Plum Organics Is So Hip, They Use Veggies You Probably Haven’t Heard Of

Over the course of my not inconsiderable baby food-eating experiences, I have noticed a pattern. The older the baby that the food is marketed towards, the less like ass it tastes. Let’s see if tonight’s offering conforms to that pattern.

Tonight I shall sup upon Plum Organics Mighty Delicious! Veggie in Spinach, Parsnip, Grape, and Amaranth. G-dang, ya’ll, that’s a lot of disparate things that you shoved in your giant factory blender.

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What the hell even is an amaranth? Google! Share thy wisdom!

Oh, it’s a kind of grain. Okay. Well, that shouldn’t taste too bad. Probably.

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But, uh, it looks pretty bad. It looks like poop. It absolutely looks like poop. It smells kind of like grape applesauce. At first it tastes pretty good, strongly of parsnip, then of grape. But then my mouth is assaulted with a mighty taste of SPINACH! So. Kinda gross in the end.

Still, for half of the time it’s in my mouth, it tastes pretty okay. Two and a half out of five stars.

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Calling Your Food “Happy Baby” Seems Presumptive to Me

Well, it’s opening week of the play I’m in right now, which means a daytime liquid diet to prevent onstage stomach cramps. I stocked up on baby food last week in preparation.

So here’s my dinner prior to tonight’s dress rehearsal: HappyBaby Organics Clearly Crafted Carrots, Strawberries & Chickpeas.

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So first off, that’s a really long name for a food. Secondly, this is a highly dubious-sounding flavor combination. When I think “chickpeas” I think “hummus,” and when I think “hummus” I do not think “strawberries.” Thirdly, what the hell does “clearly crafted” even mean?

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Oh, it’s helpfully explained on the back of the package. So tonight I will be consuming one carrot, three strawberries, and thirty chickpeas. I note that this represents a much larger chickpea-to-strawberry ratio than I was expecting.

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This vegetable paste looks like it is mostly made of carrot and smells like it is mostly made of strawberries. Unfortunately, in keeping with this pattern, it also tastes like it is mostly made of chickpeas, with an unpleasantly grainy texture and a weirdly sour aftertaste. Why is it sour? Is that the strawberries? Wasn’t the point of the strawberries to make it taste good? I think that the people on the Happy Farm need to rethink the ratios in their “yummy recipe.” Those chickpeas add a whopping one gram of protein, so I don’t know that we need thirty of them.

Still, this is at least edible, and once the shock wore off about the sourness, I was able to finish the pouch without grimacing too much. Two out of five stars.

BeechNut “Fruities” Have a Stupid Name

…but I guess they taste okay.

I went to Fred Meyer to stock up on baby food today since my stomach is back on the fritz. I threw a little bit of everything that was on sale into my cart and sorted it out once I got home. The BeechNut Fruities-on-the-Go Apple, Peach & Strawberry Puree looked the least objectionable, so I grabbed that one on the way to rehearsal.

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Additional name complaint: where is my Oxford comma?

It smells mostly like strawberries but with kind of a weird chemical after-scent. It looks like very thin applesauce with a tinge of Trumpian orange. Probably the peaches.

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On the whole, it’s pretty tasty. It is really more liquid than food, but I suppose that is rather the point. It is reminiscent of that strawberry applesauce that you used to be able to buy in the little cups (but which seems to no longer exist, much to my distress when I looked for it last week at two different grocery stores).

4.5 out of 5; would fruit again.

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…and then I got baby food on my pants. Damn it.

Miso Hungry…Ugh, I Can’t Believe I Made that Joke…

I’ve been trying to eat more soup during this bout of stomach malfunction so I can feel like a big girl, but baby food continues to be the only viable easy way for me to eat veggies. Today, while surrounded by a family munching on 4th of July dead cow patties, fried tortilla triangles, and a kale salad (of which I was admittedly very jealous), I lunched upon instant miso soup and baby food.

So I eat A LOT of miso soup. It’s easy to digest, it has a lot of protein, and it tastes pretty good. I LOVE ramen, but I can’t usually eat the instant stuff, since part of the instant ramen process involves flash-frying the noodle cakes, and fried food is one of my deadliest enemies. However, while I was at my local Asian market, I happened upon this weird “health” ramen called GreeNoodle.

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It cheerfully advertises the fact that it is both vegan and non-fried on the package, so I was already sold, but the noodles are also made of some kind of wacky veggie called moroheiya. The label proudly proclaims that it is “high of fiber” and that “each package contains approximately 15 Moroheiya leaves,” which seems like a weirdly specific thing to brag about, but whatever. For ramen, it DOES contain a lot of vitamin A and iron, as well as 8 grams of protein, and I need all of the nutrients I can get.

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The soup looked appetizing enough once prepared, and it smelled like ramen all right. The noodles are green, but sort of speckled. I was unhappy to discover small pieces of seaweed in the soup, but I was able to fish them all out with my chopsticks without accidentally eating any (seaweed: another of my deadly enemies). This shit is good. As far as instant ramen goes, this is most certainly the best I’ve tasted. It still has a ramen-level of sodium in it – 790mg – but sodium is like the only thing I don’t have to worry about. 5/5. I’m getting more of this.

Then it was on to some baby food so I could get my fruit and veggies on. Fred Meyer had the sleepy bumble bee bullshit on sale, so I picked up Carrot & Apple flavor, figuring that no one could possibly fuck up Carrot & Apple.

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It even looked fairly appetizing, like a pale orange apple sauce.

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It actually tasted pretty good, like a vaguely carrot cake-flavored apple sauce. It’s not an exciting flavor, but it’s perfectly palatable, and it has 50% of a baby’s required vitamin A, which is…probably an okay amount of vitamin A? I don’t know, I’m not up on adult-to-baby nutrition ratios. 4/5. Not amazing, but tasty enough that I’d eat it again.

This was a pretty good lunch, all considering.

My Food Does Not Need to Tell Me I’m “Looking Good”

Dear readers, you may have noticed that it has been several months since I last updated this blog. That’s awesome, actually. That’s what I want. Because that means I’m eating normal grown-up human food.

Alas, those days are gone. Back to liquids, soups, and purees for me. Ugh.

There hasn’t been a lot of baby food at my local discount grocer’s lately, but there have been soup and nutritional shakes, so that’s what we’ve got. Makes me feel more adult, anyway.

So first up, we have CalNaturale’s Svelte nutritional shake.

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My town’s Grocery Outlet has had 18-count cases of this stuff for $14.99, which is a ridiculously good deal for this sort of thing. I’ve been stocking up even without knowing how it tastes, because even if it tastes like ass, it’s cheap and will keep me alive. Besides, it’s already got a bunch of things in its favor: it’s organic, it’s vegan (because yet another health condition has forced me to drop all milk products from my diet as well), and it’s got a lot of protein and vitamins. Things not in its favor: it only comes in vanilla (at least at the discount grocer’s), it’s only 180 calories, and it’s clearly designed as a weight loss supplement. But whatever, it’s 83 cents a carton, I can’t complain that much. So how’s it taste?

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Well, it doesn’t really look that appetizing. It looks like bull semen and seems to have a strange consistency. However, since it comes in an opaque box, I don’t really have to look at it. And actually…it tastes pretty good for a nutritional shake, kind of like a slightly grainy vanilla milkshake. The graininess is really minimal for a vegan protein shake, too. So I think I’ll be going back for another case of this stuff. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

I’ve also been stocking up on soup, preferably stuff with really squishy noodles so that I can experience the sensation of chewing something. Today’s offering is Trader Joe’s brand rice noodle soup in mushroom flavor.

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Now, I am a pretty big fan of mushroom flavored things. The picture is pretty attractive, though I know better than to think a microwavable food will look the same as the packaging. I’m alarmed by the corn, as to me, corn is death, but hopefully I can pick it out. Once I’ve unpacked it, it appears that, yes, I can easily pick out the corn before cooking it.

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Okay, still looks pretty tasty, though I don’t think I added enough water, as there was very little broth. It smelled like mushrooms, but it mostly tasted like a salty, slightly superior instant ramen. Nothing exciting, but palatable for 99 cents a package. It’s only 280 calories, though, so after breakfast and lunch, I’ve only managed to consume 460 calories, so I’d better start hitting the fruit juice.

Comforts for Baby Taste Surprisingly Comfortable

I’m happy to report that other people are now buying me baby food, which is awesome. This is mostly awesome because I’m an AmeriCorps member and a teacher, so I consequently like free food, but this is also a great way to see how good my friends are. Do I know people who will buy me baby food that they actually think might be delicious, or do they wish to see me suffer for their own amusement?

My roommate seems to have found me some food that they actually thought might be delicious. Also, this is a new brand, so that’s always exciting. So today’s offering is Comforts for Baby Banana Blueberry Oatmeal.

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So on paper, this sounds pretty Goddamn delicious. Blueberry oatmeal is my favorite flavor of oatmeal, and blueberries and bananas go together brilliantly. Also, the label has an adorable, sleepy bee on it. That’s pretty great! Who doesn’t like bees? I’m really not sure how bees are related to babies, other than the fact that both words begin with the letter B, but whatever. This one should be a winner, right?

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It’s about the color one would expect oatmeal to be, and it smells like tasty bananas. And, contrary to my cautious skepticism, it is REALLY GOOD. I was sad when I finished it. Good job, roommate! 5 out of 5 stars.

Next up, Comforts for Baby Sweet Potato & Apple.

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I’ve already encountered an apple/sweet potato combination under the Gerber banner that was pretty good, so I had high hopes for this one.

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It looks, smells, and tastes like cinnamon applesauce. By no means is it unpleasant; it’s actually quite palatable. However, I feel that the Gerber Apple & Sweet Potato had a stronger sweet potato taste, so I think I prefer it slightly. Still, this one is still tasty! 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Super Adult Hippie “Baby Food”Super Greens Go!

So in my head, I picture a terribly-dubbed anime about health food called Super Adult Hippie “Baby Food”Super Greens Go! in which a team of super hero health food junkies save the world from wacky monsters based on popular junk foods.

My imagination is sometimes a silly place.

There are a lot of foods marketed towards adults that are essentially baby food. Case in point, those weird fruit pouches marketed to busy grownups who are ostensibly too busy to eat an entire apple. I don’t understand why people would willingly choose to go with eating pureed food, but whatever. Perhaps we are all inevitably headed towards soylent green-style astronaut food and we’d better get used to it.

Anyway, today I’m sampling some adult-type food which is basically the same thing as baby food just in a bigger package and with more sophisticated-looking marketing.

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Here we have Le Grand Super Greens Soup, which proudly proclaims itself to be both vegan and dairy-free, just in case you don’t know what the word “vegan” means. I found this stuff at Costco, and I thought, “What the hell. It’s cheap and I need to eat more pureed veggies. It’s got to be better than baby food.”

I became slightly less certain of this when I squeezed it out of its pouch and into my bowl.

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Well, damn. That looks…man, there’s no other way to put this, that looks like baby shit. It looks like I fed a baby some pureed spinach and then let it poop into my bowl. It doesn’t smell much better. It smells like asparagus and feet. Well. Maybe it will look more appetizing once I heat it up?

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At least after applying four minutes of micro radiation, it now looks like something approaching a soup. But the taste…it tastes kind of like pea soup, which I hate, and which is odd, because it contains no actual peas. There’s a weird broccoli aftertaste, followed by a breath of bitter kale. It’s really…not great. Also, it turns out to not be completely pureed, either; there are bits of yellow carrot floating around in there. While it’s nice to have something to chew, I’m hoping it doesn’t piss off my irrational stomach. I was able to make it somewhat palatable by throwing in a great deal of pepper and garlic salt, but it doesn’t really cover the unpleasantly strong BROCCOLI!! taste sensation. I’m so…glad…that this came in a convenient two-pack. I have so much left to suffer through eat. 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Ella’s Pleasantly Mediocre Kitchen

Yep, stomach is still an asshole. I’ve eaten most of my baby food, though, so I only have one left to review: Ella’s Kitchen Apples, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin + Blueberries.

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What whimsical packaging! You can’t really see the USDA Organic seal very well, but it’s there. Seems like a pretty tasty flavor combination. I like all of these foods, after all.

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It looks and smells about how you might expect: sort of brownish-orange with a pleasant, floral bouquet. (Hey, what if I start analyzing these baby food flavors like fine wine? That sounds hilarious.) The taste is surprisingly sweet potato-dominant. It’s definitely not unpleasant, it’s just a tiny bit bland. I like it, though it’s not nearly as tasty as some of the other flavors. 4 out of 5 stars.

Fruit Flavors Are (Usually) Safe

This morning, I could not resist a muffin. The muffins were there, and they called to me with the siren song of the muffin people. The siren song goes something like this:

“I am delicious.
You should eat me.
You are hungry.
I will sate thee.”

So I ate a muffin. I mean, I know that was a mistake. I shouldn’t eat before noon on a normal day, because my stomach apparently likes to sleep at least four hours later than I do, but in my defense: muffins. And not just any muffins. Bran muffins. My favorite kind of muffins. I had to pick the raisins out, though. Raisins are dangerous.

Anyway, it was a mistake, though at least the cramps have remained relatively mild. So I’m still stuck with baby food for lunch. Today’s first offering is Earth’s Best Peach Mango.

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Man, what is with this company and babies with watering cans? I just don’t think that’s an appropriate toy for someone still in diapers. Anyway, peaches and mangoes! That’s a winning flavor combination if I ever heard one. They’re even the same color.

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This stuff looks and smells exactly how you’d think a mixture of peaches and mangoes would look and smell, and it tastes like slightly watery mango juice. It’s not amazing, but it’s pretty good. 4 out of 5 stars.

Still hungry, of course, so let’s try another one! This one is a new brand, one called Happytot. They make a line of organic superfoods for babies, because even babies are not immune from idiotic American dietary trends.

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This one is flavored Blueberry, Pear & Beet, but it also contains something called Salba the SUPER Chia, which sounds like a super hero that looks like a chia pet. I was suspicious of this flavor, because fruits and veggie combos are seldom pleasant.

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I was even more alarmed when I saw that it looked like a weird, grainy, brown paste, but it smelled okay. Surprisingly, this shit is delicious. It tastes like a fruit-flavored cream of wheat, and the grainy texture is actually somewhat pleasant, because it makes me feel like I’m eating real food. I’d totally eat this one again. 5 out of 5.

 

 

Gerber and Plum Join Forces for 1/2 the Disappointment

Stomach status update: still an asshole. So it’s time for another day of veggie mush that has been dubiously classified as “food.”

First up, Gerber Organic Butternut Squash.

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I didn’t buy this one; it was given to me by my roommate, who ate baby food for a bit following the removal of their tonsils this past December. I should have been suspicious of rejected baby food, but hey, I like free shit!

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This stuff looks about how you would expect pureed squash to look, and it doesn’t smell too bad. But the taste…man, I don’t understand how something can be simultaneously blandly vague in flavor and yet also indescribably gross. It’s also strangely slightly grainy. I mean, I know I’m used to butternut squash flavored with butter or olive oil or salt and pepper or something, but this is awful. 1.5 out 0f 5 stars.

Okay, anything has got to be better than that shit, right? Although Plum Organics disappointed me so thoroughly with its Pears and Quinoa bullshit, not all of their flavors can be bad, right? Right?

So here we have Plum Mighty 4 Essential Nutrition Blend: Purple Carrot, Blackberry, Quinoa, and Greek Yogurt.

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Again, this contains a lot of things, but these things might actually all go together. I hope. Probably.

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It’s very purple and smells quite fruity and pleasant. And oh. My. God. It is DELICIOUS. It just tastes like a normal smoothie that a normal adult would drink and it has 3 grams of protein, which is quite a lot for baby food.

Thank you, Plum. You have redeemed yourself as a purveyor of squishy foods. 5 out of 5 stars.