Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Homemade Baby Food: Green Beans.

When people find out that I make my own baby food, I swear I see them flinch. I've determined that the flinching is for 1 of 2 things. The first reason they might flinch is that they too make their own baby food, and we make-your-own-baby-food-makers are kind of like a little family. When you find out there is someone else in the family, you want to hug them. No. Seriously. haha! The other reason they would flinch is because I think when people hear "homemade" they automatically think of aprons, lots of mess and TONS of time. NOT TRUE. Here's a little secret: this is SO easy to do, that even my husband did it when Brayden was an infant! Don't believe me? Well, here's another one of my faves to make: green beans.

Start out with frozen green beans. I get Great Value, because that's cheapest. I only used 1 bag for this batch since Connor hasn't eaten green beans yet, so I don't want to make a HUGE batch and then him not like them. So 1 bag it was.

Cut open the bag. In case you don't know what that looks like, here ya go:
(It's at this point I'd also like to give some props to the Pioneer Woman, who frequently writes posts with recipes and shows pictures of herself cutting and pouring ingredients. Um, it's not as easy as it looks. Props to you P-Dub!)

Where were we? Ah, yes. Green Beans.

So after you cut open the bag, you pour said green beans into a pot, like so.

Fill up the pot with water so that it covers the green beans.

Bring it to a boil

I let these boil for about 10-15 minutes. I honestly didn't count exactly because I was doing other things in the kitchen while these were cooking. The main thing you want to make sure of is that the green beans are a good tender consistency, otherwise they will not blend well.

After they are finished boiling there won't be a TON of water in them. I strained just a little of the water, making sure to reserve it and set it aside in case I needed to thin out my puree later.
(sorry this is just a picture of a cup of hot water. But seriously, I wasn't about to risk scalding my hand in order to get that awesome "hot water being poured into a cup" photo. P-Dub can have her "I take awesome pictures while cooking" throne.)

Moving on.

Pour the green beans into your food processor. I halved the batch in the blender, to ensure that they blended down smoothly.

Pulse to desired consistency; Here's my first half of the batch:

Once everything is pureed, I pour it all into a small bowl:

And then I spoon it into ice trays. By the way, these are ice trays from Walmart. I really like the shape of these, as opposed to the usual cube trays. Not that it really matters that much, but I just thought you'd want to know. Or perhaps you don't. Either way, that's where they are from.

This is the entire batch. It made about 19.5 cubes. This is roughly equivalent to 9 stage 1 baby food jars. Considering that Great Value green beans are 98 cents plus tax, this breaks down to around 12 cents per serving/jar. Roughly 25% of what you'd pay for ready-made baby food in the store.

Place your green beans in the freezer and let freeze completely. I'm not really sure exactly how long that is... I left the trays in the deep freeze overnight, so these were SOLID the next morning :)

label your ziplock baggie:

(Remember to let the cubes sit out at room temp for a few minutes so that you'll have an easier time getting them out of the trays)

And fill your baggie with your baby's goodies :)

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