What to do with all that leftover baby food…

So if you’re like me, then your son has moved on from fruit purees to finger foods but you still have several bags full of frozen fruit puree cubes that you lovingly prepared for him.  The question arises, what the hell am I going to do with all of this frozen fruit? I’ve tried a few different options that I thought I would share with you.

First and easiest, those fruit cubes melt beautifully into hot oatmeal.  Apple cinnamon oatmeal that’s not out of a bag? It’s a cinch if you just toss a few apple cubes into your hot oatmeal, add a dash of cinnamon and a spoonful of brown sugar.  Simon likes oatmeal, so we do this a lot.

Another option that sounds good on paper and I think a lot of babies out there would enjoy is to use the fruit puree like jam, spread it on toast, and feed it to baby.  Alas, Simon has this weird texture thing where he won’t pick up anything that feels wet (hence the grilled, cooled, and diced grilled cheese he eats every day).  The fruit puree is apparently way too mushy and he spends ten minutes mashing each piece into mush with his pointer finger and not a bite gets into his mouth. But I think there are a lot of babies out there that would enjoy this.

My favorite solution though is to make fruit leather.  I first got the idea from this post on Weelicious.  And actually, the first time I made it, I used fresh strawberries and agave nectar (Simon is still less than a year, so no honey). And I burned it.  Well, I burned MOST of it.  There was a 3×3 patch right in the center of the pan that was absolutely delicious! So after cleaning up that mess, I had an epiphany and went to the freezer and grabbed the big bag of blueberry and raspberry cubes that had been sitting in there for a few months.  The rest was easy.

1.  I defrosted the berries and added about a tablespoon of agave nectar.  I then poured them out onto a silicone mat on a baking sheet.

I know, it looks kind of funny.

2.  I then placed it in my 250F oven for about two hours.  Since my first batch burned I was a little obsessive and started checking it after an hour.  The edges begin to dry out first.  Maybe it’s my crappy apartment oven, or maybe it’s just how it works, but I found that the edges were actually finished before the center had even started to dry out.  So I took my trusty pizza roller and cut off the edges, pulled them off, and stuck the remainder back into the oven to finish.  This worked like a charm.  I avoided any burning and had evenly baked fruit leather.

When it was all finished I pulled it out and let it cool, then cut it into strips and rolled those up like fruit roll-ups. I think these would keep in a bag at room temperature for a long time…but I wouldn’t know.  Simon and I consumed them within a few days.

I know this photo is out of focus, but it’s the only one that had enough lighting for you to see the color.  So don’t hate me.

I see myself making a ton of this over the years to come.  It will get packed in Simon’s lunchbox in place of Fruit Roll-Ups (because that’s something Mommy just isn’t going to buy).  This is a delicious way to get a lot of good fruit into your kid, and it allows you to control the ingredients, which is rad.  For moms of babies, this is a great way to get tons of fiber into their digestive system to get things moving along, if you know what I mean.

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