The Perfect Puree
(Butternut, green bean and pear puree above)
As a follow-up to my last post, I’m adding the recipe for the Perfect Puree. This is what is used in the Mac and Cheese with Hidden Veggies recipe, as well as the way I make all my purees to add to recipes or as baby food. It is actually really simple, and you can save time by making large batches and freezing the purees in ice-cube trays, silicone molds, or any size freezer safe food storage containers.
*If making purees for baby food, especially first foods for baby, I recommend using the single fruit or veggie and nothing needs to be added. After baby has tried several single fruits and veggies with no problem, you can mix them together and make yummy combinations, and add some herbs and spices. Yes, babies can and should be introduced to herbs and spices! For example, ginger and basil can be a tummy soothers, and garlic has antibacterial properties. Most babies who are breastfed have already been exposed to herbs and spices that Mom has been ingesting, but as with new foods, use he 3 day rule of introduction to rule out any reaction.
The Perfect Puree
Fresh vegetables or fruit of your choice (ie. butternut squash)
Fresh herbs of your choice (ie. sage is great w/ squash)
Fresh spices of your choice ( ie. a grate of nutmeg or cinnamon is nice with the squash and sage)
Coconut or Extra Virgin Olive Oil (about 1 TBS if roasting the veggies)
Sea salt and pepper to taste (none if making puree for baby)
Asparagus Puree (top left) Pear Puree (top right)
As you can see from the ingredient list, there is a lot of variation with this recipe, which makes it easy to adapt to what you have on hand, and what you may want to use the puree for.
If roasting your veggies or fruit, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. With my example of a butternut squash, cut in half-length wise and scoop out the seeds. Rub with oil of your choice and sprinkle with salt, pepper, herbs and spices. Lie the squash face down on an oil rubbed baking sheet or dish and roast for about 40 minutes or until the squash is fork tender and the skin has began to blister. If you are roasting a less hearty vegetable or fruits, a good idea would be to peel and chop the pieces into 1-2 inch pieces and roast on the baking sheet for about 15-20 minutes until fork tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Transfer the cooled veggies to a food processor or high-powered blender and blend until smooth and creamy. If the mixture seems to dry, add a teaspoon of water at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Transfer to storage container of your choice. If freezing in ice-cube trays or silicone molds, when frozen you may pop them out and sore them in freezer bags or whatever freezer safe container you like to use.
If steaming your veggies or fruit, place about two inches of water in a large pot, top with a steam basket, and bring to a boil. Fill basket with peeled and chopped veggies or fruit, cover and steam for about 12-15 minutes depending on the type. Check during cook time for fork tenderness. Remove pot from heat and using tongs, transfer veggies to a plate and allow to cool. Transfer the cooled veggies to a food processor or high-powered blender and blend until smooth and creamy. If the mixture seems to dry, add a teaspoon of water at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Transfer to storage container of your choice. If freezing in ice-cube trays or silicone molds, when frozen you may pop them out and sore them in freezer bags or whatever freezer safe container you like to use.
~SARA~ Fresh Foodie Mama