Wednesday, June 2, 2010
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.