with my son and you were also pregnant. I LOVED trying many of your recipes. My pregnant self found an especially soft spot for the corn and tomato pie. My son is a few months younger than yours, so your puree posts have been great inspiration to me. I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand for this most recent post, but I made a nice puree of yams, chickpeas, quinoa and the moroccan spices. He loved it, especially with a little plain yogurt mixed in. Thank you for finding time to post even with a very busy 11 month old underfoot!! I can’t wait to check out your cookbook when it comes out!

  17. Soph

    You have such a way with words! I blinked and my son is now 13 months – and I am back to work! Ugh! Being apart after a whole year is tough! My little one only has 3 teeth (soon to be 4) but is determined to not ever eat mush again, unless it is yogurt or apple sauce! So I am very looking forward to some finger food ideas – or even meal ideas. Enjoy your little one and I totally agree that a first birthday cake should be a dessert – sweet and buttery! I made a chocolate banana (almost brownie like) cake and covered it in icing – cut and decorated to be a robot! It was fun and he loved it!

  18. jennifer

    Perfect timing. We’ve just run out of our frozen cubed reserves and I was set to make some new purees tonight- AND I already have all of the ingredients, including the chickpeas. Thanks, Deb.

  19. Sarah

    I am so excited to see that my favourite ever food blog now has a baby food department!! I am two days overdue to have my first baby, and getting a bit ahead of myself… but definitely planning to make her food when the time comes to start on solids. These SK recipes will be the first ones I make for her, I’m sure :) p.s. This afternoon I made your raspberry buttermilk cake AND your lime yogurt cake – they are both going in the freezer to defrost later when this bub arrives and we need some cake to keep us going. Although it is really hard not to bite into them now! Love all your recipes, they always turn out fabulously!

  20. TJ

    Oh, hooray! So glad you’re back posting here again. You are more innovative than you know, and we of the honorable order of homemade baby food thank you for it.

  21. Have you been freezing your baby food or using it fresh? I want to start making some baby food now, while all the produce is at its peak freshness and priced well, instead of having to buy in December when my little girl will start on solids. How long would you freeze it for? I’ve heard anywhere from 1 month to 6…Thoughts?

  22. Shara

    I made this for the babe last night, and he liked it so much that he grabbed the bowl from my hands and stuck his face in it. I could not get the spoon to his mouth fast enough. Understandably so– this was the tastiest orange mush I’ve ever had!

  23. Wow that went down a treat – thanks for that. I would never have thought of putting spices in my baby’s food. I also have to put a hands up to licking, I mean cleaning the pot clean afterwards. Thanks Deb.

  24. Deb – My apologies for leaving this in your comments. I’ve been meaning to send you an e-mail for several weeks now, but… 1) I can’t get into my Gmail at work (argh), and 2) I never think about it at home because I’m up to my ears in mommy-hood. So, here goes…

    When my son (10 mos older than Jacob) was about 11 months he got an aversion to being spoon-fed. Wanted to eat everything with his hands. This was fine for lots of foods, but miserable for veggies. So, I invented (?) these pancakes which were a hit and have been the backbone of our veggie repertoire for almost a year now. They’re great b/c they can be cut into bit-sized pieces early on, and can be served whole (and eaten bite-by-bite) when he’s a little older. Anyway, here’s the recipe:

    Spinach Pancakes

    1 10-oz box frozen spinach, cooked according to package directions
    2 eggs
    2 slices sandwich bread
    Salt and pepper to taste

    1. Tear bread into large pieces and pulse in food processor until crumbs form. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
    2. Strain spinach thoroughly (I think you’re a fan of the cheesecloth method. Sieve/back-of-spoon method works fine too.) Dump into bowl of food processor (don’t bother washing it after the bread crumbs…). Add eggs, salt, and pepper and pulse about 3 times. Stir spinach mixture into bread crumbs.
    3. Preheat nonstick skillet over med-high heat and spray with nonstick or brush with oil. Take golf-ball-ish sized portions of your batter, pat it into patties about 2-3″ in diameter, and cook 2-3 min per side. Makes about 8 depending on size. Store in airtight container in fridge for up to 4 or 5 days.

    Variations – You can also do this with broccoli. Just puree broccoli (without the egg) and then strain. (Have to do it that way because the stems hold a lot of water.) Then add pureed/strained broccoli and eggs to bread crumbs and stir. I haven’t, but you could probably also add some micro-grated parm to this to make it a bit tastier.

    Also, Ina has a great zucchini pancake recipe in one of her books (“At Home” maybe?).

    Okay, that’s it. Belated Happy New Year to you. And belated Happy Birthday to Jacob! (I’m a 9/17 baby too!)

  25. Liz

    I’ve made a big batch of this weekly since you posted the recipe, because my now 14-month-old twins love them. I’ve stopped measuring the spices (more cinnamon! more cumin!) and sometimes put a little butter or cream in them. My sister was visiting a couple of weeks ago and wanted the recipe because they smelled so good. So, baby food on the one hand and delicious side dish on the other.

  26. Tracie

    Delish! I’ve made this recipe several times in the last month and am always sad when my son devours it without sharing. I usually mix in a spoonful or two of plain greek yogurt, which takes it over the top. Thanks so much for such a fantastic, easy recipe!

  27. I haven’t actually pureed this yet, but roasted the veg instead (tossed in olive oil and the spices, and left out the lemon) and served it with Simply Recipes’ Moroccan chicken for the adults and toddler, and as finger food/in the “Baby Safe Feeder” for the baby. We all loved it, and the adults didn’t even think it needed salt!

  28. Amy

    Please let your readers know that it is not recommended to make homemade baby food from carrots, beets, spinach (which I see you’ve used in another recipe), and a handful of other veggies. These MAY contain high levels of nitrates – it depends on the soil in which they are grown, and there’s no way to tell without testing the crop. Baby food producers test their crop to only use low nitrate product. Babies under one year old convert nitrates to nitrites (the bad stuff in hot dogs) and this can sometimes cause health problems. I made all of my own baby food for my two young sons, but was advised by my pediatrician to avoid carrots and spinach specifically for this reason.

  29. Melissa G

    This is the first time I have made anything from the baby site. I cannot tell you how much my 8 month old munchkin LOVED these carrots/yams. He was freaking out for them! A huge hit. I also made the spinach-yam combo but substituted kale (b/c I had some from the farmers market). It was good, but not as good as these carrots/yams. Tomorrow we are going for the peaches. Cannot wait!

  30. Katie

    Good day! I’ve been tuning in regularly to see what you come up with as a cake for your little man who, I believe, either has had or is having a second birthday right around now. My son will be two in October (I should start practicing now if I am going to deliver a cake in just one month). We adored the monkey masterpiece last year (and the banana cake added that certain pow that even impressed my sister, sisters-in-laws and MIL all of whom have expertise in the kitchen that leaves me awestruck (but well fed and happy). Would you be willing to share your brilliance again this year?

  31. Grandma Bets

    Hi There, This would be a perfect dish to add some Quinoa to. Quinoa is a complete protien, has prebiotics, is a great fiber, along with many other valuable nutrients, like magnesium. Although Quinoa is referred to as a grain, it is actually a gluten free seed. For babies & toddlers, white Quinoa – as opposed to red or black, is preferered as it is easier to digest. Quinoa is highly versitle, it can be added to veggies and made into vegtable quinoa latkes, added to soups, and even made into casseroles. Quinoa is an ancient food grown high in the Andes, so high that it cannot be cross contaminated with wheat as wheat cannot grow there. Quinoa is grown pesticide free due to a coating of saponins. These saponins are washed off before being processed and sold, but if one wants they can rinse again at home before use to remove any of the powdery residue that may remain on the seeds.

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