My last blog involved political instability and trips to West Africa. While this blog has tamer topics, it’s no less of an adventure!
My little guy (Ben) was born back in August. Since then, I have returned to work as a teacher and am now trying to have it all (baby, husband and career). One thing that I have gotten really into is following recipes (more or less). During the P.B. (pre-Ben) era, I was kind of a “free spirit” cook. Recipes were okay, but they stifled creativity. Fast forward to the present day, and I need to plan and use recipes to make sure that dinner gets on the table. However, I still like to make some twists and adjustments. Here’s my latest take on some baby cuisine.
Ben’s Apple Sauce
Generally, I’m not one of those weird I-must-have-organic people. I’m normal. I can’t afford to go to Whole Foods. However, apples are one of those “Dirty Dozen” fruits where organic is best. Since I’m a first time mom and terribly afraid of poisoning my baby, I started out with 2 pounds of organic apples from Trader Joe’s.
Next, you peel, core and slice the apples into relatively the same size. In this case, size does matter. Having them the same size will allow them to cook for the same length of time. Next, add the apples to a pot with a steamer insert and 3 cups of bottled/filtered water. Again, I’m from the Midwest and not all about bottled/filtered water. But, I suppose if I’m going far enough to get organic fruit I shouldn’t poison my son with the “extras” found in DC-area water. Many recipes say to boil the apples, but I like to use a steamer because the foods keep their flavor better.
Cook the apples for about 10-12 minutes until they are very tender (fall apart when you pick them up) for the little guys (less than 6 months). You can take them out sooner if you’re making apple sauce for older babies or grown-ups who like a little more texture. As you can see, the apples will cook down a lot. You will want to reserve the water to thin out the sauce to the desired consistency.
Again, depending on your audience, you can choose your appliance. I used a blender to be sure that I could get the smoothest consistency. For the older crowd, you can use a food processor or a potato masher if you’re feeling bold. Blend the apples until they get to the desired consistency. You can add the reserved water to thin the mixture out. For older audiences, you can add a little butter and cinnamon. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, add a little brown sugar. Yum yum!
This recipe makes about 7 2-oz containers of baby food.
Ben’s Apple Sauce
2 lbs organic apples (Gala, McIntosh, Braeburn or others. I used Gala)
3 cups of bottled or filtered water
Cinnamon, butter, brown sugar to taste (Optional. The brown sugar and butter are not recommended for younger babies, but cinnamon might be tasty for the young guys.)
1. Peel, core and cut apples into evenly sized chunks.
2. Steam apples for 10-12 minutes (or until fork tender) with 3 cups of water.
3. Puree, adding reserved water, until desired consistency. Make VERY thin for the little babies.