Monday, November 14, 2011

Sweet Pea

After success with three "yellow" foods (sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and butternut squash), I thought it was time to introduce my son to green veggies.  In keeping with what I've been doing the last several weeks, I consulted the  babyfood cookbook I've been using, Cooking for Baby...  I was pleased to learn that making baby food with frozen peas is just as good as using fresh, and saves me the time of washing and shelling.  And, since peas are no longer in season, frozen peas it is!

Although I'd  been warned that peas can cause gassiness in babies (particularly those who suffered from colic, just so you know) I still wanted to try them.  I was never a huge fan, and growing up, my mom would have to sneak peas into various dishes for my brother and me.  My hope is that introducing them early will not only make my son like peas, but also inspire me to make them more, and perhaps help myself enjoy them more!  Afterall, according to my favorite babyfood website, Momtastic:
"The nutritional value of peas is amazing when you think of the small size of a cup of peas. Did you know that one cup of peas contains more protein that a tablespoon of peanut butter and also provides Calcium, Vitamin A and C and Iron too?"
Vitamin C, did you say?  Score!  My son is getting over his first cold and I need a good way to get this immune-system jump starter into his system without the aid of allergy-causing citrus (that's right; babies shouldn't have citrus until their first birthday).  

While I found peas super easy to make with my Beaba Babycook, beware that the skins can make fresh peas difficult to puree.  For that matter, even frozen peas (like those I used, pictured above) can be a bear without the assistance of a food processor, blender, and possible a sieve!  Don't say I didn't warn you!  I'll be sharing the method for cooking with the Beaba, as well as that for a traditional steamer, below.

Step 1:  Add water to the steamer reservoir, using Level 3.
Fit steamer basket into cooking bowl, and fill with peas
Turn switch to steam.  For those using a traditional steamer,
this translates to a total of 2 cups water and one 1-pound
package sweet peas. 
If using a Beaba, you'll have to work in batches to cook
the entire bag of peas.  I was able to do half the bag
at a time.

Step 2:  Following steaming, lift steamer basket from
work bowl and pour peas into the work bowl.  Leave the
steaming liquid in the work bowl to act as a thinning
agent (and add back the nutrients that might have
cooked out while steaming).
Step 3:  Puree, puree, puree!  Add more liquid if
necessary.  Use a spoon or spatula to ensure you
got all the chunks!  Repeat steps 1-3 until you've
cooked and pureed all your peas! 
That 1-pound bag made seven servings!
So, was it worth it? Well, a one-pound bag cost $1.25 and made 7 servings, or $0.18 per serving. A one-serving jar of babyfood was $0.49. So yes, worth it!!

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