My baby is a smoothie addict. Not a bad thing to be, since it makes his five-a-day fruit/veggie quota easy to fill, but it can be a bit hard on the pocketbook if we only use ready-to-eat pouches from the supermarket. Which we obviously don’t, since I enjoy making my own baby food, but there definitely are situations (any outing longer than a few hours, for example) where convenience and shelf stability trump freshness and low costs. Having a few of these in my bag when we’re on the go during a mealtime has saved my butt on more than one occasion. Though I have been making purees for the little guy since he started solids, I hadn’t even considered making him full-fledged smoothies until I brought home a stack of different store-bought ones for him to sample and was impressed to see him suck a pouch dry in under a minute.
Ella’s Green One smoothies are his favorite, with the rest of the range not far behind. With five 3 oz pouches per box costing about €5.50, you can see why his pack-a-day habit can easily add up. The packaging does provide a useful ingredients listing for making our own version, though, and the caps are reusable with our own refillable pouches.
The home version that I do varies from batch to batch in fruit content, depending on what we happen to have on hand, but is pretty much as follows:
25% pear. In this case, 4 large peeled raw pears, costing a little over 1 euro.
25% banana. 5 medium bananas, costing about 1 euro.
15% kiwi. 6 kiwis, costing about 2 euro.
35% apple. 2 small jars of homemade, homegrown organic applesauce, the unsweetened and unspiced variety. My prediction that one baby could eat our entire harvest of apples well before a year had passed is rapidly proving true, by the way.
Blend, blend, blend. The kiwi seeds won’t really break down, but we didn’t get any complaints about them.
One bonus of homemade smoothies is customizing your add-ins. I usually throw in 1 tub of Greek yogurt (costing a little over 2 euro) to make sure he’s getting enough dairy in his diet. Thick strained yogurts in particular (like the Greek/Turkish/Bulgarian ones that are taking over a large section of the aisle at our supermarket) are good for adding a bit of protein and fat to the mix. The yogurt cultures make it nicely digestible for the under-1-year crowd.
Finished product. I usually help myself to a glass of this before portioning the rest for baby 🙂
Since this batch was made for documentation purposes, however, I put it all into pouches. I filled 6 4.5 oz pouches (the cute cartoon animal Squooshi ones) and 8.5 7 oz pouches (the Little Green Pouches). 86.5 oz total for under €7 — €8.50 or so if I hadn’t used our own applesauce — puts final costs at about .08¢ per ounce. Store bought clocks in at 37¢ an ounce, but that’s for pure fruit whereas mine has added yogurt, so it’s probably not as comparable as I’d first meant it to be. Still, you get the point 🙂
These all go in the freezer and I defrost two a day in hot water to cover the day’s meals. I usually have at least two different flavors in the freezer at all times, so he gets a bit of variety. Throwing a frozen pouch in my bag also works nicely if I’m going to use it for lunch, since it defrosts over the next few hours and is soft-but-pleasantly-cool by the time it is going to be eaten. Lately, I’ve been adding more non-fruit items into the mix, since they have been received so well. More on that to come!