Monday, September 8, 2014

How to Make Homemade Carrot and Apple Baby Food Puree

Why make your own baby food?

Many parents and care givers choose to make their own baby food:

To Save Money
No Added Sugars
No Preservatives
No Chemicals
No Dyes

When are Carrots or Apples safe to introduce?

The American Acadamy of Pediatrics recommends:

"Because the intake of naturally occurring nitrates from foods such as green beans, carrots, squash, spinach, and beets can be as high as or higher than that from well water, these foods should be avoided before 3 months of age, "

Apples are a wonderful first food for your child. They are high in insoluble fiber and soluble fiber. This helps with bowel regularity (which can help prevent diverticulosis and colon cancer). Just be sure to peel that skin!

How to Make Homemade Carrot and Apple Baby Food: 

 * Choose 3 organic apples and one bag of organic baby carrots. Apples are on the "dirty dozen" according to the EWG. The "dirty dozen" are a list of foods which are highly contaminated with with pesticides, so choosing organic is wise.

* Wash your food! Even if you are peeling it. 

* Peel your apples. 

* Then cut in half.

* Then scoop out center and remove stem and butt with knife. Use a circular scoop motion to save as much apple as possible.

* Now chop the apple into equal pieces and place on a roasting pan with parchment paper or a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. I used a french sea salt but table salt will do as just as well. This is to add flavor and keep them from browning (light browning will occur naturally).

* Roast apples in oven at 375 degrees from 20-30 minutes until tender. Baking the apples will keep all the nutrients in. If you choose to boil that is fine but you will loose some of the nutrients. 

* While apples are roasting; boil your carrots on the stove top. Boil until fully cooked and tender (they should float to the top as the become more tender; floating doesn't always mean the are 100% done though).  Check with a fork for tenderness.

* After the apples and carrots are tender blend them using whatever device you choose (Baby Bullet; Cuisinart Hand Mixer...)

* Once blended put into individual containers.

* You do not need to wait for the vegetable to completely cool before freezing or refrigeration (you do wait for meats to cool before freezing). If you are able to freeze them it will be like blanching. Your newly made puree will only be good for 24 hours in the refrigerator. If you want to keep some longer you can freeze them, which will keep for up to 30 days in a freezer, or up to 60 days in a deep freezer. I would suggest putting your containers IN a Ziploc freezer bag or into ANOTHER larger container to avoid freezer burn. Once you defrost a frozen container it is only good for 24 hours.

Make sure to label your food. I use a small piece of tape and a Sharpie to label. This way I can easily identify and rotate my food but not permanently mark my containers. 

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