I recently posted an article about the pros and cons of making homemade baby food. While I personally find it to be time consuming for the most part, there are some really quick and easy recipes that I wanted to share. All of these recipes can be made in batches so that you can store extra servings in ice cube trays in a freezer. I usually serve all of the following recipes mixed with a 1/4 cup of grain, such as rice or oatmeal, in order to make sure the baby is receiving the proper balance of nutrients. Before I get to the recipes, I want to explain the ice cube method that will help you store your food.
What is the Ice Cube Method?
One of the easiest ways to freeze and store baby food is to use the ice cube method. Once you have pureed your baby’s food, allow it to cool for 30 minutes or so. Once it has cooled, pour the pureed food into ice cube trays, cover with foil, and put into the freezer. When the food is frozen, transfer the cubes into a plastic freezer bag. Make sure you label and date everything. Most foods will stay good for up to 3 months. When the baby is ready to eat, thaw a couple of cubes either in the refrigerator or in the microwave. Tip: Always check the temperature of your baby’s food before serving!
Now, Here Are Four Awesome Baby Food Recipes:
1. Peach Puree
You can make peach puree with as many peaches as you’d like. I usually use 6 to 8 peaches so that I can have plenty to freeze. First, make sure to wash the peaches thoroughly. Peaches are considered one of the “Dirty Dozen” fruits and vegetables that carry the highest levels of pesticides and herbicides; so in addition to washing, you may also want to get organic peaches.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Halve and pit peaches and put them cut-side down onto a 8×13 inch baking pan. Fill the pan up with about an inch of water. Put the pan in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the skin easily peels from the fruit. Once the peaches are baked, take them out of the pan and peel off the skin with a fork. Then you can puree the peaches and put them in ice cube trays for freezing.
This is probably my favorite recipe, and it makes the whole house smell great. My son loves it too. You can also use the same baking methodology with plums.
2. Apple Puree
This is another one of my favorites. Apples are also on the “Dirty Dozen” list, so you may want to buy organic and make sure to wash thoroughly. I usually bake 8 apples at a time.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Peel the skin off of the apples, and dice up into 1-inch cubes. Put apple cubes into a 8×13 inch baking pan, and fill it with an inch of water. Bake for about 30 minutes or until apple pieces can be smashed up with a fork. Once the apples are at the correct tenderness, puree in a blender and put them in ice cube trays for freezing. You can add a little bit of cinnamon to make cinnamon apples. Bruise the cinnamon in your fingers before adding it in order to bring out the flavor.
3. Whipped Cauliflower
Whipped cauliflower is a wonderful alternative to mashed potatoes. I like it because I can easily mix it with fruit, and my baby doesn’t realize that he is eating a vegetable. One word of caution: Cauliflower is a gassy food so if your baby is colic, you may want to skip this recipe. It is not on the “Dirty Dozen” list so you do not need to be as concerned about pesticides and herbicides.
After washing a large head of cauliflower, cut it into smaller florets and put them into a pot of cold water. Cover the pot and boil water for about 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is just cooked. Put the cauliflower into a blender with about 2 tablespoons of butter and some water, and puree until smooth. You can then use the ice cube method to freeze.
4. Zucchini Puree
Zucchini is the only green vegetable that my baby will eat. The flavor is not too overpowering because it is fairly watery. I usually cook 3 zucchinis at a time in order to have a good amount to freeze. This recipe can also be used with other kinds of squash.
Wash the zucchini and cut it into rounds of about 1 inch. Put them into a steamer and cook for about 15 minutes. Once the zucchini is steamed, puree and then freeze using the ice cube method.
For more baby food recipes and information, I recommend www.wholesomebabyfood.com, Super Baby Foods by Ruth Yaron, and Cooking For Baby at Williams-Sonoma.
Do you have a favorite baby food recipe that you would like to share? I’d love to hear some good recipes that I can use myself!
(Photo Credit: efleming)