Monday, November 30, 2009

Baby's Thanksgiving: Sweet Potatos

So, since Thanksgiving is over and we've got Christmas around the corner, I ramped up the food-introduction schedule and brought in sweet potatoes and green beans this weekend so my girls could have a little feast of their own with the family!  Now, there are a couple of different ways to do sweet potatoes.  I've got some pretty crazy "waterless" cookware that helps me out with this process, but not to worry!  I'll jump in with alternate directions for those of you who still have your sanity and refused to shell out $3k for pots and pans.  (Yeah, I'm a total nutjob, don't laugh.)

Step 1: Obtain fresh sweet potatoes.  They're usually pretty affordable.  Pick up some extras and at the end of this I'll tell you how to make sweet potatoes taste delish for you, too!  You'll need a good, sharp knife (they can be hard to cut) and a veggie/potato peeler.

... and, if you're like me, you'll need a shallow skillet with tight-fitting lid like this one.  (Alternate instructions: Method A - Baking; you will need aluminum foil.  Method B - Steaming; you will need a steamer.)

Step 2: Peel and wash potatoes (Method A - Do not peel; wash potatoes and wrap in aluminum foil.  Proceed to Step 5. Method B - no change.)

Step 3: Chop potatoes into smallish chunks.  I halve the potato, halve again and then slice. (Method B - no change.)

Step 4: Put the chunks into the pan with about a cup of water. (Method B - put potatoes in steamer instead.)

Step 5: Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes and lower heat to simmer for another 45 minutes to an hour if you are using the waterless cookware(Method A - Bake potatoes for an hour at 375 degrees and check with a fork.  If they are soft, remove and let cool for 30 minutes.  Otherwise, continue baking in 20 minute intervals until potatoes are soft.  Method B - Steam until tender according to your steamer's instructions.)

Potatoes, regardless of cooking method, should yield easily to pressure from a fork.

 Step 6: Mash.  Mash, mash, mash.  Enjoy it.  I do.  (I will not name the faces I picture while mashing; that would be rude.)  (Method A - Remove from skins and mash. Method B - no change.)

*At this point, all methods follow the same steps.*

Step 7: Begin adding mashed sweet potatoes to the blender.  You'll probably need water to add to the mix for this one and it requires a bit of patience to keep starting and stopping the blender to stir the mush. 

In case you were wondering, I pureed the amount of potatoes in this case in two separate batches in the blender.  It also filled 6 ice cube trays. 

Step 8: When the consistency is what you'd like - whatever thickness you like, so long as there are no lumps, you're ready to go ahead and spoon into the trays and freeze.  Sweet potatoes freeze exceptionally well and thaw fabulously with no separation of liquid whatsoever. 

Actually, just before I finished this post, I had mashed up a banana and stirred it into the girls' thawed sweet potato cubes for a sweet treat for their lunch.  Mmmm - delightful! 

Now, if you wanted to take any of this info and translate it to the adult palate, you could follow steps 1-5 for my method and add some pats of butter and a quarter cup of brown sugar to the potatoes before covering and cooking and mash everything together.  That's how I prepare my holiday sweet potato recipe and it is absolutely delicious.  My husband asks for it weekly.  Sometimes I mash up the sweet potatoes and sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on the mash and drizzle a little honey over the top before serving and omit the butter and brown sugar entirely. 

Enjoy and keep it up if you're walking the path of homemade baby food with me!  It's so rewarding!

1 comment:

Kate said...

Too funny, I'm working on a similar post as I type this.....I'm the Sweet Potato Gal at my house too, so I'm always in charge of this dish for holidays!!


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