Jun 16, 2013

The Winter Of Fruit Purée.

I could get used to wintry Sundays like today.

 

 

 

Sure it gets a bit crisp in the mornings but that's nothing a super hot shower can't fix. I'm loving my new rosemary and patchouli scented shower gel right now. It's got an appropriately warming, earthy scent for this time of the year.

 

 

 

 

Then the sun hits its stride and come lunchtime, it's warm enough to have a prawn salad with a cheeky drink on the side. That's a lovely new Australian moscato I was drinking today, by the way. If you're back here tomorrow, you could win a few bottles delivered to your door..... Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

Winter is also all about stewed and poached fruits. With yoghurt, in cakes and in crumbles.

 

 

 

 

With the youngest member of our family just discovering solid food, I'm discovering just how good plain stewed fruit is. Without all those comfort food trimmings.

 

 

 
 
Up until now, the purée I've been feeding Baby SSG have been 100% sourced from squeezy plastic packets from the shelves of my local supermarket. My excuse being that I didn't have the right equipment whilst on holiday and well, being on holiday implied that quick and easy would be my motto in all things. On a more serious note, I didn't want any nasty choking accidents with the foods I mashed with a fork.
 
 
 
 

Since I've been back in Sydney, I've dusted off the Bellini Baby Food Maker I received at my baby shower last year. Target is the usual stockist for this particular model but they are currently out of stock according to their website. From my research, the usual retail price is $139 but it is an item that goes on sale down to around $40. There are pretty mixed reviews with regard to the performance of this product but I've used mine twice and it's worked perfectly.

 

For me, the best points about the Bellini are:

  • Reasonable price and Target's refund and exchange policy
  • Compact size
  • Easy to hand wash bowls and other attachments
  • The plastic pieces are BPA free
  • Easy to use control panel
  • It takes under 15 minutes to make a purée from scratch
  • The unit can also be used as a food warmer but not with frozen foods
  • The included spatula makes scraping the processing bowl easy work when it comes to decanting your purée.

 

 

 

Close up of the single dial for operating both the steamer and blender units.
 
 
 
 
The handy spatula included in the box.

 

 

 

Some shortcomings are that:

  • The steaming bowl only has a capacity of 500 ml which is about the volume of the flesh of two medium pears or one and a half large apples
  • The purée function is set to one speed so if you needed mincing or a less smooth purée, you'd have to eyeball it
  • I'm still not clear if anything is dishwasher safe, the instruction manual didn't say
  • The quality of the detachable components isn't great when compared to brands like Braun or KitchenAid, standard stick blenders made by these brands retail in the same region as the full price of the Bellinii.

 

Here are some action shots of the baby food maker in action.

Markings on the wall of the bowl let you know how much to fill to for either meat or fruit and veg.

 

 

There's my chopped pears in the steamer bowl (there's a reservoir for water underneath, you need around 150 mms and there's a fill line marked for you). I found that it took around 20 minutes to steam under ripe pears and 12 minutes for apples. I didn't add water or sugar to my fruit.

 

 



And here's the fully steamed fruit. The plastic bowls can get very hot so be careful when removing the lid.

 
 
Blending your hot steamed fruit is a simple matter of pouring the contents of the steamer into this second bowl. You do need a firm hand to fully lock the blender. There is a safety catch so that the blender will not start until everything is fully locked into place.
 
 
 
 
In a matter of seconds, your purée is good to go. I found my pear and apple purée both sweet enough without the addition of sugar. Baby SSG loved them both, in spite of his initial introduction to fruit being commercially made products which I thought tasted sweeter than my home made versions.
 
 
 
 
My batch cooking session proved to be the ideal time to test out my Qubies, an ingenious product that makes frozen single serve cubes of purée but can be used for almost any other liquid. They cost $19.95 per set from the official website which also has a large range of recipes for different age groups.
 
 
 
Each set consists of a flexible plastic lid and a more rigid clear plastic base. Each portion contains 30ml of liquid.
 
 
 
 
I could fill one Qubie with a single batch of purée made in my Bellini baby food maker with enough left over for the day's feed. After freezing your food in the Qubie, all you need to do to release the frozen cubes is to twist the base slightly.
 
Well, I'd better sign off at this point. I've got to relieve Mr SSG as we head into the challenging evening hours of Mission Keep the Baby Amused Until Bedtime.
 

I'm just updating this post with a photo of my purée cubes made using the Qubie moulds.

They're perfect! It really was that easy to remove them from the mould. Each block sticks to the divider section of the lid for easy removal.
 
 
 


 

3 comments:

  1. I'm so tempted to buy one...

    SSG xxx

    ReplyDelete
  2. These Qubies seem excellent! I've been wanting something similar for freezing single serves of yoghurt and also for pesto pasta sauces.... may be it!!

    ReplyDelete

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