Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Adventures in Babysitting....I mean Baby Food Making

As promised, here are the results of my latest attempt to make Ryan organic, homemade baby food. I had previously made apples (delicious) and sweet potatoes (not delicious to mommy, but Ryan loved them). So I was pretty confident about making more sweet potatoes, carrots, and butternut squash.

I started with the carrots. My husband helped me peel them. I got a gigantic bag at Sprouts since you can't get them at the farmer's market this time of the year. I spent $4.99 for a 5 lb bag of organic carrots. There were tons of carrots. We stupidly tried to put the peels down the garbage disposal, which worked for awhile until it got clogged. And then we spent the next two days trying to fix it. Anyways, we took turns peeling and slicing. We ended up with two tupperware containers full of little carrot medalions.

I made Paul run out to the store and get me a steamer. I didn't have one and this one was $20 and does the trick just fine. I couldn't fit all of the carrots in at once to cook evenly (there were A LOT), so I had to do two sessions of about 40 minutes each. Here they are just cooking away:

Anyways, they were easy to puree. I have a stick blender, also known as an immersion blender. I think I may have mentioned it before. I swear it's as old as I am, but works like a dream. I'll spare you the picture of the pureed carrots because it looks like bright orange poo, but here is a picture after all is said and done and they're frozen blocks of food waiting to be eaten:

Ryan tried them and was iffy. He's been spoiled by bananas, apples, peaches, pears, raspberries, etc, and likes sweets. Which I think is why he loves sweet potatoes so much. Those are easy peasy to make. I did the same thing as last time. Washed 'em, forked 'em, wrapped 'em, baked 'em, and pureed 'em. Here, it actually looks halfway appetizing (I hate sweet potatoes):

These bake up beautifully in about an hour. I let them cool, unwrap them and roughly break them apart like so:

Again, sparing you the view of pureed sweet potatoes. Ryan loves them. I took the leftovers from last time to my mom's even though they're in no danger of expiring. These things can stay frozen for 2 to 3 months. I now have a gallon sized freezer bag full of carrots, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash.

Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of the butternut squash. I really should have, as it was the most interesting of the three to make. I got two at the Farmer's Market. They were a bit pricier at $4 for one squash, so I spent $8. I learned a valuable lesson: the squash really needs to be ripe for it to taste good. One squash was perfect. Beautiful buttery orange color after cooked...even tasted pretty yummy. I cut them in half lengthwise and sprinkled cinnamon on them. Then I placed them face down in a couple of inches of water and baked for about an hour. One squash was awesome. The other.....well, it wasn't quite ripe. I pureed it anyways and let Ryan try it. I'm not sure he was a fan. He likes butternut squash from the jar, but I think mine was a bit tart for him. I plan to mix it with some apples, which he should like.

So that's my latest venture in baby food. This one was a bit pricey, but I have a ton of food that should last a really long time. The only thing is that it's all orange and I can't feed it to him everyday, lest he turn orange. I don't think I'll ever be the mom that feeds her baby homemade food exclusively, much like I never exclusively gave him breastmilk, but every little bit helps and mine is much chunkier than the jarred stuff, so he's getting some texture too.

Now off to make my dinner! And it certainly won't be pureed!

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