Homemade Baby Food: Pressure Cooker Sweet Potato Purée
I decided long ago I wanted to make my daughter’s baby food once she started solids. Being the crazy controlling first time mom I am, I wanted complete control (or as much as I could realistically get) over what went in my daughter’s body.
My entire mindset going into this was: I want my daughter to eat better than me.
So, I read 2 cookbook/instructional books on introducing solids to infants. We had already decided to start with purées, skipping over simple cereals.
Everyone warned me against making my own baby food. They told me to just buy a jar. Honestly, if you use store bought baby food, that is perfectly fine! I was raised on it, as are millions of healthy babies today. As a SAHM, I felt I should create time to at least attempt making purées. I had already told myself if it was too much work I would just go buy jars.
…but it wasn’t that much work!
I created the most delicious sweet potato purée for my daughter using very minimal supplies and a short period of time.
It should be noted I had an Amazon cart full of baby food making supplies. I never ordered it. I used only what I could find in my ill-equipped kitchen. Challenge accepted!
Want to make sweet potato purée for your little one? Follow these simple steps:
2 large sweet potatoes 1.5 cups of water
Step One: Go to the “good” section of the grocery store. I ended up actually going to what I call the “hippie” grocery store across town. If you are going to be making your own baby food, you might as well make it as healthy as possible. I recommend using fresh, organic produce when at all possible. Frozen fruits and veggies are always a great alternative though, as they still contain lots of nutrients!
The store surprisingly did not have organic sweet potatoes, so I just got locally grown potatoes, and scrubbed them really well. Buying produce grown within the USA will also help cut down on various chemicals used.
Step Two: Peel the sweet potatoes.
Step Three: Cut potatoes into 1/4 inch (or a good guess) cubes. I’m not sure if I picked the firmest potatoes, or if our knife set is even worse than I thought…but cutting the sweet potatoes was surprisingly difficult for me. I recommend a sharp knife!
Step Four: Put the cubed potatoes in your pressure cooker and add water. It is worth noting, I do not use the Instant Pot. I am the proud owner of a Power Pressure Cooker XL. I have never had any issues with it, and I use the 8 quart model.
I think you are supposed to use the steamer accessory at this point…but I didn’t. To be honest, my daughter was using my phone as a white noise machine for her nap, and I couldn’t Google how to use the steamer thing that came with the pressure cooker.
Instead, I placed the potato cubes on my OXO Pressure Cooker Silicone Sling, which I usually use for whole chickens. You could probably just place the potatoes directly in the water as well, though.
Step Five: Set the pressure cooker for 20 minutes. Allow natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then finish with a quick pressure release.
Step Six: Remove potatoes from pressure cooker and allow to cool for about 20 minutes. Keep the water that the potatoes were cooked in.
Step Seven: Use “mashy tool” found in the “miscellaneous utensil drawer” to smash the cube potatoes. Add water saved from the pressure cooker and continue mashing until potatoes are puréed and of desired consistency.
When we cook vegetables in water, the vegetables lose some nutrients in the process. By adding the water back into the potatoes, we also regain some nutrients.
I keep the purées a little thicker than I plan to have them when I feed my daughter. This way, I can still add breast milk to the purée when it is time to serve it.
Step Eight: Serve, or save for later.
I filled an ice cube tray with the puréed sweet potatoes, covered the tray with plastic wrap, and placed it in the freezer. Several hours later, I popped the frozen cubes out of the tray and stored them in a Ziplock bag. I made sure to label the type of food and the date it was made.
This method of freezing was super simple and didn’t require a lot of supplies or special containers. The cubes are approximately 1oz each, and can be quickly thawed and served. The frozen food will stay good for 2-3 months in the freezer.
Making this purée was super simple, and I didn’t feel like I dedicated a ton of time to it. I did all of this while my daughter took her normal 36 minute nap during the day. While the potatoes were in the pressure cooker I was still able to clean the house, as usual.
This purée was a great introduction to solids for my daughter, and she was very impressed! (Yet still a little confused).