Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Adventures in Homemade Baby Food: Butternut Squash

I love to cook and trying to make new things, so when we found out we were pregnant we always talked that we/I would make most of Karter's baby food. I was very nervous about it, because I wanted to make sure that I was doing everything properly. After a little research, I found out just how easy it is. I was also nervous, because many people have talked about how much time it would take. Then I much more time can it take than pumping 4-6 times a day!

I am happy to make his food for many reasons, but most of all because I know exactly what is going into it and it is much cheaper than store-bought food. I couldn't be more thrilled for this chance to cook for him.

The first vegetable puree I made was sweet potatoes, from left over Thanksgiving potatoes. Since then, I have made peas, mixed vegetables, apple sauce and now butternut squash. Everything has been super easy to make and doesn't take that much time at all, and once you have a freezer full you are set for awhile. As far as cost goes, this was a steal compared to store-bought baby food. It ended up being about 9 cents per serving versus 50 cents per serving for store-bought. I will continue to make most of his meals, the only thing I'm not ready to make is anything with meat in it. For now, I will let Gerber make those for him.

Here is my adventure in making butternut squash! (If you don't care to see a step-by-step, feel free to scroll to the bottom to see picture of my cutie eating it up!)

You start by, using a heavy duty knife and cutting the squash in half. Then scoop out all of the seeds. (Please ignore the messy counter, I was also making hamburger buns.)

Once all the seeds are out, you are left with two beautiful halves of squash.

Place them, flesh side down, in a baking dish and fill with about 1 inch of water.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 50 minutes.

You will know when they are done when the skin turns this pretty brown.

Once the squash is cooked, scoop out all of the flesh and puree until very smooth. You can puree using either a food processor or blender. We don't have a food processor, so I use a blender to make all of Karter's works great!

After you have pureed it, fill up ice cube trays with the squash. Helpful hint - don't use these kind of trays...they stink! They don't release the cubes and you are left trying to pry them out with a knife. So, I have ordered silicone ice cube trays and should be here in a couple days!

After you have pried them out of the ice cube trays, put them in a freezer bag and label them. They are good in the freezer for up to 3 months! Each cube is about 1 ounce, and he eats 2-3 cubes per meal.

Now all you have to do, is add one hungry baby! No, the squash is not green when you thaw it out, I mixed it with a cube of peas. Peas are a little more tricky to make, because the skins don't puree completely. So you will notice that he is not wearing any clothes. This is because of a gag reflex incident we had at the beginning of his meal. I had to make sure I mashed them up better, and then he ate it right up. This kid loves anything with vegetables!

Finger licking good!

1 comment:

Your favorite mother-in-law said...

You are such a good mommy! And a great food photographer too! You can have your own show or food blog...or both!