“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” –Annie Dillard

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Gourmet Puree?

As the mother of a ten-month-old baby, I've been reading a lot on the internet and in parenting magazines about how making your own baby food is more cost effective and healthy and and I've been anxious to try it myself. Not that I don't trust whatever ingredients Beech Nut throws in there, but if there's a way that I can save my family some cash, I'm all for it.

So last night I got to work with my food processor/blender combo and kept it simple: a 5 lb. bag of macintosh apples, a pint of blueberries, and 6 kiwis. I made two different flavors: apple blueberry and apple kiwi.

The apple blueberry didn't make nearly as much as I thought it would because the blueberries were so small. After a few presses of the button, my food processor jammed up and the blade wouldn't spin (I still haven't figured out what's wrong with it). So I switched to the blender top but that didn't work nearly as well and I had to keep stopping it, opening the top and scraping the fruit chunks down off the sides of the glass back onto the blade. It still only pureed the fruit on the very bottom, so I stood there while it was running and rocked it from side to side, moving the fruit back down to where it could be pureed. Needless to say, it was exhausting. And I'm sure I looked ridiculous.

After this, I did the apple kiwi and poured both mixtures into ice cube trays to freeze. This is what I got:

ONLY TWO TRAYS using *all* of that fruit! According to what I've read, one cube is equal to approximately one ounce of food. So four cubes are equal to one stage 2 jar (about 53 cents apiece) and six cubes are equal to one stage 3 jar (about 79 cents apiece).
So to break down the cost of this experiment:
  • Bag of Macintosh apples: $3.99
  • Pint of Blueberries: $3.99
  • 6 Kiwis: $2
  • My pain and suffering: priceless (just kidding)
End cost: 42 cents an ounce for pureed fruit, compared to 13 cents an ounce in a jar!
All of a sudden, jarred baby food doesn't seem so expensive...

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