Making baby food in the Instant Pot

I just got an Instant Pot, and I have a 6-month old who’s exploring solids. What better use for my new gadget than to make him some food? I’m experimenting with ratios and recipes, and will post successful ones here.

Note(s) that apply to all recipes:

  • Quick Release vs. Natural Release seems to matter. This wasn’t intuitive to me at first, but if you do NR, you’re letting the food absorb more water. All quantities specified are adequate to cook the food; what I’m shooting for, here, is putting in the perfect amount of water to begin with such that when you blend it up at the end, it’ll be the right consistency for baby.

Sweet Potatoes

Jan. 21, 2017

I actually used 1 lb 6.4 oz (3 small) sweet potatoes and 3/4 C water, but the ratios work out to the following, more easily remembered amounts:

  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly cubed
  • 1 C water
  • A few tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 t cumin
  1. Turn the Instant Pot to sauté (normal heat). Warm the olive oil, toss in the sweet potatoes, and sprinkle with cumin. Get them evenly coated, then don’t stir for 4 minutes to give them a chance to brown.
  2. Add the water, and switch to the pressure cooker mode. Set for 3 minutes, then use the quick-release method.
  3. Once it cools, use an immersion blender to purée the sweet potatoes.

Makes ~1.5 freezer trays’ worth.

Butternut Squash + Apple

Jan. 27, 2017

  • 2 lbs butternut squash, peeled and roughly cubed
  • 1 apple, washed, cored, and chunked up (don’t bother to peel)
  • 1 C water
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  1. Turn the Instant Pot on, set to “sauté.” Toss the squash in some olive oil, get it all coated all over, and then sauté that in the pot for 5 or so minutes until it gets nicely browned.
  2. Add the cinnamon, apple, and water.
  3. Make sure the valve on the Instant Pot lid is set to closed. Hit “keep warm / cancel” to turn the pot off, then “manual” to go to pressure-cooking mode. Pressure-cook on high for 3 minutes, then use quick release.
  4. Immersion-blender it up!

Green Beans

Jan. 25, 2017

The only green thing my baby will eat. But he loves these!

  • 2 lbs green beans, stemmed and cut up into 1" pieces (this requires an annoying amount of prep, but it’s worth it to make blending easier at the end)
  • 2/3 C water

Don’t bother sautéeing. Just pop the beans and water in the IP, close the lid, pressure-cook on high for 3 minutes, QR, and blend. Voilà!

Parsnips + Carrots

Feb. 28, 2017

  • 2 lbs total parsnips & carrots, washed (but don’t bother peeling) and roughly chunked up. I used maybe a 2:1 ratio of parsnips to carrots, but I’m sure whatever ratio you want will work, here.
  • A little freshly-ground nutmeg
  • Some olive oil
  • 3/4 C water

Use the sauté method. Pressure-cook on high for 3 minutes; QR; blend.

Beets + Butternut Squash + Quinoa

May 15, 2017

This one isn’t as much of a runaway hit as the others, but if he’s well-rested and hungry, he goes for it.

  • 1 lb. beets
  • 1 lb. butternut squash (N.B. I did 14 oz. beets + 1 lb. 2 oz. butternut when I made it, just because that’s what I had on hand. Adjusting amounts for ease.)
  • 1 C water
  • 1/2 C quinoa + 3/4 C water

Wash, peel, & cube beets (no need to pre-cook). Peel & cube squash. Cook in the Instant Pot for 3 min on manual with 1 C water, then quick release.

While that’s going, put the quinoa and water together in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, let boil for 30 seconds, then turn off the heat, cover, and let sit while the veg cooks.

When the pressure cooking is done, purée the veg with an immersion blender, and then stir in the cooked quinoa. This way, you retain the texture of the individual quinoa balls.

Summer Squash + Corn

June 25, 2017

This was an initial thumbs-down from the baby, but I put it in the freezer in case he came around. Tried it again two weeks later, and he was quite happy to gobble it up! Slightly watery as writ; you might try less water.

  • 1 lb. frozen corn
  • 2 lbs. fresh summer squash or zucchini

Sauté the corn with EVOO until it browns. Add the cut-up squash + 1 C water, switch to “manual,” and pressure-cook for 2 minutes. QR.

Beets + Carrots

June 30, 2017

  • 12 oz. beets
  • 1.5 lbs carrots
  • 1 C water

Peel the beets, but don’t bother peeling the carrots (just scrub them well). Chunk them up, toss ’em in the pot, add the water. 4 minutes on manual (I did longer to make sure the beets were cooked; 3 would likely work, too), QR.

Sweet Potato, Pears, & Ginger

Oct. 5, 2017

  • 2 lbs. 6 oz. sweet potatoes (the packages I buy come in 10-oz. units)
  • 1–2 pears
  • 3/4 t ground ginger
  • 1 C water

Sauté the sweet potatoes in some EVOO. Add pear(s), ginger, & water; cook on manual for 3 min; QR.

Beets, Corn, & Apple

Dec. 7, 2017

  • 1 lb. beets
  • 1 lb. frozen corn
  • 1 apple
  • 3/4 C water

Peel the beets. Toss ’em in the pot with the corn and chunked-up (unpeeled) apple. 3 min on manual; QR.