- Cook time 45 minutes
- makes about 3 cups cauliflower purée, 2 cups pear-cinnamon purée, 2 cups cherry purée
Fruity and creamy, with cozy cinnamon—this baby food relies on evergreen cauliflower and pears, plus frozen cherries, so you can make it any time of the year. The idea of following a DIY baby food recipe might sound like a mission that no sleep-deprived, overextended parent should ever embark upon—but the truth is, it’s the easiest cooking you’ll ever do. Ready to get started? First, make sure that baby is, too: usually between four and six months old, but check with your pediatrician. With respect to consistency, new eaters may appreciate a thinner texture, while babies and toddlers with more eating experience might be able to wrap their little heads around thicker, rustic-textured purées. To make the project more manageable, feel free to make the purées on different days (each one uses the same instructions for freezing—see step 4). And don’t be afraid to taste the purée before freezing; it should taste good to you, too! When it comes to serving size, younger babies will generally eat just 1 to 2 tablespoons, since they will still be getting most of their nutrition from breast milk or formula. —adina_steiman
medium head cauliflower, cored and cut into florets
Breast milk, formula, or filtered water, as needed
medium pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch chunks
(10-ounce bag) frozen cherries
- Prep the cauliflower purée: Add an inch of water to a large pot, then fit with a steamer basket and bring to a simmer. Add the cauliflower, cover, and steam until soft when poked with a fork, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the cauliflower to a blender or food processor. Add ⅓ to ½ cup of breast milk, formula, or filtered water. Purée to the desired consistency, adding more liquid to thin as needed.
- Prep the pear-cinnamon purée: Bring ½ cup of filtered water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Add the pears and simmer until fork-tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Let cool in the pan, then transfer the fruit and liquid to a blender or food processor and purée until smooth, adding more water (or breast milk or formula) as needed to adjust the consistency. Stir in the cinnamon.
- Prep the cherry purée: Bring ½ cup of filtered water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Add the cherries and simmer until fork-tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Let cool in the pan, then transfer the fruit and liquid to a blender or food processor and purée until smooth, adding more water (or breast milk or formula) as needed to adjust the consistency.
- Portion and freeze the purées: Spoon or pour the purées into clean ice cube trays or baby food trays. Freeze until solid. Transfer the cubes to a freezer bag, label and date them—purées will stay good in the freezer for up to 3 months—and stash in the freezer.
- Thaw before mealtime: Thaw the purées overnight in the refrigerator or, in a pinch, zap in the microwave.
- Ready, set, eat: Combine 1 thawed cube each of cauliflower purée, pear-cinnamon purée, and cherry purée. Gently heat until warm.