Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Adventures in Baby Food Making, Blendtec Style

I've confessed my obsession and love for our blender, and here's more love.

We're reaching the time period where I'll be starting B on some solids soon and I wanted to test out the blender on its amazing abilities. We own the Blendtec Home and love it. I've now made smoothies, soups, bread, sauces, and now baby food. I think I'll attempt almond butter next. Just because it sounds good. And you know what? The blender won't break. Because it's made of steel. Literally. The parts that are normally plastic at the bottom that connects to the base unit are steel. Solid steel. We had a $200 Breville before and it was no different than the $20 blenders you can buy at Target. Plastic parts. I digress.

I wanted to try my hand at making some oat flour which would then turn into the consistency of rice cereal, but a whole lot healthier and not at all processed. Plus, I love steel cut oats and had a whole tin of this delicious stuff to grind up. Well after B is over the pureed phase, I may just create my own pureed cereal for the winter for us all to eat. Because, nom nom. So yummy.

Started with this. Oats + well seasoned blender I heart, heart, heart.
 Fat, fiber, protein, calcium, iron. Yeah, I'm aware this might stop up some pipes... but luckily we've had no issue with food up until this point, so that's at least on our side. That, and the 3-4 dirt-ay diapers a day.
 100% grain oats. Yes please.
Delish, but far too large for the B-meister. Also, the original instructions call for it taking lots of time to soak, then cook. Scratch that. This mama doesn't have time for that.
So glad I picked this up at the store in the winter. I usually buy Trader Joe's, but I'm definitely a fan of this can of goodness.
 Insert blender + 1 cup oats.
 Turn on and grind until a fine powder.
 Doing its job like no big thang.
 Vroom, Vroom. A little peek of the action.
 Just about doneski. Took about a minute.
Pull out your small saucepan, add 1/2 cup of that oat flour (it makes approx. 1 1/2 cups) & 2 cups of water. Boil, and stir with a whisk until desired consistency is reached. Less than 5 minutes.
Bust out those unused ice cube trays and a spoon. That 1/2 cup of oat flour + water will make exactly one ice cub tray with 18 spaces. Doing the math... that one cup of oats makes three full ice cub trays.
 Yes, I know... so easy.
Take the rest of that oat flour and save it for later (or make and freeze it all... get down with your bad self!). This is packaged for travel since we have places to go and people to see coming up soon here.

Pop the oatmeal cubes out once frozen and Ziploc them up for later. Readily available 1 oz. (ish) cubes for a quick meal. Oats + banana. Oats + apple. Oats + {insert fruit or veggie}. Or just plain oats. If they don't pop out of the ice cube tray easily, just fill your sink with a bit of water to cover the bottom and they'll loosen up in no time. Just be conscious, otherwise it will thaw them out completely!

Ziploced and labeled and ready for a special little nugget to chow down!

Don't have a baby, make it for you! It's seriously the best darn cream-of-wheat oats you've ever had. And, it is ready way faster than the traditional cooking method. YES.

*I'm sure breastmilk or formula can be substituted or even added in once thawed out to warm it up, but since B is still being EBF, I will be feeding him breastmilk anyway in addition to any solids we introduce. There are no rules-- just trying to keep it healthy and nutritious for the little mister. And if you really want to start on rice cereal, you can grind your own brown rice in the blender and serve that up for rice cereal credit. 

Anyone else making baby food out there? What did you start your kids on and what was your favorite recipe to make?


Team Clancy said... [Reply to comment]

I can't believe I never thought of making Owen our own oatmeal. I made him literally everything else. I did a whole post last fall about how easy it was. I also used this site which was super helpful! Hope it helps.


Molly said... [Reply to comment]

Can u just blend me some and mail them to me??? I really do want to make K's food (I made some of Sloane's), but this seems above me. I could handle the boiling and stuff if u could just mail me the ground up part! Hahaha

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

I loved making Finn's food and was kinda sad when he outgrew the pureed food stage.

Sweet Potato and anything was a favorite - applesauce, broccoli, spinach, etc . . .I made a bunch of different sweet potato mixtures.

Banana and blueberry was a also a hit.

LookItsJessica said... [Reply to comment]

Since breastfeeding didn't last too long in our house, I'm planning on making it up to Avy by making all of her babyfood the old-fashioned way with all organic produce. We have a Whole Foods about 5 minutes away where I'm sure I'll spend too much time. Can't wait until 6 months! I'll be posting all about it.

Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

LOL @ Molly.

Also, ditto what she said.

The thought of making my own baby food seems overwhelming at the moment, but I hope I'm up for the task in a few months...

J. said... [Reply to comment]

You're right, it's so easy! Freezing makes food from 6-11 months very quick... more time for mom and dad food, no nutritional compromise or added sweeteners for baby.

eliz asked for my recs and I emailed her, so talk to her for lengthier info.

Annabel Karmel has great books. She's a British nutritionist, so some of her vocab is different: weaning = starting solids, not reducing bf; pulses = legumes = beans, etc.

"Starting Solids" and "Healthy Baby Meal Planner" get beyond purees and into semi-chunky through toddler food. Most of the area libraries carry Karmel's books. If you go to her website, you peek inside books.

B. Wilson said... [Reply to comment]

@Molly & Brooke:

Let's revisit things. I don't have a full time job. I don't have another kiddo to keep me on my toes.

Hence, le boredom. That, and you know I obviously love food creations. :)

Flmgodog said... [Reply to comment]

I had made ALL of the twins food and I am totally loving it. I got a book at the cheapie resale shop about making babyfood. I think maybe Tyler Florence???
I have roasted lots of fruits and veggies and then I stick them in the blender. Roasting them brings out their natural sugars. The kiddo's love them!!
I have started adding a little pepper or cinnamon to a few things. The book I have talks a lot about how in other countries that season (no salt or added sugar) the food just as you would for the rest of the family.
All the food I have made for the boys I would eat myself. I have told my husband if they don't eat it all I plan to add it to my recipes.
I roasted apples, pears and blueberries together and then just mashed it. It is awesome!@!
Good luck, can't wait to hear whatelse you try for B.

Flmgodog said... [Reply to comment]

Sorry about all the spelling errors there. Apparently my keyboard needs some new batteries.

Danielle said... [Reply to comment]

I used the book Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron. It was my bible--i even made an excel spreadsheet to keep track of his daily eats. Lemmie know if you want to see it, or borrow the book. Both are super handy.
Ns first food was avocado, then sweet potato... after that, its fuzzy. I made my own oatmeal too and you're right--its super easy and FUN! just wait until he can have apples and raisins... combine your oatmeal with that and a little cinnamon--smells like Apple Pie. Yum. Yum. Yum!!

Gina said... [Reply to comment]

I made all of G's baby food. My Beaba was my BFF during that time. In fact, I still use it weekly to steam their veggies. I never did oats though!

Tiffany said... [Reply to comment]

you're hilarious!

I'm going to have to try the oats although my blender isn't nearly as bad-ass as yours... so we'll have to see if it can handle the oats...
I never did the homemade baby food with Max besides the mashed banana or avocado. But I made all of Ellie's and really enjoyed doing it. Her favorite was definitely banana mango popsicles. I found awesome popsicles molds that were made for little hands and she could hold it herself!

LauraJane said... [Reply to comment]

That is a pimping blender! ha!

So, make three extra batches of oatmeal: for K, C, and G. ha. :) Just kidding a little bit. I'd be serious if I didn't think the people at the border would have an issue with it.

ha. :)

Brie said... [Reply to comment]

Just found your blog after you commented on mine..Sounds like we have a bit in common--the overseas living, loss of babies and the making of baby food! It is so super easy. I love the idea of making frozen oatmeal.I hadn't thought of that yet--I have only been doing our fruits and veggies..but now I'm inspired to do oats as well. I look forward to following your adventures (=

Ashley said... [Reply to comment]

I'm about to start using our BlendTek to make baby food for our youngest. Out of curiosity, what setting did you use? The "pulse"? Or sauces? Ice cream?

B. Wilson @ Windy {City} Wilsons said... [Reply to comment]


Hi! I'd reply to you personally via email, but your email wasn't available. It depends on what I'm making, but I usually just pulse if it's a fruit or veggie puree. If it's a grain, I increase the speeds. I rarely use the pre-sets for specific foods, but it's really up to you! The BlendTec is so easy to use and you can't really screw it up if you're shooting for a puree anyway, you know?