Thursday, April 8, 2010

Green beans, carrots, and winter squash

I was uploading pictures of the little guy last night and realized that I had taken some pictures of baby food making and never wrote about it. Overall, the baby food has been going very good. I really thought that I would start this project and after about a week realize that it is time consuming and resign to buying baby food. That isn’t the case, though. Each time I make the food it takes anywhere from 15 – 30 minutes (minus cooking time which I don’t count because it is either steaming or baking and neither of these methods take any effort on my part).

I have made green beans, carrots, and winter squash since my last post. I made the green beans and carrots at the same time and that is when I took the pictures. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of the squash. I bought frozen organic green beans and just steamed them. I used the water from steaming to help with the consistency. My son was not at all impressed with the green beans. I even added some butter and salt the second time around, but still no luck. Fortunately, I didn’t make a huge amount, but now I do have pureed green beans just sitting in my freezer. The carrots were on sale, so I got the organic baby carrots for $1. I also steamed those, but I read somewhere that the water from steaming should not be used when pureeing due to high nitrate content, so I used formula instead. The carrots also did not go over very well at first, but I think that it was mostly from confusion. They look very similar to the sweet potatoes and I am sure that he thought that’s what he was getting and was surprised when it wasn’t what he tasted. Anyway, the second try with carrots went much smoother and they are in our regular rotation now.

A couple of weeks later I decided to tackle squash. Quite honestly, I was kind of frightened of it. I think that it’s because I don’t eat much squash, so it felt like unfamiliar territory. I couldn’t even tell you which kind of squash I used. I had a friend with me (who has a pretty green thumb) and she helped me choose one. I cut it in half, put it face down in a casserole dish with about an inch of water and baked it for about 1 ½ hours at 400 degrees. The recipe suggested 40 minutes, and the skin should “pucker” and the squash should feel soft, but mine was doing neither, so I increased the time. In retrospect, I wish that I would have done less time because it did start to burn a little around the skin. After it was finished baking and cooling, I peeled it and used the water from baking in the puree. Squash was an instant favorite with my son. He actually had it for the first time for Easter dinner and it is eaten regularly now.

I have only made four different types of food, but he also eats rice cereal (which I bought organic, but have not made myself) and avocado at every meal. Avocado is still his favorite (I would have never guessed that in the beginning) with the winter squash and sweet potatoes a close second. I rotate the carrots, potatoes, and squash, and for at least right now, this seems to be plenty of variety for him. I am also introducing a sippy cup with apple juice (store bought organic that is quite watered down). He had the same reaction to the juice that he did the carrots, but now he likes the taste.

I did learn something with the avocado. When I originally froze the pieces, I just chopped it up and put them in a Ziploc bag in the freezer. The pieces ended up frozen together and difficult to break apart. This time I cut the pieces and just set them in one of the trays and once they were frozen I put the pieces in the Ziploc bag. Now each piece is separate and it is much easier to grab one to thaw.
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