Vegetable puree isn't only for babies. While vegetable puree makes nutritious, easily-digestible food that gets babies off to a healthy start, vegetable puree is also useful to have on hand for baking. Fruit purees such as applesauce are commonly added to baked goods, and even though it may sound odd, vegetable puree adds flavor and moistness to baked goods. As an important added benefit, vegetable puree trades unwanted fat for high levels of beneficial vitamins and minerals.
Use vegetable puree to replace at least half of the fat -- including butter, shortening, margarine or cooking oil -- in baked goods. If you're watching your intake of fat and calories, use puree in place of all the fat in the recipe. While vegetable puree is especially delicious in quick breads or muffins, it can also be incorporated into brownies or cakes.
Look for spice cake recipes or other baked food recipes that include spices such as ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg or allspice. These winter-season spices are especially compatible with pureed sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin or carrots.
Substitute vegetable puree in recipes calling for mashed banana, applesauce or pureed prunes, peaches, apricots or pears.
Experiment with different vegetable purees. When added to baked foods, even cauliflower puree adds moistness, nutrients and a surprisingly pleasing flavor.
Substitute pureed beets for red food coloring in red velvet cake. Add about 1 1/2 cups of pureed beets to a regular chocolate or fudge cake recipe.
To puree fresh vegetables, cut the vegetables into small pieces, then steam them over boiling water or cook them in the microwave. Microwave cooking is an effective way to cook the vegetables without loss of nutrients, as little water is used for cooking. Cool and strain the vegetables, then puree the vegetables in a food processor or blender.
Pureed vegetables are easy to freeze. Measure 1-cup portions of puree into airtight freezer containers, then freeze the puree for up to a year.