By now if you’ve read through some other recipes, you’re probably noticing a bit of a pattern to making baby food purees: rinse, chop, steam, blend, freeze.
When making carrot baby food, one of the short cuts I used to make my life easier was using organic baby carrots. I found that this saved on prep time and cooking time. Not only did I skip the peeling and dicing, but the small carrots cooked faster too!
I realize that I may have just caused some controversy since there was an email circulating a few years ago about the risk of chlorine on baby carrots. The truth is, pre-cut baby carrots are washed in water that contains the same amount of chlorine as tap water. It’s really no different than if you were to wash it yourself with tap water at home. Whether you choose to buy the full size carrots or use the baby ones to save yourself the peeling and chopping, just be sure to buy organic. Carrots are on EWG’s dirty dozen list and can contain a lot of pesticides that can be especially harmful to babies. See the AAP recommendations against infant pesticide exposure.
Carrots, root vegetables, and leafy greens contain naturally occurring nitrates. Although carrot baby food is high in nutrients like beta-carotene, inorganic carrots can have higher nitrate content. Organic produce is less of a concern for nitrates because it’s grown without synthetic fertilizers-another reason to use organic carrots! The AAP reports that by the time your baby reaches 3 months old stomach acids will help prevent nitrate poisoning from food, making it a low concern for babies old enough to eat solid foods. By six months old, the stomach has developed enough that there is almost no risk of nitrate poisoning from food. In fact, the highest risk for nitrate poisoning in babies comes from contaminated well water, not baby food.
Carrot and Pumpkin puree
How to make carrot baby food
1. If you’re using whole carrots, prepare them by washing, peeling, and cutting into chunks.
2. Steam for 15-20 minutes or until fork tender.
3. Let the carrots cool slightly, then transfer into a blender with a little of the leftover cooking water.
4. Puree until you get a smooth consistency. Young babies need runnier purees, add more cooking water if necessary.
Carrot puree can be stored in the refrigerator or frozen. Carrots can be mixed with both sweet and savory flavors. Try them with peas, apples, squash, parsnip, pumpkin, sweet potato, white potato, onion, chicken, beef, rice, cottage cheese, or just about any other puree you can think of!