Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Make your own baby food!

One of the awesome things about living in North Georgia in the Summer is getting fresh fruit and veggies here.

Thanks to our almost weekly visits to Jaemor Farms I have a freezer so full of baby food it could last us till spring.

I know generations of babies have been raised on prepackaged Gerber baby food, and I'm sure it's just fine, but since I'm a stay at home mom now with plenty of time to do things for my baby I love love LOVE to make my daughter's meals from scratch.

Honestly, I just don't appreciate the fact that I have NO IDEA when Gerber food is packaged, who handled it, how clean the machinery is, or how fresh the fruit was when it was processed.

Oh, and those little containers of prepackaged babyfood-

pound for pound they cost MORE than homemade organic food.

Also, I always find a special joy in walking through the rows of fresh veggies at the farm where they were grown, picking out the most beautiful apples, the most perfect peaches, the juiciest pears for my little Elsie.

(You don't get that feeling pulling plastic containers from a grocery store shelf.)

I try to make her food each day on the spot, but sadly, those pretty peaches don't stay pretty for long- so I have to prep them and put them in the freezer. (Elsie, sampling a home-made biscuit).

If you want to make babyfood for your little one too, it's extremely easy:

1st) Rinse your fruit and veggies VERY WELL.

2nd) Most fruits and veggies will need to be peeled- The skin contains most of the pesticides (unless you buy organic)

3rd) Some veggies need to be steamed before you can blend them- carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, etc... just steam them for a few minutes to soften them, but don't overcook them or you'll lose all the nutrients. Soft fruits like peaches, plums, apples, and avocados don't need to be steamed.

4th) Put them in the a blender (I use a Magic Bullet- not the Baby Bullet, mind you- but a regular blender will work just fine). Blend them until they're smooth.

5th)Pour the puree into ice cube trays and freeze until hard

6th) Store the cubes in plastic ziplock bags or tupperware- make sure to label your babyfood very well- You'll need to mark what's in the bag, and the date you made it because once your freezer starts to fill up, it becomes harder to recall whether those orange cubes are carrots or sweet potatoes. If you're storing your food in tupperware, make sure to use a dry erase marker instead of a sharpie, so you can reuse your boxes. If you don't have a dry erase marker handy, a piece of masking tape works great as a label.

If you think I'm nuts, go try this:

Go buy a fresh peach and a container of peach babyfood.

Put the peach in a blender and taste it.

Tastes like a peach, right?

Now taste the factory-made baby-food.

What's it taste like?

Feet. That's what.

One more bonus- Always having frozen fruit around means you can toss a couple of your fruit cubes in the blender with some ice cream or fro-yo and you have a milkshake or smoothie!

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