Saturday, June 14, 2014

Homemade baby purees

How the time has flown by!  Rae is just over 10 months now and starting to eat more and more solid food but this kid still loves her purees.  I started out with the goal of simply attempting to make her own foods at home.  I thought that I would at least give it a shot and buy her jars if that didn't work out, no biggie, never thinking that I would make it this long.

I have loved making her baby food, it has been a great point of personal pride for me through this journey of new parenthood.  It has also been important to me to have some sort of creative or motherly outlet to feel, I suppose, needed.  Switching to formula has been harder than I ever expected and preparing her baby food at home has helped me to feel necessary again.  It's weird to describe, maybe baking and cooking is how I express my love.  Anyways, this whole process has been very cathartic for me and I'm so glad that I can share it with you.

I need to start by telling you that I didn't buy a single thing to prepare baby food.  I registered for a special baby food maker that would steam and puree, I registered for the trays to put that wonderfully prepared food into, I registered for a cookbook to use with that wonderful baby food maker.  I was so excited to nest!  And then along came baby and countless thoughtful and fantastic gifts but no baby food maker, no trays, and no cookbook.  Sure, I wanted all that but I knew in the back of my head that it was ridiculous and apparently everyone else did too!

So I searched all over the baby blogs and recipe sites for how to get started and discovered that I already owned everything necessary to make baby food.  This is what I found to be needed:

  1. Steamer basket, either with a stock pot or in a rice cooker
  2. Food processor or blender
  3. Ice cube trays for freezing
  4. Freezer bags for storing
I then found a fantastic site for food ideas called WholesomeBabyFood.  It is an outstanding source for figuring out how to start feeding solids to a baby!

I love the ice cube trays because they produce perfect little 1oz portions of food.  This makes it so easy to combine different foods for a new flavor every day.  The possibilities are endless and can be somewhat daunting.  If you are a little worried, just do what I did and walk down the baby food aisle to see what those master chefs put together!  

***Tip: the food doesn't pop out like ice, wedge a knife along the side and it will pop right out.  

The cubes are also easy for transporting to daycare.  I simply put 3 cubes in a little reusable storage container and they set it in hot water to heat up.  I also heat up two cubes of fruit purees and mix in plain whole-milk yogurt for a great snack.  

You can adjust the level of smoothness and thickness by adding water to the food processor.  Just be careful about adding too much because freezing can cause some vegetables, like carrots, to become watery.  Speaking of carrots, did you know that carrots spark in the microwave!?  I never knew until I put some steamed carrots in there for a few seconds and they popped like fireworks.  Turns out, it's the high levels of minerals that causes it.  Crazy!

I'm off now to mix a few cubes into Rae's oatmeal.  Have a great weekend!
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