If you just became a parent for the first time or know someone who did, and their baby is around 6 months, chances are the pediatrician told the new parents it is time to start introducing pureed meals for the baby.
And that is the answer to the question. The most useful gift for a new parent is…
An Appliance For Cooking Homemade Baby Food!
You probably already have a blender or an immersion blender at home. You must be thinking, “Which one is the best for making baby food?” From my personal experience, an immersion blender over a blender or a food processor which will bring perfect results for a smooth, single portion baby food.
First Option: Blender
Some time ago, I would think about a blender to do some baby food, but a blender is better to work with recipes in which you have to control liquids. After all, when you work with a blender, you don’t have to deal with all the splits. And, because of its design, I tell you that some other things a blender do greatly, like mayonnaise, but, it is difficult to remove it from the blender bottle and, after that, to clean it up.
Another concern about blenders: due to its nature, the high velocity adds a lot of air in the liquid, which increases its the level of oxidation and shortens the meal’s lifespan. For example, when you prepare orange juice with carrot (vitamins A and C) in a blender, after a few minutes you will see it darkening and tasting a little bit more bitter due to the oxidation.
I use a blender in fast recipes, like a cake. Yes, you can do it in a blender, instead of a mixer. It will be faster and cleaner because of the better split control, remember? My blender carrot cake is tasty, easy, fast, and healthy with the vitamin A boosted with the carrot.
My blender is my best friend when the recipe is a little bit creamier because it allows me to control better the messy splitting in the kitchen. I use the Ninja Professional Blender (see more details at Amazon). It is a strong, professional power blender option that crushes ice into snow almost instantly. The blades do not spin unless the lid is secured. The parts are BFA free and dishwasher-safe.
Second Option: Masticating Juicer
The good thing about a masticating juicer is that parents can also enjoy healthier food and improve their wellness.
The Aicok Slow Masticating Juicer works as an extractor and a cold press juicer. It features a quiet motor and brings two important accessories: a practical juice jug for your juices and a brush to clean it faster.
This juicer allows you to take more vitamins, minerals and trace minerals and enzymes from the fruits or veggies. Its lower speed prevents oxidation and the cold functioning protects the enzymes, which doesn’t modify the taste of the juice and turn it more healthy.
You can work with leafy greens and fibrous vegetables as celery and ginger and all the fruits and you can even take advantage from the pulp pellets using them in biscuits, soups or cakes.
My advice to you? Clean it right after you use it. This way the little food particles do not dry out, so it is much faster to wash and clean your juicer properly. By the way, reassembly is easy and will not be an obstacle to your juicing.
Third Option: Immersion Blender
By far, my immersion blender is the appliance that I use the most in my kitchen. It is my favorite to work with baby food as you can control the final result visually and it doesn’t become gummy, but it is tricky to do it in large portions.
I will tell you about my baby food experience: I used to cook all the veggies and a protein in a pressure cooker and I rotated between meat, chicken, and fish for to have distinct protein taste.
And, because of the size of my pressure cooker (3.5L old fashion one, for using on the stove), I cooked soup 3 times a week and I used to divide it into 6 portions. 5 portions I used to freeze and alternate the protein flavor, so it wouldn’t be annoying to eat it.
And when I fed my baby, I had to blender it. At that time, I did it in one conventional blender, but today, I shall use an immersion blender. Cleaning is easier and the result is perfect. Very smooth for the first months, when the baby learns to eat salty soups.
An immersion blender is also great to do emulsion, like mayonnaise.
I make mayonnaise directly in a mason jar, so I can save me cleaning up my big blender and I can put the mayonnaise straight in the fridge to preserve it properly.
Pro tip: I also add some olive oil on my mayonnaise. It tastes much better and adds some monounsaturated fats in my family’s diet, which reduces the risk of coronary heart disease. Sometimes I also add a pinch of cayenne pepper too, which helps preserve the mayonnaise and decrease the coronary disease risk as well. Healthy hearts for all!
The best immersion blender is the Hamilton Beach 59765 Hand Blender. It has a blending wand, two speeds, and a whisk & chopping bowl. So you are paying merely for an immersion blender, but you already are getting some other good and needed kitchen solutions. Almost as complete as a food processor!
An alternative for you, if you need to perform lots of pureeing work also, is the Hamilton Beach 72860 Stack and Press 3-Cup Glass Bowl Chopper, because of its good reviews on it. I can imagine it doing the job well done also because you don’t have to worry about splits, but only in little batches. It is friendly cleaning as per the bowl, lid and chopping blade are dishwasher safe. Great usability as per only one press lid for turn it on.
If you are interested in a simpler immersion blender version, check the Ovente Hand Immersion Blender Set. It has two blending speeds that allow you to get the meal’s texture you are looking for. The stainless steel body is ergonomically designed, giving you comfortable control and a good grip. The attachments are dishwasher-safe and BPA-Free: stainless steel mixing stick and egg whisk, besides its 24 oz heavy duty Tritan beaker with cup measurements.
But, if you want to puree in larger batches, the Cuisinart DFP-14NRY (see Amazon’s price) is my choice. As a matter of fact, you can consider to cook your baby food and pureeing it – all in one step. After that, you can freeze the baby food in individual portions. Your option has to be made considering on how you can deal with the baby food, once if you freeze it already in puree form, it will become saltier (as all the freezing meals), but it is a good option as well.