Monday, October 1, 2012

Fruit and Vegetable Purees III

I have been making baby food for Little Hands about every two weeks. It has just worked out that way. When Little Hands starts to run out, I make more. This past week we went on an excursion to buy more produce for him to eat. I came home with carrots, sweet potatoes (twice as much as before), a purple sweet potato (because it sounded neat), a peach, pears, an acorn squash, and green beans. Sadly, the peach molded on the counter in the two days it took me to go from shopping to food creation.

Little Hands inspects the quality of my work on foods I don't consider a choking hazard. (This carrot was cut in half before being put in the oven.)

The lower rack of my oven is filled with carrots, sweet potatoes, the purple sweet potato, and a couple of russets for dinner for DH and me.

The upper rack contains the pears and acorn squash. I started off the oven at 350* for the 45 min and then at 400* for another 25 minutes. The pears were done in about 15 minutes. The carrots in for 45 min. And everything else for the full 70 minutes.

Meanwhile, I cooked the green beans on the stove in about an inch of water. My last steaming basket rusted and I vowed to buy a silicone one, but I have yet to find a silicone steaming basket I like.

I thought roasted carrots would be a nice flavor variation for Little Hands who doesn't have many flavors available to him. The end product isn't to my liking. The roasted carrots were much drier than I had anticipated - they were quite dehydrated by the time they became fork-tender. Thus I had to add a lot of thinning water, and I still had very little produce from one pound of carrots vs steaming. (I don't have numbers on this claim. Just observation.) I also had to keep the oven at a much lower temperature for longer than I would have preferred. In the future, I'll stick to steaming carrots.


  • The top left is the green beans. I didn't make many as some people complain frozen green bean puree becomes gritty. This is a test batch.
  • The next down are the roasted carrots.
  • The four black-ish blocks are the purple sweet potato. I chose the smallest potato available and didn't try to hard to squeeze every ounce out of the potato when I saw how intense the color is! My small taste of purple sweet potato seemed more floral than regular sweet potato. If Little Hands loves it, I'll probably make more. The intent of this was just for amusement's sake.
  • The lower left is the acorn squash. Little Hands approves of acorn squash on most days. In this picture, a third of the bag had already been consumed.
  • Top right corner are the baked pears. They are quite sweet and have a strong pear taste to them. Little Hands hasn't been much interested in eating them unless they're mixed in with his oatmeal.
  • Bottom right are two bags of sweet potato. Little Hands has started to get bored with it, but he's still eating the supply steadily.

Curiously, Little Hands has started to favor the Butternut Squash. He was so disinterested before that I didn't bother to make any this time!