Does the world really need another tutorial showing you how to make your own baby food?
It does not.
There’s a million fabulous ones online already. Complete with recipes. Though it’s a little beyond me why you need a recipe to make a single ingredient dish.
But then again there are people like the rich women from Chicago who used to ask me how to cook noodles when I worked at the Amish noodle factory in Shipshewana the summer before college. They honestly didn’t know you just put them in boiling water.
The Amish noodle factory in Shipshewana is a whole other story. Perhaps I will tell it one day. And no I am not, nor have I ever been Amish, or even Mennonite for that matter.
But I’m curious. If you’ve heard of or been to Shipshewana, IN, tell me in the comments. It’s quiet possibly the most famous little town in the world.
Back to baby food.
I just thought I’d tell you what I spent an afternoon doing. I’m a little proud of the fact that I shun jarred baby food, and make my own.
Yes, pride goeth before a fall, but this is where I make up my guilt over not breastfeeding.
So just let me have this, m’ kay?
Just in case you really have no idea how to go about making baby food, here are the directions.
Get some veggies. Since this is for baby I prefer organic. Fresh is best, but for out of season veg, frozen is just fine. Do not used canned. Please.
Steam them on the stove. Not the microwave. The microwave, for reasons I do not fully understand, removes all the nutrients. Boiling removes a lot of them.
O.K. Now, I am going to show you how to rig up your own steamer if you don’t have the real thing. It’s simple, and you’ve got to have something in your kitchen you can use.
I use my large stock put and two ceramic casserole dishes, one slightly larger that the other. In the stock place the large casserole on the the bottom, upside down.
Place the smaller casserole right side up on top of the larger one.
Pour a few inches of water in the bottom of the stock pot. Dump your veggies in the small casserole. If you’re cooking something hard like carrots, cut them into small chunks first. They’ll cook faster. Put the lid on the pot.
Bring water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
I can not take credit for this cobbled together steamer. I saw Alton Brown do it on Good Eats.
Veggies are ready when they are fork tender or squish easily. Different veggies need different cooking times, so check for doneness.
So once the veg is cooked, take it out and pulverize it.
It’s easiest done in a food processor, but if you don’t have one a food mill, ricer or even a vigorous workout with a potato masher will do the trick on most foods.
The key is make a lot so that you’re not steaming a small portion for every meal. When the veg is all mashed, dish it out into ice cube trays. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze. Each cubby in the average ice cube tray holds about an ounce which is equal to one serving size of baby food.
Once the cubes of food are frozen solid you can take them out of the trays and store them in little freezer bags or in a large container separated with some wax paper so they don’t stick together.
When baby is ready to eat, grab a cube out of the fridge. You can employ the microwave to defrost since it’s not in there long enough to remove the nutrients. About 30 seconds on the regular setting in my microwave leaves the food at room temperature, just right for little ones to eat.
Of course you can cook hard fruits like pears and apples this way too.
Making your own baby food is really a no brainer. And it doesn’t take that much time. It’s also economical.
I paid $1.59 for a bag of organic carrots. It made 21 servings. Purchasing 21 jars of the least expensive baby food I could find in my local stores would have cost me 7.14. So I think it was worth the small effort.
And It’s kind of fun. At least for me since I like to cook.
Unfortunately there’s no guarantee baby will like your cooking.
Just look at Wade’s face after his first bite of carrot.
His expression says everything.
It seems carrots are not a favorite of his.
He did however like the peas.
And in that he does not take after his mother.
At 34, I still don’t eat my peas.