I had been torn for a period of time ... about making baby's spinach and beet puree ... and at the same time at a loss as to other choices I had to offer T to represent a little more of the rainbow of food colors - more than just orange, yellow, white ... I had read in a few places that you should avoid making baby spinach and beets because of nitrate contents, and after a few conversations about it with Ryan, we decided to go ahead and make Thomas organic beets and spinach. Ryan was quite confident that the nitrate content in spinach and beets would come from fertilizers ... the best way to avoid that? Organic!
While Thomas and I were at the grocery, we lucked out ... there were 1lb containers of organic spinach and "4-packs" of organic beets - perfect! Once we arrived home, and T was down for his nap, I slid out the Beaba baby food system that my parents bought us. So far, we have absolutely loved the Beaba - it is so slick for warming food (albeit sometimes it gets a bit too warm), thawing frozen purees, and steaming fresh foods. I have been very very happy with it. It purees like a DREAM - most purees we make don't need to be pushed through the mesh strainer, and require very little spatula-scraping while blending. The blade on the bottom of the bowl is angled, which I think makes the food whip around and puree very efficiently.
The Beaba came with a few accessories - strainer/steamer basket, handy-dandy slip-in spatula to remove the basket from the bowl with out steam-burning yourself, etc. It's terrific. If you are thinking about buying a baby food system? Seriously consider the Beaba. It blows the JCPenny Cooks out of the water ...
The one downside to the Beaba is the size of the steamer basket .. but it is so hands-off once set up to steam, that it is simple to steam multiple batches and puree in one larger batch ... which is what I did with the spinach. I combined three full baskets to puree in one step. I chose to run this batch through the mesh strainer because of the stems of spinach. I'm not sure if Thomas will like the spinach ... so I decided to freeze it all. I also froze the steaming liquid, which is nutrient rich, because we can use it to make cereal, upping the value of the cereal and maybe introducing the flavour of spinach gradually. We'll see!
Instead of steaming the beets, I oven roasted them. Coming out of the oven, all wrapped up in foil, they looked like foil-wrapped rats!! Then that bright red juice came pouring out on the counter top and it looked like a murder scene ... after posting a picture of two of Thomas eating the beets (which he adored) ... it was decided that he looked a little too much like a vampire baby ... one happy vampire baby =) (**No animals, humans or Sophie Giraffes were hurt in the making of and feeding of .. organic beets .. hahah)