Disclaimer: I am in no way compensated or rewarded for my reviews or opinions. These opinions are solely my own.
Normally I would never get a special appliance just to do something as simply as baby food. I had two reasons to try out the NUK FreshFoods Cook-N-Blend. We didn’t have a food processor of any sort, and my son’s great grandmother was kind enough to offer to buy us a baby food maker when the time came.
Here is the manufactures link to the product: Nuk Cook-N-Blend
I was dead set on making my own baby food for many reasons. It was cheaper, I could control the portions easily instead of opening an entire jar. I knew exactly what I was putting into it. I had heard from my parents how bad the baby food tasted when they were using it with me (I’ve heard that it tastes better now but I’m still not trying it.)
The Cook-N-Blend is made to steam, blend, and then reheat. Below I go over how to make baby food with this appliance. It is quite pricey between $75 to $100 depending on where you go. However since we didn’t have a steamer or a food processor it seemed like a reasonable price. If you already have a steamer and food processor this product is probably unnecessary unless you want it for it’s convenience.
Step 1: Clean, Peel (if needed) and Cut your veggies. I decided to use carrots this time around. Of course we haven’t bought a vegetable peeler yet so I had to us our paring knife instead. The product comes with a steamer basket and then a half steamer basket that fits inside the other one. So if you want you can steam two veggies at once and then mix them.
Step 2: Fill the water reservoir with the appropriate amount of water. This is my one real issue with this appliance. The water reservoir has 3 levels and the instructions give you the proper water level to use with each type of veggie. However you can’t really see how high the water is in the reservoir and if you overfill it then it is a pain to pour the water back out. I happened to overfill it this time and didn’t even bother trying to pour back out the extra water.
Step 3: Set the basket inside the blender put the cover on and push the button on the front. Go do something else until you hear it beep.
Step 4: Use the provided spatula to take the basket out. Be very careful! Keep your hands clear when opening the blender as there is still a lot of steam. With some veggies you will want to save the vegetable stock that has collected below the steam basket in the bottom of the blender. You can use this to thin the veggies when you blend them and it has lots of vitamins and minerals in it. With carrots there is a nitrate risk so I discarded the stock this time and just used water.
Step 5: Dump the veggies in the blender. There are two settings on the front. The single blade is for a chunky texture and the double blade is for a smooth texture. This is my second issue with this machine. You have to turn and hold the knob on the front to blend. I would have found it easier if you could just push a button instead. However this little blender has a lot of power and easily purees food. You can add however much water, formula, breast milk, or veggie stock that you need to make it the right consistency for your child.
Step 6: Whatever you don’t use right away can be frozen. I actually got another product from the same company for freezing the food. The Freezer Tray. You can also use a covered ice cube tray or tupperware but I found this much easier. The material is very very flexible so getting the frozen food out is easy. It has a cover so you just stick it in the freezer. When the food freezes you can keep it in the tray or pop out the cubes and store them in a freezer bag.
When you are ready to feed your little one you just pop out a cube and stick it in the microwave for 30 seconds or so (depending on the food). I have not tried to use the reheat feature on the Cook-N-Blend yet, but hope to in the future. William still only eats about a cube per a meal so I’ve just been using the microwave to defrost the food.
They also say in the instruction book that you can make smoothies for the whole family with the smoothie blade that is included. My husband and I tested this out after William went to bed last week. It works quite well. It pureed the banana and strawberry I added quite easily.
I would recommend this product if you don’t have a high quality food processor and/or steamer. The fact that you can just add the right amount of water and leave it is great. It also seems safer to me than a steamer on the stove. I do have a couple of issues with it, such as the design of the reservoir and the fact that you have to hold the blend knob to blend the food. But overall it is a time saver and does a great job in pureeing the baby food.
Have you tried this product? Leave your comments below!