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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Nine Vegetable Baby Purées: Preparation & Taste Rankings

Recently, I've done a few posts about baby foods - first attempts, do-overs and cereal - and now it's time to recap on some of the purées I've made.  A few people have asked how to prepare them, and how they went over with Quincy, so this may help answer those questions.  As another great resource,  check out Momtastic's Wholesome Baby Food website, which was recommended to me from a friend; it has been a wealth of information to find out what foods are appropriate for which age, and different methods of preparing and storing the foods.

On a side note, for those of you that read about The Promise (La Promesa) I made to Quincy, I've decided to give the names of the foods in English and Spanish.  Hey, who said you couldn't learn some new vocabulary from this blog?!

1. BUTTERNUT SQUASH - La Calabaza Moscada

* Preparation: Wash, Peel, Scoop Seeds/Gunk, Cube, Steam 10-12 minutes, Puree with Water.
* Quincy's Rating: Yu-Yu-Yummmm.
* Note: Warning - may cause Squash Hands

2. PEAS - Los Guisantes

* Preparation: Steam 8-12 minutes, Puree with Water.
* Quincy's Rating: Gross Enough to Gag.
*Note: Frozen peas are WAY easier than fresh unshelled peas!

3. ZUCCHINI - El Calabacín (Verde)

* Preparation: Wash, Peel, Slice, Steam 8-10 minutes, Puree (without Water).
* Quincy's Rating: Eh, They're Alright.
* Note: This is a runny one, especially since you do not add any water when pureeing; great to mix with thicker purées.

4. CARROTS - Las Zanahorias

* Preparation: Wash, Peel, Slice, Steam 10-12 minutes, Puree with Water.
* Quincy's Rating: Gross Enough to Gag.

5. YELLOW SUMMER SQUASH - El Calabacín (Amarillo)

* Preparation: Wash, Peel, Slice, Steam 8-10 minutes, Puree (without Water).
* Quincy's Rating: Eh, They're Alright.
* Note: This is another runny one, especially since you do not add water when pureeing; it's great to mix with a thicker food like sweet potatoes.

6. EGGPLANT - La Berenjena

* Preparation: Wash, Peel, Cube, Steam 8-10 minutes, Puree with Water.
* Quincy's Rating: Great when mixed half-and-half with sweet potato; not so great on its own.

7. PARSNIPS - Las Chirivías

8. TURNIPS - Los Nabos


* Preparation: Wash, Peel, Cube, Bake in Pan with Water, Puree with Water.
* Quincy's Rating: Run Away!! Mommy & Quincy agree - definitely not a tasty food.  It reminded me of a slightly sweeter radish, thanks to the turnips.
* Note: Bake at 375˚ for 30-45 minutes with water covering the cubes 2/3's of the way.

9. SWEET POTATO - La Batata

* Preparation: Rinse, Poke Holes with Fork, Rinse Again (to get water in the holes), Wrap in Foil, Bake 45-60 minutes, Scoop out Guts from Skin, Puree with Water.
* Quincy's Rating: Yu-Yu-Yummmm.
* Note: This can be a thicker purée, so I've used either extra water or a runnier vegetable like zucchini or summer squash to thin it.


What are Squash Hands?  Glad you asked.  You may find, especially with Butternut Squash, that your hands get really dried out when handling it after peeling.  Your skin will feel taught and possibly peel.  You'll know what I mean if you give it a try.

Squash Hands

Clean Up! If you're doing multiple vegetables at a time, be sure to clean your cooking gear in between each vegetable so as not to contaminate your final purée with other veggies.  If your baby ends up having an allergic reaction to one of the vegetables, it'd be horrible to have it accidentally mixed in with another!  That being said, I know I did a mixture of the turnips and parsnips without cooking them separately, but having the mix was intentional - too bad it didn't taste so good!

Cleaning in Between Batches

Storage:  Freezing the food into cubes, and then storing the cubes in freezer bags helps save on space in your freezer.  When you're ready for baby to have another portion, either thaw them in the fridge for a day or defrost them in the microwave (be sure to use a Defrost setting and not cook the food).

White = Parsnip & Turnip Combo
Green = Eggplant
Yellow = Yellow Summer Squash

Freezer Stock-up: Three vegetables (listed above)
waiting to freeze into cubes and other frozen cubes
stored in freezer bags

El Vocabulario: I have to admit that I found looking for the Spanish equivalents for some of the foods a bit puzzling.  By following a friend's advice, I was able to find a lot of the names by first looking up their Latin name, and then looking up the Latin name in Wikipedia en Español.  For the variety of squashes, there seem to be two main words: calabaza and calabacín.  Calabaza seems to be the bigger gourd-like squashes, such as Butternut, whereas calabacín is more typical of slimmer and softer squashes like zucchini.  My best guess for the yellow summer squash and zucchini was to differentiate them by color.  If there are some Spanish-speakers out there that have better words to use, I'm all ears!

Got any other foods you've heard of that are great to purée?  Share below!

¡Buen Provecho!


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