You have the Orbit, the Bumbo, the Svan, the Oeuf, the Bjorn and any number of other smartly monikered baby gear. If you’re inclined toward homemade baby food, then you may want to consider the Beaba Babycook. It’s the Swiss Army knife of food processors and was designed by the French specifically for those who prefer to make their own baby food.
The Beaba (bay-ah-ba) defrosts, warms, steams and blends. (It’s not unlike the other European favorite called the Thermomix, which is the adult version of the all-in-one appliance.) You place your produce, meat or fish in the inner cooking basket and set the knob for steam. Once steamed, you lift the basket using the included spatula and turn the food into the processor to puree. Clean-up is simple and the Beaba itself takes up less space than a regular food processor. Reviews have been predominantly positive, though the few naysayers have complained about a dull blender blade or a burned-out motor.
While any home cook can make baby food without spending $150 on a machine that arguably will live out its purpose by the time your baby grows teeth, there is something to be said for not having to dirty a pot, steamer basket, and blender or food mill for a small amount of food. If you don’t have a well-equipped kitchen, the Beaba could be the solution for you.
If you haven’t yet, you should check out “Hungry Monkey” which was written by Seattle food writer and blogger Matthew Amster-Burton. The following recipe comes from his book and can easily be adapted to a steamed version to use with the Beaba.
BABY CHICKEN AND MUSHROOMS
Several baby servings or 1 adult and 1 baby serving
1 tablespoon butter
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
a handful of sliced button mushrooms
Heat butter in a skillet. Add the chicken breast and sear on both sides until nicely browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Remove the chicken breast and add a handful of sliced button mushrooms. Cook until the mushroom liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Finely minced the chicken and mushrooms together.
Note: To adapt this recipe for the Beaba, omit the butter, cut the chicken breast into ¾-inch chunks, combine chicken and mushrooms in the steamer basket and steam until done. Puree to the desired consistency, adding a little steaming liquid as needed.