Thursday, May 01, 2008

making baby food

Perhaps I'm not the only one who finds this whole baby-food-making thing so wonderful. On the off chance that you find it interesting too, I thought I'd take a few pics of my process, so you can see what I do. I feel very pleased with myself that I can feed my babies all this home made goodness.

So here's how I make carrots.

I start with organic carrots. This time I got a big bag of 'mini' carrots at Costco - they were a good price, and already all washed and peeled and cut into manageable sizes. So that saved the whole peeling and cutting step for me.

I put them in a glass bowl and add some filtered water.

I cover, then cook them in the microwave until very soft. For this quantity I think it was 15 - 20 mins total (I was multi-tasking making dinner, so I just kept testing and adding time).

Then I puree in the same bowl with my hand blender.

Et Voila! Nice and smooth!

Then I put them in trays to freeze. I have a couple different kind of trays. Each cube is approximately one ounce serving.

And a little bit goes into a bowl in the fridge for serving in the next few days.

Next up - sweet potatoes. The process is basically the same - except these did not come pre-prepped. Some places sell bags of cut up sweet potatoes or squash, but I have not found an organic one. But these are pretty easy to cut up, and you don't have to be at all precise about it.

Whole sweet potatoes. washed.

Cut in cubes and ready to cook.

Cooked. Also with some water in the bowl and then steamed in the microwave.

Cook them until very soft - it takes a while. But then they puree really easy. Also with the hand blender.

Here's some of the finished product ready to serve in the fridge. Along side the days worth of pumped milk (yes, that's all from one day - and I wasn't done yet), the soy yogurt, the soy milk, and toward the back you see a glimpse of Danny's big bottle of prune juice. :-)

Here's what they look like when they come out of the freezer in cubes. This is carrots, and some white sweet potatoes from an earlier batch. This is a dinner serving of veggies for two babies - two cubes (or about 2 ounces) of veggies each. I will defrost these in the microwave, add 3 ounces of breast milk, and enough baby cereal to thicken.

And here is dessert - a cube of frozen mango, and a cube of frozen prunes. This is for one baby.

Dinner is ready to go - the cereal described above - split in two, so this is what one baby gets for dinner. And dessert - the mango, prunes and a spoonful of fresh applesauce. Danny ate all of this.

Oh and while I was at it I figured I'd show you what I do with the bananas - or the first step anyway. Because bananas all get ripe on the same day. And I don't know about you, but I have a very narrow range of banana ripeness that I prefer. These are some lovely little organic bananas that I got at Trader Joes. Almost bordering on too ripe by the looks of them, but they tasted perfect.

I cut them in about 1-inch pieces, and spread out on a cookie sheet on wax paper. This goes into the freezer. Then when frozen solid I pop them off and put in a freezer bag. Then I have a bag of frozen banana chunks, and I can take out just one or two pieces to thaw, mash up, and feed the babies. I also use these in my smoothies. Perfect.


GLouise said...

Wow, this is brilliant! I love the illustrations!!

Mind if I ask where you bought your little cube-trays? Are they especially for baby food making?

Oh, and I would love to see your baby food "menus" :-)

Gracias :-)

Jaimie said...

You are awesome! I tried making some carrots one day. It took way longer than I though it would. I cooked and cooked some more. I pured and had trouble with that. (I don't have one of those handy things you have). Anyway, I was so proud of my carrots. I presented them to Jake. The little stinker absolutely refused to eat them!!! He loves the packed carrots. I thought mine would taste better. I was greatly saddened. So I tried with peas, which he also loves. I started with a bag of frozen peas. By the time I got the peas all strained, I had a whopping TWO servings. I was so mad. My husband came in and patted me on the head and told me just to buy them. I told him I was trying to give our son something better. He laughed because he saw the mess I made in the kitchen. Jake DID gobble the peas up though. I keep forgetting to get sweet potatoes though. I love them and so does Jake. Those at least I know I can make!

beagle said...

Great tips!

Stephanie said...

thanks for the insight. This is something I am very interested in. PLease continue to share with us what and how you make baby food as you exspand you baby's menu.

Bea said...

These are great! Didn't mean to bully you into the labels, by the way. But I am hoping to come back to these posts in a few months for some tips!


Anonymous said...

Carol, Hi! This is so helpful, thanks for sharing. So far I've tried your banana trick and it works like a charm. Hope you and your family have a wonderful week!