Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pee Wee Purees

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My son is in for a treat when he'll be ready for solids in the next month or two. Until then, I've been having fun playing with various vegetable and fruit purees by incorporating them in everyday dishes. For the recent Pee Wee Puree Party I hosted, friends and I made a handful of purees for babies and our older children as well. These purees make great additions to everyday recipes to sneak in some extra goodness...

When I was researching baby food and purees, I was happy to find so many great resources out there. Some of those resources included the following books I received during my baby showers...


But going a bit further, purees aren't just for babies. In fact, I looked at my cookbook collection and was glad to see this book there since it also focuses on the use of purees in everyday meals...


Aside from the above books, there are also a great deal of websites dedicated to baby foods. Here are some of my favorites:

Here are the recipes we prepared, which are pretty easy and straight to the point. It's nothing but wholesome fruits and vegetables, making it easy to make!

Carrot Puree
1 pound baby carrots

Put the carrots into a steamer set over boiling water and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until tender. Alternatively put the carrots in a saucepan and pour over just enough boiling water to cover. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until soft.

Drain the carrots and place in a blender, adding some of the water from the bottom of the steamer or some of the cooking liquid, then puree until very smooth. The amount of liquid you add really depends on your baby, you may need to add a little more if he finds the puree difficult to swallow.

Spoon some of the puree into your baby’s bowl and serve lukewarm. You can freeze the remainder in an ice cube tray or small plastic containers.


Green Bean Puree
1 pound of fresh green beans

Put the green beans into a steamer set over boiling water and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until tender. Alternatively put the green beans in a saucepan and pour over just enough boiling water to cover. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until soft.

Drain the green beans and place in a blender, adding some of the water from the bottom of the steamer or some of the cooking liquid, then puree until very smooth. The amount of liquid you add really depends on your baby, you may need to add a little more if he finds the puree difficult to swallow. Spoon some of the puree into your baby’s bowl and serve lukewarm. You can freeze the remainder in an ice cube tray or small plastic containers.


Sweet Potatoes Puree
1 large sweet potato

Wash and poke holes in sweet potato with fork then wrap sweet potatoes in tin foil - do not peel for baking/microwaving. Place in a 400 degree oven and bake for 30-60 minutes or until soft. Remove skins by slitting the sweet potato lengthwise when cooled then scoop out the "meat". Use a liquid from your preferred source to puree or thin the sweet potatoes.

Alternatively, peel sweet potatoes and cut into small chunks. Place chunks into a pan with just enough water to slightly cover potato. "Steam" boil until tender, be sure to check on the water level. Reserve any left over water to use for thinning out the sweet potatoes if desired.


Sweet Peas Puree
2 cups peas, fresh or frozen

Pour water into a saucepan to a depth of 1 inch. Put the peas in a steamer basket and put the basket in the saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and steam until the peas are bright green and tender enough to mash easily with a fork, about 5 minutes for fresh or frozen peas and about 3 minutes for thawed frozen peas.

Remove from the heat and remove the steamer basket from the saucepan, reserving the cooking liquid. Rinse the peas under cold running water to stop the cooking. Transfer the peas to a food processor or blender and process to a smooth puree. Add enough of the reserved cooking liquid, breast milk or formula to thin the puree to a consistency your baby can handle. Makes about 1 1/2 cups puree.



Butternut Squash Puree
1 acorn or butternut squash

Cut acorn or butternut squash in half, scoop out seeds. Place halves face down in a baking dish and cover with an inch of water.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes to 1 hour - be sure the “shell/skin” puckers and halves feel soft then scoop squash “meat” out of the shell. Place squash "meat" into your choice of appliance for pureeing and begin pureeing. Add water as necessary to achieve a smooth, thin consistency.


Mango Puree
1 ripe mango

Peel, remove the seed and mash the mango until smooth. Add water until the proper consistency for your baby is achieved.




Pear Puree
1 ripe pear

Peel, remove the seeds and mash the pear until smooth. Add water until the proper consistency for your baby is achieved.



Banana Puree
1 ripe banana
Water, Formula or Breast Milk as needed

Peel and cut a ripe banana into small dices and mash with a fork. There should be no need to use a machine as bananas, just like avocados, will have a very soft consistency and texture. Bananas do not need to be cooked. Depending on your baby's age and stage, you may not need to add any liquid to the mashed banana.  You may purée the banana in a food processor or blender if desired

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