According to Cooking for Baby by Lisa Barnes "Frozen peas are the next best thing to fresh spring peas: they're available year-round, and they will save you the time and effort of shelling."
Also, in Top 100 Baby Purees author Annabel Karmel writes "I tend to use frozen peas, as they are just as nutritious as the fresh variety." (Both of these books are great reads for parents looking to make their own baby foods)
I also recently spoke with the folks over at Pinnacle Foods, which makes Birds Eye veggies and they said that their crops are frozen within four hours after harvest and they process vegetables in 24 hours, or as fast as possible to lock in peak freshness. Where as, veggies from your local grocery store could be coming all the way across the country and who knows when they were harvested.
So, I took their sound advice and my free bag of Birds Eye Steamfresh frozen sweet peas and popped it in the microwave for 6 minutes, which was just enough time to steam the peas and make them nice and soft (no shelling needed). Next, I dumped the contents into my food processor along with some water, 2 sprigs of mint from my garden and a 1 tbsp of coconut oil (or olive oil) and blended the veggies until they were pureed smooth enough for my 8-month-old boys to eat. I then scooped the baby food into storage containers for future feedings. Done. It was super easy and probably only took me under 15 minutes in all. I'll definitely be taking this easier route again soon. I plan to try their Steamfresh cauliflower next.
Recipe Variations:Since this discovery, I also did the same recipe above, but added in a peeled, small Golden Delicious apple steamed and pureed too, which they of course seemed to like more, plus it made the mixture a bit smoother with the juice from the apple. I also did the same but blended in a boiled and cut up pear, which they also liked. You can also mix in tot apple juice or breast milk or formula to make it smoother for younger babies too. Also, it took the second time eating it for my son Ben to like peas, but Logan took to it immediately.
Why Peas?Peas are typically recommended for introduction into a baby's diet between 6-8 months old. Did you know that one cup of peas contains more protein that a tablespoon of peanut butter and also provides Calcium, Vitamin A and C and Iron too? Love it!
The end result. Yum!
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Disclosure: I recently received free coupons and samples of Birds Eye Steamfresh frozen vegetables and attended their media event in NYC for tips on getting kids to eat more veggies. However, I did NOT receive compensation or direction for this post.