Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Baby Food 101

Twice in the last five months I have been home by myself without the baby. So, what did I do with myself last week when I found myself home alone? Take a long bubble bath, cozy up with a novel? Paint my much neglected toes? Nope. I cooked.

Even though the baby seems to enjoy sitting in his bouncy chair in the kitchen while I chop, simmer, and sauté, I still relished being able to take my time and without having to do the silly songs and dances that keep him happy when the meal seems to be taking too long.

And what did I cook? Baby food.

As someone who cooks most of my meals from scratch, it just seemed natural to me that I would make food for my baby. Even though store-bough baby food doesn't contain lots of the added sugars and salts in processed foods for adults, I still wanted to try my hand at making my babies first meals.

The whole process was super easy. Here's my recipe for applesauce:

12 organic apples*
1/4 cup water

Peel and core apples. Cut into half-inch slices. Place in a pot with water. Cover and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook until apples are soft, which will take 25 to 30 minutes. Place apples in a blender and puree until perfectly smooth.** Pour the pureed apples into ice cube trays and freeze. When they are frozen, remove from trays and store in a freezer bag. Remove one or two cubes at a time to feed to the baby. Defrost before serving.

*Apples are one of the "dirty dozen," which is a list of the twelve foods that get treated with the most chemicals or are hardest to remove the pesticides. The other foods on this list are peaches, sweet peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, kale, leafy greens, grapes, carrots, and pears.

** When placing hot food in a blender, remove the plastic form that goes in the center of the blender lid. This will allow the steam to escape.

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