Thursday, February 3, 2011

Pork and Baked Apple Puree

This is an adaptation of a recipe from The Baby's Table, but made with baked apples instead for a deeper and more palatable flavor. This recipe is suitable for babies from 6 months, as some current recommendations (including Canada's Nutrition for Healthy Term Babies Guide) suggest offering baby iron-rich foods including meat and meat alternatives as first foods. And if you aren't raising your baby vegetarian, meat is a great choice as the iron from meat (heme iron) is more easily absorbed.

Many parents seem to think that their young baby might not like the strong taste of meat. I can only speak from personal experience, but this puree was one of Luc's early favorites and he preferred it when it was made with stronger tasting naturally raised heritage breed pork (Tamworth). So give your munchkins the benefit of the doubt, they might surprise you! 

You can still prepare this meal as your child grows older and transitions to finger foods, just serve the pork as cubes and cut the baked apple pieces in halves or thirds and serve on the side with something green.


Pork and Baked Apple Puree

- 1/2 lb stewing pork, cubed
- 1 cup water
- 3 or 4 good baking apples, depending on size (i.e. Golden Delicious, Macintosh, or Cortland)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Quarter the apples, and cut out the cores. Spray or lightly oil a baking sheet and place the apple quarters skin side down. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until soft and fragrant.

Meanwhile, put water and pork in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat then lower heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until tender.

Remove pork from water and let cool; reserve cooking water. Once both apples and pork have cooled somewhat, puree pork and apples adding the reserved cooking water until puree reaches desired consistency. 

Makes approx. 6-7 Baby Cubes

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