Thursday, December 17, 2009

Baby Food: Pear Perfection!

I love to make pears.  First, they're easy.  Second, they mix well with just about anything.  Third, they're a great source of fiber in case your kiddo is having a hard time with hard poo with the increase of solid foods.  Plus, they're delicious. 

So the technique I use is baking.  Honestly, pears are so soft and yummy that you really don't NEED to cook them if you don't want to, but I caution you: little tummies can have a hard time digesting those raw sugars and can end up gassy.  Plus, I just feel better about the heat+germs=safe equation, especially since I freeze and defrost my kids' food.  You could also cut them up and steam them or cook them in a wee bit of boiling water à la applesauce... BUT, I choose to bake them because baking them really brings out their delicious flavor and makes a pretty darned yummy dessert for bigger people as well.

So, pears were on sale.  I use Bartlett and let them ripen just a little so they yeild to pressure but aren't mushy.
Step 1: Wash and halve pears, then core them.  If you have a gadget to do this, by all means, use it!

Step 2: Arrange pears in a shallow baking dish and add about an inch of water to the pan.  Bake at 350 for about 35-45 minutes, checking regularly after the first 30 minutes or so.

I sincerely wish I could take a picture of smell.  These are so fragrant and delicious!  See how they're slightly golden and the edges of the skin are starting to curl?  Perfect!

Step 3: Peel and blend!  If you want, you could try tossing the hot pear halves into a bath of ice water to see if it helps the skins slip off.  You don't even HAVE to get rid of the skins, but I do because they're a little harder to digest.  I do not worry, however, about getting every last piece of peel off.  And blending is a cinch since they're so soft!

If you want, keep a couple warm pear halves aside and sprinkle them with cinnamon and drizzle with honey... add a dollop of Cool Whip and you're in for a yummy treat!  If you want, prepare an extra dish of these and bake them with the cinnamon and honey already on them.  Yum!

*Note: I also reserve the water that's left in the baking dishes (since you won't need it to get a smooth puree) and freeze the water itself separately because it's mighty handy to add a cube of pear juice to a dish of baby food that's too hot and needs to be cooled down or to thin out extra-thick cereal... or just to add a flavor punch to something. 


Shannon K. said...

Also, on the pears...if you cook them (I steamed mine in a steamer) they don't go brown. They will if you don't cook first. Not that it ruins the quality, but yuck.

Melis said...

Excellent point! I totally meant to add that... Thanks! I'm also going to make sure I mention that in the apples one!

Brianne said...

Love your tip about the extra juice! What a great idea! Now I am just going to have to go and have another kid so I can do this!! Ha!


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