Baby food purees are a great place to start when you are dealing with those restricted to a pureed diet. Whether they are special needs adults or children or just an older adult who has lost their ability to chew food, starting simple is best. How a food looks, smell and feels is as much apart of enjoyable eating as taste is. Each person is different. When testing a new blended food start small. Making a large quantity of a new food is a waste of time and money. Some, like Matthew have a fear of trying new foods simply because they have become accustomed to drinking processed protein shakes and liquid supplements. New tastes can be overwhelming. Encourage 1-2 small spoonfuls but never force them. Forcing them will only make it harder to get them to try something new the next time. The link below is directly from Vitamix and can also be found in their whole Foods recipe book:
3 cups frozen (thawed) or fresh fruit
4 tsp Ball Instant Pectin
1. Place the fruit into the Vitamix container and secure lid.
2. Select Variable 1.
3. Turn machine on and increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
4. Blend for about 30 seconds or until the fruit is well blended and completely smooth.
5. Turn the machine off and remove lid.
6. Add the pectin and replace the lid.
7. Select Variable 1.
8. Turn machine on and increase speed to Variable 3.
9. Blend for 3 minutes.
10. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container or a mason jar for 3-4 days.
Food Tip: Some fruits can cause severe allergies. It is wise to wait until a baby is at least 12 months old to try fruits like strawberries and avocados. Be sure to test them in small amounts for about a week. This recipe works well with a meal, as a snack or as a dessert for those restricted to a pureed diet. You can also blend this with a portion of applesauce. Babies and those on pureed diets can have a hard time with strong flavors.
Time Tip: Thaw any frozen fruit to be used in the refrigerator overnight for quick processing the next day.
Money Tip: When fruits are in season you can save lots of money by cleaning, preparing and freezing them yourself. Bananas are not seasonal but you can save money by peeling and freezing the “freckled” ones before they go bad and end up in the trash. Have fun experimenting with whatever fruit you have and nothing will go to waste.
Footnote: It is summer time and I have tried this recipe with fresh peaches and nectarines. For some reason the instant fruit pectin is not thickening it as with other fruits. I will continue to work on other ways of thickening these and add a separate blog entry. I am not in the habit of giving up so keep your eye on this blog for “Peach and Nectarine Fruit Pudding.
1. Place the mango pieces into the Vitamix Container and secure lid.
2. Select Variable 1.
3. Quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then High.
4. Blend for 20 seconds.
5. Pour into ice cube trays, cover with plastic wrap and freeze.
6. Store cubes in labeled and dated Ziploc freezer bags.
Food Tip: Freezing chopped fruit like mangos and pineapples without pureeing them first is a problem because the pieces stick together. Freezing blackberries and raspberries whole is ok but, if you love them in your smoothies but don’t like the seeds, pureeing them first is the answer. To use as baby food: Defrost only what you need and introduce new fruits to your baby’s diet to watch for allergies.
Money Tip: Buy fruit in large quantities when they are in season and freeze them. Mangos that are not in season can cost $1 each. Buying mangos from your local Mexican or farmer’s market when they are in season (especially here in California) can cost you as little as 25 cents each! Homemade fruit puree is not only better for your baby but very inexpensive.
Time Tip: Pureed fruit cubes are perfect at smoothie making time. Open up a bag and grab as many of these perfectly portioned cubes as you need. They are all about 1 ounce so you’ll never spend time guessing how much you have. The individual cubes don’t stick together so you’ll never have to go in search of a hammer to break up your mango iceberg again!
This is the recipe that started it all. After I blend this in the Vitamix, my family comes into the kitchen looking for the apple pie because that’s exactly what it smells like. Even if you or your child has never liked oatmeal, give this recipe a try. You will be amazed at how good it tastes. The apples and raisins add natural sweetener. If you like your cereals a bit sweeter you can always add your favorite sweetener to the bowl but try it first. Enjoy!
4 cups of steel cut oats (cooked)
1 cup fresh coconut milk
2 cups of water
1 large apple (cut in quarters & seeds removed. DO NOT PEEL!) or 1 banana
1/3 cup raisins
2 tbs chia seeds (hydrated in 2/3 cup of water)
2 tsp cinnamon (substitute 1 tsp of vanilla if using banana)
Bring 1 cup of dry steel cut oats, water and coconut milk to a boil. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let stand for 15-20 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed.
Place the chia seeds, apple, raisins and 1 cup of the cooked cereal into the large Vitamix container in the order listed and secure the lid.
Select Variable 1.
Turn machine on and quickly increase speed toVariable10, then to High. Blend until completely smooth.
Turn off machine and remove lid.
Add remaining cereal and replace lid.
Select Variable 1.
Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
Blend for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until desired consistency is reached.
Pour into ice cube tray, cover with plastic wrap and freeze.
Food Tip: This recipe can be reduced by 1/2 and made in smaller containers. This oatmeal is best suited for older babies and individuals on a pureed diet that can handle a bit of texture. For younger babies and individuals with gag reflex problems it is best to start with basic oatmeal made from oat flour (see recipe in whole grains). When making this recipe for younger babies, add 1 ingredient at a time with at least 4 days in between additions to test for allergic reactions. This recipe tastes so good the whole family will love it!
Money Tip: Watch your prices. I use Steel cut oats instead of whole oat groats, old fashioned oats or quick oats. Oat groats and Steel cut oats have a more robust flavor and more fiber because of the oat bran. Other than that, they are pretty much the same nutritionally. Steel cut oats run about 65 cents a pound if you buy them in bulk. Since you are grinding or blending, why not save some money.
Time Tip: Each cube is approximately 1 once. Storing you cubes in labeled freezer bags will save lots of time and your servings will always be fresh. To serve, simply put the desired portion in a microwavable bowl the night before and heat for 15-30 seconds on high. If the cubes have not been defrosted, it will take 30-60 seconds to heat. 4 frozen cubes takes approximately 45 seconds.