I mentioned yesterday that I really like the book Super Baby Food. I use the recipe for homemade yogurt from this book, and lean heavily on it for my baby food making ideas.
One of the main "recipes" for baby in this book is for Super Porridge. Prior to 6 months, babies need single grain cereals (the store bought flakes that mix with milk or water), but after 6 months, multi-grain cereals can be made at home. Often this takes the form of oatmeal, but Super Baby Food gives instructions for making Super Porridge from a number of different grains and legumes.
Basically, you grind up the ingredients (oatmeal for instance) using either a blender or food processor. I use a food processor, but Super Baby Food recommends a blender. Grind the oatmeal until it makes a fine powder. In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Use 1 cup of water for every 1/4 cup of powder. Once the water is boiling, sprinkle the powder in to the saucepan. Use a whisk and stir rapidly to prevent a boil-over!
Once the powder is stirred into the water, reduce heat to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes. It will thicken up considerably.
Store in the refrigerator and use over the next 3 days.
How we do it!
I've kept my Super Porridge fairly simple; I usually just use oatmeal, though I have also used split peas and lentils. I make it a little thicker than the original recipe. Right now I use 2 cups of water and a cup of oatmeal powder. It makes a very thick oatmeal that I store in the fridge. I scoop out a portion into a bowl and give it a little mash before microwaving. The consistency after being in the fridge is very thick! After the oatmeal is warm (really, I just take off the chill) I add a little bit of pumped milk or formula, which brings it back to a more oatmeal-like thickness. Sometimes I add a little fruit or applesauce as well.
I grind more than I need each time I make the super porridge, and just store it in a glass jar to use later in the week. I have the oatmeal powder already measured when I put it into the storage container, so all I have to do is boil the water and cook!
The first time I made this for my daughter, she would not touch it! I ended up adding applesauce for a while, gradually reducing the amount, until she would eat it plain. My son is a totally different story....he eats everything! I also think that this is a great way to transition your children to eating regular oatmeal instead of toddler products that are overpriced and full of sugar.
As with anything new, it took a few times to get comfortable, but now I can mix up some oatmeal while I'm in the kitchen doing something else too.
I'd love to hear about your experiences with homemade oatmeal or any other baby food. I am always looking for something new to try!