Yesterday and today I sent a few hours making some baby food. I noticed that a jar of baby food at the store was $1.00 each!! That ads up to be around $100.00 a month or more on food. I had this brilliant idea that I would make my own and it would be so affordable and less expensive! well, it would have been awesomely cheap if I would not have had to buy 3 cases of 8 oz jars. gulp. I figure i'll reuse them though. AND one jar will last 2 days or so in the fridge until it's all gone. :)
For my first baby I made a lot of her food too. I'd mix up bananas and applesauce and all sorts of things and freeze it. I never actually canned it before. The problem with freezing it is that I don't have a freezer big enough to store this stuff and it only keeps for 3 months. I do have about 8 more jars in the freezer now not in this picture that are just Tupperware. Also, my little one is not eating food yet.... close, but not yet.
ANYWAY, I bought a case of pears for $3.00 from the grocery store. they were reduced because they were bruised and starting to turn brown. I thought they were a lot worse than they actually were. With that case of pears, I made a case and a half full of pear puree in the 8 oz jars. I did not want to add sugar to it and I was afraid of it because I heard all these things to "not" do and I FINALLY found a tutorial that explained it to me. And I had a friend tell me she does it all the time.
I did the first batch the way it says in the tutorial and mashed it up in the pot. it worked well except I was distracted making jam at the same time and didn't stir it like I should have and it was less watery than I realized. It ended up burning on the bottom a little bit. I hope it still tastes good. I'm not too worried.
I also did a whole half bushel of apples plus about two bags full of a different kind of apples. I wish I knew what I bought because both were mushy type apples and don't have much flavor at all. We don't really eat apple sauce much here anyway, so that won't bother the baby to eat it bland.
The far left is apple sauce made with this recipe using sugar, cinnamon and water. I left out the cloves. I should have read a little more first about apples before I bought them. she has a great description of apples before the recipe. I was too impulsive and in a hurry.. also looking at the price of apples. I've never really canned before other than last year a little and I hated the way all of it came out. I just did what the other person did. Live and learn. Anyway, I don't know the best time of year to buy things and what is the best kind of things to use yet. I'm still learning. I totally missed the peach season this year. oops.
The far right recipe is just plain apples I blended up.
Like how I can't spell? How embarrassing I spelled cinnamon wrong. yeah.. I guess I can say I have my dad's spelling... it's genetic.. that's my story... and i'm sticking to it. :) Thank goodness for spell check.
This is the middle apples. I ended up boiling my apples in just enough water to use it all up in the blender without it being too watery. about 2 inches in the bottom of the pot. I covered the pot and boiled them about 10 min. then I spooned them into the blender until it was about 2/3 full. I then took 1/4 cup quick oats and dumped it in. then blended it up till it was nice and smooth. then I dumped it back in the pot. ( I had about 3 blenders full for the single pot of apples I did) I dumped in some cinnamon and stirred it in on a simmer then spooned it in my jars. I processed them about 20 min. not sure if that was too long or not. I figured it couldn't really hurt. baby food is supposed to be squishy. This can be eaten when she is a little older too. I'm so excited to feed her my yummy food! :) i'm sure it tastes way better than store bought baby food. have you smelled it?!! gross. If you need some ideas for more baby food, here is a good link.
This was all a lot of work, but how can I not want to for this cute little stink bug?
I also made my first ever jam. I just followed the recipe on the inside of the box of .. now I can't remember the name of it. The stuff you put in jam. Berries were also not cheap so I only made one batch. they were $2.98 a carton and it too 4 cartons to make 3 jars full. These are a little bigger size but not the quart size. It wasn't too cost effective, but it was a fun experience. WE don't even eat jam here very often at all. Have you ever heard of a 3 year old that doesn't like PB&J? FOOD STORAGE!!
We had case lot sales going on right now too and I bought a case of tomato sauce, a giant bag of rice, oatmeal, etc.. it feels awesome to get some built up. We're getting there little by little.
Tomorrow I have a whole case of pears to can and then i'm done! Yay!