Monday, August 10, 2009

Homemade Baby Food Week 2: Apples and Avacado

Sorry I haven't posted in a while with new baby food recipes. With all the traveling we did in July is was inevitable that store bought baby food was consumed, not homemade. Although it's not my first choice, boy oh boy am I thankful for Gerber Organic Stage 1 foods!!!

So, after returning from Colorado and Houston we had tons of leftover Gerbr foods so we needed to finish those up first before I got bak in to the swing of homemade foods.

Saturday, I went to our local Farmer's Market (15th and 75 for all you Dallas locals!) and stocked up on fruits and veggies! I'm excited to post weekly this month becuase there will be a TON of new recipes, including mixing fruits and veggies as well as adding spices to meals!

**Note that most of my recipes come from varying baby food websites but the one I visit the most is, check it out!

With that said, let's move on to today! Apples and Avacados, YUMMY! Apples are super easy and pretty quick to make.

Choosing the right apple:
In order to choose the best apples, make sure that there are no bruises or dark brown spots on the outer skin of the apple. Also, if you can find some without what I call "squishy spots" that's the best.

Apples are a great starter food for babies at least 6 months old. When cooking apples for homemade baby food, there are three ways possible. Baking, steaming and boiling. When boiling, the apples juices will seemingly run into the pan, which is great becuase all you need to do is save the juices and you can use that in place of water when pureeing down to applesauce.

You can choose to use as many or as few apples as you would like, and whichever brand you choose. For this recipe, I have 5 medium sized Granny Smith apples.

Boiling Directions:
1. Peel, core and cut/slice apples. I have an apple "corer" (sp?) that I use - see picture below
2. Place slices/chunks in pan with just enough water to cover them
3. Boil/stir until tender, but keep an eye out on the water level, make sure it doesn't get so low that it dissolves and just the apple slices are cooking, it will dr them out.
4. When they are soft, you have two choices, you can use your potato masher for a smooth consistency, or you can use the food processor of your choice. If you use your potato masher you really don't need to do anything else. If you are going to use a food processor, keep reading!

To puree apples completely, do the following:
1. Reserve any left over water from cooking to use as your thinning agent
2. Begin pureeing and add the reserved water as you feel necessary, to reach the desired consistency
3. Fill your ice cube trays, or baby food storage containers (One Step Ahead Stay Fresh Baby Food Containers is the one I use and LOVE!) and freeze up t 3 months!

Now, on to Avacados, another very simple recipe, and great for any baby over 6 months of age as well!

Choosing a great Avacado:
When choosing a great avacado, you want to make sure that it is firm, but also "bounces back" when gently pushed. The outer shell should be a dark green, and the inner shell should be green turning slightly yellow towards the pit.

There really aren't any! But if I must post something, here you go!

Gently roll the avacado around on your countertop to separate the "meat" from the skin.
Slice the avacado open and scoop or slice out the meat and mash with a fork, and it's ready to serve!

Freezing in slices instead of pureeing helps to keep it from browning, but you can still puree and freeze in cubes if you choose. If you choose the latter, you might trying "bathing" the avacado slices before freezing, in a mixture of 1/2 cup water and 2 squeezes/drips of lemon or lime juice. If your thawed slices/cubes seem a little runny, you can just add a little cereal, banana or yogurt to thicken it up a bit and then you're ready to go!

Hopefully this post has been a great help in creating foods for your baby that will not only keep them growing healthy and strong, but learn to use their tastebuds in a mighty way!

Now, off to cook some more food!

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