Its more fun with friends!
And since Eden no longer eats purees, I decided to invite some friends over to make baby food for their children and take some pictures for my blog. We had three babies playing for the better part of a day, and it went surprisingly well! Although there were the obligatory simultaneous meltdowns…
And clearly, the day must be started with a nice chai tea latte
Before I actually made baby food, I had planned on buying a fancy baby food maker. My good friend Jena set me straight and convinced me to buy a Cuisinart food processor instead ($150 at Costco and can be used for so much more than just baby food! I have this one) This was a great decision, because I can make much bigger batches of baby food, so the process goes much faster.
To start with, the girls brought apples, sweet potatoes, carrots, yellow squash, lentils and black beans to make.
Step one, peeling. Lots of peeling.
Next, you want to chop everything into smallish chunks (helps them cook faster than big chunks).
The black beans had been soaked in water over night, to speed the cooking process. Yellow squash was cut in half and the seeds removed (like you would a pumpkin) and then sliced.
Apples must be peeled and cored, so we used my handy apple peeler from Pampered Chef (this one) that I bought for $10 at a garage sale!
The whole carrots were peeled and chopped, but there weren’t a ton of them, so I added some baby carrots which worked fine too. We boiled the carrots, with the water level covering all the carrots.
The sweet potatoes, squash, and apples were all placed in baking dishes, mostly covered in water, and baked at 350′. Sweet potatoes and squash need about an hour, carrots and apples start with 20 minutes and then see where you are at. Your goal for the veggies is to be soft and mushable, if you get my meaning.
Yep. We filled my entire oven.
Beans and lentils we started simmering for one hour, and then checked on them. Cook less time if you want them more firm, more time if you want them softer. Its really personal preference.
And the whole stove.
Once the veggies were done, we pureed them using the Cuisinart. Use the water the veggies were cooked in to puree the food. This preserves the nutrients lost in the cooking process. Apples (and pears, etc.) are naturally watery and don’t need much water added for the puree.
Allie and sweet Adelaide loading up the food processor
The nice thing about this is that the water the fruits are cooked in ends up being juice! We freeze it and thaw when you want to give them juice. The squash was also very watery so needed little added.
Homemade apple juice!
Add more/less water based on the consistency you are wanting. For example, the sweet potatoes needed a bit more water than the carrots. But make sure you don’t use the water the carrots were cooked in to puree them. It has too many nitrates in it, so you need to use fresh water. Also, if you want a smoother texture, but not more liquid, just let the food processor run a little longer.
Once everything is pureed, you can keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days before freezing it. I like two types of ice cube trays (these and these) They are great because they have lids so stack nicely, saving space in your freezer. When filling your ice cube trays, it helps to knock them a few times on the counter to get the bubbles out. Make sure you put the food in the fridge for a few hours before transferring to the freezer so that you don’t lower the temperature in your freezer too much. I like to freeze them overnight and then transfer to ziplock bags (dated so you can keep everything straight). Each cube is a one ounce serving.
And now you have a freezer full of baby food! Yay for good friends and good times!
If you have any questions or there is anything I can clarify, please let me know! I hope you enjoyed this super long post