Jul 14, 2009

Barley Cereal and Acorn Squash

I have a love-hate relationship with the prepackaged baby cereals. They come as dehydrated flakes that have no resemblance to their original food and they are only found in the most common grains - rice, oatmeal, wheat and mixed grain ( the other three together). Logan has had the rice and absolutely hates the oatmeal, so I want to try Barley. I bought some organic pearled barley from the bulk food section of my local grocery store and attempted to make cereal from it last night. I boiled 3 c water and added 1 c barley, simmered for a little over an hour then blended in the food processor. The first batch I blended was very chunky and gluey - like overcooked oatmeal. The second batch, which I blended with a lot more liquid turned out a bit smoother but was still a little on the chunky side. I haven't attempted to feed Logan the slightly chunky cereal yet - so the verdict it still out over the consistency. I'm going to start giving him foods with a bit of texture as he has been doing quite well with the smooth solids and has very little extrusion reflex (not to mention the 7 teeth!)

I'm going to try processing the barley before cooking it next time to try and get a smoother consistency...I'll let you know how it goes!

Here's a successful baby food recipe that yields the equivalent of ~8 first food jars for a fraction of the cost:

Pureed Acorn Squash

Cut 1 acorn squash length-wise and scoop out the seeds. Place in a large microwave safe bowl with lid and add 1/2 c water to the bowl. Cover loosely and microwave for 10 min on high power, or until tender. Carefully remove the hot squash from the bowl and let cool until able to handle on a plate or cutting board. Scoop the squash off the skin using a large spoon and place in a food processor. Blend with some of the steaming liquid until the desired consistency has been reached. Scoop into an ice cube tray and freeze. Once frozen, remove from the tray into a labelled freezer bag. When ready to use, remove the desired amount and thaw in the microwave or fridge.

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