Making Your Own Baby Food with a Food Mill

If you don’t already own a food mill, don’t necessarily rush out and buy one. In The Eco-nomical Baby Guide, we warn against buying something that you’ll use just a few short months—and really, babies graduate from pureed mush to bite-sized chunks relatively quickly. However, if you think you might get some use out of a food mill once your baby food days are over, then now is the time to get one. It’s one of the best tools for baby food cookery you can find. Why? A food mill saves a lot of work. No peeling and seeding—just steam some apples or sweet potatoes or green beans and run them through the mill. All the seeds, peels, and stringy bits get filtered right out–and it doesn’t even need any electricity to work!

The Best Gingerbread Cookie Recipe (and it’s even low-fat)

Gingerbread_man from ShrekI do not usually seek out low-fat cookie recipes (what’s the point?), but my favorite gingerbread cookie just so happens to contain just 3 grams of fat. We bake these year-round, but they’re especially delicious around the holidays.

Aww, how could you eat this little guy from Shrek? Well, he is full of sugar and spice and everything nice. . . .

(Modified from the Joy of Cooking)



Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

Mix together:

3 cups of flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 ¾ teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves

Beat until well-blended:

6 tablespoons softened butter
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg

What Do I Do with All These Tomatoes?

If you read my dejected post outlining my garden failures and my subsequent, more hopeful garden update, you’ll be pleased to know that I am now swimming in tomatoes! My wildest gardening dreams have come true, because I’ve always wanted to be someone who had more tomatoes than she knew what to do with. This year, I can’t claim I’ve saved any money by starting a garden, but in the following years I just may break even or even start saving a few dollars by planting my own produce.

ideas and recipes for garden tomatoes

Over 8 pounds in one day!

So what can I do with the eight to fourteen pounds of tomatoes I’m picking each week? Here’s what I’ve done so far:

Yumm Sauce Recipe Imitation

First of all, if you don’t know what the amazing Yumm Sauce is, you’ll have to check last week’s post for details.  It is a magical liquid that makes young and old alike beg for bowls of brown rice and beans–seriously!

Now I like to support our local Cafe Yumm just because I believe in their business and want to contribute, but some of you live across the country and will never be able to experience the wonder of Yumm Sauce for yourselves.   Hence, the reason for today’s recipe imitation.

This recipe comes from the site Chick Chat, written by a local mom right here in Eugene.  I can take no credit whatsoever for the following recipe or its authenticity, but I hope it’s as delicious as the real thing!

Are You (or Your Baby) on a Gluten-free Diet? Here’s the Blog for You!

I’ve known quite a few nursing mothers (including Joy!) who’ve gone on various food-elimination diets while breastfeeding.  Oftentimes, babies who were sensitive to certain foods transmitted through the breast milk end up having food sensitivities when they transition to solid foods as well.

Common problem foods include nuts (read our post about eating nuts while breastfeeding here) and wheat.  If you are on a gluten-free diet, there is an excellent new resource out in the blogosphere: The Gluten Free Gourmand.  The Portland-based writer, Gina E. Kelley, plans to review many of the gluten-free restaurants and products in Portland.  She also writes about topics of interest to our wheat-free friends everywhere:

Organic Junk Food for Breakfast?

Those first few months with a new baby are exhausting, and sometimes it’s difficult to scrounge up a piece of toast, let alone a complete wholesome breakfast.  While homemade oatmeal is a cheap, nutritious standby, sometimes you might want to indulge in something even easier.

Now, as a whole foods purist, I was not seduced by the organic packaged foods at Grocery Outlet–but my husband, Andy, was.  Here are his reviews of some of the products he tried.

Nature’s Path Organic Toaster Pastries, brown sugar maple cinnamon. ($2.00, $.33 each)

6 per package

210 calories

16 g sugar, 3 g protein

All natural, organic ingredients-but the second ingredient is sugar.

Brown Rice Protein Powder Boosts Nutrition in Baby Food

Back when I wrote my Fattening Baby, Naturally post, I was searching for alternatives to Pediasure.   Although Audrey’s pediatrician wanted her to drink Pediasure in order to gain some weight, I hesitated giving her something with non-organic dairy products, artificial flavors, sugar, and maltodextrin.  I ended up doing all sorts of things to boost the calories and fat in her diet, and I also made a discovery: MLO brown rice protein powder.

A 24-oz container of the powder costs about $10.  I found it in the health food section of my local grocery store.  It’s gluten-free, vegan, and contains two simple ingredients: rice protein concentrate and rice bran.  As rice is often a first food for babies, it seemed like the perfect thing to add to her food without bombarding her with unnatural or unhealthful ingredients.