Saturday, March 12, 2011

DIY Baby Food PART 2 of 2 & Cupcakes

Well I have returned from my "blog-ation"... it was not intention things just got a bit hectic, I suppose one could say that starting a blog at the same time as retuning to work and transitioning your daughter into daycare is a fairly hefty feat.  It's been about 6 weeks now since I have been back to work, Julia is doing wonderful at daycare and we are really starting to see her personality shine - priceless!! The other day when I dropped her off she went right to the caregiver happily… which was fantastic but almost made me cry haha going back to work after a maternity leave is probably one of the biggest adjustments a family makes after the initial adjustment to having a baby of course ;-)

While being on mat leave you anticipate that dreaded ‘first’ day back to work for months… when we talked about me returning to work one of the things that I wanted to strive for was BALANCE - something I never really had before prior to pregnancy I was a complete work-a-holic and from the time our daughter was born my husband and I agreed that I would only return back to work part-time, and although it has only been 6 weeks I feel that this is going to work well... it allows me time to do all the things that are important to me - well kinda sorta you know what I mean... I am one of those people who always tries to do too much so I have also been making an effort to "balance" all the things that I want to do "I don't have to do everything everyday" and I tell myself this so I try to space things out.  There are always about 65 things that I want to make in the kitchen but only so much time... so I have been prioritizing that also.

On an exciting note little miss Julia has cut molar #4 it was a rough bout of teething many sleepless nights with all her teething she has always got multiple at the same time when her top teeth were coming in she cut all 4 front teeth at same time ouch!! So this bout of teething has been ongoing for the past month so it has posed feeding challenges with a lack of appetite so we have been offering a variety as always and it amazes us how she will take to certain things certain days yesterday she was all about the strawberries and today chili - I have just made a fresh batch of Simply Pure Baby's 1st Chili I will be posting soon!! Other new foods in past few weeks blueberry flax pancake 'cake', and baby's 1st granola we tried that this am and she is still not sure about it will post this recipe soon I have a little more tweaking to do.

-          basic fruit purees
-          finger foods
-          “forbidden” foods under 12 months of age

Ok without further a due "DIY Baby Food Part II"

Cost Analysis of Making Own Baby Food:

Cost was never a factor that we considered as we just knew from the start that we were going to be making our own baby food for nutritional purposes.  But let’s look at the cost for a few basic veggies.

Simply Pure Basic Squash Puree $0.05 per ounce
Simply Pure Basic Pea Puree $0.08 per ounce 
Simply Pure Basic Carrot Pea Puree $0.06 per ounce  
PC organic $0.17 per ounce ($0.77/4.5oz jar)
Heinz (assorted) $0.20 per ounce ($0.89/4.5oz jar)

So the long and the short of it is, it is about 50% cheaper to make your baby food – however, this blog is not about penny pinching but a little extra savings never hurts you can put it back into buying high quality wholesome ingredients.  Here is more info on cost analysis, this is a great website it is actually the first one that I came across when I started making Julia’s baby food and I still reference it frequently. 

Simply Pure Basic Veggie Puree’s  

We already reviewed equipment and cooking methods in part I.  Featured here is butternut squash and peas both suitable as babies first foods and both dead simple to make here is a step by step...

Butternut squash is best local in the fall but those only last so long so lately they have been imported from Mexico, the same procedure is followed for pumpkin, acorn or buttercup squash.  We ate more squash this year then ever before I kept creating all these delicious soups (that is one thing all these puree's show you that anything can become soup) Julia has had each squash on it's own as well as mixed in various combos and butternut 'BN' is the winner.

1) First slice the squash in 1/2

2) Clean out the seeds with a spoon and discard

3) Place face down in a glass pan with about 1/2" of water, cover with foil and bake @375F for 45min or until a fork is softly pushed in (oppsie looks like daddy forgot to remove the sticker)

4) Scoop squash straight into food processor and puree to desired texture
4) Place into ice cube trays and transfer into freezer bags or storage containers once frozen - I missed getting a picture of this step check here for what it looks like 

Now for the peas

1) Purchase a bag of frozen peas (in the summer I used fresh peas)
2) Lightly steam the peas (4-5 min until thawed all the way through)

3) Place into food processor, puree to desired texture adding a little bit of the cooking water as needed - under 8 months you want to strain the peas to remove any extra pieces of "skin" that your baby may not like the texture of and here you have it Simply Pure's Basic Pea Puree
4) Place into ice cube trays and transfer into freezer bags or storage containers once frozen - I missed getting a picture of this step check here for what it looks like 
So here you have it 2 beautiful Simply Pure basic puree's suitable for baby's 1st food... as your baby gets a taste for things individually you can start mixing them peas and BN squash is a lovely combo (add some quinoa flakes for a full balanced meal)

Spices and Baby’s

Around 8 months is when it is safe to start introducing some spices, at this point your baby has already gotten used to some basic purees and will be ready for more new tastes.  Cinnamon and apple is a great first spice.  So we use spices for adding flavour to foods but have you ever thought of the benefits some of these spices have? What are your favourite spices? Upcoming I will post on spices, health benefits and what goes best with what.

Now can anyone guess what has been going on in The Delaney's Kitchen (aka upcoming posts)...

- Baby’s 1st stew pictured below
- Baby's 1st chili & granola
- made my first ever loaf of bread... turned out devine
- I tackled an egg plant, tempha, nutritional yeast and a cashew cream sauce for the best lasanga that we have ever had
- whole wheat rosemary foccacia
- beans and grains 101 – soak what for how long?!
- Oat bars and banana carob granola bars
Baby's 1st Stew
Tempha Eggplant Lasagna with Cashew Cream Sauce
My 1st EVER Loaf of Bread SO EXCITING!!

Never a dull moment... in our kitchen and did you know we don't have a dishwasher - this is something that we need to remedy very soon when we bought our house there was no dishwasher and now that we are settled it is obvious this is an essential purchase that we need to make soon…

Well I think it's a wrap I hope this shows you how simple it is to make basic veggie puree's not only is it more cost effective for you to make your own baby food it is also more nutritious as we have previously discussed.

As I continue build my blog I will give step by step of all the purees that I have made… never enough time in a day.

Upcoming we will discuss seasonal produce and feeding a toddler – portions, snacks and more stay tuned and enjoy your weekend don’t forget the clocks go ahead tonight.

A few more shots of my St. Patty's day cupcakes, we have a dinner party tonight and we were asked to bring dessert which was a perfect excuse for me to practice making and decorating some more cupcakes (recipe to come after they are reviewed at our dinner party tonight - it is the same cupcake as Baby's 1st Cupcake but I changed the icing to a Maple Cinnamon Vegan Buttercream - now that is smooth and so much nicer for decorating) we attempted to shape them into a shamerock haha... see for yourself... do you have any special meals or snacks that you make for St. Patty's day?

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