I wanted to make Kyle's baby food from scratch because it is healthier and cheaper than the stuff you buy in the stores. Granted, I'm sure I'll still feed him a jar of Gerber in a pinch, but for the majority of his food, I'd like him to enjoy freshly cooked fruits, veggies and meats. Mr. Baby deserves only the best and I intend to give him just that. Plus, it's fun and I love to cook.
Before I go any further, I already know what all you seasoned mommies are thinking; "Ha! First child. She'll be buying cases of baby food by the time the next one (or four) come along!" Well, by the time number five comes along, I plan to be such a pro at baby food making, it will come as naturally as putting a pot of water on to boil. Of course, as with many aspects of my life, much will depend on my living situation in coming years. But, I hope to have the cooking resources to make food for all my little ducklings.
Hoping he would still be out in the middle of September, I headed straight for my favorite roadside peach vender early last week and purchased a peck and a half of those delicious, juicy things. It was a sad farewell, as I have frequented his little spot throughout the summer and thoroughly enjoyed fresh peach on my cereal every morning. Along with savoring a few more mornings full of cereal splendor, I plan to use some of the peaches to make Kyle peach baby food for this fall and winter. Likely I will use this as a sweet treat every once in a while so that he doesn't eat all his summer peaches too quickly. In addition, I will peel and slice a few peaches for myself, to freeze and pop out occasionally for a reminiscent moment of summer. Here they are hard at work ripening to perfection on my kitchen counter:
In addition, I grabbed some squash, sweet potatoes and carrots while I was out so I could have a whole baby food cooking day in my lovely kitchen. Little Baby Saint will be eating good this fall without a doubt. I can hardly wait to feed him these fruits and veggies prepared with much love.
Certainly a cooking spree calls for an apron. For baby food making day, I'm donning this one which my mother in
law love made me for Christmas a couple years ago. It hangs in my laundry closet and I do enjoy wearing it ever so much.
Alright, now that I'm dressed for the occasion, I can begin.
Oh wait, I'm still caring for a (mobile) baby. Stop and check on him....
Ok, he is harmlessly playing with his car seat. I can proceed.
For the recipes I used a book which a friend suggested to me. It's called Mommy Made and Daddy, too!; I bought it used on Amazon for nearly nothing and like it a lot! Making fruit and vegetable purees doesn't exactly call for a science book, but there are other great recipes for combination foods once Kyle is a bit older. In any case, I used the recipe for this one. Well, sort of; about as much as I follow any recipe. It called for butternut squash. But, I couldn't find that at Aldi, so I used summer squash instead..... First I put the squash on a tinfoil lined baking sheet and pierced it a few times with a fork. After it had baked for nearly an hour, with one flop in the middle, I took it out of the oven and sliced it in half to let it cool.
Scraping the seeds was therapeutic for some reason and I enjoyed it. Peeling the skin off, however, wasn't quite so fun and took a little more work than the recipe let on. Maybe it's because I didn't use the correct kind of squash. No problem, I just spent an extra minute on peeling. In the blender it went and I had to add a bit of h2o to the pulp to get a smooth consistency.
Gotta go check on sweet baby and see if he's awake from his morning nap.
And he is..... Just laying in his crib swinging his sock monkey around and talking to himself. Good boy.
Can't get back to the cooking just yet, since it is now lunch time.
Roll up baby sleeves and get right to business. Yum - oatmeal with bananas. Just wait until you taste these delicious treats Mommy is cooking up for you.
Now that Kyle is fed and happy, he can play while I get back to work.
On to the carrots........
Into a steamer basket they go above a small amount of water. Secure the lid and steam for 10-12 minutes, replenishing water as needed.
Blend with as much cooking water as needed to achieve desired consistency.
Stop to see what kind of trouble sugar baby is getting into.....
"Just sunbathin' Mom, don't worry about me....."
Okay. Back to the matter at hand.
Fill an ice cube tray with blended vegetables and freeze. Once frozen, you can pop them out and freeze them in snack size zip-lock bags in sets of three or four. At dinner time, I'll just grab a cube and thaw it in a dish sitting in warm water. Or, if I plan ahead, I'll thaw the next days fruits and veggies in the fridge the night before.
Does it get any easier than this?
In the cookbook there was a nifty suggestion for how to easily peel the peaches by submerging them in boiling water for a minute beforehand. I was too
lazy eager to get started, I skipped that part. Maybe it would've paid off in the end and made peeling fifteen peaches go a bit quicker (yes, I only did half the peaches I bought, and I still ended up with a TON of peach puree). Nevertheless, I enjoyed peeling them at my kitchen sink with the window open and the breeze blowing in......
......And watching my pretty blue bowl fill up with yumminess.
You steam the peaches the same way you do the carrots, only these are done within two to four minutes.
(Notice my lit candle in the background. It was a gifty wifty from my mommy because she knows how I love love love fall.)
Go back to check on Rolly Polly before blending the peaches.
Find him trying to make a break for it. Once I'm sure he can't reach the doorknob, I make my way back to the kitchen.
This container holds fourteen cups. I'd say I've got around ten cups here. Tons of baby peaches. And plenty of frozen peaches for Mommy or for making more baby peaches later.
I won't bore you with the sweet potatoes. They are prepared almost exactly like the squash. Sadly, I can't add brown sugar and pecans just yet, but hopefully he will like them plain.
And that, my friends, is how mommy makes baby food.