Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Solids!



I have a Plan vs. Reality: Solid Foods in the pipeline, but until I get around to that, here's a photo essay of what has turned out to be Baby J's favorite veggie so far: Green Beans and Mint. I have been having a lot of fun making all of her food (which was the plan and is turning out to be a really delightful reality..hm, maybe I can cancel that post!) and thought it would be neat to photograph the process. This recipe is from Cooking for Baby, by Lisa Barnes.

Green Beans with Mint.

1. What you need:

In this picture we have the green beans (organic, bought frozen) which have been steamed, fresh mint, reserve water from cooking the beans, and a blending device. I already use the Magic Bullet for grinding coffee and spices and making smoothies but have never loved it more than now, when I'm pureeing LOTS of baby food. Not pictured is the optional couple tablespoons of olive oil.

2. Combine and blend!

And it is pretty much that easy. I needed to use some of the reserved water to get the puree to the consistency I wanted - this is suitable for 7 months and up. The mint was chopped before going into the bullet.


The whole thing took about 15 minutes, including cooking the green beans, which really isn't bad. But the key to this really being a time saver is to make up a bunch and then freeze it. Pretty much all of the purees we have tried so far freeze well, and will last for several months frozen. I have tried a couple freezing methods: these individual containers and an ice-cube-like tray contraption.

We use both regularly, but the individual containers are our favorite. Much less handling of the food, and it's a lot easier to grab from the freezer and go. We used them for this recipe:


and here they are in the freezer with some pears:


I always taste the food I make for J, and I have to say this stuff is REALLY GOOD. That alone makes me feel good about it (have you tasted jarred baby food lately?) but I also really like knowing that I am feeding her organic food without any preservatives. Another plus is that I have more control over portion size - right now when she doesn't eat as much I can just offer her an ounce, later when she eats more there will be more. And overall this actually costs a little less than jarred babyfood, although that does depend on what brand you're buying.

I keep going on about the yumminess to Andrew, who dryly reminds me that I could turn just about any of these into a soup if I really wanted to be eating it myself. Maybe I will. Or, in the case of the peach puree, I might just grab a couple spoonfuls for myself next time I crack open a container for baby girl.

10 comments:

  1. Ironically, I HAVE tasted commercial baby food recently, and it's disgusting. I'm surprised you say it's only a little less expensive than buying jarred baby food - I would have thought it would be a lot less.

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  2. I haven't made baby food yet, I'm planning to though. My friend bought the fancy pants baby food mill, but I think my Cuisinart is up to the challenge. I've been using jarred food for convenience but now that both you and she tell me how easy it is, I'll just try it this weekend. I have a question though, one organic brand that I bought lists the ingredients as whatever veggie it is and then water. But how does it keep shelf stable?

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  3. sunflowerchilde: I think it depends on what you're making. I bought fresh mint and organic frozen green beans, add in the nice olive oil we like and it comes out to about the same as the Earth's Best organic green beans. A different, less expensive, recipe would be a much better deal financially.

    awomanmyage - you can freeze it to keep it stable, but don't leave it in the fridge for more than 2-3 days. We will usually take out whatever food from the freezer for a day's food the night before and put it in the fridge, unless we've made it that day or are sure to go through it all in 3 days, as we've been doing with pears lately.

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  4. I would never have thought of that combo, and I'm thoroughly intrigued: thanks for giving me something to try out in the next few days!

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  5. glad J is taking to your homemade food. i teach infant nutrition classes and wouldn't you know it...my son WILL NOT eat any of the food i have made for him. as a last resort i tried the bought food (was so embarrassed to buy it) and that is the only thing he'll eat, and even then not much of it. i'm pretty sure it's a texture thing.

    loving the mint/bean combo though, i'll have to suggest that in my next class!

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  6. I LOVED making those first foods. all organic, totally delicious. never tried green beans though, and the mint sounds so refreshing. maybe thats what my baby J need to help her tolerate greens, which are not her favorite. she much prefers the sweet stuff: yams, squash, fruits, etc.

    I thought the jarred foods were awful. plum organics in a pouch were a little better. but I only used them while traveling and she didn't love them.

    enjoy it while you can because as soon as she can start feeding herself, she may be less into the purees.

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  8. This looks amazing--I'm totally stealing your recipe when the time comes. ;)

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  9. I made ALL of my son's babyfood until he was about 8-9 months old when I had to go back to work and just wasn't able to. We used ice cube trays which worked wonderfully. After the food froze, I dumped the cubes in gallon freezer bags. Each bag a different food. Like you said, when he only ate a little I thawed 1-2 cubes, but as he began eating more...he'd eat 3-4. It worked perfectlly and was definately cheaper and healthier.

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  10. Just wanted to let you know I made the green beans and mint and my son loves it! It's a hit. I once gave him some Heinz peach baby food and he made this horrible face. I tasted it - he was right. Not buying that brand again. I've tried Earth's Best organic baby food and it's pretty good. But I'm going to be making more of my own food. Thanks for the inspiration!

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