Here is another old post, that I am dusting off. Originally it was titled, “Giving My Baby Cakes a Little Variety.” I felt, “Canning: Fruit Purees” was a little more to the point. It is also worth noting this is the follow-up post to Canning: Baby Food.
The other day I took to canning more fruit. This time I was a little more adventurous than just applesauce. Chloe now has two new kinds of fruit purees. The first batch I made was apricots, bananas, and pears. To use up the few apricots that I had left after that I made apricot, mango, and apple purée. Now to be fair we have not sampled these purees yet so I have no idea how she will take to my recipes at this time. I do know though she has eaten all these fruits at various times before.
Despite the fact I can not speak to the appeal of the product at this time, I can tell you how the process went and how the finished product appears. This was a time-consuming endeavor, a little over two hours start to finish with two people making and processing the product. For the two hours of work though I was able to get 22 servings of fruit for a baby. ( Now if you wanted to make a larger quantity of these two flavors some time would be added to the total spent in cooking and processing but I can provided a batch recipe that should aid in making it not turn into an all day project.) I can also say proudly that none of my jars failed to seal this time around. 🙂
Before canning more food this time I bought some additional supplies and a book that I would highly recommend to anyone looking to can anything whether it be food for your baby or a stew for the family. It is the Ball (R) Blue Book guide to preserving. This book provides tested methods and advice in home canning. If you combine that with USDA link I provided in my last note then even the most inexperienced person can go forth with confidence.
As far as my two recipes are concerned I spent approximately $3.50 on all the fruit. To put that in perspective for the same amount of money I could have maybe 2 packages of the Gerber brand, or 3-4 jars of Nature’s Best. Yes there are brands that will come in for less than those two, but those have been the primary brands we have fed Chloe. Granted she also likes the Plum brand; one four oz package of that is around a $1.79.
When I bought additional canning supplies, I also purchased Fruit-Fresh Produce Protector. I feel this is worth noting because it is optional in the recipes. This product helps the fruit from getting a brown color during the canning process. It is by no means a must have, the fruit will still be just as good with out it. The other thing it does for your fruit is it adds vitamin C. In fact this product adds 230% vitamin D for just 1/4 tsp.
Apricot, Banana, Pear Puree
12 apricots peeled and pitted
1.5 bananas (rather ripe)
1 pear cored
Ziplock steam bag
blender or food processor
1. peel & pit apricots
2. peel bananas
3. core pear and peel if desired
4. cut up fruit
5. pour items in Ziplock steam bag and microwave for 3 minutes*
6. Puree fruit in blender
7. boil fruit in sauce pot
8. stir fruit continually as it boils to prevent sticking, let boil for 5 minutes
9. ladle hot purée into hot jars
10. leave a quarter-inch space in jars
11. wipe the rim of the jars
12. process jars using a water bath canner
Processing time for the jars is 15 minutes for either pints or quarts when you are 1000 ft or less above sea level. (To adjust for higher elevations please refer to the link in my previous note or the guide in the book I provided.) After processing time let canner cool five minutes before removing jars. Let the jars cool with at least two inches between them for the next 12- 24 hrs. After that time period you can check to see if your seals took.