Purees are a delicious and convenient way to pack in a ton of nutrients in a small amount of food. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your next meal, unable to eat solid foods, or making homemade baby food, purees are the way to go. Some of the most beloved foods are purees! Mashed potatoes, ice cream, souffle; these are all pureed foods.
In this guide we will explain what purees are, how to make a basic puree from food, the benefits of pureed food, and share some of the best puree recipes. Let’s get started!
What is Pureed Food?
A puree is food, typically fruits or vegetables, that has been cooked and reduced to the consistency of a creamy liquid or paste. Pureed food should have a smooth texture that does not require chewing. It should also be able to hold its shape on a spoon and slide off the spoon when tilted. The addition of a fruit or vegetable puree is a fantastic way to elevate a dish with a burst of complementary flavors.
You can successfully puree just about anything, so long as it isn’t too hard and doesn’t have seeds. When making purees from vegetables, you definitely want to cook them first. Raw vegetables are too tough to puree and therefore would not produce the desired outcome. All you need are a few simple ingredients, a tool to puree with, and the knowledge of how to puree food!
How to Make a Basic Puree from Food
Purees might sound complicated, but they are surprisingly easy to make! All you need is the food that you want to puree, a little bit of liquid, and a food processor or blender, and voila! You can get fancy and add spices, herbs, and a combination of various foods, but the basic components of a puree are always the same.
The liquid you add to your puree depends entirely on you. You can add water, broth, butter, cream, honey, tomato sauce, or maple syrup. Any liquid will suffice! Just make sure to pick one that complements the food you’re making a puree from.
If the puree is too thick, simply continue to add small amounts of liquid until you achieve the consistency you’re looking for. If the puree is too thin, you can thicken it up by either adding more food or a thickening agent like cornstarch or flour.
How to Puree Food Without a Blender
A food processor or blender would be your best bet, but there are other ways to puree food if you don’t have either of those appliances. You can use any kitchen tool with the ability to mash food. This includes tools like stand mixers, mortar and pestles, graters, and grinders. Keep in mind that any of these secondary options would be much more time-consuming and labor-intensive than a food processor or blender.
How to Store Homemade Food Puree
If you choose to store your homemade food puree in the fridge, you should keep it in an airtight container and eat it within 3 days. To keep your food puree for longer, you can freeze it for up to a month. The best way to preserve a puree in the freezer is with an ice cube tray. You want to first pour the puree into the tray, then once it’s set pop out the cubes and transfer them into an airtight bag or container in the freezer.
How to Make Fruit Puree
Fruit purees make a delicious addition to baked goods, drinks, and sorbets. You can also eat it by itself for a tasty treat! It’s important to note that many fruit purees don’t require any additional liquid, because the fruit itself contains such a high water content. Here are a few of my favorite easy fruit purees to get you started:
How to Make Strawberry Puree
- Wash your strawberries
- Add to a food processor until you reach desired consistency
That’s it, seriously! You can add a squeeze of lemon juice to keep the puree from browning or a touch of honey to make it sweeter, but all you really need is strawberries for a simple strawberry puree.
How to Make Mango Puree (from Canned Mango)
- Drain your canned mango
- Add to a food processor until you reach desired consistency
Bet you thought it’d be more complex than that, huh? Fruit purees are incredibly simple, but people who have never made them are often intimidated by them! It makes for a great way to impress your friends and family with minimal effort and a powerful punch of flavor.
Aside from lemon juice to avoid browning and sweetener if you want your puree extra sweet, there really isn’t anything extra to add to a fruit puree. You can have fun with it and mix different types of fruit if you’d like. Strawberry and mango, for example, would pair great together for a puree.
How to Make Vegetable Puree
Vegetable purees are a popular way to elevate a dish and are also added to smoothies, pasta sauces, and sandwiches. You can also use vegetable purees as binders in dishes like meatloaf and casserole. Unlike with fruit purees, vegetable purees require cooking the vegetables first. You won’t get good results with raw vegetables, take my word for it. Here are a few of my favorite easy vegetable purees to get you started:
How to Make Broccoli Puree
- Cut broccoli into tiny pieces (helps it cook faster)
- Steam broccoli until tender
- Add steamed broccoli to a blender or food processor with a pinch of salt and a small amount of water
- Continue to add small amounts of water as you blend until you reach desired consistency
Broccoli purees are delicious, elegant, and versatile! You can add various ingredients for additional flavor like butter, sour cream, and fresh herbs. You can also swap out the water or vegetable broth, chicken broth, or milk depending on your preference.
How to Make Carrot Puree
- Thinly slice your carrots, then add to a pot with water and a pinch of salt
- Boil the carrots for about 20 minutes or until tender
- Add to a blender or food processor and blend with a small amount of cooking liquid, adding more until you reach desired consistency
Carrot purees are one of my favorites because the resulting color is the most stunning shade of orange. With a pat of butter and maybe even some roasted garlic, you have a restaurant-quality carrot puree to add to any dish. This one is especially tasty paired with pork loin!
How to Make Pumpkin Puree
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Cut your cleaned pumpkin in half, then remove the guts and seeds
- Season both halves with salt and roast open side down for approximately 50 minutes or until you can easily pierce the flesh
- Allow the pumpkin to cool before scooping out the fresh and processing until smooth
It’s fall, so of course I had to add the incredible pumpkin puree to this guide! This is such a versatile puree that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. It makes a fantastic addition to baked goods like pumpkin bread or muffins, especially when paired with nutmeg and cinnamon. Pumpkin puree is also incredible as the base for a pasta sauce or in an autumn casserole.
Pro Tip: Save the seeds for delicious roasted pumpkin seeds that make the perfect fall snack!
Blenders to make perfect food puree
- Professional Blender for Kitchen, High Speed Power Blender Smoothie maker
- Instant Pot Ace Plus 10-in-1 Smoothie and Soup Blender
- Oster Master Series Blender
Homemade Food Puree Recipes
If you’re looking for even more fruit and vegetable purees to get you started, here are some more:
- A Harvest Fruit Puree that’s bound to make the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving table this year
- An Easy 5 Minute Kiwi Puree that is packed with vibrant flavor, fiber, and Vitamin C
- A Simple Passion Fruit Puree that would be a bright, flavorful add-in for yogurt bowls, oatmeal, and smoothies
- This Spiced Fruit Puree is an upgraded, seasonal version of your favorite applesauce
- The ultimate Cauliflower Puree that is creamy, comforting, and melt in your mouth delicious
- A Simple Leek Baby Puree that is definitely one of the best baby food puree recipes out there
- A Harissa-Spiked Parsnip Puree that gives a little bit of heat and makes for the dreamiest swap for potatoes
- A Sweet Potato and Roast Vegetables Puree to add to any meal for the perfect side dish