Friday, March 2, 2012

The Basics of Making Your Own Baby Food and Purees: How to Puree

The Basics of Making Your Own Baby Food and Purees: How to Puree

Wash: When using fresh fruits and veggies, be sure to rinse thoroughly to remove any pesticides, dirt and other unmentionables that may have latched onto your food.

Chop: Cut into small chunks in preparation for steaming - or in the case of fruits that don’t need to be cooked – to throw right into the blender. Be sure to remove all seeds, cores and rinds. No need to peel apples, zucchinis, pears, etc – the skin adds fiber and virtually disappears in the puree.

{Cheat Sheet: No time to wash and chop fresh fruits and veggies? No worries. Bagged frozen vegetables are a lifesaver and work just as well. Most are “flash frozen” to keep in the nutrients, and they are already the right size to steam, and then puree. Canned can also work if you’re in a jam – just make sure you avoid additives like salt, sugar, preservatives, and high-sugar juices or syrups.}

Steam: Most vegetables need to be cooked prior to pureeing (with the exception of avocados and cucumbers). Steaming gets the job done while keeping the lion’s share of nutrients in place. Fill a pot with about ½ cup of water. Place chopped vegetables in pot with water, cover and turn on stove top to medium heat. Then, let the steam go to work. But don’t overdo it – about 10 minutes of steaming is enough to get the job done. 

Puree: Now the fun part. Throw your steamed veggies (along with the remaining water from the pot) into the blender or food processor and puree away. Uncooked fruits may need a bit of water (a tablespoon at a time to avoid overdoing it) to keep the blades from getting stuck or the fruit from getting jammed. Puree on high until you reach desired consistency – Stage 1: extra smooth/fine; Stage 2: smooth but thicker; Stage 3: thick and a little bit chunky; Stage 4: chunky and coarse. Puree a bit too thin? Add a tablespoon of single grain cereal before serving. Too thick? Stir in an ounce of breast milk or formula immediately before serving.

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Why I Puree:

The Basics: What You Need to Get Started: