Broccoli is one of those vegetables that kids love, or hate. And broccoli puree could fall into that same camp. However, my kids happen to love it.
They love it roasted till crispy and beg to get the piece with the “brown bits”. This is only a problem for me since those are the bites that I love the best as well!
Some purees are smooth and delicious and can be repurposed in sauces, or as syrups in fancy drinks. This is not one of those purees. This broccoli puree is one that is meant to introduce your little ones to the bigger bolder flavors of some vegetables. It’s jam packed with nutrients and really rounds out a meal for a little one. But rest assured, I’m still going to share with you some ways to dress it up.
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And why is broccoli puree so good for babies?
High in Vitamin C and a great source of iron and calcium, this superfood is full of great vitamins and minerals. You can often tell how nutrient dense food is by its color, and broccoli is no exception. You want to look for bright green heads of broccoli to make sure they haven’t started losing any of their nutrients. Also, look for tightly closed florets and no yellowing when you buy broccoli at the store.
The vitamin C in broccoli helps people's bodies absorb iron and other nutrients in the broccoli. This allows our babies to get the most out of every bite. Broccoli is also known to support heart and stomach health.
Speaking of stomachs, will broccoli give my baby gas?
Maybe. Cruciferous foods (think cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli) are all known to produce some gas. Just like in adults, everybody is different. Start by introducing small amounts of broccoli puree and see how your little one does.
So how do I make broccoli puree?
Roasting the broccoli is the key (in my opinion) to really making this a delicious puree. The roasting process allows the broccoli to caramelize and brings out the natural sweetness. We add in a bit of good fat, in the form of olive oil, and just a pinch of salt to balance the flavors for you baby.
One of the things we often forget when making baby food is that it is just as important to season their food like we do ours. I think that babies sometimes refuse food because its just so bland. I’m a big proponent of using spices to kick things up a bit for them. Want to know about it, check out my ultimate guide to making your own baby food.
Broccoli puree pairings
Broccoli puree is great to serve with other vegetable purees and soft foods. Because it tends to be a thicker puree (especially when defrosted),
- Cooked oatmeal: Either use fresh puree or a frozen cube mixed into the oatmeal for a great afternoon snack
- Salmon: flake cooked salmon and mix it in with the broccoli puree, or serve along the side as a great introduction to finger foods.
- Apple: pair with applesauce and add a little bit of sweetness to the broccoli puree
- Sweet Potato: if your baby isn’t into the broccoli, try mixing it with sweet potato as most babies love this puree
- Rice: stir broccoli puree together with a little butter, a little parmesan cheese and some rice for a complete meal for your little one that is reminiscent of risotto
Tips and Tricks
- If you choose not to roast the broccoli, you can steam it. Be sure to reserve the steaming water if you do so to help thin out the puree. It contains lots of good nutrients.
- In lieu of water to thin out this puree, you can use a vegetable or chicken stock. This is one place I would definitely use the low sodium product or make your own, so that you control the salt.
- Want to use up leftover cubes once your little one has moved on to solids? You can use frozen broccoli puree cubes in any soup. Just drop the cubes in and stir until they melt.
Looking for other purees that your baby will love? Try these:
purees 101 - broccoli
- 16 oz broccoli florets
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons flaky sea salt or to taste
- preheat oven to 425 degrees
- line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- lay the florets on the baking sheet in one layer (the more bits touching the baking sheet, the more caramelization you'll get)
- drizzle with olive oil making sure all the pieces are coated
- sprinkle salt on top
- roast for 25-30 minutes, (check on the broccoli at about 20 minutes and give the pan a little shake)
- remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes
- transfer to high speed blender container
- add a few tablespoons of water to help get things going
- puree to desired consistency, adding a bit more water as needed
- in a medium sized pot, add about 2 inches of water and put on medium heat
- place broccoli florets into a steamer basket and place in pot
- cover and let steam until fork tender (about 10 minutes)
- remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes in the pot
- transfer to high speed blender container, reserving the steaming liquid
- puree to desired consistency, adding a bit of the steaming liquid as needed to smooth out the puree
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!