Once your baby is ready for mixed purees -- usually around 6 to 8 months, after he or she has tried several single-fruit and single-veggie purees -- apricots are a delicious bet. The tanginess of pureed apricot brings a pleasing flavor contrast to sweet fruit and veggie purees, and it brightens meat and poultry purees. You can make apricot puree with fresh or frozen apricots; buy fresh in the summer and frozen the rest of the year for high-quality, affordable apricots. Look for deep yellow to orange fruit that's free of nicks, bruises, and other blemishes. Ripe apricots will give a bit when you squeeze them. Avoid apricots that feel hard -- their flesh will be crunchy instead of soft and juicy. One whole apricot yields about four ounces of puree.
Wash the apricot with a mixture of three parts water and one part white vinegar to remove bacteria. Rinse under cool running water and dry.
Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan and then drop the apricot into the water for about 45 seconds. With a slotted spoon, remove the apricot from boiling water and plunge into an ice bath immediately. After the apricot has been fully submerged, remove and peel the skin with your fingers or a sharp paring knife.
Slice the apricot in half, lengthwise, working your way around the pit. Twist and pull the apricot halves apart. Use a spoon to pry out the pit, or stick the blade of a sharp knife into the pit and twist until the pit pops out. Slice each half into small chunks.
Puree apricots in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add water as needed to reach desired consistency.
For chunkier apricot puree, which is ideal for babies 10 months or older, mash the apricot with a potato masher instead of pureeing it.
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Apricot puree makes a blissful match with sweeter veggies and fruits, beef, chicken, and turkey. Try mixing apricot puree with:
Cool apricot puree and refrigerate leftovers in BPA-free containers for up to 3 days. Freeze leftovers for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in your refrigerator.
Note: Always check with your pediatrician before introducing your baby to a new food, particularly if your baby has food allergies. Additionally, some pediatricians do not recommend making your own carrot, beet, or spinach puree because these fresh veggies can be higher in nitrates.
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