Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Triptophan for babies!!!

Let me preface this post by stating that my husband works nights, so more nights than not I just don’t eat dinner and if I do it is a salad or eggs. Around Thanksgiving, my mother-in-law got us a bone-in turkey breast, which we just have never used. I had all these intentions with it, and just got to the point where I wanted it out of my freezer. So last week I defrosted it and planned on inviting people over for dinner and cook it, but again, didn’t happen. But now, I had this turkey defrosted taking up space in my fridge, which is worse than my freezer. So I said this Tuesday I am actually going to eat dinner, I threw the whole thing in my crockpot! I would say this turkey breast was about 4 lbs. In with that turkey went an onion (yes babies can eat onions, Michael has had them with chicken and a corn mixture that I have made for him without any problem. Just treat it as a new food and follow the 4 day rule), carrots, potato, the tops of a fennel bulb that I had thyme, and an apple. I cooked it on low from the time that I left for work until when I got home, and Michael and I were able to share dinner! All I did for him was take about a cup or two of the mixture, make sure there is no bones!! Then put in blender, puree. He had about 3 oz. of it, and the rest of the blender went into ice cube tray for freezing! Michael really enjoyed it, and it is not something that I had to go out of my way to make, I was making it anyway. And if you’re wondering what I did with the rest of the food… let’s just say that there is turkey in my lunch future for about a week or two!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Welcome! (Recipes: Carrots and Cinnamon Apples)

Hello and welcome! About 2 months ago, my then 4 ½ month old son got the go ahead fromour pediatrician to start solid food. I did a lot of research about commercialbaby food vs. homemade baby food and decided to try the homemade baby foodroute. Now, as my husband would love to tell you, when I start something, orget an idea in my head, more times than not, I don’t follow thru. I tend tooverthink, over extend my time, and am horrible at follow thru. So I declaredthat my son would not eat commercially prepared baby food except cereal, andthat I would make all of his food. I kept being told that it was difficult,more expensive, time consuming, and that the commercially prepared productswere just as good. One friend of mine even read me the ingredients in a jar ofbaby carrots: “carrots ascorbic acid (VITAMIN C)”.[1] I realizethat carrots are carrots, so why not just utilize the convenience of this jarof pureed carrots?5 reasons I makehomemade baby food5.Homemade baby food makes you think creatively in the kitchen, about flavorcombinations that are not only tasty for baby, but combinations that you canimplement in cooking for yourself and your family.4.Jarred baby food has a lot of preservatives in it. One jar is “good to” up to 2years after purchase date.Homemade baby food can easily be frozen if you aren’t going to use it rightaway. Just like you as an adult likes to know what is in your food, you shouldthink about what’s in your3. Its a lot more affordable thanbuying commercial baby food products. I frequently get told that this is not the case. But the mathdoesn’t lie, it is much cheaper. During the Spring and Summer go to your localfarmer’s market and only spend $20, I guarantee you for $20 you can make amonth or more worth of baby food, whereas if you were to buy baby food it wouldcost you about $20 a week. In the winter, just shop the circular, there isalways a sale on fresh produce, and if something is really out of season,frozen is ok too! (Just please, don’t do canned fruits or vegetables).2. It helps your child develop a good taste for fresh fruits and vegetablesfrom the start. Asyou probably know, fresh, seasonal food typically tastes better. If you taste ajar of pears, it probably tastes blander than a fresh pear that’s in season.You can also develop your child’s taste buds. My son is 6 months old and lovesThyme, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg so far!1. It allows you to have total control over what your child is eating.By making your own food, you know exactly what your child is eating and whetheror not they are lacking in certain vitamins and nutrients.So when Istarted this venture in the land of baby food making, I did a lot of research,and I mean a lot. I read books, checked out websites, spoke with other mom’sand doctors. I wanted to know exactly what I could feed my child and how to doit right. I would really strongly recommend Annabel Karmel’s Top 100 BabyPurees, as well as Tyler Florence’s Fresh Start book. They have some reallygreat and tasty recipes.In order tomake your own baby food, all you really need is a steamer basket, a blender, afood processor, a strainer, and ice cube trays. That’s it! No fancy equipmentneeded!So let’sstart! The very first puree I made my son was a simple carrot puree, so I willgive you three guesses about what you need? Carrots!1 lbs.carrots, peeled and dicedSteam in asteamer basket for about 10 minutes, and put in blender until desiredconsistency is reached.Just onequick note about purees with carrots, I noticed that sometimes they get rubberywhen defrosted in the refrigerator. DON’T PANIC! They still taste fine, eitherput in food processor, or just add liquid and stir.
[1]Gerber First foods carrots
My son’s favoritebreakfast is apples with cinnamon. He can’t get enough! To make this I takeabout 8 apples, peeled and cored, and halved, and roast in the oven for approximately20 minutes at 400 degrees. When apples are done, put into blender with 1 tsp ofcinnamon and puree, and freeze. Alternatively, you can peel, core, and chopapple and place into sauce pan with ¼ cup of apple juice and 1 TSP of cinnamon,cook until apples are soft and liquid is a nice golden color. Puree and freeze.This should make about 2-3 ice cube trays worth of food. (Now compare that tojars of commercially prepared apples for baby! The great part about this recipeis think about all those great fall vegetables that pair wonderful withcinnamon (butternut squash, sweet potato), and combine pureed squash or sweetpotato with the cinnamon apples for a really delish pairing!My plan isto post 1-2 recipes a week, with “reviews” from my son. I really hope you enjoyand get in the kitchen and cook for your little one!