This week I wanted to try something a little different with my son. We'd tasted the standard bananas, apples, and pears with great success, but I wanted to see about another favorite snack of mine: dried apricots. The baby food cookbook I have had a recipe for pureeing dried apricots, so I looked into it. Momtastic said using dried apricots were fine, as long as I checked the ingredient list carefully:
"If you will be using Dried Apricots, try to find those that do not contain sulphurs such as sulphur dioxide. Some people are allergic to sulphurs and sulphurs tend to be high in sodium."
Other than that, apricots are a great choice for babies six months and older. They're high in Vitamin A (beta carotene, great for eye health!), Vitamin C, and Lycopene (aids in cardiovascular health, cancer prevention - especially prostate cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, and possibly even male infertility). THey also aid with tummy troubles and relieve constipation. Don't say I didn't warn you! Even though apricots are not among the "Dirty Dozen", I purchased the organic dried apricots pictured above since they were the only ones I could find that didn't list sulphur dioxide as an ingredient. Keep in mind, however, that sulphur dioxide is what allows dried apritcots to maintain their bright orange color; dried organic apricots look much like prunes, dark brown in color. Additionally, since apricots are only in season from late spring through the summer, they're hard to find fresh. That said, they were very easy to prepare! Below I'll show the method I used for dried apricots. If you'd like to prepare them fresh, halve and pit the apricots and place them in a shallow baking dish with a bit of water, then bake, peel, and puree!
|Step 1: Heat equal parts apricots and water over |
high heat and boil. This is four cups dried apricots and four
|Step 2: Reduce heat and simmer ten minutes.|
|Step 3: Drain, reserving cooking water.|
|Step 4: Using cooking water as required, puree |
to desired consistency. I know it looks gross, but
this puree is sweet and tasty. My son loves it!
Was it worth it? Well, each bag of organic dried apricots was $3.24. I purchased four bags, which made 14 servings. So that is $0.92 per serving. I couldn't find jarred apricots at my grocery, but if I were to guess based on the other jarred baby food, I'd say they'd end up in the $0.79 per jar category. So mine were a bit pricier, but they were organic and they were what was available in the off season.