Saturday, August 21, 2010

Strained Green Beans (A Labor Of Love)

Makes you want to dig right in, doesn't it? (I'm speaking to the 6-12 month-old readers of my blog, of course.)

My new grandson has fostered a desire in me to make homemade baby food. My daughter-in-law started it off by making Gavin sweet potatoes and I then followed by suggesting I try to make strained green beans. She took the easy vegetable, let me just get that out of the way. There's more to making a creamy green bean puree than just steaming green beans and pureeing them. Here's a look at my counter top when I was finished processing one pound of green beans. The yield was one cup of strained green beans and 439 dirty dishes.

After cleaning and trimming the beans, I then steamed them for about 15 minutes.

I pulverized the crap out of them in the food processor.

But they were still slightly chunky, so I ran them through my sieve. (I thought I was done with THAT thing after I finished my last batch of tomatoes last week.)

One cup of pureed, strained green beans yields 9 ice cubes worth of baby food.

Here's where I ask for your help. I know I have some young mothers (and infants) that follow my blog. Any suggestions, tips and/or tricks would be greatly appreciated.

20 comments:

Sherry said...

I would recommend sticking to the sweet potatoes.

Julie said...

Not a mother of a 6 month old (ha) but just a thought that a food mill will make this process easier. I just used mine last night when I made your pizza sauce. It made getting the skins off the tomatoes a breeze.

scrambledhenfruit said...

I haven't made baby food since my kids were babies, many years ago. I think Julie may be on to something, though. A food mill might do the job of the food processor and sieve- then you'd only have 438 dirty dishes. :)
Lucky grandson to have homemade baby food!

Mags said...

LOL scrambled...that tickled me.

Thanks Julie for the suggestion. How'd the pizza sauce turn out? Were you up until 3 a.m.?

Pam said...

I second or third the foodmill. Accomplishes a bunch of tasks at once.

Mags said...

That does it. A foodmill is definitely on my Christmas list!

All Our Fingers in the Pie said...

This is hilarious! Just imagine how concentrated that bean puree is. A coupla bites and he has a meal full of nutrition.

Rosemary & Garlic said...

mags,
Emily and I went shopping yesterday and stopped into Williams and Sonoma. There was this brightly colored display of baby food making and serving items.
http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/beaba-babycook-baby-food-maker/?pkey=x|4|1||4|baby%20food||0&cm_src=SCH
Me, I had the hand crank food mill.

marla {family fresh cooking} said...

You are so sweet to make these strained green beans for your grandson....dirty plates and all! xo

June said...

Mags - Did he eat it? Inquiring mind wants to know.

Big guy said...

Lovey color. Likely a Guy thing, but I wonder if it will carry all the way through? LOL

The Mom Chef said...

I'd go with peas instead of beans. They have natural sugars so the young ones love them but still get all the vitamins. Great job though.

Karen said...

That is a labor of love, for sure! Try googling "homemade baby food" - there's probably a lot of things easier to puree than green beans :)

Pam said...

This is hilarious! What a great grandma you are! My first grandchild is on the way but not sure I'll be doing this. You are the best!

Nanan said...

Ummm - I never fed Camille Ana baby food - just bits of my food - and she was happy - she didn't like pureed food... And now she eats almost everything - she only avoids some things her daddy says he doesn't like in front of her- go figure... like eggs, sweet potatoes and beets - 3 things I adore!

Moogie said...

Mags... you might be on to something with the pureed food. A lot of baby boomers will be gumming their dinner soon. And you will have a blog that caters to the senior toothless.

From the Kitchen said...

A tip of the hat to Gerber huh? I made baby food for my first born. Froze it in ice cube trays. Popped a frozen vegetable into a heated baby food dish and walked the floor with him screaming in hunger until it melted. That was pre-microwave. I finally gave up!! But, I agree that it is a labor of love and much easier these days.

Best,
Bonnie

Carolyn S. said...

Stumbled on your blog thru another one - and absolutely love it! Though my "babies" are 17 and 15 now, I made all their baby food. Except for the cereal :) I didn't strain anything, just cooked til soft then used a small food processor. Your grandbaby won't be bothered by the different textures if all the foods are mixed together. May look disgusting to adults, but babies love it!My kids got complete nutrition w/o having the opportunity to become finicky.

Sunshine said...

I don't claim to know much about making baby food, but I'm in the process of preparing for my partner's upcoming jaw surgery. Everything needs to be super smooth. The other day, I spent 5 hours defrosting, pureeing, blending, straining, and refreezing all the fruit in our freezer. I found that using the food processor and then the blender and then the strainer (Oy!)yielded a super fine texture.

It took a while, but I got a system down and it went pretty smoothly.

Bubblybunny said...

I stumbled on your blog through tastespotting.com. I made about 80% of my baby's food when he was on mush-diet. I pureed everything from vegetables to meat to fruits. I didn't strain anything. I pureed the food and froze the puree in cubes. Then for variety meals, i just thawed different cubes in one bowl so he got a bit of each food group. My baby never complained about non-strained food.

Your beans looked pretty good before straining, so you might try skipping that step; it's a lot easier. I also did frozen peas (steamed first, of course) and that was even more coarse than your beans. My son loved it all. :)

It's very sweet that you went through all that trouble for your grandson. Homemade food is definitely tastier than jarred stuff. :)