Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Freezer: Mom’s Best Friend

My misgivings about processed foods and commercial baby foods leave me with one option: do it myself. At this point, that means cooking two different meals: one for the adults and one for the babies (and the dog, who enjoys eating everything they drop). If you’ve ever been around a baby before, you’re probably wondering how I manage that. The answer, gentle reader, lies in my freezer - literally.

First, the baby food. Homemade baby food really couldn’t be any easier to pull off. For example, here’s the recipe for pureed peaches: Buy a few bags of frozen organic peaches (you might as well do this is bulk) and steam until they’re nice and mushy. Transfer to the food processor and add a little of the cooking liquid from the pot you steamed the peaches in (nutrient conservation!). Puree until it’s, well, a puree, and then spoon into the little compartments of an ice cube tray (this helps with monitoring portion size). Cover with plastic wrap and stick in the freezer. When it’s frozen, pop the little peach cubes out and put in a freezer bag. Voila! That’s it!

Freezer meals for adults take even less effort. Not too long ago, I discovered the Don’t Panic! Dinner’s In the Freezer books. The freezer-friendly recipes are YUMMY, and the vast majority are made with whole foods - very few can of cream of’s in these books. The concept is that when you’re making dinner, it’s just about as much work to double the recipe, so chop up a few more veggies or whatever, and put what you’re not going to eat tonight in a freezer bag for later. For example, I’ve got a bag of beef stroganoff in my freezer right now. The next time we’re up for stroganoff, I just thaw it out, reheat it, and boil some noodles.

The same principle applies to some of the meals I’m making for the babies now that they’re moving onto more adult-type foods. Since I was already making Bolagnese and chicken bites for them this week, I doubled the recipes and now have many more meals in reserve in my trusty freezer. Ahhhhh… that feels good.

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