It’s fall, y’all! And we all know, with fall comes certain flavors - like pumpkin spice! Your little ones won’t be sipping lattes, but that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy the warm and cozy flavors and immune-supporting benefits of fall spices.
Spice up your babe’s life -- and palate -- with seasonal tastes of fall found in our new Pumpkin Cinnamon Puffs! And yes, you can have some too :)
So let’s take a look at some of the health benefits of these popular fall spices and veggies, which are also the ingredients in our new Pumpkin Cinnamon Puffs:
- Cinnamon: Loaded with antioxidants, cinnamon has antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also known to help balance blood sugar, which helps keep energy and mood stable in both kids and adults!
- Ginger: With potent anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, ginger is a favorite for supporting digestion and fighting illness. Gingerol is the primary active component of ginger that provides these benefits.
- Nutmeg: Contains powerful anti-inflammatory plant compounds that act as antioxidants. Nutmeg also has antibacterial properties. These properties are particularly prevalent in the oral region, and nutmeg has been studied for its benefits to dental health!
- Clove: Full of antioxidants and fiber, cloves contain the active component Eugenol. Eugenol is a natural anesthetic that can help fight bacteria and reduce pain and swelling.
- Sweet Potato: Rich in fiber, antioxidants, and beta carotene, a form of vitamin A that can support vision and immunity.
- Pumpkin: Contains vitamins A, C, and E, plus lutein, zeaxanthin, iron, and folate. Pumpkin also packs antioxidants and carotenoids that can boost the immune system and support eye health..
- Carrot: Full of nutrients & plant compounds associated with heart, eye, & digestive health (fiber, vitamin A, biotin, vitamin K1, potassium, vitamin B6, carotenoids, & more!)
Rosemary: Rosemary is high in antioxidants with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory compounds that can protect the body from oxidative damage and inflammation. It has also been linked to brain, heart, eye, and digestive health. While many food products use synthetic preservatives to extend their safe shelf life, we use rosemary extract in our grain-free puffs. It works double duty - helping to safely preserve the puffs for a week after opening, while also exhibiting potential antimicrobial benefits.
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Savory Flavors For the Win!
The benefits of fall spices go beyond the various health benefits of each spice too. Introducing a variety of savory flavors early helps expand a baby’s palate beyond bland or sweet flavors. Introducing these savory tastes early sets kiddos up for diverse tastes and healthy eating later in life.
Warmth for Digestion
Fall spices are also considered warming spices. According to ayurvedic principles, these spices not only provide a warming sensation to the body but also support warmth in the digestive system. This helps soothe the stomach, promote motility, and improve digestion.
Coincidence (or Not)?
Isn’t it interesting that these spices are prevalent in cooking and baking at a time of year when immune health is top of mind and lots of little bugs are circulating? Mother Nature so nicely paired their warmth to complement the foods in season, and gave us the added benefit of potent health and immune-promoting properties!
So is it really a coincidence that these immune-boosting spices are featured during cold and flu season? Or perhaps it is the intuitive knowledge of our ancestors passed down over generations.
More fall spice fun
Our grain-free pumpkin spice puffs are a great way to grab some fall spice flavors (and health benefits!), but if you’re looking for more, try out these three baby and toddler-friendly recipe ideas:
Paleo Pumpkin Protein Pancakes
- ⅔ cup canned or fresh pumpkin puree (make sure you aren’t getting pumpkin pie mix, which is sweetened)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- 2 large eggs (pasture-raised preferred!)
- 4-6 Tbsp coconut flour
- 1 scoop Grass Fed Collagen powder (we like Vital Proteins and Thrive Market)
- Coconut or avocado oil, for cooking
- To a large mixing bowl, add pumpkin puree, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, collagen, and vanilla extract and use a fork or whisk to combine.
- Add eggs and whisk thoroughly until combined.
- Add coconut flour, 1 tablespoon at a time until a thick but scoopable batter is achieved (it should be thicker than your average pancake batter, but not dry).
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add a little coconut oil to coat the pan. Then spoon in roughly 3-Tbsp amounts of batter and reduce heat to low. Cover with a lid to help the center cook through.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes, then remove the lid and flip carefully (these are more delicate than the typical grain-containing pancake). Cook for 3-4 minutes more (lowering heat as needed if cooking too fast) or until the underside is golden brown. Transfer cooked pancakes to the preheated oven on the prepared baking sheet (or to a serving plate).
- Top with desired toppings (nut or seed butter, coconut yogurt, etc.)
Baked Ginger Carrots
- 2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 3-inch pieces (rainbow carrots make this beautiful and add some diversity of micronutrients from different colors, but bagged baby carrots work just as well in a pinch!)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil (too much oil will make these soggy)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger or ½ teaspoon dried ground ginger
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine carrots, 2 teaspoons olive oil, salt, pepper, and ginger. Toss to evenly coat.
- Place carrots on a parchment-lined sheet pan and roast for about 30 minutes or until slightly caramelized and able to be pierced with a fork, stirring once halfway through.
- Drizzle with the remaining teaspoon of olive oil
Cinnamon Sweet Potato Mash
- 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- ½ cup full-fat coconut milk (look for this in cans with no added gums and with a BPA free lining like Native Forest Simple brand)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ½ teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
- Add sweet potatoes in a large pot then fill with water and cover. Place over medium-high heat and cook for 20-25 minutes or until fork tender and then drain and place in a large bowl and set aside while you make the sauce
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a small saucepan, add coconut milk, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Whisk until smooth and until it comes to a low boil (adding cold full-fat coconut milk to warm potatoes can cause it to harden and not mix in well).
- Pour the coconut milk mixture over the sweet potatoes and then use a potato masher or pastry blender to mash the sweet potatoes until smooth (you can also put the entire mixture into a stand mixer or food processor if you want it completely smooth, but remember, some texture is good for babies to explore!)
- Grease a large baking dish with coconut oil and then pour the mixture into the dish and spread evenly throughout.
- Cover loosely with foil and place in the oven to bake for about 30 minutes, until heated through.
- Once it comes out of the oven, sprinkle it with a bit more cinnamon and salt before serving!