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I really need to redefine the way I use the word lazy. Case in point: the other day, I was too lazy to go to the grocery store to buy Mia more Cheerios. Instead, I ended up spending two hours MAKING a Cheerio substitute.
Mia LOVES Cheerios. When she is fussy, give her a few of them and she perks right up. However, she ran out the day before and I meant to get more when I went to the store that day, but I forgot. I didn’t realize it until about an hour after I got home, and I didn’t want to load Mia back up into the car just to go after a box of Cheerios. Never mind that I could have walked. It was only three blocks. (I kind of forgot about that option.) I decided I would wait until Cody got home so I could run up there by myself.
Makes sense right? Well, it did until Mia went down for her nap. I cleaned a little and then started thinking… “What if I just made my own version of Cheerios?” I knew I had seen recipes on Pinterest for homemade baby puffs. It couldn’t be that hard right?? So, to the internet I went!
And, I found recipes! Lots of them! Most had many of the same ingredients: rice cereal, baby purees, and some part of an egg. Problem was, I didn’t really have any of the ingredients to make them, and I was NOT going back to the grocery store! I should have just gave up right there. I really should have! But, once I had this idea in my head, I wasn’t going to quit!
So, I found a couple of recipes that I liked and some tips that I could work with. The first ingredient in all the recipes was rice cereal. However, I didn’t have any rice cereal because we have never bought any for Mia. (She went straight to solids.) But, I saw in the comments on one post that someone had used oatmeal cereal instead of rice and it had worked. Hmm… I didn’t have oatmeal cereal either, but I did have oats! So, I blended up oats in my Nutri Ninja Ninja Blender until I had 1 cup.
My nice cup up there makes it look easy, but I had to take it off the base a few times and shake it so that all of the oats were crushed. Of course, this process woke up Mia even though I had her sound machine going and her bedroom door shut. I think she was on the verge of waking up anyways so I wasn’t too concerned. She just got to come hang out with me in her high chair!
The next couple of items I had: some kind of oil (I used olive), banana or applesauce (banana), baking powder, and egg whites. I did not have any fruit or vegetable puree, so I had to make my own. I did buy peaches at the grocery store, so I pealed and sliced one and put half of it in the Ninja blender. This was not enough peach and it kind of just made my blender whir without hitting anything, so I added the second half of the peach and 2 Tbsp of breastmilk hoping that would work. It did; but, I probably put too much breastmilk in it because it was a little runny. So, I just didn’t add any milk at the end.
Okay, so by the time I gathered all of my ingredients, I probably could have went back and forth to the grocery store twice! But, I was on a mission. Mia was done at this point though, so I took her out of her chair to play on the floor. I just had to keep a closer eye on her and hold her through half of the next part!
In a large bowl I put 1 cup of the oat flour. In a smaller bowl I whisked 3 1/2 tsp. olive oil, 1/4 cup mashed banana, 1/4 cup peach puree and 2 egg whites. After they were well combined, the wet ingredients were poured in with the oat flour and mixed together. (On second thought, I could have just mixed the wet ingredients in the large bowl and poured in the oats later. Then I wouldn’t have had two bowls to wash!)
Next, I added 1 1/4 tsp baking powder. After everything was mixed in, the batter was a little thicker than pancake consistency. It looked a little grainy from the oat flour, but it was time to give it a shot!
I put Mia in her walker and then put a plastic sandwich baggie in a glass like this:
I filled the bag with batter and cut one of the corners off. I piped the batter onto cookie sheets lined with aluminum foil and sprayed with cooking spray. (The recipes said to use parchment paper, but of course, I was out!)
This was one of the longest parts of the whole process! And, do you know how hard it is to make perfect little dots with a baby continually ramming a walker into your ankle? It hurts!
I also had to pause half way through so that Mia could nurse, but finally the dots were done! Their size is hard to describe. The other recipes said to use pea sized or dime sized, but mine were kind of in the middle of those. Dimes are really big and peas are small!
Into the oven the sheets went at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Halfway through, I turned the pans so that they cooked more evenly. To my pleasure, they were actually starting to smell pretty good! Kind of like banana bread! After 10 minutes, I turned the oven down to 250 and baked the dots for 45 minutes more to dry them out further. I moved them around a few times here as well just to be safe!
Finally, they were done, 2 hours after I had started!
I tasted them and thought they were pretty decent, but I like oatmeal, and I wasn’t who mattered! So, I brought one to the official taste tester and guess what?! She liked them! She actually liked them!
Although, on second thought. I probably wouldn’t call them puffs. When I think of puffs I think of cheese curls or cheese puffs and these are definitely not puffy. They are more of a biscuit I think, so that is what I am calling them! Baby Biscuits!
So, I guess this whole process was worth it. Would I do it again? Maybe. I am interested in seeing if they would be fluffier if I whip the egg whites into a meringue and fold them into the batter last. It would also be interesting to try them with different fruit or vegetable purees, or maybe even add some cinnamon.
Or, maybe I could just go to the grocery store and buy some Cheerios! That would be wayyyyy lazier!
I am storing some biscuits at room temperature in Mia’s snack container, but most of them I am freezing. Because they are homemade, they won’t stay fresh as long as Cheerios and I know Mia won’t eat them all that quickly.
What baby recipes have you tried that you enjoy? I am always looking for more snacks and meals to give Mia because I don’t like buying the prepackaged baby foods. (They are so expensive!) If you try these, give me a shout and let me know what you think!
Homemade Baby Biscuits
1 cup ground oatmeal (put it in your food processor or blender and turn it to flour!)
3 1/2 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup mashed banana
1/4 cup peach puree (or any other flavor puree)
2 egg whites
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
2-4 Tbsp milk or water
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl whisk oil, banana, puree, and egg whites until combined.
3. Add ground oatmeal and baking powder. Mix together
4. Batter should be about pancake consistency. If it is too thick, at 2-4 Tbsp. milk or water one tablespoon at a time. If it is too thin, add a little more ground oats.
5. Put batter into a plastic sandwich baggie, squeeze out all the air, and seal.
6. Cut off one corner of the bag to pipe batter through.
7. Pipe batter into dots onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets. You can pipe them close together as they do not expand when baked.
8. Bake for 10 minutes, turning sheets half way through.
9. Reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees and bake 40 – 60 minutes until dry.
10. Store in an airtight container.