Making lemonbars out of lemon baby food?
December 1, 2017 5:30 AM   Subscribe

I have an over abundance of baby purees and cereals and my baby only wants hand held food now. What can I make with this stash?

My adorable and endlessly frustrating 9 month old has decided that mom helping her eat is completely passe and she won't let me help her with a spoon or a pouch, yet she can't really manage a spoon or pouch yet.

Thanks to the generosity of WIC overseas, I have a cupboard full of various vegetable and fruit purees as well as oatmeal cereal and rice cereal (powdered single grain if you haven't seen baby food in a while). How can I transform this so it doesn't go to waste? No bake baby bars? Help!

I have a lot of garden vegetable (spinach/pea/carrot and her favorite flavor), peas, green beans, sweet potato, banana berry, orange banana, and prune.

So far, I've put sweet potato and carrot puree into the black beans I was cooking. That turned out fine, but they just kind of disappeared into the soup. I've also mixed a banana blueberry mix into yogurt and poured oatmeal in till it was thick, it was delicious cold and surprisingly fluffy and tasty when microwaved.
posted by stormygrey to Food & Drink (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I should add, she'll eat anything. All the vegetables, all the fruits, egg, beans, whatever. We don't really do meat here.
posted by stormygrey at 5:32 AM on December 1, 2017

You could make a lot of baby frittata type things with whatever veg you would ordinarily use, just with added puree. Banana bread with maybe a little less sugar, but added puree? But for the most part, I would just add them into things you're already making, some puree in the mashed potatoes, here's porridge with some puree; yum--yum, smoothies with puree.
posted by glitter at 5:53 AM on December 1, 2017 [4 favorites]

We had a puree-refusing kid. We put it on bread, like you would jam, although it doesn't need to be a sweet flavor, and then cut it into small bits. The added stickiness made it easier for him to pick up.
posted by tchemgrrl at 6:05 AM on December 1, 2017 [8 favorites]

Glitter made me think of all the quick bread and muffin recipes that call for some sort of puree - applesauce, sweet potato, carrot, etc. If you like to bake and experiment you could try that. There are both sweet and savory options.

Would she eat puree on toast or crackers? That would be less labor-intensive for you.

Also - any chance you can arrange a swap with someone whose baby still eats puree?

Speaking of black beans - those can be made into hand-held black bean brownies. Sweet potato or prune would probably be fine mixed in.
posted by bunderful at 6:07 AM on December 1, 2017 [2 favorites]

When my daughter did this, I used everything orange to make pumpkin bread.
posted by FencingGal at 6:39 AM on December 1, 2017

Quick breads for sure. Think of banana or zucchini bread -- you can hide a ton of veg or fruit purees in that kind of thing. Any fruit will do for a sweetish one; any veg for savory. Actually most veg will be fine in a sweetish one too, just not something like green beans or peas. But squash is fine.

Google some recipes, but feel free to lower the amount of flour and eliminate the additional sugar; your baby will be fine without more sugar and she won't mind an unconventional texture (if you reduce the flour and sugar it will be wetter and heavier, but that's ok.) For the savory ones, you can add some cheese for extra calcium and protein. Throw some eggs in for protein as well. The oatmeal flour would go nicely in either sweet or savory loaves.

Of course you can also bake these batters as mini-muffins which would be nice to freeze.
posted by fingersandtoes at 6:42 AM on December 1, 2017 [2 favorites]

I used to make my kids green eggs (like from green eggs and ham), by dumping a green purée like green beans into eggs and scrambling them. I imagine pancakes with purée in would be delicious!
posted by Valancy Rachel at 8:04 AM on December 1, 2017 [2 favorites]

Not necessarily for the baby: some of the fruit purées are quite delicious on ice cream.
posted by sciencegeek at 8:09 AM on December 1, 2017

Some flavours you can use as pasta sauce.

You can use any of the fruit ones to mix with oats and milk to make baked oatmeal. Cut into fingers and eat for breakfast or snacks. I use pureed prunes, milk, oats, vanilla, cinnamon and sometimes add crystallized ginger or sultanas.

You can also use the fruit ones to make ice pops.
posted by kadia_a at 8:12 AM on December 1, 2017 [2 favorites]

If what the baby likes is the ability to pick food up, make cereals using a lot less liquid, and serve in lumps. You can make oatmeal with fruit baby food, let it set up, cut in squares. Rice with pureed veg and/ or meat. etc.
posted by theora55 at 9:01 AM on December 1, 2017

Baby food is kind of my go to snack when I’m feeling kind of over eating regular food. I like to make sweet potato “pudding”, which is basically a few jars of the yam purée, lots of cinnamon, some honey or maple syrup, and that’s it. The berry/banana purée goes great in smoothies, and you can also make ice cubes out of everything for use when teething starts. It’s really a very useful little resource as you’re finding out!
posted by Hermione Granger at 9:38 AM on December 1, 2017

How about freezing the purses into baby popsicles? I made them with a mini popsicle mold when our kids were babies and they were great for buying you 20 minutes of snack/entertainment time. Frozen veggie and cereal parfaits sound like fun.

Also, how about smoothies?
posted by defreckled at 7:06 PM on December 1, 2017

If you'd be okay with not eating this, donating this food to a good food bank or similar would certainly ensure that it would not go to waste. Or, maybe you could mix some of the purees into pancake mix? I think the oats suggestion would also work well.
posted by belau at 7:57 PM on December 1, 2017

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