Pureed carrots for babies
AS MARK BITTMAN ONCE SAID, “IT’S NOT THE BETA CAROTENE, IT’S THE CARROT”. There’s just something wonderful about this sweet, crunchy and super healthy food. Easy to cook, versatile and best of all, simply to puree for babies.
As with most baby food purees, a “recipe” isn’t really in order. It’s more of an idea or technique. For Estelle’s latest batch, we (and when I say “we” I mean my trusty assistant and me) just bought a couple pounds of organic carrots, peeled, chopped and steamed them in a sauce pan with about an inch of water. Later on, I’ll roast them in the oven with olive oil but at seven months she’s still pretty new to solids and if I have to introduce one thing at a time I’ll keep going with fruit and veggies for now.
In the meantime, here’s a handy idea. I’ve started keeping veggie scraps like carrot tops and peels in a plastic zip top baggie in the freezer. Once the bag is full I brew up a pot of vegetable stock or add the veggies to a pot of chicken stock. I used to think this was silly, but my inner hippie just can’t see so much produce go to waste. Even if it is clippings.
Then we threw the whole mess into my handy new food mill. There are several things that I love about this contraption:
- It’s quiet, requiring no electricity to run.
- It’s easy to grind up hot foods without worrying about spills or steam escaping dangerously from a plastic blender lid.
- It reminds me of the applesauce strainer that my mom used when I was a kid.
- The Barefoot Contessa has one.
I’ve discovered, however, that the food mill does not work like magic with stringy items. Green beans, fiasco. Zucchini, only okay. The blender worked better for those. But if you’ve got a starchy food, say apples, potatoes or carrots, this is the tool. In those cases, it’s very simple to use. See below.