I love knowing what ingredients are going into my kids foods. I can buy organic when I can, wash in a vinegar bath, cook, puree to my desired thickness based on what baby is eating now, and add pumped breastmilk to thin it and add nutrients!
-Nectarines and Peaches: Boil and cool, makes peeling the skin off easier and cooks the fruit.
-Blueberries: wash, cook in microwave in a steamer (I use a Pampered Chef veggie steamer for smaller portions and a Tupperware rice cooker for larger items)
-Butternut Squash: Slice in half, remove seeds. Cook with water in microwave 10 minutes per half. Obviously can be baked in oven as well. Cut off the peel before blending.
-Acorn Squash: same
-Apples: peel, core, slice, microwave 8 minutes, let sit another 4 minutes
-Carrots: I used baby carrots, microwaved for 15 minutes
-Pears: wash, peel, remove core, cook 6 mns 2-3 at a time, sliced
-Peas: I used frozen peas in steamable microwave bag
-Banana: pushed half of ripe banana through food mill, stirred in some breastmilk to thin
For each item I used a regular blender and the water it was cooked in or juice it produced when cooked and some breastmilk to thin for younger baby. I like to make cubes in ice cube trays because I can later mix foods this way - by defrosting one carrot and one apple and stirring together in a bowl, for example. I blended some very thin but left some chunkier to use later when he is eating thicker foods. (He did not react well to rice cereal so I don't want to use that as a thickener, but you can do this.)
Perfectly thinned apples (about 2 oz of milk for an apple and a half) for my 5 1/2 month old.
Now, there are a ton of ways to store and serve these purees. Since food keeps fresh in fridge for only 2 days, I need to freeze most of it. I put some in the Infantino baby food pouches, some in a baby popsicle mold (Nuk and Munchkin, ordered on Amazon), and the rest in ice cube trays. I can defrost a few cubes per day and they last for 4 months.
Here's a bin full of the baby food pouches to freeze. They freeze flat/thin so take up minimal space.
Tips for serving: Remove from freezer the night before, as they need several hours in fridge to defrost. A little warm water is fine but microwaving is not allowed on the pouches and not recommended for the cubes, unless you do NOT have breastmilk or formula in them.
So now I've got all these fresh strawberries and kiwis (didn't make for baby as they are more likely to cause allergic reaction, holding off on them for now), tons of leftover apples and peaches,etc. Brilliant idea!! Those awesome Dole Fruit Squishers or Go-Go-Squeeze applesauce in a pouch? My kids LOVE them and they are great for picnic lunches and meals on the go. But they are flippin expensive! Why not make a bunch of these for my older kiddos?
I used the same concept, but the puree is much thicker. I made applesauce as a base and then to one batch added strawberries and to another added peaches. I labeled and tossed in freezer. Just defrost night before like baby food (I can pull it out with their Uncrustables sandwiches!). The kids LOVED the sauce I made and loved this idea!! Pardon the mess in the photos, the kitchen was a craze at this point.