Monday, April 3, 2017

Homemade baby food purées (advanced)

Blueberry, beet, & apple purée (1 cup of blueberries, 2 medium beets, 1 large sweet apple - Peel, chop and steam beets until softened, add a bit more water to the pan and add blueberries and apple. Cook until tender and then puree, using the steaming water as needed).

I wrote a previous post about making homemade baby food purées for our twins. They are now 8 months old and have tried a lot of fruits, vegetables, yogurt, cereals, and some meats. We started with single-ingredient purées to ensure that neither of them had a reaction to the food. Now that they've tried many things, and we know what they like (and don't like so much), I'm making more advanced purées combining multiple foods. I try to pick a variety of colors of foods as well as starting new textures (e.g., kiwi seeds, beans). My homemade purées are thicker and not as smooth as the ones in a stage 2 jar/container from the store. Also, I don't use one method for cooking. If I am roasting a squash for our dinner, I will roast one for them as well and use it for baby food. If I'm baking, I may toss some sweet potatoes or beets in the oven to cook for baby food. I boil and steam as well, cooking harder foods first and then adding softer ones. 


Avocado, kiwi, & banana purée (no need to cook - just blend 1 halved and peeled avocado, 3 peeled and quartered kiwi, & 1 ripe peeled banana until smooth. Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to reduce browning, if desired).

So far they really like almost everything they've tried with the exception of plain beets and plain chicken. I poached and puréed a chicken breast for them and froze it in my ice cube tray. Now I thaw one cube and stir just a tiny bit into something I know they like such as winter squash and apples. I've been introducing them to beans as well with a white bean, spinach, and Parmesan purée (idea from The Pajama Chef) and a roasted butternut squash and chick pea purée (below) and they enjoyed both of those. 
 Roasted butternut squash & chick pea purée (Half of a medium roasted butternut squash and one 15.5 oz. can of chick peas, rinsed. Puree with a bit of water until you reach your desired consistency).

Pear, apple, & cranberry purée (2 peeled ripe pears, 2 peeled sweet apples, and 1/3 cup fresh or frozen cranberries. Chop the pears and apples. Steam in about 1-inch of water until tender. Remove them from the pot. Cook the cranberries in the steaming water until they pop, adding more water, if needed. Purée until smooth).
I also still make many single fruits/vegetables and then I will thaw them together in my desired combination. As I mentioned before, each cure of an ice cube tray equal 1 oz of food. Most jars/containers of premade baby food are 4 oz. So, I may thaw out two apple cubes and two carrot cubes together, or three pea cubes and one spinach cube together, or any other combination that sounds good. You don't always have to premix them. I also use these OXO 2-oz containers. I'm going to try black beans with them soon and maybe a root vegetable puree with rutabaga and parsnips. I'm also going to be adding more spices -- like a dash of cardamom to their pears, or a dash of coriander to their sweet potatoes. I don't like to put it in when I make the whole batch, just in case they don't like it. So, I'll sprinkle it in when serving.

Raspberry applesauce and sweet potato, sweet red pepper, & apple purée. I cooked the raspberries in a little water until they broke down and then pushed them through a fine-mesh sieve to remove all the seeds and then blended them with some steamed apple. The other was a large baked sweet potato pureed with one chopped sweet red pepper and one large sweet apple steamed together until softened.

I really enjoy making foods for our twins. For one it saves us money. Buying premade baby food for two gets pretty pricey. I can get sacks of sweet potatoes for under $2.00 at Aldi sometimes and we had a bunch of winter squash in our basement, for example. But, also, since I like to cook, I really enjoy making foods for them and letting them try new foods. Soon they'll be moving on to finger foods, so I'm hoping to continue this little baby food series with some finger foods and toddler-approved recipes when the time comes. Soon they should both have their grasping down and be able to sit-up completely unassisted (one can, the other isn't there yet). 

Freezer bags full of baby food "ice cubes" including pears, green beans, winter squash, the above sweet potato/red pepper/apple mix, blueberry applesauce, & a mix of chicken and chicken broth. 

If you are interested, please feel free to join my new Baby & Toddler Food Recipe Exchange group on Facebook.

5 comments:

  1. it's so fun to make baby food, isn't it? i'm ALMOST a little sad that my son's puree days are coming to a close (though I do still mix purees with yogurt)... but it is nice to make one meal for all of us. :)

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  2. pinned! the kiwi variety looks and sounds like something that i would not be willing to share with baby! :)

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  3. What a fun idea! Has to be healthier and loads cheaper than those little jars. And you know exactly what your kids are eating -- the most important thing. Fun post -- thanks.

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  4. My sister in law just had a baby and I'm going to pass this onto her! Homemade is always best!

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  5. You have nice combinations here Amy...and they look so pretty!
    I hope you are having a great week :)

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