Baby Food Making
It all started before I had even given birth to my sweet baby girl…
My husband, dearest mother-in-law, and I all went to a “Make Your Own Baby Food” class. We were so excited about the birth of baby/grandbaby no.1, can you tell? It was a great class, and I did learn a lot about what to make, what to use, and how to do it safely and with good results. In the end though, we made applesauce. I was itching to expand my baby food-making abilities.
Fast-forward, eh, a year and a half, and we’re here: two ladies, two 14 month old baby girls, and a bunch of raw food staring us down. My gorgeousamazingwonderful friend, Jen, and I have decided that it will save us money and help put wholesome for in our babies’ bellies if we sacrifice one Saturday each month to make baby food. If you’re still with me this far, I guess I should get to the point. I thought I’d share some techniques and ideas from last Saturday. I’ll share what we made and try not to complain too much about how my feet ached.
Here’s what we need for any successful day:
1) Each OTHER! Don’t try to do this alone. We not only encourage each other to go through with this crazy day, but we also keep each other sane throughout it.
2) A support system. Someone (or ones) to help you remember to eat and keep the babies out from under your feet. Today that was my wonderful husband Chris. His bro, Andy also showed up halfway through the day and taught the girls how to steer on GT5. 🙂
3) A plan. Again, don’t try it without one. (been there, done that, almost killed each other)
4) Fooooooooooooood. Today we had (o. means organic): butternut squash, o. apples, o. pears, o. spinach, hormone-free chicken, o. sweet potatoes, tofu, juice, gelatin
5) Tools; oven, stove, blender/food processor/sieve, freezer, baking pans, scoop, aluminum foil, freezer bags.
Apple-Pear Mash-Up: We start out by boiling half the apples and pears (cut into quarters) in juice/water for 3-4 hours until they are cooked to oblivion. They are then mashed through a sieve to remove skins and seeds. This is a fruit combo that gets frozen for desserts or snacks. I line a baking tray with aluminum foil, shiney side up, and put scoops of the food onto the tray. Stick them into the freezer for 30 minutes (at least) until they are hard to the touch. Label and Date your freezer bag, throw the frozen scoops in, and put them back into the freezer. Voila! Ready to go ≈1oz frozen servings of food at your fingertips.
Spinach-Tofu-Apple-Pear Mash-Up: (Whatever, it tastes FINE and is EXTREMELY NUTRITIOUS!) We peel, core, and quarter another ¼ of our fruit. It’s baked for 45min-1hr to be blended with this and one other mixture (reserve half of this for another mixture below). Cook ½ (about 1.5lbs) spinach in a pan with olive oil until bright green and wilting. The tofu doesn’t need to be cooked. Blend it all together with a food processor or blender. Freeze in scoops on tray.
Fruit Finger Food: The last ¼ of fruit is peeled, cored, diced, baked until soft, but still keeping shape, then frozen for an easy, fast, toddler finger food.
Sweet Potato Fries– Wash and peel your sweet potatoes. The easiest way to cut them into even, fry-like pieces is by trimming each potato to a rectangular-like block. Don’t worry, we’ll use the scraps. Chop your potato blocks into fries, coat in 2tablespoons olive oil, 1tablespoon brown sugar, and 1teaspoon cinnamon (or to your liking), bake on a parchment paper-lined baking tray for 45 minutes or until edges are starting to crisp and turn brown. Cool, freeze on a baking sheet, separated. Round 2 of easy toddler finger food!
Spinach-Sweet Potato Mash-Up– Cook the rest of your spinach in the pan until bright green and wilted. We microwaved our sweet potato scraps and another whole one, washed, peeled, and cut into pieces. Put only a small amount of water in the bottom of your microwaveable bowl. It will cook much faster. Cool and throw into the blender with your spinach and some of the cooking liquids from your boiled apples/pears. Freeeeeeeeeze as above.
Butternut Squash-Chicken-Apple-Pear Mash-Up– Rinse, half, and deseed your b.nut squash. Then cut it into pieces as needed to fit into your pan. We had two squash(es?) and two chicken breasts on the ribs. Cook the squash in the over with water to cover the bottom of the pan for 45min-1hr. Boil the chicken (added celery and spices if desired, salt not needed for baby palates) until tender and easy to remove from bone. Use the rest of your cooked fruit from above. Once squash is cooked, it will be easy to remove the peel. Blend everything together. In this mash-up we blended the fruit separately and left it chunkier. We blended the chicken and squash until smooth because my baby doesn’t enjoy the stringy texture of chicken. Mix, scoop, bag, label, freeze.
(I’m getting tired!)
Naners Apple Drops: Because of a food allergy to bananas, we made these oatmeal biscuits with our apple-pear mash-up instead of bananas. We also added 1/4cup of brown sugar so they are cookies instead. Just go here.
We also tried gelatin squares with our applesauce-pear mash-up and some gelatin. »epicfail« »don’twanttotalkaboutit« (maybe we’ll try that again next time)
DINNERTIME FOR MOMMIES A day that full of cooking requires a night out for adult food. At least it does for us! And the margarita sure didn’t hurt one bit either!!!