Pumpkin is a fruit but also regarded as a vegetable by many people. Again, we shall refer to pumpkin as a fruit and vegetable, and the two expressions interchangeably in this article. Pumpkin is one fruit that is extremely healthy, especially for babies. It does not take time or strenuous techniques to prepare. Like the butternut squash, pumpkin has a lot of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidant. Pumpkins vary in types, but they are all nutritious and taste deliciously. It is quite easy and inexpensive to prepare this recipe at home. Pumpkin puree is an excellent choice for a stage one and two foods, down to the toddlers. Many babies love the flavour and colour of this delicious puree,hence, the reason why the rejection level is incredibly low for all ages including toddlers.  

The first time I introduced pumpkin puree to my baby, he was about seven months old. I could tell he really loved it. His expression was encouraging. In fact, the way he opened his little mouth repeatedly showed he needed more. Going further, I added formula milk to it the acceptance level was still remarkably high and encouraging, let alone his acceptance level now that he is a year old. To date, he still enjoys this recipe as he used to when he was much younger. If you have not given this delicious recipe to your baby yet, your baby is really missing out. Please, try it and share with us the good news on our comment section. If you love baking, you could turn this recipe into whole varieties of recipes like pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, pumpkin muffins, and a lot more. We shall be covering a couple of them in our future series. 

Table of contents  
1. Background of pumpkin puree recipe 
2. Age recommendation 
3. Ingredients  
4. Nutritional value of pumpkin puree 
5. How to choose the right pumpkin for your puree 
6. Ways to prepare pumpkin puree 
7. How to prepare pumpkin puree by roasting  
8. How to prepare pumpkin puree by steaming 
9. How to store your pumpkin puree in the fridge and freezer for later use 
10. Other food recipes you could try with pumpkin puree 

2. Age recommendation 

The recommended child age for this recipe is 6 months upward. However, you should seek the approval of a paediatrician before administering the food to your baby. Always observe your baby when taking the food to be sure that he/she does not have any allergy towards the food. Should anything happen, please, rush your baby to the hospital for immediate medical attention. 

3.  Ingredients  

The ingredients required to prepare this sumptuous baby food are pumpkin. water, breastmilk, or formula (optional). 

4.  Nutritional value of pumpkin puree 

Pumpkin has enormous health benefits outlined below: 

  1. Pumpkin is loaded with vitamin C, E, and B2 
  1. It is loaded with iron, manganese, copper, and potassium 
  1. It is a healthy source of vitamin A 

5. How to choose the right pumpkin for your puree 

If you want to achieve a smooth and delicious puree for your little one, it is important to watch out for ripe pumpkin when shopping.  Okay! Let us look at ways you could easily tell if a pumpkin is ripe or not: 

  1. Take a critical look at the stem. If it shows some signs of toughness, then it is ripe and perfect pumpkin for your delicious puree 
  1. Listen to the sound it makes when you tap on the body with your fist. If it vibrates inside like a hallow, then it is fit to go home with you. 
  1. The body colour should be inspected. Ensure that the colour is uniform, to be fit for the job 
  1. Watch out for the skin. A ripe pumpkin cannot be easily punctured using your fingernail. So, if it does, then it is not ripe 

 6. Ways to prepare pumpkin puree 

Like butternut squash, pumpkin puree can be prepared either by two of the methods mentioned previously: cooking/steaming and roasting. It is recommended that you try each method so that you could choose and stick to what works best for you and your baby. 

7. How to prepare pumpkin puree by roasting  

Note, these steps are like what we described in preparing butternut squash. We recommend you visitthe post and learn about butternut squash puree.  

  1. Preheat the oven to about 180 °C 
  1. Grab your pumpkin, wash the back with clean water, and dry it 
  1. Divide it into two and scoop the seeds and the fibre out using a spoon or knife 
  1. Grab your tray and put a foil or paper on it. If you are using a foil sheet, brush it with vegetable oil 
  1. Place the two halves of the pumpkin on the tray, ensuring that the sides you cut are facing down. Put them in your oven for 45 mins to bake until it is soft, tender, and a bit of light golden brown  
  1. Bring it out and flip them over to speed up the cooling process  
  1. You can either peel the back or use a spoon to scoop the flesh into your blender to blend  
  1. Blend to your required consistency 
  1. If you want your homemade pumpkin to have the same consistency as the canned one, you could drain it for few hours to achieve that (optional). 
  1. Add breast milk, formula, or water, if you wish to do so before serving your baby at lukewarm temperature 

8. How to prepare pumpkin puree by steaming 

  1. Repeat steps 7 b & c, respectively 
  1. Peel the back and chop it into pieces for easy steaming. (You could also peel it after cooking ifyou are not comfortable peeling it because of its resistance) 
  1. Place them in the pot and add enough water to steam properly 
  1. Cook it for about 10-15 mins until it is soft or tender 
  1. Wait for it to cool, and transfer your pumpkin into a blender and blend to your required consistency 
  1. In enhance your baby’s acceptance, add breast milk, or formula milk if you wish to do so before serving your baby at lukewarm temperature 

9. How to store your pumpkin puree in the fridge and freezer for later use 

Most people might be wondering if pumpkin puree could be stored in the refrigerator for further use. The answer is ‘’a big Yes’’! like other purees, you have the option of either storing it in the refrigerator or freezer depending on how long you want to store it and how quickly you might want to use it for your baby. 

For refrigerating choice: you could store in your baby’s tight containers or plastic bags in the refrigerator for up to two to three days at 3 to 5 °C. 

For freezing choice: scoop the puree and carefully pace them on the ice-cube tray and store them in the freezer. Once they are properly frozen, remove the puree and put them in your baby’s containers or bag, and store them back in the freezer which could last for up to two to four months. I know some people do store pumpkin puree for up to twelve months and it is still good at the end of the day, but I would not recommend that for your baby’s food, otherwise, you want to use it to bake for yourself or other adults. I love my baby’s food to be as fresh as possible, which I would recommend you do so too. Usage within 3 months is recommended. 

If you do not have an ice-cube tray, do not worry as you could also store them directly in the freezer in your baby’s containers or bags. You should still achieve the same result. Nevertheless, the only challenge might be that you would need to defrost the entire bag or container to be able to scoop a part for your baby if he/she cannot finish one bag at a time, which is why the ice cube method is recommended. With the ice cube, all you need is to pick the required number of ice-cubes that your baby could consume at a time. Never re-freeze a puree that you have frozen already. it is not healthy for your baby.

10. Other food recipes you could try with pumpkin puree 

  • Beef 
  • Turkey 
  • Pork 
  • Chicken 
  • Apple 
  • Pear 
  • Lentils 
  • Broccoli 

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