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Vegetable Purees

Martha Stewart Baby, Volume 1 Special Issue 2000

Sweet Potato
Suitable for children 6 to 8 months
Wash 2 1/2 pounds of sweet potatoes (skins on), and cut them into 2-inch pieces. Arrange pieces on a steamer rack in a large pan over 1 inch of water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Steam until tender, about 12 minutes. Pulse in a food processor, or pass through a food mill fitted with the smallest disk. Add formula, breast milk, or boiled and cooled water as needed. Fill 1/4-cup plastic containers or ice-cube trays with puree. Makes 3 cups or about 30 cubes. Use same method for new or baking potatoes and any winter squash.

Green Bean
Suitable for children 8 to 10 months
Wash and trim the stem ends of 2 pounds of green beans. Arrange beans on a steamer rack in a large pan over 1 inch of water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Steam until tender, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare an ice-water bath. Plunge beans into ice water to stop the cooking. Pulse in a food processor, or pass through a food mill fitted with the medium disk. Add formula, breast milk, or boiled and cooled water as needed. Fill 1/4-cup plastic containers or ice-cube trays with puree. Makes 2 2/3 cups or about 24 cubes. Use same method for green peas.

Carrot
Suitable for children 10 to 12 months
Scrub 1 1/2 pounds organic carrots (peel if not organic), and cut into 1-inch pieces. Arrange carrots on a steamer rack in a large pan over 1 inch of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Steam until tender, about 12 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare an ice-water bath. Plunge carrots into ice water to stop the cooking. Pulse in a food processor or pass through a food mill fitted with the medium disk. Add formula, breast milk, or boiled and cooled water as needed. Fill 1/4-cup plastic containers or ice-cube trays with puree. Makes 3 cups or about 30 cubes.

Apple
Suitable for children 6 months
Wash and core 4 pounds of apples (skins on), and cut them into 1-inch pieces. Simmer apples, covered, in a large saucepan with 1/3 cup water until tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer mixture to a blender. Working in small batches, blend until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve. For coarser texture, pass apples through a food mill, or pulse in a food processor. Fill 1/4-cup plastic containers or ice-cube trays. Makes 4 1/4 cups or about 48 cubes.

Pear
Suitable for children 6 months
Wash, peel, and core 3 pounds of ripe pears. Cut them into 1-inch pieces. Simmer, covered, in a large saucepan with 1/3 cup water until tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Drain; reserve cooking liquid. Transfer pears to a blender. Working in small batches, blend until smooth. Add reserved liquid if needed. Pass through a fine sieve for a smooth texture. For a coarser texture, mash with a fork. Fill 1/4-cup plastic containers or ice-cube trays with puree. Makes 2 1/2 cups or about 28 cubes.

Plum
Suitable for children 6 months
(Use same method for peaches, apricots, and other stone fruits.) Wash and quarter 2 pounds of ripe plums. Discard pits. Simmer plums, covered, in a large saucepan with 1/4 cup water until tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer plums with water to a blender. Working in small batches, blend until smooth. Add up to 1/3 cup boiled and cooled water if needed. Pass mixture through a fine sieve for the smoothest texture. Fill 1/4-cup plastic containers or ice-cube trays with puree. Makes 3 cups or about 30 cubes.

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