Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Baby vegetable purees

To continue the topic of making baby food and seeing how popular my post on making baby fruit purees was, I wanted to share  few recipes on making baby vegetable purees. The idea is the same as with the fruit and the cooking/storing/freezing techniques are too, it's just different sets of ingredients. You can find more information on why I've decided to start making my own baby food in my post here.

To make any of the below vegetable purees you will need:
  • a regular pan with a lid;
  • if you'd rather steam the fruit instead of boiling (more health benefits when steaming), use a steamer basket inside of a pan. I've done  both ways;
  • blender or a food processor;
  • food storage containers;
  • obviously, ingredients;
  • and if you do freeze the leftovers, which I recommend, ice cube trays and freezer bags.

When you first start feeding your baby veggies, you shouldn't use veggie combinations right away, that's too much for a little belly. Start with just 1 pureed vegetable and a few weeks later once you know that your baby reacted well to certain vegetables, you can start mixing them up.

Here were some of Allie's favorites, some dishes are pure veggies and some are combination of fruit and vegetables.

Butternut squash puree 
All-time favorite! Peel and chop a whole butternut squash. You can either roast it at 400° for about an hour or boil or steam it in some water for 30-40 minutes, depending on how large your pieces are. Transfer the cooked squash in a blender, process until smooth. You can also add some cinnamon or nutmeg to it at the end.

Pumpkin puree
Tastes very similar to butternut squash and the cooking way is exactly the same.

Sweet potato puree
Tastes very similar to butternut squash and the cooking way is exactly the same.

Carrot and pea puree
Carrots and peas is a classic combination. The puree of the two veggies combined tastes nice and sweet and Allie loved it. Cook even parts of peas and carrots. Feel free to use frozen peas. Cook peeled and sliced carrots for about 8 minutes until soft. Add the peas and cook for another 3 minutes. Process in a  blender until smooth.

Carrot and ginger puree
This one has a very... hmm...interesting taste. Let's say it's an acquired taste, but if you can get your baby to eat ginger, I know this would make a least our pediatrician very proud! It took Allie a few tries before she started eating it and she would never have much, but even a bit of ginger goes a long way. Put peeled and cut up carrots (1 lb) and peeled and  minced fresh ginger (1 tsp)  in boiling water. Cook for about 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.

Avocado puree
This one is the easiest as it doesn't require any cooking. Just mash up an avocado and add just a bit of lemon juice to stop it from browning. Allie's gone through periods of liking and and disliking it, but I hope you baby likes it, it's so good for you!

Edamame and apple puree
You'll need about 2 apples for 1/2 lbs of edamame. Put edamame (frozen is ok) and chopped up apple in some boiling water. Cook for 3 minutes. Drain most f the water and process in a blender till smooth.

Spinach and apple puree
Put 2 cut up apples and 2 cups of spinach in boiling water. Cook for 3 minutes. Drain most of the water and process in a  blender until smooth. If you find that this puree is a bit too spinach-y, you can cook it in apple juice instead of the water to give it a bit more sweetness.

It's all about experimenting and you can come up with other combinations: regular mashed potatoes; potatoes with carrots, sweet potatoes and apple, peas and apples... 

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