Following up on last week’s post, dinner time at our house also includes the care and feeding of the little guy.  Fortunately his food prep takes a lot less time than boiling a pot of water for pasta.  Adding to the guilt I already had for going back to work and not following in my mother and mother-in-law’s footsteps by being a stay-at-home mom, I quickly began to feel guilty that I may not have the time to make Jake fresh baby food.  My mother always told me about how easy it was to make baby food for my brother and I, but then I thought, no matter how easy it is, how am I going to find the time to do it!?  (remember those two little precious hours between 6:00-8:00??)  Well, guilt be gone, I was happily surprised to find out how quick and easy it is to make baby food!  Now don’t get me wrong- I still use jarred baby food for day care- Jake’s teachers have enough on their hands looking after 8 babies under the age of 9 months without worrying about returning my little baby food storage containers every day.  BUT, at night time and on weekends, it’s chef Marie whipping up veggies into oblivion!!

One of the best gifts I received at my baby shower was the Beaba Babycook. (http://www.beabausa.com/product-babycook.cfm) This little gem can steam veggies, fruits and meats, and process them all in one machine!  I know, just as awesome as multi-tasking with a Baby Bjorn!  The Beaba comes with a little recipe book, but I found these baby cook books to be so much more fun, and with lots of great pictures, tips and recipes.  There are a few other baby food mixers out there, and any will work just fine to make your own gourmet purees for your little one.

The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet:

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Homemade-Baby-Food-Planet/dp/1592334237/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1314978564&sr=8-2

Top 100 Baby Purees:

http://www.amazon.com/Top-100-Baby-Purees-Healthy/dp/0743289579/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1314978564&sr=8-1#_

Baby food storage containers:

http://www.amazon.com/Blocks-Freezer-Storage-Containers-2-Ounce/dp/B004QZBEFK/ref=pd_sim_ba_4

So far we’ve tried the mashed sweet potatoes and apple sauce with great success!  (the peas, on the other hand…. Well that’s a different story, right Jake?  The gag reflex took over and the peas took both of us over).  Making fresh roasted and mashed sweet potatoes is probably one of the easiest, quickest, and fun thing you could do for baby.  I will usually roast the potatoes when I get home from work, and by the time I’m done with dinner and some Jake play time, the potatoes are ready for whipping up.  Here’s how easy it is:

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

3 or 4 Sweet Potatoes

Baby formula, breast milk, or water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Wash and scrub the sweet potatoes and wrap in aluminum foil.  Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are soft-firm to the touch.  Once the potatoes cool completely, peel away the skin and place them in the Beaba or other small food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Add formula, breast milk, or water one ounce at a time and continue to blend until the sweet potatoes have a uniform creamy texture.  Spoon out the mashed sweet potatoes into ice cube trays with a closable top, or use two ounce individual closable containers.  Freeze until ready to serve.

Apple Sauce

3-4 apples

½ cup reserved cooking liquid

Peel, Core, and cut apples into chunks.  Steam apples in boiling water in a pan with just enough water to slightly cover them, or use the Beaba to steam them.  Steam until tender.  If you are using the Beaba, process the steamed apples with some of the reserved cooking liquid until you have a smooth puree.  Spoon out the apple sauce into ice cube trays with a closable top, or use two ounce individual closable containers.  Freeze until ready to serve.

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