We partially planned our garden with the idea that we’d make as much baby food as we could. Our first harvest, a couple of weeks ago, included some Gold Rush Bush Beans which we planted for us and for Sawyer.
Before we get into the meat of this post, I’ll say how surprised I am to hear how intimidated people are about making baby food. Seriously. If you can make macaroni and cheese, it’s far more complicated than baby food. It’s so easy and pennies on the dollar when compared to buying baby food. Here we go!
We decided to boil vs. steaming, but you could do either. To boil, just start with a little bit of water in the pot. It’s basically just enough that the beans would be covered (you’re not at a lobster boil, so don’t fill is all the way up).
Boil for 15 minutes or until the beans are nice and tender. I ended up and had to add a little water, but I’d rather have to add a little than have any goodness extracted from the beans and diluted in all the water. After 15 minutes here’s what we had:
Put them in a food processor….
This is the time that it’s good not to have too much water in the pot. We ended up and added most of the left over water to the beans to smooth them out. Because we didn’t have a lot of extra water, it meant that anything that was boiled out, got added back in.
We strained it through a fine mesh strainer, pushing it through with a rubber scraper (no pictures), and dished it out into a freshly cleaned ice cube tray.
Put them in the freezer for 24 hours then popped them out into a zip lock bag. I would probably vacuum seal them if we had a vacuum sealer…
It only took about 25 minutes start to finish, and 15 of those minutes were the beans cooking. It didn’t make very much, but it’s essentially 7 meals which would have cost between $7-$9 if we bought what we felt was comparable in the store. We bought the whole package of seeds for $2.75, and this is only the first of what will be many beans (since this first baby food making, we’ve done 2 additional full ice cube trays, plus had some beans as a side with our dinner one night, and still have more we’re going to blanch and freeze for us). We know what hasn’t been applied to the beans (pesticides or herbicides), what preservatives, colorings, or flavorings haven’t been added.
We also have some zucchini and lots of butternut squash coming on (along with many more beans). Unfortunately, the peas that we planted for baby food, I ended up and planted on a trellis outside of our garden and the stupid chipmunks dug them up. Lesson learned.
Are you a baby food maker? Are you a grower AND a maker? We would love to hear some feedback, tips, and or other ideas for baby food.