Saturday, July 4, 2009

Using Garden Produce to Make Baby Food!

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I have had a great crop of peas from my garden this year, so I decided to make some baby food.
It's a pretty simple process that takes about an hour, plus freezing time.
First, I enlisted help to pick the peas. This is the easy part! My kids are more than willing to help pick peas, as long as I don't mind them eating while picking. My kids are very good eaters, but this is really the only time where they willingly eat peas, so I am all for it!




Wash them and remove the tough ends and any remaining flowers. These are sweet peas, so I choose to leave them in the pod. It's a lot easier and I yield more than double the amount had I just used the peas themselves.

I don't have a fancy steamer, so I just use a steam attachment to my stock pot. It works well. If I was serving these peas for dinner, I'd steam them for about 5-7 minutes, but since I'm steamed a lot and it's for baby food, I steamed them for about 15 minutes so that they were pretty soft.
I let them cool for a few minutes, then I place them in the food processor. Depending on how old your baby is, you might want to puree them and add water, to make the consistency smoother. I puree them until I no longer see any clumps, then I count to 10 and call it done. By that point the puree is flowing nicely as it's being blended.


As I blended the pods and all, I then have to strain it to remove the stringy parts of the pea pod. It's not difficult and the whole process takes about 5 minutes. I place the strainer in a bowl just larger than the strainer so that it sits inside the bowl. I then use a rubber spatula to smash the puree through the strainer. Work it all around, scraping the bottom often. After 3 minutes, this is what mine looked like:


When there's only about half the amount left, I get the lid to a bowl
(or any other wide surface item will do!)
and squeeze out the remaining puree that way.
It works well!
This is what you're left with!


Pour the puree into ice cube trays and place them in the freezer.
One stage 2 jar of baby food is equal to 4 ice cubes.
My peas yeilded 32 ice cubes, or about 8 jars of food.

When my baby is ready to eat, I microwave 3 cubes for 1 minute.
I also add some rice cereal for added vitamins.

I've done this several times this year already.He loves it! It's great to feed my baby fresh peas from the garden- and you can't beat the price too!

3 comments:

Kristi said...

I love it! No added junk and your little guy sure seems to like it. I can't wait till I have a little bigger garden to do more with.

Shiloh and Bob Willey said...

I have totally done this and it is awesome- My Mom used to make baby food when we were little:)

Jake and Louise McCrea said...

I put a serving size in ziplock freezer bags and then run the bag under warm water when needed. This process saves some of vitamins that can be lost in the microwave.

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