Recently Penelope has begun eyeing our food rather ravenously. Last week as I chewed on some potato chips she mimicked my every move, chewing up her imaginary chip along with me. Whether I’m ready to accept it or not, my little one is moving on to the next stage:
Cory and I were at the grocery store when we happened down the baby aisle and upon the rows of jarred up, mashed and pureed mush. We knew that we wanted Penelope to have the best start in life, to ward off strange diseases and cancer which could be caused by those pesky pesticides. This is why we steered in the direction of the Earths Best Organic, all natural baby food. They do not include any other ingredients than water for thinning and the pure veggie or fruit that the jar is titled after. Perfect!…well, perfect until we glanced at the price tag. .70 cents per jar! These are TINY little jars, mind you. Each one only keeps for three days in the fridge once opened. We want our baby to eat healthy, but we can’t do it at the cost of using all our income. This is where I got the motivation to go ahead and cook up my own homemade organic baby food.
Research, research, research!
I’m kind of a spaz when it comes to my baby. People I know can give me all the advice in the world about things, but I must go ahead and research it on my own. Just one source will not do! I must read several sources and then come up with my own scheme based on bits and pieces of each one. This is why when I decided to make my own baby food I read upwards of ten different books and websites to figure out which fruits and veggies would be the best choices for my girl. After all the studying, I set out to the local grocery store’s Organic produce section. (which by the way is quite affordable for baby food making since you only really need 1-2 pieces per item in order to fill up a couple trays worth of baby food.)
The winning brood
After much examination of the organic goods I decided upon the following:
- acorn squash
- green beans (from our own garden!!!)
These are all foods that are considered “safe” (or low allergenic) for babies to start out with. I should also mention that in my research I found out the recommended age to start solids is 6 months and you should try one food for several days with no other foods in order to check off possible allergens. Might I also mention that I am not a baby expert, a doctor, a nutritionist or any position which would make my word “THE word”. I am simply a careful mama who is looking out for her baby’s best interest. Take all that I say here as my personal opinions and choices and not as any type of professional advice. (whew, okay, done with disclaimers…on with the show!)
I took all of my beautiful healthy loot, which only cost me under $10, home… (along with a brand new Kitchen Aid steamer set from Target…did you know that steaming is a great method which keeps more of the nutrients in what you’re cooking making it the ideal method for preparing baby foods?!?!) and got ready for a night full of baby food makin’ goodness! During the cooking process, I made sure to document everything with pictures (since that’s how I personally learn best) and will do my best to explain simply how each batch was made. I plan on doing this over several posts this week so please be sure to check back so that you can get in on all the recipes! Everything I make is froze into teaspoon sized ice cube tray servings. This allows me to grab and thaw out exactly what I need. It also makes it possible for me to give the item in its pure form or to easily grab two different kinds of frozen cubes and mix them together. (ie apples with carrots…once I know that both apples and carrots will not cause side effects in my babe, of course) ;) I also would like to mention that these can be safely frozen and used for one month after making them.
- Thoroughly wash your green beans, then snap the ends off.
- fill a pot with about 1-2″ of water and place the beans in the steamer. Steam them for 10-15 minutes until tender.
- Keeping the water in the pan (you will use the nutrient rich water to thin down your mixture as you puree it) transfer green beans into your food processor.
- Puree your little heart away, adding the left over green bean water as needed until you reach a nice, smooth consistency
- Fill Ice cube trays with this delectable mixture, cover with saran wrap and freeze.
- Once frozen, pop the little green gems out of the tray and slide them into a freezer bag marked with the title and the date
There you have it! Delicious, nutritious green bean puree for your special little bundle! <3
Next post….Acorn Squash!