How to Make Butternut Squash Puree for Baby
People often ask me what the best first food is for their babies, especially if they’re planning on spoon-feeding purees. The truth is, there isn’t a single best option. Most fruits or veggies would make for nutritious, appealing first bites, but so would salmon, chicken, beef, lentils, or cereal, for that matter.
But, when pressed I will often suggest butternut squash puree. It’s colorful, delicious, and packed with vitamins.
Happily, the sweet taste is usually an instant hit with babies. And no need to wrestle with peeling a butternut squash. In this recipe I recommend roasting the veg, which means no peeling required. If you prefer to steam, peel the squash with a vegetable peeler, halve, scoop out the seeds, and chop. (Or, pro move: buy pre-cut squash!)
Butternut Squash Puree
1 medium butternut squash
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Trim the squash, cut in half lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds with a spoon.
2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the squash halves cut-side down on the baking sheet. Roast until completely tender when pierced with a fork, about 40 minutes. Let cool.
3. When the squash is cool enough to handle, spoon the flesh into a food processor or blender. Process until you get the desired consistency for your baby, adding ¼ cup or more water to the blender (or a little water to the food processor) if needed to help it blend.
Makes about 2 1/2 cups
Always wash hard fruits and vegetables with soap and water before cutting them, even if you’re discarding the peel. This will keep dirt and bacteria on the peel from contaminating your knife, the cutting board, and the cut parts of the produce.
Flavor Kick: Add ¾ teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
From Real Baby Food by Jenna Helwig. © Copyright 2015 by Jenna Helwig. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.