Now that I have discovered that sugar is useless to me, (and terrible for us, in so many ways) I stumbled upon the next amazing thing in my life. Fruit Purée!
The abundance of fruit at this time of year leaves you asking WTF am I going to do with all of it? I can't eat it all (even though I really, REALLY want to eat it all fresh...). I like freezing things like peaches, nectarines and blueberries for my morning oat bran, and you can freeze it for smoothies of course. I find myself just not wanting a smoothie in the fall or winter that often and as a result, I can only store so much for my morning breakfast, especially because I love to buy a huge box of apples that last me until at least February (my wicked storage method will come soon!)
So enter the Fruit Purée. My parents have an apple and a pear tree, so they cut up the extras and freeze them for me for "transit" but you can do this with fresh just as easy, it will simply be quicker! This is also a great way to use up any frozen fruit in your freezer that you'd like to get rid of; or fresh fruit that needs to be used up. And guess what new mommies? It can be baby food too!
Wash and cut up your fruit into big chunks. Don't peel it, that's fiber you've got there! If using frozen, this part is probably already done. Blueberries, cherries, strawberries need no cutting. If you have bitter or sour fruit (like rhubarb or plums) I recommend adding a sweeter fruit to the mix so you don't have to add anything to the end product. Don't be afraid to mix fruit varieties!
In a medium or large saucepan, throw your cut up fruit in with 1/4 cup of filtered water. Turn the heat to medium and cover.
How long this takes will depend entirely upon how much fruit you're cooking up, and whether it's fresh or frozen, so check on it for the first time in about 15 minutes. From there, keep your eye on it so when it starts to boil you check it again. As soon as the fruit is soft when you check with a fork, it's ready to be puréed. The tool I use for this is a Cuisinart hand blender, it makes this incredibly simple. You could use a blender if you don't have a hand blender, or a food processor, just remember it's HOT! If using the hand blender fully immerse the blender in the liquid and go slow or you risk serious splatter. And of course your blender or food processer is glass, not plastic right?
Purée it to your desired consistency. You can keep it chunkier if you like or make it really smooth.
Give it a taste; depending on the fruit you used if you used anything bitter/sour like rhubarb or plums it may not be as sweet as you want. You could add a small amount of honey to taste if that's the case.
Let it cool before putting it away in jars for the fridge or freezer.
1 use this fruit purée in my Pear Muffins. It can be used in place of sugar in recipes; you'll end up with a delicious moist end product. You can put it over your homemade ice cream (for those treat times), add it to your morning breakfast, and yes it can be baby food! Don't buy an inferior product, this is what your baby should eat instead and it's much more cost friendly.