Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Waste Not: Turn Baby Food Into Bread, not the meat ones (gross).

One night, not long ago, we sat down together for a family dinner and I cracked open a jar of baby food for Thing 2. The neighbors probably thought they should call the police due to the screaming that ensued. She had had it up to here, see, with all that pureed stuff. Short of slipping it into her morning cereal now, if she sees a jar, she gets upset and signs for "all done." Yeah, I get it, I get it.

But what am I supposed to do with all the stuff in the pantry?

Whether you're the dutiful parent who spent  a week of mornings steaming, pureeing, and then freezing little cubes of fruits and vegetables in an icecube tray so you could have a freezer full of healthy baby foods for Junior. Or you are a WIC mommy who daily experiences the balancing act of using what is provided for Baby versus what Baby will actually eat while you try to keep her healthy. At some point, the wee Babe has had enough of the mush and wants ONLY solid solids, if you please. And you have to figure out what to do with what is left behind.

(* I'd like to note that if you have store baby food, please consider donating it to a local soup kitchen if that is available to you. We are all doing with a little less, but someone is always doing with much less than you or I and they love their babies too. Help where you can.)

The recipe I used for this little test run was originally for cantaloupe bread. I think I did it a favor by changing it to suit my purposes.

Preheat your oven to 350, Mother Hubbard and spray your pans. While this recipe will make a 9x5 loaf, unless you are feeding 6 small tykes at once, you'll find you want a smaller portioning. I made 4 mini loaves but mini muffins are also a good option. Then you can grab what you need from the freezer instead of coming up with a 101 uses for carrot bread.

In a mixer bowl, add

2   4 oz jars of stage 2 puree (either single flavor or a combo of carrot, pear, apple, banana, peach, mango, squash, sweet potato, or a flavor of your choice--today I made a batch of carrot and a batch of squash with pear).

2 eggs
1/3 cup of veg oil
1 cup sugar
1 tsp of vanilla extract

In a separate bowl, blend together
1 1/2 cup AP or whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Spices: think cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, clove, 5 spice. But be kind and taste the batter before baking so you know if you are doing your little a favor or just tormenting him farther.

Blend the wet together before adding the dry ingredients. Don't over mix the batter-scrape down the bowl with a spatula, working in any unmixed flour in and being sure to reach the bottom of the bowl.

Scoop into prepared pans and bake according to the pan size: 45 minutes for a large loaf, 25-30 minutes for a mini loaf, and 15-20 minutes for muffins (depending on size).

Test with a toothpick or thin-bladed knife to be sure the bread is done before removing from the oven. Let sit in the pan for 5 minutes before removing from the pan to cool on the bread's side on a cooling rack. Cool completely before wrapping and/or freezing.

The carrot bread was a hit at lunch today....more so than the cottage cheese. I'm wondering if I could adapt a batch for "peas and cheese?"
another satisfied customer


Renee said...

That is absolutely amazing. Glad it was a success.

betty crocker said...

thanks, Renee! I'm working on some ideas for all the baby cereal next :D