Evan is 7 1/2 months old. He goes through a lot of baby food. I have yet to see him refuse to eat anything yet…the boy will down a bowl of chicken and rice mixed with peas and carrots, then be starving for an 8 ounce bottle. I was excited to shop for baby food when we first started introducing solids. “Oh!” I thought naively, “Baby food is only 40 cents a jar!” But, soon, I became concerned with the store brand version and switched to an organic brand…60 cents a jar. Then Evan started eating meats and ‘stage 2’ foods…80 cents a jar. And he was going through several jars of various foods a day. I did the math and realized how much more cheaply I could make food for Evan – as well as healthier! Plus, baby food is so easy to make, you can even hardly call it a recipe. Another bonus: you can make fun foods not available in the jarred baby food section. Here’s a ‘recipe’ for mangos…yum! Supplies you need:
pan of water with steam basket
blender or food processor
ice cube trays
First, wash and peel your mangos. You can use as many mangos as you like, but keep in mind baby food only stores for about a month in the freezer, so don’t get too carried away, otherwise you’ll have waste. I used three, which will be plenty mangos for Evan for a month.
Place them in a steam basket (or in a pan with about an inch of water if you don’t have a steam basket). Steam them for about 7-10 minutes or until they are tender. Don’t over cook them or you’ll start to lose nutrients.
Remove the fruit from the steam basket (or pan) and place in a blender or food processor. Add some of the cooking water (I used about 1/2 cup for 3 Mangos). Add the water slowly to avoid putting in too much and getting runny food.
Now it’s time to get out your fancy ice cube trays. I bought these for 75 cents at the grocery store. If you want to spend the money, you can buy ‘special’ baby food ice cube trays. “Fresh Baby” is one brand that makes them. They come with lids and have a little bigger cube to them. I have 2 of these, but I prefer my cheapo 75 cent ones instead. Whichever you prefer, fill the ice cube trays with your blended mangos.
The next day, I pop them out of the trays and into a plastic container, labeled with the food name and date on scotch tape. So easy! When it’s time for Evan to eat, I just snatch a few cubes from the freezer, put them in the microwave for about 45 seconds and we’re good to go! Ready to mix with cereal, other fruits or eat all by itself. Bon Appetit, babies!