THE main thing we needed before entering the oh-so-fun weaning stage (apart from a bazillion bibs and buckets of patience) was a decent blender. Even though Ezra was keen to be baby-led and would happily munch on whatever we were eating, I wanted to combine this with purées to make sure some food was actually getting in and not being thrown on the floor.
With Santi I remember spending hours on a Sunday bulk boiling, mashing and blending various mixtures of fruit, veg and meat, and it seemed endless. I wasn’t keen on going through this again, and started off using quite a lot of ready made pouches, which isn’t exactly kind on your bank balance.
We were very kindly offered a Tommee Tippee Baby Food Steamer Blender to review, and it sounded fab. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a nifty little machine that lets you put the chopped ingredients in, set the timer, and come back when it’s all cooked and puréed. It steams and blends in one jug, so there’s less washing up – and we all know that anything that cuts down on cleaning up when you have little ones to look after is a winner. It was so, so handy when we were having the kitchen done and our cooking utensils were all over the place.
We tried loads of different combos with Ezra – good old sweet potato mash was his favourite – and we could make extra portions to freeze for later. It made weaning so much simpler than using the old hand held blender we had for Santi.
Now that Ezra is getting past the purée stage I’ve been looking for something a bit different to try. I wanted to see if the Tommee Tippee steamer blender could be used beyond weaning to get more value for money.
Being summer (though could someone remind the weather of that?!) I decided to give ice lollies a go. I had a scout around for some fresh fruit lolly recipes, and adapted a couple to try. Using the Tommee Tippee steamer blender we attempted strawberries and cream, strawberries and lime, banana and cinnamon, and mango and lime.
Of course we didn’t need the steamer aspect of the blender for these, but it would come in handy for other desserts like stewed apple or pears.
We started with the strawberries and cream lollies, using half a pack of fruit and two tablespoons of double cream. The lollies were so simple – chop the fruit, put them in the jug and blend. I put the strawberries in for two rounds of 30sec and Santi loved watching them get whizzed up! You set the time you want it to blend for and it pauses intermittently to make sure all the food is done.
We squeezed some lime into the next batch of strawberries and left out the cream so we’d have a more tangy lolly. This would be fab as a granita style dessert as it was more icy than the first flavour.
Next up was mango and lime. We used half a mango and a squeeze of lime, added a bit of water, and made two lollies. If I’d had more moulds we’d have made more than one of each flavour! Again, all we needed to do was whizz them up and pour straight from the jug into the mould.
Last but not least we blended a banana with a drop of milk and a teaspoon of cinnamon. We could have added at least 100ml of milk to bulk it out and make more lollies I think, or some coconut milk for a tropical flavour. We’ll definitely be doing some experimenting.
We put them all in the freezer for four hours, which was a partial success. The banana and strawberries and cream were ready to to eat, but the mango and strawberries and lime needed a bit more time. They looked – and more importantly tasted – so good!
The best thing is that because they’re almost entirely fruit we know they’re healthy treats – and it took less than half an hour to get all four flavours blended and into the freezer. After this little trial I’ll definitely be using the Tommee Tippee steamer blender for more than just Ezra’s purées from now on!
*We were sent the Tommee Tippee steamer blender for the purpose of review