As you all know, we are a wee bit occupied with not so fun hospital stuff right now. Baby C is getting all patched up and God willing, we will be back to the swing of things in a couple weeks. In the meantime, we have queued up several cool event postings and also lots of guest bloggers for while we are away (you know I wouldn’t leave you hanging!)
Today’s Guest Post is brought to you by Robin at ‘The Heart of Cooking”. I have known Robin since kindergarten – literally! She is now a mama of two handsome boys and she blogs about her cooking adventures – I hope you will check out her blog too!
Homemade Baby Food ~ In the Slow Cooker
I think jars of baby food are so cute. Lined up on the shelf, really, to me they are irresistible and so well, baby-like. Resist them, I do, though! As cute as they are, it is SO easy to make baby food and very cost effective. I also really enjoy making food for the rest of the family and wanted to do it for baby too! With my first, I had a fancy baby food maker (it was a gift) and I realized I was not making as much food as I could. I graduated to a steamer basket and food processor and started freezing the food.
Now as I am making it for my second, I am experimenting with the crock pot. Hey more is better right? Sometimes, I just put some of what we are having aside and blend it up, ie soup, avocado, a side dish of roasted root dishes, etc. I love that but I can’t always guarantee we will be having food that is compatible so how nice to have some stock piled in the freezer. Honestly, that is what he eats most.
In my experiment, I wanted to use seasonal and organic and I wanted to try several different foods. I ended up making enough for a baby army. I shared it with two other babies, I made that much! I guess I am a believer in more is better!
I used sweet potatoes, butternut squash, beets, parsnips, and carrots. I peeled the parsnips, beets, sweet potatoes and squash and rough chopped (really rough) everything to about the same size for even cooking (this is important)-this took me less than five minutes. I dumped them in the crock pot and added enough water to cover half the vegetables. I tossed in a little vegetable broth that I had left over from the night before. I put the crock pot on high for four hours and once an hour brought the bottom vegetables to the top. I let it cool and, in batches, pureed it in the food processor with the liquid. You may not need all the liquid but reserve it until you get the consistency you want. Then I put it in ice cube trays and freeze it. It only takes about 30 minutes to defrost. Oh, and the food was really good. Hubby and I both tried it and it really could have been soup.
The cost break down: I used the average baby food jar size of four ounces. My baby food ended up costing me about .36 cents for FOUR OUNCES. Remember though, I used all organic and most of it was locally grown. It could be done even more inexpensively with produce on sale. I’m even starting to grow my own produce now which will make it practically free! Did you hear that, Kate?!?!
(Yes, I did. ~ Kate)
The sweet potatoes and butternut squash puree really fine, so those would be good for first tastes.
The carrots and parsnips add a little more texture so those might be better for babies over six months.
The beets are so beautiful and red but that makes them a bit more messy. The shoulders of some of my shirts may or may not be permanently red. So careful there.
You could use one of these vegetables, or any combination of these vegetables. So, for approximately .36 cents per serving and less than 10 minutes active prep time, you can have home made baby food and perhaps even be in the running for mom of the year.
Happy Cooking!! ~ Robin
Thank you so much to Robin for sharing! Please check out her blog www.theheartofcooking.blogspot.com for more awesome cooking tip!