Apples & Baby Puree
The one thing great about living in NY is we get to experience all four seasons in full effect and Fall is my favorite season! Not only is it beautiful here in NY, but there are so many great fall memories to make and two that are a must on your list, especially if you have kids. That of course is apple picking and pumpkin patches (future post for pumpkin)!
We have apple trees in our yard, but they only tend to bloom every other year (is bloom even the right term for such a thing?). This year we have our sweet little G and go figure it is also the year that our trees aren't going to be producing a butt load of apples. So this year bringing our little man apple picking, we brought home a few more bags to make some pureed food for our little G!
We had quite the adventure day, including Daddy climbing up in the trees. As of course we all know the best ones are up high!
Can you find "waldo" aka Daddy?
The best part of this day was the habit that came from it. Every time P goes to eat an apple he has to "make it shiny" first. Meaning rub it on his shirt lol.
This was a fun filled day, as most local places have other things to do other than apple picking. For instance this location "beak and Skiffs" had other things after we were doing going through the apples. They had a brewery, donuts, fudge and a cute little playground! Of course my other half is probably more of a kid then our actual kids, hence him going down the slide as many times as our little man haha
When our little man was a baby and almost ready for "solids" was a year our tree was producing. When it does we get HUNDREDS of apples, so much more than we'll ever need or could use. I had so much more time on my hands then and would spend hours preparing the apples to puree and freeze for him. I would peel every one (I had one of those spiral peelers), cut and then steam/boil to soften them. HOWEVER, this time around it was time to work smarter and not harder due to limited time.
I did research and it seems about 50/50 on whether or not it is alright for the baby to have the peal left on the apple or not. No I don't mean the full peal so they can choke. As some say their stomach cannot handle it, but basically it came down to what your doctor and you think. For us it was a thumbs up! You see when you steam your apples soft enough to be pureed, the peel literally just disappears into the mush with the rest of it. So there is no peel left for the baby to choke on (obviously or else I wouldn't do it). Which made everything so much faster!
Here are the THREE most important things I found for pureeing apples for our little G (which she now loves, as we're on our first week of them with her).
1) A large Pot 2) An apple cutter, that you push down and it will cut the apple while also taking out the core (I purchased the Calphalon Easy Grip) and 3) lastly of course something to puree it into a sloppy "mess" or aka applesauce for your infant (I purchased the KitchenAid Hand blender). Having the cutter and this "puree machine" made things go by SO much faster. Not mention not having to peel them. Not peeling them has reacted to her just fine and nothing has irritated her (she is 4 months).
It is also a very easy process. Wash the apples, cut the apples with the corer, put the apples in a very large pot. Now I don't fill the pot up with water, as the more water you put in the more nutrients I believe you'll lose in it when you drain it. So I would get some very large cups of ours, fill them up and dump the water over the apples. I'd say probably filling it up to only 20%, covering it and letting it steam. Make sure to mix around frequently. As since water isn't covering all apples, you want to mix it to get an even softness through all.
Once you feel them tender enough to puree, drain the water out, BUT KEEP IT. As you may need some more water so your puree isn't thick and you'll want to use your apple water to thin out the puree as it will have nutrients in it! Then puree away and add water as needed. Then store however you see fit. Of course if using this for baby food you don't want to add sugar or the like. But depending on the baby's age you can always add things like cinnamon! I just opt out of all that and like to give her fresh with nothing added for no and that is my choice.
This is only one batch I made. The great thing is you can store pureed apples up to 8 months in the freezer, which is plenty of time!
We started her 2 months earlier than our little man (he had solids around 6 months), as she was the BEST sleeper and then the past week or two she was a terrible sleeper. Then low and behold starting her on solid foods solved the problem! It was like waving a magic wand Adding the solid foods to her diet has made her sleep approx 11 hours a night now!! So far she has tried baby cereal, apples and bananas; with sweet potatoes in line next.
I like to make a lot of apples, as we can obtain a large quantity for a good price (would be completely free if our darn tree was "working" haha). AND apples were our lifesaver when P was younger. As when I would make some vegetables or something that he may not like the taste of but I knew he need for nutrition, I would just slop around some apple puree to hide the taste and it worked like magic. But oh many it would look so nasty...I mean think broccoli and applesauce. Yuck! The poor guy..but hey it worked for him and that's all that matters. Now let's just hope the same works for her!