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.

12784775_10101619041604753_1053855386_n

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.

12787983_10101619041619723_902377241_n

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.

12769414_10101615986986233_1620811586_n

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.

12782044_10101615984745723_1605030556_n

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.

12782546_10101616006292543_514051577_n

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.

12767239_10101616010144823_1341171218_n

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.

12767769_10101615038422163_1455859238_n

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!

12746064_10101615038262483_1437850705_n

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.

12769578_10101615038417173_196502333_n

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

12788193_10101615049704553_815714577_n

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.

Just Plum(b) Gross and Earth’s Best Disappointment

Today on Rachel Reviews Baby Food, we have Plum Organics Hello Morning Pears & Quinoa.

12670926_10101614048900173_3213881090871960817_n

Hmm, I thought. I like pears and I like quinoa. Also, quinoa has protein! While I do think it’s presumptive of them to assume that I wish to say hello to my morning with baby food (I’d much rather say goodbye to morning all together and go back to sleep), this seemed like something that would be hard to screw up.

1937287_10101614048920133_9171285814800101529_n

This proved to be an erroneous assumption on my part. This stuff looks like wood glue and tastes like grainy Elmer’s paste mixed with a tiny bit of sugar. And it only has 1 gram of protein. 2 out of 5 stars.

Since I was still hungry, I tried something else. This time, Earth’s Best Pumpkin Cranberry Apple.

12729100_10101614168944603_7517712854544462255_n

First, I would like to point out the mostly-naked baby on the label reaching for a watering can. This seems like irresponsible parenting to me, because that baby gonna get tetanus.

12745950_10101614169014463_7979243672688159029_n

On the surface, this really seems like a winning flavor combination, but the operative word here is “seems.” I can taste neither pumpkin nor cranberries, only watery applesauce with an odd after taste that is something like celery. 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Grumpy Gerber Grumbles

Well, my stomach is on strike again, so that means it’s time for another episode of Rachel Reviews Baby Food. Today, we have Gerber Graduates Yogurt Melts.

12742318_10101613018110883_3178998650628585328_n

Which are, by the way, made with REAL yogurt and fruit. As opposed to fake yogurt and fruit, I suppose? I am unclear on how one might fake a yogurt. These snacks are evidently flagged for “crawlers,” so since I’ve been crawling for about 29 years, they must be safe to eat.

10590598_10101613018135833_4275754751289085301_n

Surprisingly, these are delicious. They taste like strawberry flavored air, with the consistency of Lucky Charms marshmallows.

Of course, then I looked at the ingredients more closely and discovered that they contain gelatin. Goddamnit. So for taste, I’d rate them at five out of five. For sneaky ingredients that are not vegetarian-friendly, I rate them zero out of five.

Okay, let’s try this again with a baby food that does NOT contain ground-up cow ligaments.

12744270_10101613086808213_8441826415622450084_n

Here we have Gerber Grabbers Apple and Sweet Potato (With Cinnamon). This food is for toddlers, so I am moving up in the world.

165954_10101613086873083_5598426371605636136_n

It actually tastes pretty good, like someone mushed up a fork-full of sweet potato pie into my applesauce. Also, I feel like an astronaut, so that’s a plus. 4 out of 5 stars.

So I need to mention these cookies.

12745421_10101614205306733_4688530587801577811_n

These cookies are amazing. These cookies are delicious. If I saw your baby eating one of these cookies, I would steal that cookie right out of that baby’s fat little hand.

Unfortunately, although they are labeled as “easily-digestible,” my stomach (who is, as previously discussed, a complete asshole) did not agree with this assessment and protested my presumptuousness at eating solid food at work with horrifically painful stomach cramps. So feed these to your babies, not your gastroparesis patients.

More Beechnut, bitches! Bitchnut? No, Never Mind.

In today’s edition of Rachel Reviews Baby Food, we have two apple-based fruit mushes.

12316185_10101539122263753_8297522557974175681_n
First up, Apple, Berry & Black Bean. Man, this company really likes shoving beans into potentially weird combinations.

12360149_10101539122293693_4254787946079428038_n

This tastes quite a bit better than the Apple & Red Bean and is also slightly less grainy. Less protein, though. Three and three-quarters stars.

12359868_10101539122308663_5895274660416629865_n
Next, Apple & Aronia Berry. What the hell is an Aronia berry? (Apparently, they are black berries that look a bit like cherries, and they are also called chokeberries, which is a way more badass but way less marketable name.)

12342803_10101539122338603_4570367346626290373_n

This flavor is amazeballs. Tangy, delicious tastes of apple and mixed berries. Seriously, I would eat this stuff all day. Five stars.

Beechnut Baby Food Was at the Discount Grocery Store, Okay?

This afternoon on Rachel Reviews Baby Food, we are sampling two fruit-based spoon meats.

12347674_10101538246309173_1929708107162922095_n

First up, Apple & Red Bean. Although beans are usually my arch-nemesis, they’re typically fine when pureed, and these are pretty thoroughly pureed.

11218856_10101538246329133_4100737092127655603_n

Looks , smells, and tastes just like applesauce, but has an indescribable and subtly grainy texture, like someone snuck some chalk into my applesauce while I wasn’t looking. High in protein, though, so three stars.

Next, Pear & Black Cherry, which is surprisingly just as tasty as it sounds.

12346405_10101538246359073_8445570376067834232_n

Weirdly watery, though. It’s like eating fruit soup. Four stars.

12359890_10101538246398993_1399941824308860845_n

Rachel Reviews More Beechnut Baby Food

Today on Rachel Reviews Baby Food, we have two delightful varieties of disturbing soylent veggie.

12316401_10101537532789073_168268032929433397_n

First up: Pear, Raspberry & Asparagus. Yes, asparagus. Why asparagus? Who thought, “Hey, you know what would make raspberries and pears taste better? Asparagus.” Who’s idea was this? Who the fuck knows. But I hate them.

12316352_10101537532819013_4278360844969899994_n

It smells like feet and tastes like pear-flavored water with the vague aftertaste of feet. One and three-quarters stars.

Next: Mango, Carrot, Strawberry & Chia.

12314117_10101537532848953_1938198853607319060_n

Whoa, guys. Slow down. That is a lot of things in one jar.

cropped-12341196_10101537532893863_7572919035271621480_n.jpg

This one smells quite pleasantly of mangoes, but it looks like vomit. Once you get past the whole eating vomit thing, though, it’s pretty tasty. Three and a half stars.

In Which Rachel Explains Her Predicament and Includes Her First Review

When my stomach revolts (due to my gastroparesis), I have to avoid solid foods throughout my work day, because let me tell you, crippling stomach cramps make it hard to concentrate on anything besides crippling stomach cramps. I do try to find pureed soups, but a lot of those contain heavy cream, which my stomach also isn’t always happy about.

News flash: my stomach is an asshole.

So my solution? Baby food. Baby food is relatively cheap, it contains the fruits and vegetables that I am often unable to eat in solid form, it is easily portable, and it is specifically formulated to be easy to digest.

Unfortunately, it also often tastes awful.

Allow me to guide you through the world of baby food.

12345585_10101536745641523_2692023950833878880_n

Here we have Beechnut Just Pineapple, Kale, Apple, and Carrot, an organic slurry of fruits and veggies. Looks and smells like applesauce pooped in by a pineapple.

12321468_10101536745656493_1166942872689025283_n

Tastes like watery applesauce, which is high praise for baby food. Three and a half stars.