8.16.2013

Baby Food Making {Part 2}


This go round of baby food making was fun!  I still have quite a bit of puree cubes left in my freezer, but the OCD Type A personality I am, I always want to be prepared.  Over the last month or so I watched my freezer stash dwindle, and it was making me uptight, so over the weekend I decided batch prep and cook some more for my girls.  Now that the girls are much more interested in trying new foods, getting creative with their puree mixtures was super entertaining.  It is sad, but I’m actually more excited about food not requiring teeth more so than my own these days *sigh*
Grocery List
1 (16oz) package frozen mango chunks: $2.88
1 (16oz) package frozen sliced peaches: $2.66
1 (16oz) package frozen whole kernel corn: $0.98
3 apples: $0.99/lb (on sale); $1.76
1 bag carrots (organic): $1.98
3 medium-large sweet potatoes: $0.88/lb; $3.19
3 green pears: $1.27/lb; $1.51
1 haas avocado (on sale): $0.50/each
4 medium zucchini squash: $1.78/lb; $2.22
3 ripe bananas: $0.52/lb; $0.78
1 (18oz) shell blueberries: $3.84 (bought at SAM’s)
1 (32oz) container plain yogurt (organic): $3.24
Total cost: $25.54

Of course this batch cooking included some of our favorites like cinnamon sweet potatoes and banana sweet potatoes (recipes found here) but this go round I added in more fruits and a few more veggies we’ve never tried before.  This time I opted to use some frozen fruit- in particular, the mango and peaches because I found that most of what I was able to get out of the fresh fruit was more expensive than buying it frozen and getting all fruit- not having to mess with the seed and prep of those stone fruits.

When looking for frozen fruits, make sure there is nothing in the ingredients list but the fruit. 

Occasionally there will be ascorbic acid added, and that is okay.  Just stear clear of the added sugars and syrups.


Recipes

Apple & Mango Puree
1 apple, peeled and diced
1 cup fresh or frozen mango chunks
Makes about 2 ½ cups

Place apple and mango chunks into a steamer pan with just enough water visible through the steamer basket. Steam until tender; about 20 minutes.  Place fruit mixture into a blender or food processor and puree. Add water or breast milk as necessary to achieve a smooth, thin consistency.

Depending on how ripe your mango is will determine if you actually need to puree the fruit.  I prefer to puree to make sure there are no large chunks for my babies to swallow.

To deseed a mango: I use a kitchen tool specifically for cutting mangos (found here).  If you do not have one of these tools, start by cutting the mango lengthwise, along the side of the mango pit. You will be cutting off its flesh from one side then repeating the same process on the other side. You will then cut the ends off the mango pit.

Mango & Peach
1 cup frozen mango chunks
1 ½ cups frozen peach slices

Place peaches and mango chunks into a steamer pan with just enough water visible through the steamer basket. Steam until tender; about 15 minutes.  Place fruit mixture into a blender or food processor and puree. If needed, add water or breast milk as necessary to achieve a smooth, thin consistency.


Banana & Blueberry
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 ripe banana, diced
Makes about 1 ½ cups

Place blueberries into a steamer pan with just enough water visible through the steamer basket. Steam until tender; about 15 minutes.  Place berries into a blender or food processor and puree. If needed, add water or breast milk as necessary to achieve a smooth, thin consistency.

Strain blueberry puree through a mesh sieve to remove skins (my girls don’t like the skin texture just yet.)  Add the strained berries and banana into the blender or food processor and puree until smooth.     

Pears, Blueberries & Peaches
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 medium green pear
1 cup frozen sliced peaches
Makes about 2 cups

Place blueberries, pear, and peaches into a steamer pan with just enough water visible through the steamer basket. Steam until tender; about 15 minutes.  Place fruit mixture into a blender or food processor and puree. If needed, add water or breast milk as necessary to achieve a smooth, thin consistency.  If desired, you can also strain the fruit puree through a mesh sieve to remove skins. 


Cinnamon Applesauce
2 apples (Macintosh, Gala or Braeburn)
Makes about 1 cup

Peel, core and cut apple into slices/chunks.  Place slices or chunks into a steamer basket or a pan with just enough water to slightly cover apples. Boil/steam until tender; about 15 minutes.  Place into blender or food processor, sprinkle with about ½ teaspoon cinnamon and process until smooth.

Pear Puree - Basic
2 green pears
Makes about 1 cup

Peel, core and cut pear into slices/chunks.  Place slices or chunks into a steamer basket or a pan with just enough water to slightly cover pears. Boil/steam until tender; about 15 minutes.  Place into blender or food processor. 


Zucchini Squash Puree - Basic 
2 medium zucchini squash
Makes about 1 cup

Wash squash thoroughly and cut into small slices or chunks. Do not remove skins. (*You may remove skins however an infant of 7-8 months old should be able to digest squash puree with skins on)  Place squash chunks into a steamer pan with just enough water visible through the steamer basket. Steam until tender; about 15-20 minutes.

Place into a blender or food processor and puree. Add water or breast milk as necessary to achieve a smooth, thin consistency.  Always be sure to thoroughly wash and cleanse the fruits and vegetables that you will be using to make your baby food- since the skins of the zucchini will be eaten, make sure to gently scrub before steaming and pureeing

Carrots & Zucchini
4 medium carrots
2 medium zucchini squash
Makes about 2 cups

Peel carrots and cut into small chunks.  Cut ends off the zucchini and slice into small chunks.  Place veggie chunks into a steamer pan with just enough water visible through the steamer basket. Steam until tender; about 20 minutes.

Place into a blender or food processor and puree. Add water or breast milk as necessary to achieve a smooth, thin consistency. 

Sweet Potato, Corn, and Apple
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 apple (Macintosh, Gala or Braeburn), peeled, cored and diced
1 cup frozen corn
Makes about 2 ½ cups

Steam frozen corn for 15 minutes.  Puree until smooth.  Strain corn puree through a mesh sieve to remove kernels- remainder will be very watery.  Alternatively you can put the steamed corn through a food mill. 

Place potato and apple chunks into a steamer pan with just enough water visible through the steamer basket. Steam until tender; about 20 minutes.

Place fruit/veggie mixture along with the strained corn into a blender or food processor and puree. Adding water or breast milk won’t be necessary as this puree is very thin already.  I mix this into oatmeal.

Semi-Homemade Yogurt
After chatting with my pediatrician, I came to find out that most recommend starting babies on yogurt around 7-8 months of age.  So the fact that my girls come barreling the moment they hear us pop the seal of a yogurt, is completely okay and they are ready for some yogurt of their own!

After spending 8 dollars on a week’s worth of store bought ‘baby yogurt’ I decided that using a large container of plain whole milk yogurt will save me money (and save on added sugar).  Plus- it gives me the flexibility of adding my own flavorings to the girls’ yogurt.

Banana, Avocado, & Yogurt
1 ripe banana, diced
1 ripe haas avocado, diced
¼ cup plain yogurt
Makes 1 cup

Place banana, avocado, and yogurt in a food processor or blender and process until smooth consistency.  This puree can be very thick- you may add more yogurt, water, or breast milk to thin it out a bit.

Peach Yogurt
1 ½ cups frozen sliced peaches
1 cup plain yogurt
Makes about 2 ½ cups

Place peaches into a steamer pan with just enough water visible through the steamer basket. Steam until tender; about 15 minutes.  Place peaches into a blender or food processor and puree.

Strain peach puree through a mesh sieve.  In a medium sized bowl, mix the yogurt and strained peaches until combined.  Refrigerate to use that same day or the next- immediately freeze the remainder.       

Blueberry Yogurt
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 cup plain yogurt
Makes about 2 ½ cups

Place blueberries into a steamer pan with just enough water visible through the steamer basket. Steam until tender; about 15 minutes.  Place berries into a blender or food processor and puree.

Strain blueberry puree through a mesh sieve to remove skins.  In a medium sized bowl, mix the yogurt and strained berries until combined.  Refrigerate to use that same day or the next- immediately freeze the remainder.       


Reminders for preparation:
-Get a good processor or blender.  Pureeing is so much easier (and quicker!) when you have a good machine.  I love my Baby Brezza- as it steams and purees all in one! 
-Prep all your fruits and vegetables in one step.  Get the 'worst' part (in my opinion) over with right at the start.  After that it’s all about steaming or baking, and pureeing!
-Always be sure to thoroughly wash and cleanse the fruits and vegetables that you will be using to make your baby food.   Even if you are not using the peels or skins, and even if you buy organic, you should always cleanse the produce. I got a tip from a sweet momma-friend in my life about how she 'washes' her produce. Combine a 10:1 water/vinegar solution and scrub the skins of all produce prior to prep- antifungal and antibacterial:)

For storage tips, see the first baby food post here:)

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10 comments:

Sheena said...

This is awesome Amber! I was planning on writing up a post all about baby food making too but I think I'll just type up and little link and send 'em right on over! :)
You're doing such an incredible job and sometimes I wish you're twins were older than mine so I could get all your secrets! :)

Sausha said...

Nice! That looks like fun and yummy :D

Brianne Bracco said...

WOW! You do good mamma!! I am saving these for future reference ;)

Darcy Potter said...

This all looks so delicious I want some ;) Fresh is always best! I am so proud of you for doing all this food prep for Miss P & J...very impressive! Big hugs

Jenn said...

What are your thoughts on using organic vs. non organic produce? I figure as a RD you might have a unique perspective.

I'm glad to see the girls are really getting into all of your puree mixes.

Our Little Miracles

Meredith said...

I loved making homemade baby food for my daughter (I get to do it again for our son that's due in December!) This is a great post! Thank you!

Also, I saw you in the September/October issue of "Taste of Home". Congratulations!

Katie said...

that is awesome! i definitley plan on doing this when addilyn is bigger!

Rochelle Bailey said...

Hi Amber! I make my food too and I LOVE your ideas for food conbminations! 2 questions:

1. When you make the yogurt mixes, do you freeze them?

2. Do you freeze your stuff with bananas? I've frozen plain bananas for my MIL when she was watching my little lady but they thawed brown and yucky. I like the option of mixing banana with something else and then freezing, but want to make sure you freeze it all together!

Lindsey Kinder said...

Amber,
I wanted to ask a question concerning using thr baby breeza and frozen fruit. Did you go ahead and just steam the frozen fruit in your breeza or did you use a seperate pan? I read in your post you mentioned a steam basket so I was not sure.
Thank you!

Amber Massey said...

Lindsey- the Brezza has a steamer option, so I steamed it and then puréed. Recipes are written so that one doesn't necessarily need a machine. Hope that helps!

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