HOW TO MAKE BABY FOOD WITH A FOOD PROCESSOR
Using a food processor for baby food is a quick, easy solution to creating flavorful and nutritious blends for your baby right at home. A food processor allows you to do minimal prep work—just cut to size, slightly cook tougher ingredients, then toss them into the food processor. Puree to your desired consistency and serve or store for later.
Making your own baby food with a food processor means that you can be sure every ingredient is fresh and wholesome in addition to creating unique tastes your baby will love. Busy parents will appreciate the ease and speed a food processor brings to preparing homemade baby foods.
DO YOU NEED A BABY FOOD MAKER?
You don’t need a separate baby food maker or baby food processor if you have some basic kitchen equipment like a pot or steamer, a kitchen range or microwave, and of course—a food processor. You can finely puree a wide range of ingredients with results perfect for baby food using a food processor. You can also opt for a food processor with more capacity than many baby food makers offer. This will allow you to create in bulk and store for later, so you always have homemade baby food on hand.
Full-sized food processors can do more than chop, mix or puree. They’ll also allow you to slowly incorporate shredded, sliced or even diced foods into your baby’s diet. Select food processors, like options from KitchenAid brand include a dough blade to help prepare baked baby snacks as they grow.
Select KitchenAid® food processors and choppers can help further streamline baby food prep with features that make them easy to use, clean and store including a one-click, twist-free bowl assembly with a latched lid, dishwasher-safe parts and in-bowl accessory storage. In addition, various accessories can help you to achieve a range of results and help introduce your baby to new tastes and textures over time.
HOW TO MAKE BABY FOOD
While your recipes may vary, you can follow these basic steps to learn how to puree baby food in a food processor. You can also create your own inventive flavor combinations suited to your baby’s developing palate using these steps.
Note: Always make sure to consult with your pediatrician or healthcare professional on your baby’s diet, food safety and storage recommendations.
STEP 1. COOK, STEAM OR ROAST INGREDIENTS (IF NEEDED)
If your baby food recipe calls for firm ingredients like carrots or sweet potatoes, you’ll need to soften them up first. Your options here are nearly endless. Experiment with techniques like roasting, boiling, steaming or even microwaving to bring out the right, soft texture needed for food processor baby food.
STEP 2. ADD INGREDIENTS TO YOUR FOOD PROCESSOR
If you cooked your ingredients in liquid, set it aside—you’ll use it later. Add your softened fruits, vegetables or other ingredients to the work bowl of your food processor with the multipurpose s-blade in place. Make sure not to fill more than ⅔ full. Securely close the lid.
STEP 3. PUREE YOUR BABY FOOD INGREDIENTS
If you want perfectly smooth baby food, run your food processor continuously on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute. If you want a chunkier result, pulse 5-6 times or until your desired consistency is reached.
STEP 4. ADD LIQUID TO THIN BABY FOOD
For young babies, you’ll likely want a slightly thinner consistency. While your food processor is running or between pulsing, add the reserved cooking liquid a little at a time until your desired consistency is reached. You can use plain water, formula or breast milk for your liquid if you prefer, or if your cooking technique did not leave any liquid behind.
TIP: If you plan to refrigerate or freeze your baby food for later, you can wait to add the liquid. Storing before adding liquid means your mixture will take up less space and you can vary the consistency with every serving.
STORING HOMEMADE BABY FOOD PUREE
When you’re a busy new parent, planning ahead is key. Make enough food processor baby food to store, then streamline meals by simply thawing or reheating. Here are a couple of ways you can make your bulk homemade baby food puree last:
REFRIGERATING BABY FOOD:
According to the U.S. FDA, homemade baby foods can be refrigerated for 24-48 hours, though this may depend on the ingredients. Either keep the recipe in a large container that you dish servings out of, or portion your recipe into single-serve containers. Whichever you choose, make sure your storage containers are airtight.
FREEZING BABY FOOD:
To make it last even longer, you can typically freeze baby food for up to 1-3 months and possibly as long as 6 months, depending on the ingredients and other factors. Try freezing baby food in covered ice trays for convenient 1 ounce servings. Once frozen, transfer cubes into an airtight container or freezer bag. When it’s time to serve, simply pull out the number of cubes you need and reheat them.
This method also means you can have several types of baby food on hand to keep meals interesting, or for when your baby is feeling picky. For more information about baby food safety and storage, read this article from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
WHAT IS THE BEST FOOD PROCESSOR FOR BABY FOOD?
That depends on your recipe and quantity along with a few other factors. Most can puree baby food easily with a standard food processor blade. For more shapes and sizes, reach for one that can slice and shred. Choose a food processor size based on whether you'll serve food right away or want to make homemade baby food in bulk.
This mini food chopper is just the right size for a few servings—or just one at a time for ultra fresh pureed baby food meals. With a single stainless steel blade, and simple in-lid operation with two speeds and pulse, you can simplify your approach to food processor baby food.
Make a little bit more with a 5 Cup Food Chopper that features the same easy in-lid operation. Free yourself up to move around the kitchen with the cordless model, or opt for a corded version. Both the 5 Cup Food Chopper and the Cordless 5 Cup Food Chopper from KitchenAid also come with a whisk accessory that's perfect for creating fun textures and treats for babies to explore.
The 7 and 9 Cup Food Processors from KitchenAid will allow you to prepare several baby food servings at once. Continuous-run speed options let you operate with the press of a button. A feed tube and disc accessories make slicing and shredding possible for when your baby is ready to try new foods.The 7 Cup Plus and 9 Cup Plus Food Processors come with additional accessories for even more versatility.
To make sure you always have homemade baby food on hand, opt for a large food processor like the 13 cup models from KitchenAid. Reduce prep time with the 3-in-1 feed tube to process a variety of ingredient shapes and sizes—including popular baby food ingredients like sweet potatoes and more. The KitchenAid® 13 Cup Food Processor with Dicing Kit will grow with your baby to help them enjoy fruits and veggies cut perfectly for healthy finger-food snacks.
FOOD PROCESSOR VS BLENDER FOR BABY FOOD
If you have a blended or pureed baby food recipe, you can likely use either a blender or a food processor. A blender may achieve smoother consistency for fibrous ingredients like kale or celery. But for most baby food recipes, both a blender and a food processor will yield the right consistency for baby food.
If you opt for a blender, the Small Batch Jar Expansion Pack for the KitchenAid® K150 Blender and the KitchenAid® K400 Blender are perfect for making just a few servings of homemade baby food. A sealed lid lets you store any leftovers or prepare batches in advance to keep them fresh for meal times.
You can also use an immersion blender to puree or blend baby food right in a bowl, cup or other container. This is useful if you are preparing ingredients in another dish like a pot on the stove since there is no need to transfer ingredients. An immersion blender is also useful when you want to quickly blend just one serving of baby food. Learn more about how to use an immersion blender, or compare different types of blenders.
Keep in mind that if you’re looking to achieve a chunkier result as your baby ages, a food processor’s pulse function can be helpful. Pulse allows for more incremental processing so you can stop before your mixture is completely smooth. Because food processor blades usually spin more slowly than a blender’s, you’ll be able to have more control over the results.
TRY THESE BABY FOOD RECIPES IN YOUR FOOD PROCESSOR
You can adapt most blender baby food recipes for use in your food processor. Follow the general steps in this article to adapt pureeing baby food in a food processor vs blending. To get started, try this simple Sweet Potato Pureed Baby Food with just a few ingredients. When you’re ready to add some more techniques and flavors, adapt this versatile Roasted Vegetable Baby Food recipe for your baby’s unique tastes. Make sure your baby gets their greens with a nutritious Green Bean and Pea Puree elevated by a bit of fresh mint.
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