The Basics of Puree Preparation
Isn't life great after a good meal?
Does "homemade" take a lot of time?
No. It took me a little more than half an hour every two to three weeks.
Vegetable purees took about 10 minutes to clean, peel and cut the raw food, 15 minutes cooking time and about 10 minutes to blend and fill into jars. I'd prepare enough to last two to three weeks.
Fruit purees took a few minutes to clean, peel, cut and blend the fruit. Since I served them fresh, there was no storage issue.
What Tools do I need?
The tools I used: (left to right) food holder, which is placed in the pressure cooker before the food, a pressure cooker (I could have done without one, I'd just have had to cook everything longer), a stick mixer (I also tried a blender but it took longer to clean so I dumped it - lazy me) and a bunch of these 500ml glass jars
What Makes a Good Puree?
Consistency of the purees is key. A medium-thin, creamy consistency worked best. I found the critical factors to be the ratios of the ingredients and the blending time. I needed to mix the ingredients in the proper ratios (especially by adding water) and blend the ingredients long enough till the proper consistency was reached.
I used organic ingredients are far as available, e.g. carrots, chicken etc. Not only are they healthier, but they also taste much better than non-organic.
I didn't add any salt nor sugar (salt must be avoided for babies anyway) - the puree tasted pretty good without them anyway.
I did not try adding any rice flour, but I hear it's possible.
How to store Purees?
I've heard that some people use ice-cube trays to freeze baby food.
Nope, I used jam jars of about 500ml capacity instead. Each jar would last for 1-2 days. I felt that that was much more hygienic than open ice trays and Andres would eat about half to a whole jar in one meal anyway. I just needed to be careful not to overfill the jars with puree, otherwise they would crack from expansion while freezing. I left about 1 cm of airspace at the top of each jar and everything worked fine.
How to serve?
I microwaved a puree glass-jar minus it's metal lid till it had about the right temperature (a notch above lukewarm), stirred it thoroughly to eliminate any microwave-induced hot spots, and finally tasted it to verify the correct temperature. I stirred in one tablespoon of organic sunflower oil per meal (about 250 ml) just before serving. Check out the info on safe microwaving and plastic-usage in my links section.
OK, all set! Let's get to the recipes!