Baby Foodapalooza

In my last post I talked about making baby food for Olivia. I've been getting a lot of questions about it so I thought I would do a post. First of all, let me tell you why I'm making my own baby food.
1. I like to cook. Like many other people in my family, it's how I show love.
2. It's ridiculously easy. If it wasn't easy, I wouldn't do it.
3. It's cheaper than buying baby food.
4. I feel a sense of accomplishment. For not a lot of effort I have at least 6-8 weeks of food done, if not more.
Now, if I was working outside the home or if I had more than one kid I'm not sure that I would be doing this. Even so, I tend to do it when Glenn is home anyway so that I don't get interrupted. And I don't think store-bought baby food is bad for babies. It's just something I want to try right now.
So far I have made sweet potatoes, acorn squash, and green beans (twice due to consistency issues). I took pictures of the green beans, take 2.
I looked up age appropriate baby food recipes at this website. They have a lot of good information about making and storing baby food. It's nice because they let you know which cooking method works best (bake, roast, or steam) and how long to cook them for the best results in pureeing. It also gives you fun combos you can make once your baby is older.

Here are the typical steps.

Bake, roast, or steam your fruit or veggie of choice. Place it in your food processor, food mill, or blender. Here I'm using my Magic Bullet blender as my food processor doesn't get the green beans very smooth. Blend until smooth. I do have to do it in several batches compared to just one with the food processor, but it doesn't take long. Note that the food processor worked great for the potatoes and squash.
You may need to add some water to get it really smooth. You can also add breastmilk, but don't add formula if you are going to freeze it. I just add it in before serving to get it to the right consistency, especially since some of the veg/fruit gets a little more watery after thawing. If you steam the veg/fruit it is best to use the liquid from steaming because it usually contains some of the vitamins and minerals lost during cooking (the exception to this is carrots due to the nitrates that can seep into the water).
After you have the consistency that you are looking for simply fill up ice cube trays with the puree. I use my trusty small scooper to do it neatly and quickly. If you have a scooper it really does beat trying to do it with a spoon.
Each food cube will be about an ounce. You can buy fancy ice cube trays with lids for this specific purpose, but they cost $11+ for 2 trays that only have 12 sections. I say no way - I bought these for $1.50 at Wal-Mart.
Cover the trays with plastic wrap or that great press and seal wrap. Personally, I hate plastic wrap because I have a really hard time getting it where I want it, but I'm not paying for the fancy trays with lids just to get out of plastic wrapping. Then place in your freezer - someplace level if you can find it! Haha!
Once frozen you can pop them out fairly easily. I use Glenn's method of twisting the tray and then dumping it onto the plastic wrap. I think the green cubes look a little weird, but kinda cool.
Label your bag BEFORE filling it with cubes. Make sure to put the date!

Store in the coldest part of your freezer (usually the bottom). They are best used within one month but can be stored for up to three months.

See, it's easy peasy. One hint I have is to buy more than 2 ice cube trays. That's all I have right now and it's really hindering how much I can make at a time. I could easily be doing much bigger batches and once she is eating more I'll need to if I don't want to do it every week.
I'm hoping to do apples next. Mostly because I split 20 pounds of organic Fuji apples with my in-laws (got them for less than $1/pound, woohoo!) and I need to get rid of them.


Anonymous said…
It appears you would have been a hit around Laura Wilder's .But what love you are showing your family.!! I habe exra ice cube trays if you need them,Luv ya!!
That is the same website I use. I love it!!
Correny said…
This is a fantastic idea. I saved the website to my favorites! I appreciate all of your great ideas, please keep them coming.

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