Summertime and the eating is easy. When you turn the season’s amazing fruits and veggies into yummy purees, your baby will enjoy gobbling up a rainbow of produce as much as you do. They’re simple to make—and unexpected combinations are a wonderful opportunity to expand your baby’s palate. So grab your blender or food processor and read on for seven scrumptious recipe ideas your little eater will love.
Mango, banana, and avocado
Transport your baby to the tropics with this puree. Slice one banana and cut up one mango into 1-inch cubes. Place fruit in a pot, cover with water, and simmer until soft enough to easily mash (about 10 minutes). Let the mixture cool, then pour it all (including cooking water) into a blender or food processor. For extra creaminess, toss in a cubed avocado as well. A squeeze of citrus (especially lime or lemon) is another yummy addition. Puree and serve.
Cantaloupe, nectarine, and raspberry
This powerhouse puree is a great source of Vitamins A and C as well as potassium. Peel and cut one nectarine into cubes and steam until fork soft (about five minutes). Drain and place fruit in a blender, along with one cup of cubed cantaloupe and a handful of washed raspberries. Whir together. Serve on its own or spoon it up with yogurt.
Roasted pear, apple, and ginger
Roasting works wonders on apples and pears, giving them a rich, caramelized flavor that may have your little one licking the (baby-friendly) bowl clean. Peel, core, and cut one pear or apple (or both!) into slim wedges. Place fruit on a parchment-lined baking sheet, then sprinkle with ground or fresh grated ginger and cinnamon. Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, until fruit is fork tender. Place baked fruit (and its juices) into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Zucchini, apple, blueberry, and spinach
Spinach’s mellow flavor is an unobtrusive partner in this antioxidant-packed puree. Cut one peeled apple and one zucchini into small cubes. Steam until almost tender (five to seven minutes), then add one cup of blueberries and half a cup of fresh, washed spinach leaves for one more minute. Puree ingredients together.
Peas, broccoli, and mint
This puree gets a fun flavor boost from fresh mint. To make, chop and steam half a cup each of broccoli florets and fresh (or frozen) peas until fork tender, about four minutes. Add to the food processor, along with one to two tablespoons of broth (chicken or veggie) and one tablespoon of chopped fresh mint. Blend until smooth.
Peaches, apples, and kale
This recipe is loaded with vitamins, calcium, iron, and more. Kale’s somewhat bitter flavor is tempered by the sweetness of peaches and apples. To make, cut one peeled apple and peach into small cubes. (Pro tip: Peaches can be tricky to peel, but serrated peelers make the job much easier.) Remove stiff ribs from several leaves of kale, then slice leaves into strips (about 1/4 cup). Steam fruit for four to five minutes until tender; add kale for the last minute of cooking. Place ingredients in a blender or food processor, along with a few spoonfuls of reserved cooking water. Puree until smooth.
Roasted carrot and ginger
For this savory puree, peel two to three medium carrots and then chop them into small pieces. Mix with 1/4 teaspoon of fresh, chopped ginger. Spread all ingredients onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Optional: Toss with a drizzle of olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, or until fork tender. Place veggies in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. If too thick, add a spoonful or two of orange juice, broth, or water until mixture reaches desired consistency.
Storage Tips to Make Purees Last
Got leftovers? To store baby purees, spoon into a small glass storage container, and pop in the refrigerator or freezer. Or save in single-serving sizes: Pour extras into a baby food or ice cube freezer tray, and cover tray with plastic wrap. Freeze, then decant cubes into reusable baggies. Fresh purees are best eaten within a day or two. Frozen purees will keep for up to three months.
And don’t forget: Use these tips to properly store your summer-fresh produce before whipping up those purees.