Here’s a unique way to use your food storage: make baby food! If you’ve got little ones, having a supply of homemade baby food on hand could help you save money and assure you that the food you’re feeding your baby isn’t full of preservatives. Since many freeze dried foods come chopped, sliced, and peeled, cooking baby food with food storage will cut the prep time at least in half. The best part is that you can use this pre-made baby food every day or store it for an emergency. If you make and can your own baby food, you can have supplies ready to toss in a grab and go bag if you need to evacuate, or ready at home if you have to shelter in place. Here are some recipes and tips for making baby food from food storage. Mango Blueberry Puree (ages 6 months +) 1 ½ C Provident Pantry® Freeze Dried Mango Chunks 1 C MyChoice™ Freeze Dried Blueberries 1 C Provident Pantry® Freeze Dried Banana Dices Reconstitute ingredients following the directions on the can. Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend to desired consistency. Serve. Variation for adults: Put all reconstituted ingredients into a blender with 1- 1 1/2 C reconstituted Provident Pantry Non-fat Dry milk for a smoothie. Add milk until smoothie reaches your desired consistency. (The smoothie is rather tasty! I HIGHLY recommend making it for yourself as a treat.) Blueberry, Spinach, and Apple Puree (ages 6 months +) 1 C MyChoice™ Freeze Dried Blueberries 2 C Mountain House® Freeze Dried Apple Slices A Handful MyChoice™ Freeze Dried Spinach Reconstitute ingredients following directions on the can. Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend to desired consistency. Serve. Spinach, Apple, and Blackberry (ages 6 months +) 1 C MyChoice™ Freeze Dried Spinach 2 C Mountain House® Freeze Dried Apple Slices 1 C MyChoice™ Freeze Dried Blackberries Reconstitute ingredients following directions on the can. Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend to desired consistency. Serve. Tip: Make sure that the Blackberry seeds are blended well. Also, be aware that the Spinach has a strong taste. Consider adding more apples if needed.
Tips for Cooking Baby Food from Food Storage
- Many baby food recipes for fresh produce suggest boiling the food before you puree it, and using the water it was boiled in to preserve nutrients.
- Once you rehydrate the fruits and veggies, they’ll already be soft, so you can skip the boiling step (unless boiling is called for in the directions to rehydrate the food) to preserve nutrients.
- Use a little bit of the water that you drain from the fruits and veggies after re-hydrating to put into your puree to add nutrients.
- You can make baby food in a blender or food processor. You may want to also consider getting a hand-operated food processor like this Food Strainer or the Kitchen Plus 2000 so you can puree baby food quickly and easily—with or without electricity.
- Be adventurous and try new combinations—add or subtract ingredients to your taste.
How to Store Baby Food from Food Storage
- If you store your baby food in an ice tray, it will last in the freezer for up to three months! You can also use Ziploc bags, breast milk bags, or Tupperware to freeze your baby food in and to take with you on the go.
- According to the USDA, it is safe to can homemade baby foods made from fruits that are highly acidic. The [USDA website] provides a chart for canning pint size and half pint size jars using a boiling water bath.
- Do NOT can pureed veggies, low-acid fruits, or red meats or poultry meats using a boiling water bath (even tomatoes that are high in acid and considered a fruit). You will have to use a pressure canner like the All American Pressure Canner to preserve baby food recipes with these ingredients.