Thursday, August 23, 2012

Three Things Thursday: Life outside the cube

She had it all - a plan, the will and the Beaba.

One of my best girlfriends, who gave birth 6 months before me, was determined to make her own baby food purees. It was a way for her to contribute to the family, as she said, and provide nutritional, chemical free food. She said that it was easy and took but a couple hours a week.

How to use puree baby food

Inspired by Heather, I committed to the same. Or my version of same. Heather's schedule had a bit more flexibility in her day to make the purees each week. I was afraid that with working, I wouldn't have the time every weekend. I decided that it would be best for me to make in bulk.

And I mean bulk. I made 10 pounds of steamed, then pureed, sweet potato cubes; five pounds of carrots; and what had to be at least 10 pounds of pears and apples. There was banana, too, and avocado. (I saved things like green beans and peas for Gerber.)

Recipes using pureed baby food

The things I failed to realize, as my food processor whirred with exhaustion, was that Heather is a stay-at-home and would be offering every meal - not just the two or three I would be. Oh, and she would be offering meals to her twins. Twins. Double the meals, double the babies.

Ways to use baby food purees
Miles with his friend Luke, one of Heather's twins
She made purees each week; I had enough to make it through another baby. Thank goodness I discovered how to use them without getting knocked up.

 Do you know the muffin (wo)man? The apple and pear purees were the easiest and most obvious choices. Applesauce can be a substitute for oil in baking recipes and the same for pear puree as it has a similar consistency. Both tasted delicious in the Carrot Zucchini Muffins I've baking for Miles and me.

Oat'ncha gonna try it? I am pretty sure that I've tried on more than one occasion to make a carrot cake-inspired oatmeal but have come up short every time. Shredded carrots doesn't magically make it carrot cake. I came close, though, here recently. I defrosted a cube of carrot puree and mixed it into the oats, along with golden raisins, cinnamon, pecans and a packet of Stevia.

Smoothie operator. Every fall, people flip for pumpkin this and pumpkin that - myself included. In my world, though, sweet potatoes aren't that different from pumpkin. I decided if people drink pumpkin smoothies that Miles could drink a sweet potato smoothie. He's been drinking a blended fruit drink at morning snacks lately, and he happily took down a mix of banana, frozen sweet potato, low-sugar apple juice, milk and a dash of cinnamon.

It looked so good that I considered stealing it from him ... until I realized it had dairy. D'oh.


  1. I loved making my own baby food, but I didn't work so it was easy to find the time to steam and puree. but I did get a pretty streamlined process going there after about the first month. I too did it in bulk and one day when Hanna refused to eat any more puree's I had to find some use for them.
    I have Jessica Seinfelds Deceptively Delicious cookbook and I used all of my puree's in recipes like meatloaf and muffins. That got rid of most of them!

  2. That's too funny, I've tried to come up with a recipe for carrot cake oatmeal myself and have failed each time. I'll have to give this a try :)

    BTW, a sweet potato blended drink doesn't sound bad :) Miles is a lucky baby!

  3. Those are great ideas! I'll have to keep that in mind. When my preschooler was a baby, I made his food too, and I did it in bulk. But no parenting manual warned me about the whole "I love sweet potatoes today, and have loved them for the past six months, but tomorrow I will NEVER let them touch my lips ever again" part of parenting. So a huge batch ended up getting frost bitten in my deep freeze. Next time, I'll remember your smoothie trick.

  4. We are just starting foods in our house and the doctor recommended the cube idea. I hope to make a bunch of the foods for L but not all of them..yuck peas. Good ideas on what to use for the leftovers. Knowing me, I will over make it too or make too much of something he will hate. Smoothies..genius.