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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

Adventures in Homemade Baby Food – Peaches

Oooh, the peaches.  I have loved making Andrew’s baby food and providing him with such a variety of fruits and vegetables.  However, because it is January, finding fantastically ripe produce to introduce to him is not always an option.  I’m certainly not going to wait until July to give him peaches though, so I just make do with what I can find.  Thankfully the peaches I found were actually fairly decent.

This was by far the most labor-intensive of any of the baby foods I have made so far.  If you have ever made a peach pie, peach cobbler, etc. then you probably know that peaches can be difficult to peel.  My usual trick for peeling them easily is scoring an “X” in the skin, then boiling for a short time and then removing the skins.  This was not the optimal method for baby food however, as I am trying to retain as many nutrients and as much flavor as possible while still cooking the fruit enough to soften it for pureeing.  I read that baked peaches have the most flavor so I knew that was the route I wanted to go, and I know boiling can cause many of the nutrients to leach out.

It is recommended that fruits and veggies have peels removed for infants younger than 8 months (Andrew is nearing 7 months), because the peels can be rough on their tummies.  If it weren’t for this fact, I would never have worried so much and simply left the peels on.   Read on to hear my methods, and the fact that in the end, Andrew ate peels with no problems at all.

peaches-1Start with ripe peaches.  So pretty!

peaches-2Make sure you wash them well.

peaches-3Halve and pit all the peaches.

peaches-4Place in a baking dish in an inch or so of water.

peaches-5Bake at 400 degrees F until the fruit is tender and the skin begins to pucker.  (Doesn’t it look like tie-dye?)

peaches-6Reserve some of the cooking water for thinning out the puree later, if desired.  This helps retain some of the nutrients that may have been lost during cooking.

peaches-7Initally, I had such a hard time peeling the peaches that I threw a few of them into the food processor, peels and all.  I pureed them and then attempted to force them through a mesh sieve to remove any large pieces of peel in the mix.

peaches-8This was quite a pain and look at all the good fruit I was wasting!

peaches-9This is what the strained puree looked like.  Very thin, and we actually thickened it with rice cereal.

I decided that this wasn’t the best tactic, so with all my remaining peaches, I simply peeled as best I could using a peeler and my fingers, and left on any problematic peels.  I pureed them in the food processor until blended very finely and left it at that.  (If you have a food mill, this whole task would be much easier, but I do not so I just used what I had on hand.)  I served Andrew both the carefully strained peaches and the peaches with some peel, and you know what?  He did not notice a difference and the peaches with peels did not seem to bother his tummy at all.  In fact, these peaches are by far his favorite food so far which made all the effort totally and completely worth it.  Next time I won’t worry so much about the peels since he seems to have my stomach of steel :)

eating-peachesEating his new favorite food.  So cute!

  • Courtney

    Zyliss makes a wonderful soft skin peeler which has been a huge timesaver for me for things like peaches and tomatoes, which I used to have to blanch to remove the skins.

  • http://skinnyfoodbyamy.wordpress.com Amy

    Awww…he’s so cute! Yay for him being a fruit/veggie lover!

  • http://joelens.blogspot.com Joelen

    Looks like another great adventure in homemade baby food!

  • Cindy

    I always steamed peaches for my little one. Either on the stove or in one of those steamer microwave bags.

  • http://www.limeincoconut.blogspot.com Lisa

    These posts are so cute. Next time you could try buying frozen peaches, thawing them and pureeing them. Definitely less labor intensive. And they say frozen fruit is frozen at it’s peak freshness so it should still be pretty similar!

  • http://lichtyfamilyblog.blogspot.com Maria

    I don’t have any babies yet, but someday this will come in handy! He is adorable!

  • bensbaby116

    I don’t have kids, but I think it’s so great that you’re making homemade baby food. I would totally do that if I did have kids! I hate peeling peaches too, by the way. Ugh. If homemade things with fresh peaches weren’t so good, it totally wouldn’t be worth it!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/9344232@N03/ Leah

    Oh my, I would eat this myself. I’m bookmarking all your baby food ideas because as soon as 4 months rolls around my baby girl is going to get to enjoy some wonderful fruits and vegetables. I love the avocado idea, so obvious but I would have never thought.

    Thanks

  • http://beachbunnydiy.blogspot.com Tiffany

    I’m loving seeing the baby food entries, I’m due in late April and I’ve always wondered about homemade baby food! :)

  • http://www.the12yearplan.blogspot.com Ms. Amy

    I made batches of baby food for my youngest, and had great luck with steaming the fruits & veggies. I never steamed peaches, though -just peeled with a veggie peeler and blended in the food processor. Apples are super-easy, too. Peel, steam, and puree. I froze the purees in ice cube trays so I could thaw a cube or two at a time. Worked like a dream!

  • http://www.mamashares.com Mamashares

    You may want to peel the peaches first, cut into pieces and put in a basin with a little bit of water. Cooking in the microwave saves all the nutrition. Then you can blend with the water until it’s creamy.

    I like to mix fruits and add some yogurt. My baby loves it so much she smacks her lips! Love your photos.