Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Homemade Baby Food - Easy Peasy!!
After having my second child in April, I have again started a baby food making factory in my kitchen. Okay, not so much a factory. Just production. It's inexpensive, easy, and quick. You don't need any special kitchen tools. (I do have some because I like to do canning and preserving and use it for those). Here's a quick tutorial, if you'd like to give it a try.
A few tips. Start with fruits and vegetables, they are easiest to make. This same method is used for most foods. The more you cook it, the fewer nutrients are left in it. Cook it for the least amount of time possible to make it soft. The microwave is good for this, although I prefer the stove top.
Peaches for Baby
Thoroughly wash the peaches. Anything on the outside of the peach, can be transferred to the inside when you cut them.
Core and peel the peaches. I was cutting a few up for dinner. If you have a squeezo type machine, leave the skins on and the squeezo will take them off.
Steam with a scant amount of filtered water on the stove until soft. (I skipped this step because my peaches were extremely ripe ans soft.
Run through a puree machine (I am using a squeezo type that I use for jelly and jam making with the apple/pumpkin screen.) You can also use a food processor or blender with a bit of filtered water.
Sterilize an ice cube tray or mini-muffin tin in the dishwasher or by boiling for 10 minutes, and dry with a clean towel. (I do this ahead of time.)
Fill the tray with the puree, 1 tablespoon is a great serving size, and put it in the freezer overnight.
Pop the frozen puree out of the ice cube try and transfer into a Ziploc freezer bag labeled with the name and date. These are good for 3-5 months. Here are some pears I did over the weekend.
Sometimes I freeze the pulp, like this kiwi pulp, so that I can add it into other foods. I'll be making kiwi banana and kiwi strawberry with this. (Plus, a kiwi sauce recipe I want to try out.)
Take out one cube at a time and thaw in the refrigerator or warm as needed.
This doesn't have to be a major project separate from your everyday cooking. I generally make it as I am getting supper ready in the evening. If you are looking for a great resource to making baby food, Feed Me, I'm Yours, is excellent. My mom passed me her copy that she used for my sister and me.
If you're asking yourself, "Why on earth would she do this?" The quick answer is that I know how everything is processed and exactly what is in it. It contains no preservatives or additives and because the servings are closer to what a baby will actually eat, so there is less waste. As a bonus, it saves money, because I make it out of food that I am already preparing for my family.
Or I'm just crazy. It could be that, too.