Our 7 month-old, Roy, was recently introduced to solid foods. We started with organic rice cereal, moved on to whole-grain cereal, then started adding foods like pureed vegetables, fruits and yogurt. Now we simply put what we had for dinner (ie: minestrone soup) in the food processor. As my grandfather would say, “He eats with gusto.” Roy’s two favorites are peas and butternut squash. It’s a good thing that Heather had a plentiful harvest of squash from her veggie garden. Not only is this winter vegetable delicious, it is low calorie and contains no cholesterol or saturated fats. Plus it is high in Vitamin A and Vitamin C (two powerful anti-oxidants), B-complex groups and potassium. Let’s not forget to roast up those seeds. They are a good source of protein, mono-unsaturated fats and fiber.
1 4lb butternut squash
Preheat oven to 350°F. Using a sharp knife, slice squash in half.
Remove seeds (save for roasting) and some of the stringy flesh. Place slices in shallow roasting pan, flesh-side down, with about 1/4 inch water in bottom of pan.
Roast for approximately 45-60 minutes or until you can easily insert a fork right into the rind of the squash.
Remove squash from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes. Using a spoon, scoop out flesh from shells and place in food processor or immersion blender. Add water based on desired consistency. Of course, you can also manually blend the squash in a bowl with a spoon or fork. Discard (compost) squash shells.
Total yield from one squash is 15-20 4-ounce jars. A 4-ounce jar of 2nd foods organic baby food will run you between $1 and $1.50 a jar. That’s a savings of $15-$30! All that came from a seed planted in the ground. Remember that each butternut squash plant yields several large squash. If you’d rather buy a 3-4 lb organic butternut squash, that will cost $4-5. . . and you’re still saving a lot of money. Another benefit to making your own baby food is the reduction of waste. No more glass jars, plastic containers or “convenient” pouches.