Adventures in Organic Baby Food: The Maiden Voyage

For whatever reason, maybe because I love to make things, I have been looking forward to making my own baby food for years. Like before I even became pregnant. Maybe because I'm a huge nerd. Maybe because I enjoy making things more difficult than they need to be. But it turns out making your own baby food is one of those things that's more worth it than it is difficult. It only sounds difficult.

I started by visiting my neighborhood PCC to get large quantities of organic sweet potatoes (of course, I'm doing this all organic).

I should back up.

I started by coveting a Beaba Babycook machine. And thanks to a certain aunt of my husband's, I am now the proud owner of one! Isn't it cute?

But it's pretty little, and this was going to be a large scale operation, so I got it set up to do a small batch of sweet potatoes for today's dinner, just to see how it worked.

For the mother lode, I assembled my sweet potatoes, in all their ugly but organic and nutritious glory.

According to the sweet potato baby food recipe on Organic.org one should wash, peel, and chop these guys. I wasn't sure about leaving the skin on or not, so I took their advice and removed it. My three pounds of potatoes yielded a lot of diced cubes! The paper bag is my goes-to-the-compost-bin vessel.

Did you know dogs love raw cubed sweet potatoes? Ellie Bluebell did.

Toss a couple cubes to your sous chef!

So I put the expandable steamer in my pot along with about an inch and a half of filtered water (if I'm going to the trouble of organic, I'm not going to use plain old tap water), covered it, and fired up the burner.

That plethora of sweet potato cubes steamed up really fast! Just 10 minutes later, they were spoon-tender (got lazy and grabbed the nearest utensil, which just happened to be a spoon rather than a fork).

Now here's the tricky part. I wanted to use as few pans as possible, and in order to mash them in the pot, with all that lovely, nutrient-rich steaming water, I had to first remove the steaming basket. Be careful, it's hot. Then I grabbed my handy dandy, low-tech potato masher (you could also use a food processor, a food mill, or even a blender), and gave 'em hell.

You might want to pour out a little of the steaming water, depending on how thick or thin you want your 'tatoes. Then I started loading up my freezing vessels: two silicone mini-muffin pans, and one Beaba food freezing tray.

I covered the mini-muffin pans with some plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn. And then came the second tricky part: finding room in the freezer. By moving the vodka and gin to the lowest shelf and reboxing some gardenburgers, I was able to accommodate them.

You can barely spot them in amongst the chaos of my freezer. Can you find the vodka??

After they were rock-hard, I popped the little nuggets out of their trays (easy, thanks to the silicone) into some freezer Zippies, labeled and dated them, and felt really good about the wealth of sweet potato baby food taking up precious booze space in my freezer.

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