Saturday, January 15, 2011

Baby's Papaya and Raisin Puree

A couple weeks ago I ran into a nearby grocery store to grab a few things quick and I saw a jar of papaya and raisin chutney. It struck me as an unusual combination, so I bought it. It was delicious. I think it stood out to me because I have a tendency to pair tropical fruit with tropical fruit, and temperate fruit with temperate fruit. I guess it makes intuitive sense to me that if they grow together they'll taste good together. This chutney resulted in two things: 1. Teaching me that I have get more adventurous with trying different flavour combinations and 2. This amazing Papaya and Raisin Puree! 

This is another homemade baby food recipe that is suitable for babies from 6 months, as long as they've tried papaya on its own. Papayas are a nutrient powerhouse and they also contain something called papain, which aids digestion -- great for baby's tummy. It also helps relieve constipation, which many babies new to solids suffer from. 

Papaya and Raisin Puree 

1 cup papaya, peeled and chunked
1/4 cup raisins, any variety

Add the raisins to 2 cups of water in a saucepan that has a steamer insert. Leave the insert off for now and bring the water up to a boil over medium heat. Once the water is boiling set on the steamer insert, add the papaya chunks and steam until very tender (ripe papaya is already very soft, this will only take about 2 minutes). 

Once done, take off the heat and transfer papaya to a mini-food processor or blender. Let the raisins sit in the hot water until nice and plump, then transfer to the processor with the papaya. Blend until it reaches baby's favourite consistency, adding some of the steaming liquid if necessary.

Makes 3 baby cubes 

Keeps for 3 days in the fridge or freeze for up to 3 months

* Would also make a tasty dip for French Toast Strips

* This recipe is easily scaled up, but you will likely have leftover papaya as they are usually large. Papaya freezes really well. Cut the whole thing into chunks, place whatever you don't need right away in single layer on a baking sheet and freeze. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag to have on hand for future use. 

 Variation: Once baby reaches 8 months, swirl in a little full-fat yogurt in this puree.

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