Monday, October 3, 2011

homemade baby food

Sometimes little Will gets better food than the Cheerios he finds on the floor...that is, when mommy is in the mood to experiment.  It really is all about me when it comes to homemade baby food. =)
here is a little picture tutorial of homemade cottage cheese banana puree.  It was really good with the fresh cottage cheese, but I'm sure it would be good with store boughten or ricotta cheese as well.

So first off the cottage cheese.  I made a european version in which you take milk straight out of the refrigerator and add a culture of sour cream.  It's about a tablespoon per quart, but it's not a perfect science-no perfectionism here.  Then cover with cheese cloth and set in a warm place in your kitchen where you won't forget it.  It sits around until the culture eats up the sugar and separates the solids from the whey.  You've got your cheese in about two days depending on warmth and humidity.  Once the milk looks kind of like cottage cheese and you see clear liquid apart from the solid, give it a light stir and put it in the oven for an hour or two at 200 degrees.  I think this makes it safe to eat and keeps the firm texture of the cheese in tact.  Then strain with a cheese cloth or fine wire mesh strainer; let it sit in the strainer covered with a towel for a half hour or so until it's really strained out and refrigerate like any other cottage cheese.  It's ready to eat-or in our case to make a fun puree with.  That didn't take long to make right...just a few days. ;)  Remember, this is cheap entertainment, not a money saving time saving venture.

What it looks like two days in after a gentle stir.  you can see the clear liquid apart from the cheese at this point.  I put it in the oven uncovered.  This consists of organic (hey, it really does taste better) 1% milk and 1 tablespoon whole milk sour cream.  We have gnats in our kitchen right now, so I put this bowl inside a cast iron pot with the lid on so they wouldn't get near my project while it fermented.  I figured it would get enough air when I checked it periodically and took the lid off.  It did. 

*A side note, this happened to work on the maiden voyage, so I don't have any scary stories to report (yet) about mold or gross smelling milk.  The culture from the sour cream should be more hearty than other bacteria in competition with it and shouldn't smell bad when fermenting.  If your milk smells icky and like something died...that's probably what happened...in this case the happy sour cream culture.

 Jude tested the final product and said it tasted like...cottage cheese-success
 I added a half a banana and a little (1/2 cup) coconut milk (a whole banana is, of course, more sweet and any kind of milk can be used to the consistency you prefer)
 I then pureed with one of those hand mixer/blender things, which worked great...only I got this one from Goodwill and it started making loud noises half way through and the handle got a little warm.  I kind of think it wanted to bust into flame really...the boys thought it was just hilarious.  Again, remember this is cheap entertainment...really cheap.
 it was really good-very creamy and light

1 comment:

J and A said...

I've thought of milk and yogurt, but homemade cottage cheese, now that's a new one :)

So did you buy your sour cream culture, or just use normal sour cream from the store? I'm guessing the latter to make it cheaper?! Fun though! Maybe I'll have to use my boys as guinea pigs too!