Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Super Baby Food: Beans and Carrots

As many of you know, I am making Sophia's baby food and having a blast!! Fruits and veggies are a cinch --- making and introducing proteins can be a bit tricky as I found out last night!! My favorite reference for Sophia's nutrition is a book called "Super Baby Food" by Ruth Yaron. It was one of the best gifts I was given at my shower (Thanks Deborah W.!) I think I refer to that book at least 2-3x/week.

Last night we tried carrots for the first time. I thought for sure she would love them b/c (to me) they tasted very similar to her sweet potatoes! The first 4 bites went down like candy ... then she slowed down ... and eventually would just hold them on her tongue and leave her mouth open! Hum... what to do? I added some cinnamon and she really enjoyed them! So glad I can finally introduce spices!!!

At 8 months, it is recommended to start proteins and they suggest beans. They suggested waiting till 8 months so the child has more digestive enzymes available to digest the proteins! I was talking with a fellow baby food makin' mama and she also started with beans. I purchased the Bob's Red Mill 13 Bean Soup bag of dried beans. Let me preface the rest of this post with the fact -- I don't usually buy dried beans b/c they take FOREVER to prepare! Why would I think it would be any different for Sophia's beans?

During Sophia's after nap yesterday, I was on a baby food makin' kick! I made Butternut Squash/Zucchini cubes, carrots, and just plain squash. When it came time for the beans, I read the back of the package...."Step 1: Soak overnight." I thought, "You have got to be kidding me ... I don't have time for an overnight soak." So I turned to the trusty internet and found a quick soak method (put beans in a stockpot, bring to boil for 3 minutes, take off burner, cover, and let sit for 1 hour). So here I am, boiling beans, making squash, making dinner, and thank heavens Aunt Sarah was playing with Sophia. The next thing I know is that my beans are boiling over on the stove -- YIKES! What a mess!

After the beans were finally done "soaking," I boiled/simmered them for another 45 minutes. I stuck 2 cups of them into the Beaba and pureed! The result: GRAY PASTE! (Did I think it would look any better, maybe I was too hopeful!) Ok, so what on earth am I going to do with this?? It tastes gritty and very bland! A light bulb went on ... hum ... a typical combination for other cultures is rice and beans. I cooked up a 1 cup of Bob's Red Mill brown rice and added 1/2 of my bean puree. Taste test: still very bland. Hum... what next? Add cinnamon. Taste test: better -- but not quite there. Add two and a half brown bananas (b/c they are all sugar when they are brown and easier to digest). Taste test: Actually, pretty darn tasty! I was happy with the results and poured them into the Fresh Baby Food Trays. It made 36 cubes! I was proud of my little creation, but was quickly brought down from my cloud when I looked at the stock pot -- still full of cooked beans I have yet to use!! Ahhhhhhhhh!!! I guess I didn't realize how many beans 2 cups of dried beans would make!! I put the rest of the beans in tupperware and stored it in the freezer for my next bean making adventure (at least the hard part is done)! What next: clean up my horrific mess of a kitchen!!!

Of note: This morning Sophia had 1 cube of oats, 1 cube of rice/beans/cinn/banana, 2 cubes of mango mixed together and she loved it!! Full of flavor, full of nutrients, full of protein!! (PS> For those of you that think I am cruel -- I actually tasted it and it tasted really yummy!)

Hope you enjoyed that adventure!!


1 comment:

DEBSIK said...

Wow- sounds like some crazy day!

Thank heavens for a husband that loves beans and rice to give you the idea-

Grammie will have to take a taste test!