As I finished up using the last of my baby food I realized how handy it is to have vegetables ready to feed to my little guy. I remember going through the same thoughts when my, now two year old, daughter began to eat more table foods. It seemed that her nutrition intake decreased because there just aren't that many fruits and vegetables that are that easy to grab and have ready for a baby. It usually takes some preparation and sometimes I just don't have the time. Bananas are good but my little guy can't eat them- avocados are a daily around here- and pears are a must.
However, it would be nice to have a stash of pureed fruits and vegetables again. Apples are always a good thing- it's applesauce, right- not really "baby food"? Pureed carrots and other vegetables could make a quick and nutritious addition to cottage cheese- marinara sauce- etc. I think I will be whipping the blender out, washing, peeling, dicing, steaming vegetables. For that little extra boost. I have even thought about freezing a few bowls of vegetables not pureed but steamed and diced.
Apples: Are abundant in pectin, a fiber found on the apple peel and just below. Which is known for its cholesterol-lowering affects.
Baby must be at least 7 months old for pureed apples. 8 months old for peeled raw grated apples. At least three years for unpeeled.
Apples keep longer if they don't touch each other. I have started to keep mine in the plastic containers they come in from Costco so they will stay separate. I have noticed a difference and have dealt with the extra space it takes up.
Freeze unsweetened applesauce for up to 2 months.
What I do for my "applesauce":
Cut the apple to get the seeds out, cut up according to how powerful your blender is, and then just blend to reach desired consistency. You will probably need to add some water.
Carrots: Are loaded with beta carotene, a form of Vitamin A. Your baby should be having a Vitamin A veggie everyday. However you eat them is going to benefit you- raw, cooked, or juiced.
Baby must be at least 7 months for cooked carrots. 10 months for finely grated carrots.
Carrots need cold temperature and humidity. Store in the refrigerator in a bag that has holes in it. Fresh carrots will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Younger carrots don't need to be peeled- as that is where a lot of their nutrition is. Bigger carrots are better peeled.
Freeze pureed carrots for up to two months.
Best way to do carrots:
Steam 10-15 minutes. --Using a steamer is better then putting in a pot with water. It holds the nutrients in instead of washing them out. You can just use the cooking water when blending the carrots to try to restore some of the nutrients.-- Dice and blend to appropriate consistency.
I have a blend-tec and will sometimes throw in an apple and a few raw carrots. Either keeping as an "applesauce" or turning into a juice to add to other solid things.
I think I will be referring to my Deceptively Delicious book again. Not to sneak but to add.