A treat for babies at least 8 months old, strawberries are so simple to puree. You can make luscious strawberry puree with fresh or frozen berries; buy fresh in the summer and frozen the rest of the year for high-quality, affordable strawberries. Ripe strawberries will have an even red color without any green or white markings. When purchasing fresh strawberries, look for fruit that's free of nicks, bruises, and other blemishes. Since strawberries are part of the "dirty dozen" - foods with the highest pesticide residue - it's a good idea to buy organic. Six whole strawberries yield about four ounces of puree.
Wash strawberries with a mixture of three parts water and one part white vinegar to remove bacteria. Rinse under cool running water and dry. Remove stem and slice each strawberry in half, lengthwise, then into quarters.
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If your strawberries are ripe, skip this step and move on to step 4. If you're working with strawberries that aren't fully ripe or are frozen, place the fruit in a steamer and cook for three minutes. Drain strawberries and rinse with cold water for three minutes in a colander to stop the cooking process.
Puree in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add water as needed to reach desired consistency.
For chunkier strawberry puree, which is ideal for babies 10 months or older, mash the strawberries with a potato masher instead of pureeing it.
If strawberries are very sweet, serve puree the plain. To introduce your baby to new textures and flavors, or to make the most of puree from more tart strawberries, mix the puree with sweeter fruit puree, oatmeal, or full-fat yogurt. Try mixing strawberry puree with:
Cool strawberry puree (if you steamed the strawberries) 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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