Apples and squash are two nutritious fall foods that pair well together. My daughter is a huge fan of both foods. And, although she is almost eighteen months old, my daughter still enjoys the mashed homemade baby food that I make her from fruits and vegetables that I buy at our local stores. She prefers the stronger flavors of homemade over the blander tastes of commercial baby food. I love that I can ensure that she gets all the nutrients her growing body needs by making and feeding her a wide variety of healthy foods. One of the most recent baby foods that I made my daughter was apples with butternut and acorn squash.
Although high in natural sugars, apples are very low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium and are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, and folate. Apple skin is also very healthy because the skin of apples helps protect against cancer more and provides more nutrients than the rest of the apple. Butternut squash very low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium as well as a good source of vitamin E, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, and magnesium and a very good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and manganese. Acorn squash is likewise very low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium; a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin B6, folate, and magnesium; and a very good source of vitamin C, thiamin, potassium, and manganese.
To make my homemade apple and squash baby food, I started by washing and slicing the apples. Because the skin is so nutritious, I did not peel the apples but just used my apple slices to core and cut the fruit into slices. I then placed the slices in a microwave safe bowl with a little extra water and cooked the apples for about twenty minutes, checking on the progress at ten minutes. Once the apple slices were tender, I allowed the cooked fruit to cool.
While the apples were cooking in the microwave, I washed, peeled, seeded, and sliced the squashes. Although the skin of many fruits and vegetables is healthy, the rind of squash is too tough to eat. The seeds can be saved for later to be replanted or roasted with a little Worcestershire sauce and seasoning salt. I placed the squash slices in another microwave safe bowl with a little extra water and cooked the vegetables for about twenty minutes as well. Once the squash was cooked, I also let the slices cool a little.
Finally, I transferred some of the cooked apple and squash slices into my baby food processor and then mashed up the mixture. Once the mixture was adequately mashed, I spooned the baby food into ice cube trays for easier freezing. After the cubes were frozen, I moved the cubes of baby food into a freezer bag for easier storage. As my daughter needs food, I simply unthaw a few cubes. She absolutely adores her apples and squash baby food. And I love how simple making my own baby food is!
Washing Apples in the Sink © 2013 Heather Johnson
Slices of Raw Apples © 2013 Heather Johnson
Butternut Squash and Acorn Squash © 2013 Heather Johnson
Slicing the Butternut Squash © 2013 Heather Johnson
Slicing the Acorn Squash © 2013 Heather Johnson
Raw Slices of Squash © 2013 Heather Johnson
Slices of Cooked Apples © 2013 Heather Johnson
Cooked Butternut and Acorn Squash Slices © 2013 Heather Johnson
Mashing the Cooked Squash and Apples © 2013 Heather Johnson
Apples and Squash Baby Food Cubes © 2013 Heather Johnson