Purees aren’t just for babies. Children and adults alike would do well to explore a variety of both flavors and textures in everyday meals, and purees shouldn’t be counted out as a dish. Some of these recipes use purees as a base or bed for other solid dishes, and in others, the puree is the main attraction. Most of these recipes are for adults and children, but I included a few baby food puree meals towards the end of the list, in case that’s what you’re looking for!
1. Pureed Cauliflower
This is a simple cauliflower puree that’s especially good if you’re looking for something to fool your mashed-potato-loving kids or family. It’s made with butter, salt, and sour cream (feel free to use coconut yogurt to replace the sour cream and make it dairy-free).
2. Salsa Romesco
This smooth and creamy puree is made with lots of garlic, tomatoes, red bell pepper, toasted slivered almonds, hazelnuts, ancho chile, smoked Spanish paprika, sherry vinegar, and kosher salt. It has a fantastic flavor and heat profile and is awesome as a spread!
3. Cauliflower Puree With a Secret
Purees can hide extra special ingredients for flavor, texture, nutrition, and more. This puree is made with red sweet potato, cauliflower, garlic, chives, fresh nutmeg, salt, pepper, and olive oil, and is strikingly similar to mashed potatoes while offering a better nutrient profile.
4. Butternut Squash Apple Puree With Savory Granola
This puree is like a very soft soup made from butternut squash, apples, vegetable stock, leeks, and olive oil. There are instructions included for making your own vegetable stock, if you aren’t familiar with the process. This recipe is kid-friendly, too!
5. Baba Ghanouj
I never miss out on a good baba ghanouj when there’s an opportunity to enjoy one. This pureed eggplant dip is made from fire-roasted eggplant, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, olive oil, and fresh minced parsley. I’ve been known to eat it off a spoon.
6. Vanilla Chia Pudding With Strawberry Puree
This chia pudding works either as a fruity breakfast or a gently-sweetened dessert with chia seeds, nut milk, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and a sweet and smooth strawberry puree made from fresh strawberries and a touch of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
7. Duck Breast With Sage, Pumpkin, and Roasted Cauliflower Puree
Purees make excellent bases for other decadent toppings, and this roasted cauliflower puree is wonderfully flavored with sage, garlic, pumpkin, and coconut milk. Roasting the cauliflower (as opposed to steaming or boiling) creates a richly complex flavor.
8. Perfectly Pink Applesauce
This applesauce is made with red-skinned cooking apples and purple or dark red-skinned plums. The plums add complexity to the flavor of this sauce, while also giving it a lovely bright pink hue that’s sure to impress any applesauce-skeptical child.
9. Simple Applesauce
This applesauce is great as a baby food, but also works as a healthy and delicious snack or a substitute for sweetener in baked goods. All you need is apples, ginger, cinnamon stick, and a bit of water to puree the sauce nice and smooth. SUper yummy!
10. Minty Green Pea Puree
This pea puree is not baby food, but a deliciously decadent and smooth puree made with fresh mint leaves, minced garlic, coconut milk (or other milk of choice), salt, and a splash of lemon or lime to keep the flavor bright if desired.
11. Wine Braised Beef Shoulder With Root Vegetables
Speaking of sophisticated dinners, let’s give this one a try. Red wine, orange zest, garlic, and onion give this beef shoulder and unbelievably delicious flavor, while root vegetables make a fabulous puree to serve alongside it in place of the usual mashed potatoes.
12. Creamy Rustic Parsnip Puree
This simple puree is made with parsnips and Yukon gold potatoes (I strongly recommend not substituting other potatoes—the recipe will still “work,” but the texture and flavor won’t be the same), butter, garlic powder, and a bit of stock. Simple and creamy.
13. Roasted Cauliflower Steaks on Spicy Sweet Potato Puree
In this recipe, sweet potatoes are seasoned with yellow onion, roasted walnut or pumpkin oil, fresh ginger, ground black pepper, and unsweetened apple cider. This amazing puree is topped with perfectly roasted cauliflower steaks; use a paleo cooking oil.
14. Homemade Pumpkin Puree
Homemade pumpkin puree is far superior to the canned stuff. Whether we’re talking pie or soup or anything else, there’s just no contest. And it’s so easy to make pumpkin puree yourself! Try this “recipe” and the easy method or roasting and pureeing your pumpkin guts.
15. Roasted Beet Soup With Garam Masala and Green Garlic Cream
This beautiful soup gets its lovely hue from roasted beets, which are super nutrient-dense to boot. You’ll also need coconut sugar, hot curry powder, any kind of stock, Greek yogurt (or coconut yogurt), green garlic, garam masala, and a touch of olive oil.
16. Pumpkin Spice Banana Ice Cream
This recipe isn’t for true ice cream, of course. Then it would need cream! But instead, you just need frozen bananas, pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, ground cloves, and honey. You’ll puree those ingredients into a fabulous frosty dessert!
17. Apple and Strawberry Delight
This easy baby puree is made with red delicious apples, strawberries, water, and a dash of cinnamon powder. It sounds (and looks) so delicious that I don’t think you’d need to be a baby to enjoy this—just someone who enjoys applesauce and fruity flavors!
(Read this next: 26 Easy Recipes for Your Paleo Lunchbox)