One of our fabulous Super Baby Food parents asked about saving time by grounding up the grains for Super Baby Porridge and Freezing for use later. we thought it was such a great question that we would share Ruth’s answer.
Regarding the freezing of Ground grains for use later, Ruth says:
I’m not really sure how long (ground grains) will keep in the deep freeze after grinding. I know that I put in my book, Super Baby Food, that they will keep for two months at refrigerator temperatures, so in the deep freeze, figure about six months or more.
Please note that in the next edition of my book (due out soon), also entitled Super Baby Food, that I will be recommending that you do NOT grind in advance. I will be recommending that you grind them immediately before cooking. The reason for this is the fresher the grain and the more recently that it has been broken open by grinding, the more nutrients it has and the less nutrient loss to air, light, and heat. So if you have a blender/grinder, I would suggest you use it daily. If you do not have a blender/grinder and borrow someone else’s to do batch grinding, then it might be more convenient if you store in the fridge up to 2 months or in the deep freezer in good-quality freezer containers for about 6 months.
Thanks for writing!
Happy Memorial Day!
The Super Baby Food Blog would like to highlight two blog posts this week that we feel are particularly well done.
Ali at MomSpark.net put together a fantastic post to help beginners start to make their own baby food. Super Baby Food lovers know that the first step can be a bit daunting but once in the groove, making your own baby food is as easy a one, two, three. Momspark.net identifies one, two, three for you to help you get started in a quick and easy way.
Naomi Odes Aytur of Babble wrote a terrific post with a recipe of homemade baby food made with cauliflower and millet. She made it sound and look easy and her testimonial of her baby’s love for the dish is inspiring. Thanks, Naomi, for posting this terrific recipe for homemade baby food.
Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A that is not toxic, even in large doses. Your baby should get a vitamin A veggie every day! Here are some details for feeding you baby carrots:
Age: Baby must be at least 7 months old for cooked carrots, 10 months for finely grated raw carrots.
Choosing: Carrots should be firm, and not pale. The smaller the carrot, the sweeter the carrot.
Storing: Carrots need cold temperature and high humidity. Store in the refrigerator in plastic bag with holes. When properly stored, carrots retain their nutrients for up to two weeks.
Preparation for cooking: Nutrients are most concentrated in the peels of carrots and just below. You don’t have to peel or scrape young or small carrots if you give them a good scrubbing with a vegetable brush. Older, bigger carrots are probably better peeled.
Steaming: Steam whole carrots 15 minutes, carrot slices about 10 minutes.
Baking: Large carrots can be baked in the oven. Scrub them and leave whole and unpeeled. Bake at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes.
Freezing: Freeze pureed carrots using the food cube method for up to 2 months.
In a previous post, we outlined the Super Baby Food Food Cube Freezing method. Freezing food is an important step. Thawing the food is the next important step. It’s important to thaw the food “safely.” “Safely” here has two meanings. First, baby food should be thawed in a way which prevents bacterial growth. Baby food should never be thawed at room temperature, and baby food should not be kept at room temperature for more than several minutes. Second, “safely” means thawing baby food so that it is not too hot or too cold to be a danger to your baby. If it’s too hot, it may burn your baby’s mouth. If it is too cold, and therefore not thawed thoroughly, it may contain frozen food chunks that are choking hazards to your baby. Food that is too cold may also “burn” your baby’s sensitive mouth. In thawing food, you simply want to take the chill out of baby’s food, you don’t want to make it hot.
Here are a few ways to safely thaw those frozen baby food cubes:
Thaw Food Cubes on the Stove Top:
Place frozen food cube in a pot and thaw over very low heat stirring often. A double broiler can also be used. This method takes a while so begin to warm the cubes 15 minutes to 1/2 hour before mealtime.
Thaw Food Cubes in the refrigerator:
Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Be sure to stir insuring that no frozen chunks are left. If you need to warm the food a bit, place container in a larger container with hot tap water.
Thaw Food Cubes In the Microwave:
Many experts recommend avoiding the microwave altogether because of the uneven heating that microwaves are notorious for. It’s a fact that parents use the microwave regardless so, if you are going to use the microwave to thaw, be careful. Place the frozen cubes in a little microwave-safe bowl. With experience you will know exactly how long to thaw a frozen cube, probably between 30 seconds and a minute. Once thawed almost all the way through, mash the remaining cube to even out the temperature.
Here are a few tips to make sure that baby’s food will be safe for baby to eat:
- Stir, stir, stir baby food thoroughly to distribute heat
- Always test the temperature of your baby’s food BEFORE feeding to your baby
- Never re-freeze thawed baby food!
Pureed, cooked vegetables are a large part of the Super Baby Food Diet. To save time and energy, cook and puree large batches of veggies all at once and freeze them in ice cube trays using the Food Cube Method.
The Food Cube Method involves two steps:
1) Placing the food in ice cube trays and letting it freeze until solid, and
2) Transferring the frozen food cubes into plastic freezer bags.
Remember, the pureed food in the ice cube trays should be frozen as quickly as possible.
After the the food cubes are frozen solid (8-12 hours), transfer them to freezer bags (you must use Freezer bags, not storage bags) removing as much of the air in the bag as possible. Label and date each bag with a freeze date and a expire date. It’s safe to say that frozen vegetables will keep up to two months. A timesaver tip is to mix together several days worth of orange and green vegetable cubes and avocado cubes in the same freezer bag. This trick makes it easier to find, pull out, and open ONE bag instead of three!