Thursday, June 17, 2010

making baby food

so...you wanna know how to make your own pureed baby food.
sure you do.
its magically delicious and saves you the big bucks.
enough said.
here we go.

the tools that i use are as follows:
cookie sheets
foil
saucepan
steamer insert
ice cube trays
cookie scoop
press and seal wrap
good quality food processor or a magic bullet.
yes a $40 magic bullet RIVALS a $150+ professional food processor.
go figure.
its alllll about the torque.
oh and please don't buy a "baby food" food processor.
just don't.
they are not as powerful.
and its not very cool to bust out a baby food processor
during a dinner party to make hummus in.

i highly recommend checking out the website
this site will give you a run down of all of the foods
your baby can eat and at what age to start them at.

here are some foods that work well
for this particular process that i am showing you:
sweet potatoes
broccoli
cauliflower
all squash; acorn, butternut, pumpkin
frozen peas
frozen & fresh spinach

frozen vegetables are actually recommended by many baby food books and websites because they are picked at their ripest and frozen within 24 hours, locking in all the good nutrients.
many stores also run weekly sales on frozen veggies...even better!
always go organic if its available.

for sweet potatoes and squash:
pre heat oven to 400.
line a cookie sheet with foil.
you can cook the potatoes and squash
at the same time, just on separate cookie sheets.
quarter the potatoes with skins on after rinsing.
half the squash and scoop out the seeds.

if the squash is difficult to cut, place it in the microwave for 30 second.
it will cut like butt-ah.
cool trick i give you fo free, no charge ;-)

put the veggies on the cookie sheet.
place the squash cut side down and add a 1/4 cup of water to the pan.
place the cookie sheets in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes or until you can
easily pierce the largest pieces with a fork.
let the veggies cool.

for frozen & fresh veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, peas and spinach:
steam the veggies according to the package instructions

if fresh: steam the veggies until tender, do not over cook.
i do not recommend boiling as the process
takes out some of the nutrients and they end up in the water,
not the veggies.
but if its easier for you, go right ahead.

processing the cooked veggies:
when you are processing the veggies,
you may need to add a little water to help thin out the puree
if its too thick and the machine can't process it.
reserve the water from the cooking process for this purpose
and add as needed.
if you dumped it, no worried just use regular water.

remove the skins from the potatoes and squash.
the broccoli, cauliflower, peas and spinach are ready to go.
process all of the different veggies separately.

if you are using a magic bullet, fill the cup about 2/3 full.
add a tablespoon of water.
add cap and blend.
add water as needed, blending until completely smooth.

if you are using a food processor, fill the bowl 1/2 to 3/4 full.
pulse a few times to begin, then turn on continuously
until completely smooth, pulsing when necessary.
add a little water if the mixture stop blending.

the mixture, no matter the type of vegetable or machine used,
should resemble very thick, smooth applesauce.
now its time to freeze the mixture.
get your small cookie scoop.
preferably one with a sweeper arm.
its just easier...especially if you make baby food every other week.
trust me.
two scoops per slot is what works for me.
cover with wrap and place in the freezer.
once the cubes are completely frozen, pop them out of the trays and
place them in to large ziplock freezer bags.
i like to mix different veggie cubes up in one bag so we can grab a variety all at once.
do what works for you.
label the bag with a sharpie what veggies are in it and the date you made the batch.
use the frozen cubes with in one month of freezing.

to defrost, take out the cubes you will need for the next day
and place them in a covered bowl in the fridge overnight to defrost.

or you can microwave them, uncovered at 60-70% for about 2 minutes.
foods with a higher water content like spinach take longer to defrost.
always check the temperature before you feed to your baby.
if its too hot and your little one is pitching a fit
and wants. food. now. add some applesauce to the mixture to cool it down quickly.

one cube is approximately one ounce.
the munch started off eating two cubes per meal at about 8 months
and now at 15 months she is up to about three or four cubes
per meal with some tofu or rice added in.

money wise, i can not even begin to tell you
how much this saves us!
one jar of 2.5 oz. - 4 oz. baby food can cost between $.50 - $1.00.

here is one example of savings...
one butternut squash on sale at trader joe's was $.99.
total, not per pound.
it was about a 3 lbs squash.
i made 2 trays of baby food out of it.
24 cubes = 8 meals
i saved between $4-$7 dollars!!

on average the comparison is:
store bought baby food = $.23 an ounce
homemade baby food = $.04 an ounce

if you don't have the tools or time to make your own,
or you are laughing at me as you read this thinking
no way jose, gerber and i go waaay back...
please know i am not in any way saying this is the
ONLY way babies should be fed nor
am i condemning you for choosing what is best for your family.
i'm not the boss of you.
you go girl.
or guy.
or grandma.

this has worked well for us and i enjoy doing it.
happy feeding!!

1 comment:

  1. Yay! i'm so excited.... today was day one... i have a pic of Zach spooning out the food as fast as i was spooning it in!

    ReplyDelete

linkwithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails