May 21, 2009

Baby Food Muffins

Every time I go down to our "pantry" (a set of shelves in the middle of our basement), I look glumly at row upon row of baby food jars. When Gerber was switching to the plastic containers, Walmart cleared out the glass ones for something lovely like 20 cents each. The twins were babies, and one of the baby foods on the "do not make at home" list is carrots, and carrots are so vitamin-Ariffic, and long story short, I bought...100 jars? 200 jars? A LOT OF JARS.

I went through a most of them with the twins, of course, but I still had a bunch left over. I'd thought I could use them for Henry, but then he had his little issues and one of the foods we were supposed to avoid was carrots. So there the little jars sat.

Eventually it occurred to me to donate them to a food bank, but by then they'd expired. Expiration dates don't make me nervous with things like jarred carrots (I do a sniff test, that's all), but what was I going to DO with them?

Today, inspiration struck: MUFFINS. I made my favorite muffin recipe, using three small bananas that had reached the Emergency point, plus 2 (four-ounce) jars of carrot baby food. This was for a batch of 24 muffins. For the optional spices, I used 3 teaspoons of cinnamon, and for the optional chocolate chips I used nearly 2 cups of chocolate chunks. For the optional extract, I used 2 teaspoons of vanilla. I didn't put in any optional nuts/fruits.

They are YUM.

21 comments:

Nowheymama said...

I used up the last of our baby food in quick bread. Great minds....

fairydogmother said...

That sounds delicious. I suppose I could try it myself using some of the actual carrots sitting in my fridge... Although that would require, uh, that I use math. Oh, and buy more bananas. Maybe this weekend!

bat7mess said...

YEP- I have a cook book that suggests using baby food carrots (and butternut squash and other things) as a short cut instead of pureeing fresh veggies. Good tip!

beyond said...

very imaginative. i always think store bought baby food tastes great, so i am sure those muffins were yummy.

Emily R said...

You are brilliant.

honeybecke said...

I love cooking with baby food. I stick baby food veggies in any stew or soup I happen to be making. But my favorite thing to do with baby food carrots is to add them to the boys smoothies. YUM :)

Jiff said...

awesome idea!

Maggie2 said...

Mmmm, yes. I do this all the time... every batch of chocolate cupcakes I make has a jar of babyfood squash in it. Or carrots, or sweet potatoes, whatever jar I come up with. Rejected by baby, gobbled up by mama!! And cupcakes with veggies are virtually calorie FREE, right?

Claire said...

These sound really tasty!
Jessica Seinfeld has that "Deceptively Delicious" cookbook, and there is a yummy muffin recipe in there using carrot puree, bananas, and peanut butter. They are awesome. Some of the other recipes are neither deceptive nor delicious, but the breakfast foods are all pretty good

Kira said...

Wait...why aren't you supposed to make carrot baby food at home? WILL I KILL MAH BAYBEEE?

Swistle said...

Oh, dear, I was afraid someone would ask, because my answer is SO dim and uneducated-sounding, and I feel like I should know MORE about it but it is so boring. The gist is that carrots can contain a lot of...nitrates? In quantities that are okay for adults but not for babies. And that the baby food companies know about it so they test carefully and also use...carrots with less nitrates? But other veggie folks don't do anything about it, so you could get a batch of carrots that was...too nitratey? (I am REALLY winging it here.) There are a few vegetables like this, and I forget what they are because they're vegetables I wasn't planning to make baby food out of anyway, like turnips.

I still used vegetable blends that contained carrots, though, for making baby food. And with my first baby, I hadn't heard of this (I got it on a handout from the pediatrician with my second baby) and I made carrot baby food for him all the time.

Shoeaddict said...

I was just about to ask this question. I'm planning to make baby food for this baby I'm cooking right now. But I know nothing about it. Any suggestions on what I should read?

Tessa said...

My mom makes her delish carrot cake with baby food carrots. You know, just in case you also have a craving for cream cheese frosting. I go even lazier and buy the pre-shredded carrots in a bag. I like the crunch.

Merrily Down the Stream said...

Brilliant!

Swistle said...

Shoeaddict- I recommend reading these posts by a TOTAL GENIUS:

1. Making Baby Food: It's Easy!2. Making Baby Food: Encore!3. Baby Food Recipe Adventure: Prunes

Lauren said...

I just made baby food carrot muffins two days ago! They were awesome. I used both carrots and applesauce, cinnamon and ginger for spices, and stirred in raisins at the end. Like carrot cake, but maybe healthier? Or at least socially acceptable for breakfast.

Swistle said...

Ooo, Lauren. I have to try those, with maybe a glaze made with cream cheese and powdered sugar and hot water? OMG.

Kelly said...

I did the same thing. My daughter is 16 months and only has 4 (barely) teeth. So when she started table food she had NO teeth and I struggled to find things she could eat. I had all this baby food left that she had NO interest in. And she loves the little mini pancakes and I give them to her frozen and she gnaws on them in bliss. So I made babyfood pancakes in various flavors and they were fantabulous!

Michelle said...

Huh. I didn't know I wasn't supposed to use carrots. I steamed and mashed them all the time. Whoops.

I miss making baby food. It was so fun and easy... and I think there must be something wrong with me for having just said that.

thepeacefulbaker said...

I'm baking mine now. I used three bags of HappyBaby's Banana/Beet/Blueberry puree and one bag of the Spinach/Mango/Pear.
I used Earth Balance vegan margarine and one and a half "flax" eggs and a half "Ener-G" egg.
I used no optional items. Although I thought the batter tasted salty so I added about a tablespoon of light agave syrup. (My puree didn't reach all the way to the two cup mark)

These should be healthy and yummy! The batter is a beautiful pink color from the beets.

Thanks for the awesome recipe!!

Heather said...

WIC gives us SO many and we do baby led solids, I get them with the hopes of cooking with them (the banana is great for making frosting, for instance and the applesauce in baking) but need more recipes! Glad I'm not the only one :D

Also, you were my top Google hit and the interesting thing--your picture of a skirt? Is one that my daughter owns!