Monday, June 1, 2009

Canning baby food

We did it! We spent the entire weekend canning Brock's baby food with Spike's dad and stepmom. I intended on pureeing all of Brock's vegetables, but I kept reading that the processing time for pureed vegetables hasn't been properly determined - therefore has been deemed unsafe for home canning. So... I was a little bummed, but we decided that we would just cut all the veggies up into little bite sized pieces, cook them for a few minutes until tender-crisp, then can them like that and process them accordingly. This was the safest way to do it. Yes, it means more work for me, but whatever. I know what went into those jars and I'm satisfied that I am feeding my son food that I made! The veggies will be soft enough to just mash with a fork or spoon when I open them, so no biggie :-) We canned them using plain hot water instead of making sauces or syrups. So they are all as plain as can be.

Over the course of 2 days here is a list of what was canned:

Applesauce
Peaches
Pears
Plums
Green Beans
Carrots
Gold potatoes
Zucchini - frozen puree
Asparagus - frozen puree
Mangoes - frozen puree

The last 2 veggies and the Mango, I decided to just steam,puree, and freeze because I didn't buy a lot. It wouldn't have been time effective to can those. The Mangoes were just peeled and pureed, they didn't need to be cooked.

We still have to make:

Butternut Squash
Sweet potatoes

Although it was a lot of hard work, it was worth it! Before this weekend, Brock hated carrots. We made a lot of canned carrots, so I was hoping he'd open up to them. After we finished canning the carrots and let them cool down, we opened up a jar and let him try them! OMG!!! He ate pretty much an entire 4oz jar!!! He even cried when I set the jar down! That was the moment that made it all work it!

Here are some pictures of the weekend. Enjoy! Let me know if you have any questions :)
Sterilizing our jars

Cooking the carrots

Carrots about to get lids and ready for the pressure canner

1st jar of carrots!!


I didn't take pictures of every single fruit/veggie all the way through to the final product. But it was all very exciting. Here are some other pictures:
Plum puree


How my wonderful boys spent their time while we were canning


Ok, I'll post a few more pictures later. Brock's waking up from his nap.

9 comments:

Leslie said...

Hello! I'm happy to have stumbled across your blog - and have a question about canning Brock's baby food. I am in the midst of canning tonnes of fruit (peaches, apricots, plums, etc)..and am wondering if you have any tips for canning purees? I cannot for the life of me find any processing times or tips on canning fruit puree - everything is either jams, whole fruit, pieces, etc.

Any help you can offer?

Les
paella_@hotmail.com

.::Tuttie::. said...

thanks! I was looking for blogs about people who have canned baby food. I kept reading it was unsafe but i wasn't sure if it was one of those "studies" sponsored by the opposing side. Do you think it will be safe if I only intend on canning them for 2 weeks time or possible less?

jjrioux said...

where did you find pressure amounts and times for the little jars?

Casey Angelova said...

I am looking into canning baby food not freezing. I am growing most of it myself, but my baby isn't due till May and won't be eating solids till around fall, but I don't want to loose the peas, green beans and other early spring/summer produce. How did you canning turn out. You used the boiling method. Did the low acid foods keep well. Were there any issues? I have a pressure canner and intend on using that method. Any updates would be great.

Larissa: said...

I just recently ended up tossing about 15 cans of food that was left over (from 3 years ago). They looked fine but I didn't open and try any of them. Of what we did use and feed to Brock (and my daughter), everything kept and it kept well. Cooking the vegetables first and then canning them with hot water worked really well. The vegetables were really soft so all I had to do was drain the water and mash the veggies up; which was easily done with a baby spoon.

The only thing that did not turn out real well was the plum puree. It was entirely too tart.

Everything we did in terms of processing times, etc. we referenced from the Ball canning book. It says not to can fruit puree because processing times haven't been properly determined. So it hasn't been deemed a safe process.

I know you don't want to freeze anything, but we even pureed some vegetables, poured them into ice cube trays, froze them, them vacuum packed them into small serving size pouches. This was so convenient.

Good luck!

moma2b said...

my baby is due in june and I really want him/her to eat the fruits and veggies I grew in my garden. do you know how long the purees last in the freezer before they start loosing their nutritional value? also, did you add any lemon juice to your canned veggies?

Anonymous said...

According to my homemade baby food book, Top 100 Baby Purees by Annabel Karmel, they last for 6 weeks in the freezer.

Lacey Petrone said...

The stuff that you did can did you freeze it?

DL Duncan said...

Babies under 1 year should not eat home canned goods unless they have been boiled (full boil) for no less than 10 minutes and should be introduced one at a time due to the fact that their immune systems are still developing. This does not include fruits. ... http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/general/baby_food.html