Store bought baked beans usually contain added sugar and high levels of sodium, not to mention other fillers which take away from what can be a very nutritious meal and a great source of plant based protein and iron. Using our Nourishing Bubs Starter Pack, I show how you can really use the tomato base as a vehicle for loading up the vegetable content which not only boosts the nutritional value of this meal but also makes them taste super delicious. Any opportunity to add in some more veggies to a meal is a win as far as I am concerned. As always, it is important to ensure the end product is suitable for your baby's developmental stage in terms of texture. The tomato sauce is super versatile and you can always stop before adding the cannellini beans and use it as a pasta sauce, a dipping sauce or combine it with minced meats, other beans, pour over eggplant / schnitzel for a delicious Parmy!
The Cannellini Beans however are one of the best plant based sources of Iron so if you do want to keep this dish strictly plant based, it still packs a great dose of iron which is so important, particularly for growing bodies and brains!
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1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 red onion, finely diced (or 1-2 tsp onion powder)
2 x garlic cloves, crushed (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
1 x 400g Diced Tomatoes (no added salt)
1 x 400g can Organic Cannellini Beans, rinsed
16-30 x 15g Nourishing Bubs Vegetable Cubes (Use an assortment of your choice, I like: Capsicum, Carrot, Beetroot, Sweet Potato, Parsnip)
1/2 tsp salt
1+ tbsp Worcestshire Sauce (optional)
1 tsp + Smoked Paprika (optional)
Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion (if using). Stir for 5 minutes or until softened and translucent. Add garlic (if using) and stir for a further minute.
Add diced tomato and stir to heat. Add frozen Nourishing Bubs cubes and stir through to defrost. Add salt. Bring to the boil then reduce heat to low and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer for 20-25 minutes or until reduced and thickened.
Add 1 tbsp Worcestshire Sauce (if using). You may like to gradually add more, especially if cooking for an adult but add gradually. Smoked Paprika is also a nice addition at this point but add gradually (1 tsp at a time). Stir between and taste until desired taste is reached.
Finally add the cannellini beans, stirring through until warm. If being made for a 6-12 month old, puree beans or mash well before adding to the tomato sauce as whole beans will represent a choking hazard. You can also use a hand blender to blitz after beans are added, if you wish.
Portions of leftovers can be frozen and reheated in microwave, saucepan.
Tomato sauce is extremely versatile and can be used over pasta or combined with minced meat. Simply stop after step 3.
For an even greater dose of iron, add liver to tomato sauce.