Wednesday, December 30, 2015

How To: Make and Freeze Homemade Baby Food {Zucchini Purée}

Babies love the naturally subtle favor of zucchini, which is packed with Vitamin A that helps with growth and development and the maintenance of a healthy immune system. 

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I've been doing a lot of apologizing lately. Unfortunately, I wind up having no idea what I apologize for or why I felt compelled to apologize in the first place.

Case in point:

It came up in a recent conversation that I make the majority of Caroline's food myself (as opposed to buying jars or pouches of baby food). Most of the time, people ask me whether it's a lot of work, but this time, I heard a response I wasn't prepared for.

"Of course you do."

Before I could even think about it or stop myself from doing it, I told her I was sorry. The conversation moved on to other things, but I just sat there silently getting angry at myself.

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What the heck did I just apologize for? For talking about the baby? For choosing to make her food from scratch? For unintentionally making someone feel inferior?

I'm still not sure.

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All I know is I have to STOP apologizing for things that don't require an apology.

While I try and figure out the best way to do that -- do you guys have any advice for me?? -- I'll continue making homemade baby food for as long as it makes sense to do so.

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In terms of introducing Caroline to solids, we started with carrots and then moved on to zucchini. At the time, they were still plentiful at the farmers' market, and I wanted to take advantage of our access to the locally grown loot.

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First, I washed the zucchini, trimmed the ends, and sliced each of them into rounds. I placed the zucchini slices in a medium pan, poured in just enough water to cover them, and brought the water up to a boil. Then I reduced the heat and let the vegetables simmer until they were fork-tender.

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Once the zucchini slices were tender, I transferred them to the bowl of my food processor with a slotted spoon, and pureéd them. Since zucchini has a naturally high water content, I didn't have to add any extra water or liquid to get the consistency I was looking for -- smooth but thick.

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As I did for the carrots, I made a large batch of zucchini purée so I could freeze the majority of it.

Once the purée had cooled to room temperature, I spooned it into the compartments of ice cube trays, covered the trays tightly with plastic wrap, and then put the trays in the freezer to set overnight.

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The next day, I popped the cubes of zucchini purée out of the trays and transferred them to quart-size freezer bags marked with the date, contents, and "use by" instructions.

And that's it!

How To: Use Zucchini Purée


But what if you make and/or freeze a batch of zucchini purée and your baby decides he/she doesn't like zucchini anymore? In case you're left with a whole lot of zucchini purée in your freezer, here are some ways to use it up (you can use the purée in place of shredded zucchini if you want a smoother texture):


Zucchini Puree
Printable Recipe

This recipe gives the measurements I use when making purée to freeze. Adjust the amounts accordingly based on your needs.

INGREDIENTS
  • 8 cups zucchini, thinly sliced

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Place the zucchini in a medium pan and pour in enough water to just cover the slices.
  2. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. 
  3. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes or until the zucchini is tender.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the zucchini to the bowl of a food processor and purée until smooth.

To freeze:

Allow the purée to cool to room temperature and spoon into clean ice cube trays. Wrap the trays in plastic wrap and place in the freezer to set overnight. Pop the cubes out of the trays and transfer them to freezer bags labeled with the date and the contents. You can keep the zucchini purée in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Recipe by Michelle Rittler, Taste As You Go

Taste As You Go Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate product links. Clicking on the links may result in my being paid a commission based on product sales. Regardless of commission, all opinions expressed in this post are my own.

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