Posts Tagged ‘ homemade fruit purees ’

The Best Summer Fruits For Your Babe & How to Prepare Them

Monday, July 25th, 2011

watermelon

 


STRAWBERRIES

Why:
This nutrient-rich superfood is loaded with fiber and vitamin C.

Puree it:
Wash strawberries and slice in half. If berries are underripe, steam 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Puree for a smooth texture. Freeze in 2-ounce portions for up to three months.

Smash it: Follow cooking and freezing steps above but instead of pureeing, mash the fruit with a potato masher. Or dice and serve as finger food.

Mix it with:
Bananas, pears, peaches, pears, apples

 

 

PEACHES

Why: This luscious fruit packs lots of calcium, vitamin A, and potassium.

Puree it: Wash, peel, pit, and dice peaches. If peaches are underripe, fill a medium saucepan halfway full with water. Bring water to a boil then reduce heat until the bubbles are very soft. Add peaches and cook 3-5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Puree for a smooth texture. Freeze in 2-ounce portions for up to three months.

Smash it: Follow cooking and freezing steps above but instead of pureeing, mash the fruit with a potato masher. Or dice and serve as finger food.

Mix it with:
Blueberries, pears, apples, strawberries, cherries, bananas

 

 

BLUEBERRIES, RASPBERRIES & BLACKBERRIES

Why: These brain-boosters are rich in disease-fighting antioxidants.

Puree it: Wash berries. If berries are underripe, steam 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Puree for a smooth texture. Freeze in 2-ounce portions for up to three months.

Smash it:
Follow cooking and freezing steps above but instead of pureeing, mash the fruit with a potato masher. Or serve as finger food.

Mix it with:
Peaches, bananas, pears, apples, mangoes

 

 

CHERRIES

Why: This sweet-tart fruit is a powerful source of antioxidants and fiber.

Puree it: Wash cherries, remove pits and slice in half. If cherries are underripe, fill a medium saucepan halfway full with water. Bring water to a boil then reduce heat until the bubbles are very soft. Add cherries and cook 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Puree for a smooth texture. Freeze in 2-ounce portions for up to three months.

Smash it:
Follow cooking and freezing steps above but instead of pureeing, mash the fruit with a potato masher. Or slice and serve as finger food.

Mix it with: Apples, pears, peaches, bananas

 

 

WATERMELON

Why: This refreshing fruit is rich in vitamin C and fiber.

Smash it: Mash juicy watermelon with a potato masher or dice and serve as finger food.

Serve it with: Diced peaches, blueberries, pears, apples, or chunks of cheese

 

 

APRICOTS

Why: This tangy fruit is rich in vitamins A and C, as well as fiber.

Puree it: Wash, peel, pit, and dice apricots. If peaches are underripe, fill a medium saucepan halfway full with water. Bring water to a boil then reduce heat until the bubbles are very soft. Add apricots and cook 3-5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Puree for a smooth texture. Freeze in 2-ounce portions for up to three months.

Smash it: Follow cooking and freezing steps above but instead of pureeing, mash the fruit with a potato masher. Or slice and serve as finger food.

Mix it with: Sweet potatoes, bananas, pears, apples

 

 

CANTALOUPE

Why: This sweet fruit is rich in vitamins A, B6, and C; it’s also a good source of potassium.

Smash it: Mash juicy melon with a potato masher or dice and serve as finger food.

Serve it with: Pears, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, or apples


PLUMS

Why: This fiber-filled fruit is a natural digestion aid for baby.

Puree it: Wash, peel, and dice plums. If plums are underripe, fill a medium saucepan halfway full with water. Bring water to a boil then reduce heat until the bubbles are very soft. Add plums and cook 3-5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Puree for a smooth texture. Freeze in 2-ounce portions for up to three months.

Mash it: Follow cooking and freezing steps above but instead of pureeing, mash the fruit with a potato masher. Or slice and serve as finger food.

Serve it with: Pears, bananas, apricots, or apples

 

 

What’s your babe’s fave summer fruit? How do you like to prepare it?

NOTE: Pediatricians have different opinions about when babies should try specific fruits; some, such as strawberries, are more likely to cause an allergic reaction than other fruits. Consult your pediatrician before starting your babe on a new fruit.

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Tuesday Timesaver: Frozen Veggies & Fruits

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011


Use frozen veggies and fruits instead of fresh. It’s that simple if you’re looking for a shortcut. You don’t have to wash frozen veggies and fruits, and many of them don’t need to be chopped (think broccoli florets, corn, and spinach) or peeled (think peaches and plums). Frozen veggies and fruits don’t spoil before you have a chance to prepare them. You can still go organic if you’re shopping in the freezer case instead of the produce section of your supermarket, and you’ll save money going frozen instead of fresh in winter. Additionally, frozen fruits and veggies might be more nutritious than fresh, according to an article published by EatingWell.com, because fruits and veggies are frozen at their peak ripeness when they’re most nutrient-rich. (This assertion was also supported by a study that was released by the UK-based Institute of Food Research last March.)

As an aside, I avoid canned produce, generally. In some cases, such as green beans, it can have much higher levels of sodium than fresh or frozen. And fruits are oftentimes packed in a heavy sugary syrup. If you’re going to go the canned route, be sure to check sodium levels first and buy fruit that’s packed in water, not sugar.

Of course, I’m not advocating that you give up fresh veggies and fruits for good. For anyone who likes to cook, there are few things more pleasurable than a lazy Sunday afternoon at the farmer’s market in search of seasonal gems. Furthermore, if you’re buying fruits and veggies locally chances are they’ve just been picked and the produce is still nutrient-rich. I’m just saying that if you’re tight on time (and what mom isn’t?) there are distinct advantages to going frozen, at least some of the time.

I go both ways. I love chopping veggies and fruits, and chilling at the farmer’s market, so I purchase fresh produce every week — but my freezer is also packed with frozen veggies, especially green beans, peas, peaches, broccoli, and asparagus. I puree both frozen and fresh produce, and I chop and steam both types of produce for healthy finger foods. For my money (and my time), cooking with both fresh and frozen produce is the way to go.

Editors Note: Oops, I goofed when I scheduled this post so this week’s Tuesday Timesaver is coming out on Wednesday! Mommy brain:)

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