Thursday, July 19, 2012

Baby Food - Batch Cooking


Baby Food!

I have been making baby food for a few months now.  I typically make a little here and there.  When we have fruits of vegetables I do not think we are going to eat before they go bad, I make baby food.  Well today I decided to try batch cooking some baby food.  I made apples, plums, and sweet potatoes.  I have made apple baby food several times, but this was my first try with sweet potatoes and plums.  I am going to take you through the general steps I took to make the baby food.  For specific steps on each type, check out my post on apples, plums, and sweet potatoes.

Step 1:  Wash all of the produce.  I cooked the sweet potatoes in the oven, so I preheated my oven before I started washing the produce to 400 degrees.

Step 2: Prepare the produce and start cooking.
  • Sweet Potatoes:  I started with the sweet potatoes because they had the longest to cook.  I pierced the potatoes with a fork, put them in the oven (400 degrees), and set a timer for 45 minutes. 
  • Plums:  Then I went on to the plums.  I cut an X on one side of each plum (to help remove the skins after they cooked) then place them in a pot with about 2 inches of water.  Once they came to a boil, I let them cook for about 5 minutes while I prepared the apples.
  • Apples:  While the plums and sweet potatoes were cooking, I peeled, cored, and chopped the apples.  I put the apples in a pot and covered them with water.  Once they came to a boil, I cooked them for 10 minutes.
Step 3: Blend and store. Once I got the apples in the pot and my cutting board cleaned up, the plums were ready.  So, I blended them with a little water until smooth and poured them in an ice cube tray.  After washing my blender, the apples were ready.  Same thing, blended them with a little water until smooth and poured in an ice cube tray.  I also put some of the apples in containers for the refrigerator for Farrah's dinner and breakfast the next day.  After washing the blender and a few more dishes, the sweet potatoes were ready.  Again, I blended them with (a lot) of water until smooth and poured in an ice cube tray and some containers for the refrigerator.  The sweet potatoes took a lot of water.  Around 2 cups.  It is recommended to use your leftover cooking water, but since I baked the potatoes I had no leftover cooking water.  I did have cooking water left from the apples, so I used that.

After about an hour, I had 5 1/2 cups of homemade baby food.  Which, according to my calculations (1/3 cup a serving), equals a little over 16 containers of Gerber 2nd Foods.  I will definitely watch for sweet potatoes to go on sale and make them as often as I can.  The four sweet potatoes I cooked produced a lot of baby food! 

Here's another look at my end results.
Freezer Stash
Refrigerator Stash

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