September 22, 2009

Homemade Baby Food: Batch One Butternut Squash + Photo Tutorial

After reading many books and discussing options with my doctor I have decided to create my own baby food. This was such a big decision to due the fact that I can not cook!! I will be the first to admit my non-existent cooking skills but I'm pretty sure that it stems from the fact that I truly dislike cooking and I suppose it's hard to be good at something that you hate:) I really enjoying eating however I tell everyone that if I were to win the lottery the first thing I would do would be to hire a personal chef! Forget a nice car, I want good food:)

Anyhoo I went out and purchased a steamer which I figured would be my best bet as far as cooking the food, as it is pretty much plug and play......all you are required to do is add water and set the timer! The following is a picture process of how I prepared my first batch of baby food...which went surprisingly VERY well and My daughter has already enjoyed many servings!
Step 1: Cut squash into large chunks( i hate the word chunks, I'll think of something better later) and hull out the seeds. Do not worry if you miss a few seeds or if you can not remove all the stringiness as this is much easier to remove after it has been steamed:) Also there is no need to remove the skin/shell before steaming as once you have steamed the squash you will scoop the meat out of the shell and into the blender, it's very easy I promise!

Step 2: Once you have steamed your squash, according to the time set by your particular steamer, take a fork and make sure you can easily poke/push all the way through the squash. If the fork easily pushes all the way through than your done steaming and your ready to scoop and blend.

Step 3: Scoop squash meat out of it's shell and into your blender or food processor which ever you prefer:) Make sure you remove and discard the excess seeds that you may have missed. You will need extra water for blending so for this you can use the excess water left in the tray of your steamer, see picture below, this water contains many of the vitamins that may have lost during steaming.

Step 4: Your almost done!! That wasn't so hard was it!! All you have left to do is blend and freeze. Blend until you achieve a very smooth and creamy texture, see picture below. Here's a tip on blending, if it seems as if your blender is churning away yet the squash is not moving than you may need to add more water. I have found that this usually gets things moving. Also with larger foods like squash you will have to scoop and blend a few times as it will usually not all fit into the blender at once.

Step 5: Scoop squash out of blender and into ice trays for freezing, they sell special ice trays just for this purpose that are bpa free and safe for baby food, I have since purchased these. They are also nice for freezing breast milk as they come with airtight lids! Once frozen, approx. 12-14 hours simply pop the food cubes out of there trays and store in freezer bags. Make sure to date and label your bag, most say it will stay good for up to 3 months but I always think the sooner the better:)

To Serve: When serving the food I typically thaw each cube in the microwave for approx. 30 seconds. Always be sure to mix thoroughly to avoid hot spots. You can also thaw in the refrigerator for approx. 4 hours.

Fun Side Note: I purchased this organic butternut squash for approx. $5.50 and it made 36 servings, how wonderful is that! It's yummy, beautiful, healthy, and inexpensive!

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