post updated: 2.25.20
Carrots are a great food to introduce to your new eater. It’s one of the first foods I gave my kiddos because it’s not only jam packed with nutrients, but also that color is amazing! We all like to eat things that look good, and the bright orange color of this carrot puree no exception. Babies, toddlers and even adults are all about this puree!
Carrots are also one of those foods that everyone will eat. Have you ever met someone who won’t eat a carrot? A bell pepper, for sure could be controversial, brussel sprouts might be polarizing, but a little carrot, never! The biggest challenge with carrots for new eaters is that they are hard to chew. My kids still are challenged by chewing them which is why I still cook (and roast and puree) carrots.
If you are new here, you should know that I make all of my own baby food. Not because I think you have to have healthy kids, but rather, I love doing it. With my Vitamix by my side I feel like I can do it simply, and I do.
Want to learn more about making your baby’s food? Check out my ultimate guide for making your own baby food, or reach out and book some time with me to walk you through it.
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Are carrots a good source of nutrition?
When we think about carrots, many people first think about them being superheroes for your eyes. This is due to the high levels of beta-carotene, which your body turns into Vitamin A. Vitamin A promotes good vision, growth, and helps build your immune system.
The nutrients in carrots have also been shown to improve digestion (great for babies), help with weight loss, as well as are associated with heart and eye health. This colorful vegetable really is an all around winner!
Want to learn more about how good carrots are for you? All this information and more can be found on healthline.com.
What type of carrots should you use?
While I think that baby carrots have their time and place, this is not when I would use them. Not only are they not cost effective, but I think whole carrots just work better for making baby food.
I like to buy a two or three pound bag of regular orange carrots almost every time I’m at the grocery. They last for a long time in the fridge and one of the most simple veggies to prep at a moments notice. You can also buy them loose in the produce section at most regular grocery stores.
If you can find a bunch of purple carrots, yellow carrots or white carrots, these work the exact same way in this puree. I would just avoid pureeing multiple colors of carrots together because the color will get muddy and unappetizing. Remember, we eat with our eyes, so vibrant colors are good here.
How do you make carrot puree?
While I typically like to roast my vegetables when I’m making baby food (I find the flavor has more of a chance to develop), I find that carrots also steam really well. A steamed carrot is easier to puree to a smooth consistency than roasted carrots. But it really is up to you.
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Peel, then cut carrots into chunks, drizzle with olive oil and any herbs you want to add.
- Lightly salt the veggies (optional).
- Roast at 400 degrees on a sheet pan until fork tender.
- Let cool a few minutes.
- Place carrots herbs or spices into blender
- Puree to desired texture
First peel the carrots and cut off the very top and very end of each carrot. Then cut them into equal sized chunks (about 2” long).
Once all the carrots are cut up, you’ll add about an inch or two of water to a large pot and put a steamer basket in that pot. To the steamer basket add the cut up carrots.
Cover the pot and put on the stove over medium high heat until you can pierce the carrots easily with a fork, about 20 minutes.
Once the carrots are cooked, you’ll transfer them to a high speed blender (I love my Vitamix) and add a bit of water (I like to use the water from the steamer pot) to get things going. Then blend and add in additional water until desired consistency is desired. Think super smooth for younger babies and any consistency you like for older babies, toddlers and adults.
How to serve carrot puree
Carrot puree is great to serve with other purees or soft foods for babies and super easy to add good flavor too. It’s an easy vegetable to pair with anything from green vegetables to many fruits. Pureed carrot pairs really well with the following foods:
- spinach: serve purees of spinach and carrots together for a nutrient dense option
- apple: want to give your baby a healthy sweet-ish treat? combine apple puree (aka applesauce) together with carrot puree.
- peas: there's just something about peas and carrots that were meant for each other...in puree form it's no different.
- potatoes and thyme: cook and mash potatoes and add dried thyme, served with pureed carrots for a cozy and filling meal for your little one.
This isn’t a puree only for little ones! The adults around here really like it too. I like to spice up the this puree and turn it into a side dish with the following flavors. I think they would all work as baby food too, since introducing many flavors earlier on is just good practice.
- ginger: place knob of ginger in the steaming water. then add 1 frozen cube to the puree (or about 1 teaspoon grated)..for a real zing, top with candied ginger crumbs
- rosemary: I like to roast my carrots with rosemary from the garden in the summer. put a few springs of rosemary in the steaming water and then chop up fresh rosemary to mix into the puree before serving. Add a sprinkle of course salt and a splash of olive oil on top for a real treat.
- lemon: steam the carrots with the slices of a while lemon places in the water. puree with sea salt and the juice of an additional lemon.
- garlic: roast a whole head of garlic in foil with the carrots. when pureeing add a couple splashes of olive oil, the roasted carrots a few cloves of roasted garlic and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. It's almost like a carrot pesto.
Tips and Tricks
- You can also freeze the carrot puree into cubes and add them to any smoothie or even into soups for an extra dose of nutrients. I like to use this silicone ice cube tray for freezing all the purees I make. The cubes pop out easily and store well in zip top bags.
- This puree will last up to 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I like to store my purees in these 4 oz containers if I'm not freezing them. Makes for easy transporting when we are on the go.
Looking for other great purees for babies and adults too? Check these out:
Purees 101 - Carrot Puree
- 1 lb carrots
- 1 tablespoon olive oil if roasting
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Prep the Carrots
- peel the carrots and cut into 2" chunks (more or less is okay, just keep them the same size for consistent cooking time)
- choose your cooking method
- Steaming Method
- Place a steamer basket in a pot with about 2 inches of water.
- Put the cut carrots into the steamer basket.
- Cook over medium high heat for about 20 minutes or until carrots are fork tender
- Once tender, remove from steamer basket, retaining steaming liquid
- Put into blender container, add salt and olive oil (if desired) and puree until desired texture. If you need to add liquid to get a smoother puree, stream in the steaming liquid a little bit at a time.
- Serve or store and enjoy!
- Roasting Method
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Toss carrots in olive oil and salt and spread out on prepared baking sheet
- Roast at 425 for about 30 minutes or until browned and fork tender
- Add to a blender container and blend until desired consistency, adding water or other liquid as needed to get desired consistency.
- Serve or store and enjoy!
Want to make these now? Are you missing some ingredients? Amazon Now can get them to you in a few hours, Instacart can get them to you today. Or add them to your Peapod grocery list and don't be stuck without them again!