Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Basic Veggie Puree - Sweet Potato

 I love making Sweet Potato for my little man....why?  Simple, there are so many different ways that you can prepare it that it easily fits into any meal preparation that you are doing for the rest of the family.

What you need:
2-3 medium sweet potatoes
Water (amount will vary based on the consistency needs of your baby)
¼ tsp. fresh ground cinnamon (optional, for babies at least 6 months old)
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional, for babies at least 6 months old)
Cooking Instructions:
My two favorite preparations are steamed and baked, but I have also included instructions for other types of preparation as well.
Place peeled sweet potato cubes in you steamer. Steam for 10-20 minutes (time will vary based on the amount of sweet potato used and the size of the pieces that you cut them into) or until tender.
I LOVE how simple this recipe is!!! Scrub the potato, prick it with a fork and bake it for around 45 mins, until it feels soft. Cool briefly, then split the skin and scoop out the soft flesh.
Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees
Place washed sweet potatoes directly on a baking sheet, lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until sweet potatoes are completely tender. Set aside to cool.

Once sweet potatoes are cool, peel off skin and cut into large chunks. Place sweet potatoes in food processor, add water, as needed to get to the desired consistency for your baby. 
Some optional additions (you will want to wait until your baby is having spices normally around 6 months based on our doctors recomendations):
  • cinnamon
  • vanilla
  • both
You will want to start with small amounts at first as your baby's tastes adapt to the new flavors.
If you are in a rush...make the *baked* sweet potato in the microwave.  Once again, prick the outside of the potato and put it in your microwave for about 5 minutes, then let the Sweet Potato stand for another 5 minutes (this will allow it to continue to cook and soften).  From there you will want to follow the directions above - peel, cut into chuncks and puree until smooth.

**Mommy Tip**
I add very little additional flavorings (spices, herbs, etc...) until the baby is between 10 months and 1 year old.  Most doctors say that you can start adding these items sooner, but for me I like my baby to learn to enjoy the flavor of the fruit / vegetable on it's own.  When I do add additional flavorings they are in small amounts and I never add sugar or salt to food that I am making for the baby.  The ONLY exception that I make is when I make cranberries for the baby, my recipe includes apples and fresh squeezed fruit juice (or 100% Fruit Juice) so sometimes it will be fine as it is but when the cranberries are still too tart I do add a bit of sugar. 
Boiling: Peel and cut the sweet potato into chunks. Use just enough water to cover the potato, then cover the pot and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, then simmer until tender and then drain.  You will want to drain immediately to avoid the pieces becoming mushy and watery.  Once cooked you will prepare as discussed above.

Grilling: Then just wrap a sweet potato in foil and place in you grill to cook. It will take about 45 mins.  Once cooked you will prepare as discussed above.

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