This round-up is peas, green beans, applesauce, butternut squash and oatmeal.
Here’s what to do:
Get your peas and green beans going on the stove. Meanwhile, take turns with your butternut squash and oatmeal in the microwave. And open your applesauce.
Seem too simple? I promise that’s it; it’s so easy! Here’s the step-by-step details:
Green beans: Grab a bag of frozen green beans. You can use fresh green beans, too, if you like. But either steam them or cook then in a small amount of water on the stove for 7-9 minutes until they are very tender and puree those babies up with your trusty immersion blender. They can be a bit stringy, so make sure to stir your puree thoroughly and reblend as needed before you finish. And add more water as needed to reach the right consistency. Once you’re done, portion it out. One down!
Peas: Same as the green beans. Grab a bag of frozen peas. I follow the package directions, which pretty much entails bringing a small amount of water to a boil in a small pot, adding the peas and waiting for it to return to a boil, lowering the heat and covering the pot and letting it cook for 4-5 minutes. Once they’re done, dump the pot into your immersion blender container – or a bowl of some sort – and blend away. Add more water as needed to get it to the right consistency. Let it cool and portion it out. Done!
Applesauce: You can find organic one-ingredient applesauce. No water, no juice, no sugar, no nothing in it except for organic apples. (Sidenote: They are on the Dirty Dozen list of produce with high levels of pesticides so I do try and go organic for this.)
While the green beans and peas are cooking, open the jar and dish out some applesauce. Whew, that one was tough.
Confession: I did make M’s applesauce when she was first starting solids. I used this recipe and it is delicious. Better than anything that you can buy in a jar. But then she started really eating applesauce and I started using it in cooking and baking more and I just couldn’t peel apples fast enough. So I started buying applesauce in a jar.
Butternut squash: Buy frozen winter squash. Mine comes in a small rectangular pouch – see picture – and has one ingredient: winter squash. That’s all. It’s not been fooled around with. It’s just been picked ripe, cooked and pureed for you. Just for you. It’s waiting there in your grocery store freezer section. Buy a couple and be so happy.
To prepare, plop the whole unwrapped block of frozen squash into a bowl. Cover the bowl (with a lid or wax paper) and microwave for about 5 minutes (check the package directions as this may vary depending on what size you buy). Portion out that lovely, beautiful, silky smooth puree.
Oatmeal: I eat oatmeal for breakfast all the time. It’s really good for you and oh so easy to make yourself from just regular oats. It takes less than 3 minutes to cook it in the microwave. Here’s my detailed instructions.
For babies, wait until the bowl has cooled down after microwaving and spoon the oatmeal into your immersion blender. You’ll need to add lots more water (or formula or milk) as you blend and after you blend because oatmeal tends to gum up a bit as it cools and sits. I check it before I feed it and add more water as necessary so it’s the right consistency.
Last thing on oatmeal: You may need to experiment with the size of bowl you use. I’ve made oatmeal in other homes with other bowls and had it spill over in the microwave while cooking. Not a huge deal, but avoid the mess if you can.
VOILA! You’ve just made a big ole batch of baby food in under 20 minutes. And now you know a few things you can have on hand to be able to make any of these any time. See, you can absolutely do this. Go mama!
When you’re ready for the next round, check out these posts:
Homemade baby food round 2: sweet potato, brown rice, chicken, pears, banana
Homemade baby food round 3: quinoa, peaches, avocado, pumpkin, cottage cheese
Homemade baby food round 4: broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, black beans, Greek yogurt
Homemade baby food round 5: asparagus, barley, edamame, blueberries, mango
Homemade baby food round 6: apricots, prunes, egg yolks, chick peas, blackberries
And if you’re far enough along, take a look at my favorite baby food combinations, including some more interesting purees.
And for the older baby, try homemade squeezie pouches and finger foods.
Finally, here’s the full list of homemade baby food resources.