When I started introducing solid food in my little Alex’s diet I used to prepare three basic baby food purees once a month: white fish, chicken and beef. Very basic purees with only one ingredient (plus some extra flavors) that I stored in baby portions in the freezer. In only one hour of cooking I had prepared more than a month of half ready baby meals. I used to do the same for the seasonal fruit and vegetables so that my freezer was a nice rainbow of small plastic bags containing baby doses of a wide variety of ingredients, ready to use for my baby food.
One hour before serving the meal to Alex I used to thaw the food cubes I needed and mix them together with some other fresh ingredients. With this “plan in advance” method every meal was ready in 5 minutes (time needed to warm up and mix everything together).
To give you an example: a cube of white sole fillet can be mixed with a cube of carrot, warmed up and mixed. Than you can add one tablespoon of rice cereal, one teaspoon of grated parmesan cheese and half a teaspoon of Extra Virgin Oil of Olive. Your healthy homemade baby food is ready!
Another option: one cube of white sole fillet + one cube of zucchini + one cube sweet potato + 1 Tbsp baby oatmeal cereal + 1 tsp grated Parmesan cheese + 1 tsp Extra Virgin Oil of Olive.
That’s how easy you can prepare your homemade babyhood playing and mixing the ingredients pending your baby’s age and taste 😉
Going back to the basics, that’s how I prepare my white sole fillet puree’. A quick note before starting. In the video and in the images you will still see aluminium foil. I developed the recipe years ago when the researches about the usage of aluminum foil in the kitchen were not available yet to the public. The evidence now shows that aluminum bleaches into food if heated and in contact with acidic foods (tomato/oranges/lemons..). To be on the safe side simply substitute aluminum foil with parchment paper.
- Place 0,75 lb. fresh wild caught sole fillets on a parchment paper. I suggest you to go to a trusted fishmonger or a grocery store that has a fresh fish department. The quality of the fish is essential. Instead of sole you can use another white fish pending what you find locally. On top of the sole fillet place two bay leaves and two garlic cloves. I will not leave them in the baby puree, I’m just using them to give a nice scent and flavor to the fish meat.
- Close the parchment paper forming a nice package. Place the package in a steamer and cook for 15 minutes.
- Remove the package from the steamer and slowly open it (be careful with your hands!! the steam will come out from the package and it’s very hot). Discard the bay leaves and the garlic.
- Place the sole fillets in a blender. Add the white liquid released by the fish that is left in the parchment paper package and also 1/2 cup of cooking liquid left in the steamer. I’m using those liquids to thin the baby food as they contain healthy nutrients left by the food while cooking: we want to keep as many nutrients as possible in our baby food 😉
- Puree’ everything for 1/2 minutes. How thin/how thick the baby puree’ should be is totally up to your baby’s taste. Very young babies (6/8 months) usually like a very running consistency ( that equals more liquid to add), toddlers like a more solid/thick consistency.
- The fish baby puree’ is ready and it’s a perfect base for an healthy baby meal. At this point I suggest to store in the refrigerator the quantity you might need in the following 2 days and freeze the remaining part.
How to freeze baby food?
One easy way is using ice cubes molds. Fill the mold with the baby puree’ (more or less 2 Tablespoons each space) and freeze it. After at least half an hour (one hour is better) the baby puree’ should be frozen and solid. Remove the cubes from the mold and place them in a plastic bag or air tight container with the name of the food and the date written outside. This is very helpful as you might end up with a lot of iced baby food cubes more or less of the same color in the freezer and without the labels will be kind of tricky to remember what they are and which one to use first! In my case, after the second child my memory totally went lost and without labels or post-its I’m really really in trouble 😉
How to use the fish baby puree’?
As the main ingredient of an healthy baby meal. Few options for you:
- One cube of sole fish puree’ + 4 Tbsp of steamed zucchini + 2 Tbsp of rice cereal + 1 tsp extra virgin oil of olive + 1 tsp grated parmesan cheese
- One cube of sole fish puree’ + 2 Tbsp of steamed carrots + 2 Tbsp steamed fennel + 2 Tbsp whole grain baby cereal + 1 tsp oil of olive
- One cube of sole fish puree’ + 2 Tbsp of steamed potatoes + 2 Tbsp steamed pumpkin + 1 tsp oil of olive
I hope this post was helpful to new moms ready to have fun in the kitchen and prepare amazing healthy homemade baby food for their little ones 😉