A celebrity chef and a father of three, Tyler Florence knows the importance of eating well and fixing meals that the whole family will love to eat. The disappointing selection of tasteless (or terrible tasting) infant and toddler foods on the market led him and his partner Max Mackenzie to launch Sprout, an organic baby food company that offers baby food that really does taste good. Florence’s experience with Sprout and his own children inspired his latest cookbook Start Fresh (Rodale, 2011), a healthy and delicious cookbook featuring 60 recipes for infants, babies, and toddlers. Having an affinity for Mexican-inspired recipes, I fell in love with the Horchata recipe in Florence’s book.
Start Fresh is a great start for baby-friendly foods
Teaching your children how to eat nutritiously with real foods with real flavor is the best way to help them embrace a lifelong habit of healthy eating. Though Start Fresh isn’t a dedicated vegan cookbook, it has many vegan-friendly recipes as well as recipes that are easy to convert to vegan. If you’ve got a baby on the way or an infant experimenting with soft solids, Start Fresh is a tasty resource for making your own baby and toddler foods. Florence has food and drinks recipes specific to each feeding stage, from four months old to one year old and beyond. Here’s a vegan (and healthier) version of Horchata, a traditional Mexican rice-based drink that your whole family will enjoy.
Makes 4 cups
Recipe from Start Fresh by Tyler Florence
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 cup whole skin-on almonds
- 1-inch piece of cinnamon stick
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
- Zest of 1 lime, cut into 1-inch strips
- 4 cups almond milk
- Agave syrup
- In a large heatproof bowl, stir together brown rice, almonds, cinnamon stick, pomegranate seeds, and lime zest.
- Bring the almond milk to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Pour the hot almond milk over hte rice mixture and stir to combine.
- Cover and chill for at least 4 hours and preferably overnight; the rice should be very soft.
- To serve, pour the mixture into a food processor. Add 1 tablespoon of agave and puree until smooth.
- Taste and add more agave if you’d like. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve and serve.