Ash and I went at it again. Our 3-month expiration date from the first baby food experiment was two days away. I forgot my food processor, but her extremely nice and helpful neighbor brought over her brand-new, never-before-used baby food maker, the Babea Babycook. This little machine, which we thought would be a disaster, is designed for making a day to a weeks worth of food at once. Say you want to make carrots (which unfortunately Ash’s baby HATES, so we didn’t try it with them), you just pop in the hard, fresh carrots, add water to the left compartment in the picture and flip the switch to steam. Wa-lah. No extra dishes. One you are done steaming the carrots all you need to do is remove the plastic steamer part and replace with the orange cover. The blender/food processor does it all. It will mash these to the perfect pureed consistency needed for baby food. I’d stray away from the recipes in the book, but if you want to create gourmet baby food, they incorporated together such things as tomatoes, basil and pasta. The book did have a great way of showing the food groups and how you met all of them for your baby.
This time around, Ash and I used our brains to make everything run more smoothly, or so we thought. This really is a process, but if you only do it every three months, worth every minute spent. So, thanks again to Tobi for teaching me how to cook a butternut squash because it saved us half an hour of sawing, trying not to cut our fingers off, and a much easier cook time/mash span. All you have to do is cut the squash in half, add a little olive oil to a roasting pan to keep it from sticking, and broil for 15-25 minutes or until the squash is soft all around. The peel will then just spoon off and you can easily run your knife through to create manageable sized pieces for blending. We also found roasting the potatoes, while creating another skin, uses less time. The steamer would have been perfect for the sweet potatoes. We also utilized the potato peeler and apple cutter this time around.
As Ash’s baby is now in the 6-9 month range, we were able to eliminate adding formula to his fruits and veggies. Also, there was no allergic reaction to the first round, so we were able to mix and match. Ash found that he wasn’t a huge fruit fan, so hopefully by making combinations such as squash, apple, banana, and pineapple he will be more keen on eating the fruits. Squash and sweet potatoes were among his favorites, so we made extra of these. We also used new fruits and vegetables, not mixing the new ones together but rather putting one new fruit in with a mix of things we know he is not allergic too. The only downfall to not adding formula this time around was the fruits are naturally watery and needed something extra to make them less of a soupy disarray. The sweet potatoes, corn, apples, and banana needed the added juice to fully dissolve, so were great pairs for the marsh-like fruits such as cantaloupe, honey-dew melon, clementine and pineapple.
The corn, green beans, and peas were a LOT easier this time. We learned from shelling sweet peas, that all your hard work amounts to minimal food. The frozen vegetables and fruits aren’t coated in a syrup or anything unheard of for babies to eat. We were able to heat these up in the microwave or on the stove top then simply liquefy them in the blender.
It was easiest to blend everything, set each food aside next to a label and then mix them all together at the end in a bowl. This created a lot of dishes, but wasn’t a problem thanks to her handy dishwasher. Her sticker label system and perfectly portioned containers again worked great for stacking in her freezer and pulling one by one to defrost in the fridge. It’s a fun project for anyone that has children starting on solids.