October 30, 2011

Adventures in Baby Food Culinary Awesomeness

Yesterday was so gross. Just so so gross. Some people got snow, but we got rain.

I was too chicken to poke my head out the door,
but it was just gross.

I don't think I can use the word "gross" enough to explain what yesterday was like.


We didn't leave the house, and it was just a bum around kind of day. I started getting antsy around noon and the house was already clean and I had a random squash laying around the house...so I made some baby food.

And now...I will share my baby-food-making-wisdom. Even though it's not wisdom at all. You can find ways to make baby food all over the internet. My particular favorite is Wholesome Baby Food because EVERYTHING about babies and solids is right there.

So anyway...this is a butternut squash, and in the background is an oven preheated to 400 degrees:

The immature perv in me giggled at the shape of this squash, a little bit.
Always in the gutter, my mind is.

Clean the squash. This little guy (a guy, for ooooobvious reasons) got chopped into a bunch of pieces like so:

And then I scooped out the seeds (like a pumpkin!)

See ya later, seeds.

Arrange your squash pieces flesh side down onto a baking pan filled with about an inch of water, like so:

I like to use foil, but I also hate scrubbing pans.
I can't be the goddess of domesticity every day, you know.

Roast the squash for about 45 minutes. When it's done the skin should be blistering away from the squash:

"I've got blisters on me fingers!"

The next step is very important: LET IT COOL. My overeager self thought, 'How bad could it be? I'll be careful.' There is no such thing as carefully handling food that has been heated to 400 degrees. Unless you use an oven mitt, so just let it cool. At least until you can handle it.

Once it's cool enough, scoop the flesh away from the skin.

And put it into your blender or food processor. There are all kinds of gadgets that are specially made for the purpose of making baby food, but I have a blender and my blender has a "puree" button, so it works for me and it was already in my kitchen so I didn't have to spend a ridiculous sum of money on yet another gadget. WIN.


Add water (preferably the water it was cooked in to keep the nutrients and not simply water it down). And puree.

After. I think it's gross,
but Peyton sure does seem to enjoy it.

Once that's done, spoon the puree into ice cube trays:


And freeze. Throw the frozen cubes into a freezer bag and they'll be good for about three months.

I bought two butternut squash at like, $1.50/lb., which yielded 64 cubes (approx. 1 oz. per cube, and 16 average jars of baby food). A four ounce jar of organic baby puree is about $0.70 each, give or take a few cents. My homemade food is about $0.30 for every four ounces. Sure, it's only a $0.40 difference, but that sure will add up as Peyton starts to eat more. Plus I have peace of mind that I made it myself and know exactly what's going into my baby's little body. Plus I have a jar of organic squash sitting in one of my cabinets and the expiration date isn't until December 2013. I kind of question anything that can stay fresh for so long.

Don't get me wrong; I will buy SOME jarred baby foods, specifically those foods in which high levels of nitrates are likely to appear, and the nitrate levels are screened in commercial baby foods: carrots, spinach, etc. But if I can save by making my own squash, apples, pear, sweet potatoes (which I have already), and other awesome foods, then BY GOLLY I WILL.

Anyway, here's my sweet pumpkin, whose first Halloween is TOMORROW!

Halloween pics forthcoming. Once Halloween actually happens.

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