Baby Brezza review

Before Larkyn was even born, I knew I wanted to make her baby food. I registered for the Beaba and was disappointed (but not surprised--its pricey!) when no one purchased it. Luckily, I saved up some gift cards and had one mishap shopping trip, but now the Brezza is MINE (ahem, Larkyn's)!

$10.18 worth of organic food, ready to be pureed!

Why not jarred food? Well, I have actually found a brand I like, Earth's Best. But, that is just going to be the backup for traveling or if we run out of fresh at home. Their jars are organic, but I just wonder how long they've been sitting on a shelf, and I want her to taste more than just the 6 or so flavors for each stage. I want this kid to have a broad palate and be a good little eater. I also enjoy cooking, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. Here's a shot of how it went last night when I thought I'd kick it "old school" and try it without the Brezza...
Gross! This is my carrot "puree". It immediately was offered to the dog, then to the trash can.
I searched the internet high and low for direct comparisons or any sort of review on the Brezza and could never find one, so I am trailblazin', people...

About the Brezza:
  • Cost- $99.00 (and NO ONE will honor coupons for it. I tried)
  • Availability: Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby is adding it to its Fall lineup
  • Capacity: 2 1/2 cups
  • Features: There is a button for Steam and a button for Blend. Then a button for Steam/Blend. You would use them separately for things like bananas (blend only) or reheating frozen foods (steam only)
  • Add-ons I recommend- The straight-edge spatula was nice because it was fitted specifically for the Brezza. After spilling lots of diced sweet potatoes and squash on the floor, I will definitely pick up the fitted cutting board as well. I thought it was unnecessary but have changed my mind!

Initial thoughts:  There was no assembly require (whoo hoo!) and once I pushed harder than I thought I should, it was easy to push and pull the bowl in and out of the machine. The manuals are very simplified and helpful, and include a spreadsheet of how to cook each fruit/vegetable you need. Whats cool about this machine is that all batches use 160mL of water (and the bowl is marked for this). I don't have to remember how much water goes with each kind of food. I didn't enjoy chopping up the squash or the sweet potato, but it is worth it for Lu to have healthy, fresh food!
One third of the butternut squash. This made four 2 oz. servings.
Using the machine:  Once I chopped up the food and put it in, I could easily twist the lid counter clockwise to lock it (or it won't start). I followed squash directions and clicked the time button 3x to get to 20 minutes. I waited. I waited. ??? Oh, hmm, it would help if I put the BLADE IN. Once I put the blade in and pushed the timer again, it started steaming in less than a minute. Lesson: if it doesn't start steaming soon, you may have forgotten something). Larkyn and I walked away and in about 20 minutes we came running back in when we heard the blender begin. It blended for about a minute, and I saw I had beautiful, smooth squash puree!  It was so nice to be able to leave the kitchen while that was happening and give her a bottle.
About one minute into the cycle, this happens.
And in 19 or so minutes, this happens and we squeal with joy!

After the cycle: I poured the puree into my handy little Babies R Us food cubes and ice cub trays. Actually, the ice cube tray ones turned out much better because they aren't as deep and therefore didn't need to freeze as long. I might shelve the bigger ones for when she needs 2 oz. servings rather than one. Off they went to the freezer, and when they are frozen, I will dump them into a ziplock labeled with the date. Then, I can just pull out the cubes I need, put them into the Brezza to defrost, and off we go.

Thoughts on specific foods:
I will update this part as I have more experience...
**A note: It may be tempting to use canned foods, but I would not suggest that. Until they figure out a way to remove BPA from the can-liner, I consider it dangerous.
  • Squash: One butternut fills an entire tray of cubes, so this is very economical. The squash was super hard, but made an awesome puree. L's review: Yummy but it stains everything!
  • Peas: Like my mama friend warned me, peas don't work so well because of their shells. It is the prettiest green puree, but might have to wait until Lu is a little older and can handle chunks.
  • Pears: This turned out just like applesauce. It smelled so good, too! L's review: Her favorite!
  • Sweet potatoes: They blend really nicely and one medium sweet potato makes 8 cubes. I tried to add banana to mine after the steam cycle, but for some reason, the banana chunks did not blend in. It is probably something I did, and it will be easy enough to mash it up when I reheat them. L's review: She loves the sweet potato/banana blend!
  • Zucchini: After reading that zucchinis lose most of their nutrients when peeled, I left the peel on and took the Brezza guide's suggestion to drain excess water before blending. L's review: So yummy when mixed with her favorite pears.
  • Plums: turned out great! I did 2 plums with less water because the table called for 3 plums. L's review: Not good on the butt!  Oh, she had the worst diaper rash after eating these:o(
  • Nectarines: would have been smoother if I had steamed them, but still nice like applesauce.
  • Carrots: They were so nice and smooth. 3 carrots only makes 6 cubes, so you have to make a few batches. One warning, the Brezza chopped the carrots into puree, but they tend to clump together, which is weird. She kept pushing clumps back out of her mouth, and once I smashed them with the spoon, they were fine. Follow-up: After reading several suggestions based on the nitrate content of carrots, we buy them in the jar and mix them in here and there.
  • Banana: I have mixed banana in with sweet potato and with zucchini/apple and it never blends well for some reason. It thickens up the runnier purees (hens the zucchini/apple), but I still have to break up small chunks as I serve it. L's review: bananas make anything better!
  • Apples: We tried organic applesauce for price and ease (its already puree!), but of course Larkyn did not approve. It must have been too tart, because she made a face like we were giving her lemons. I just made a batch of golden delicious puree and it is the smoothest one I have seen yet!  1 apple makes 3 cubes. L's review: Ahhh, finally apples she likes!  And follow-up: She now enjoys store brand Organic, sugar-free applesauce.
  •  Blueberries: I made the first batch with pears, but it was pretty chunky. The next time, I cut the pears up smaller and left in the extra water (it is suggested to drain for these 2 fruits). L's review: Perfect with oatmeal!
  • Watermelon: Since you don't steam it, watermelon is pretty easy. However, you have to really watch your blending or you'll end up with liquid. I had to mix it with jarred banana to thicken it a bit, and I still mix it with a few spoons of applesauce when I serve it. 
  • Broccoli: With such a strong smell, I knew it would be a challenge to get Larkyn to eat it. So, rather than buying a large stalk of broccoli, I got a 1/2 lb. container of chopped broccoli from Whole Foods' ready-to-eat section. This was the perfect amount, much easier to fix, and only 1.79. L's review: I gulp it down when mixed with a pear and kiwi.
  • Cauliflower:  Same as above (the container was mixed with cauliflower). After it was blended, I mixed in a few tablespoons of shredded cheddar cheese. To me, it smelled and looked fantastic, but it kept making her gag. I realized after trying it myself that cauliflower is not like most vegetables that will soften and go down easily. No matter how finely you puree it, tiny pieces will stick to the back of your throat. So, I dipped the spoon of cauliflower into applesauce for each bite and the gagging went away. 
  • Kiwi: This was an easy one to mix with pear or apple (it is acidic, so it would be pretty strong alone).
Still have to do all that chopping!  And sometimes it was really hard for me to get the bowl attached to the machine. This happens to me with my food processor too, so it must be a common slide-lock issue. When I reheated the squash cube, there was a ton of water pooling up (because it was steaming). Maybe I wasn't supposed to put water in when I reheat, but it didn't say not to...) Oh well, it will actually be easier to just put the cubes in the microwave in her bowl and have one less thing to wash.

Final thoughts:
So far, I love it! Like every piece of baby equipment we have acquired in the last 5 months, it has a learning curve and I have to practice some trial and error patience. I originally did not steam the fruits (nectarines and pears), but when I decided to steam them according to the directions, they turned out so much smoother. The bowl is so easy to wash, which was the whole reason I bought it. Last night, I had a blender, saucepan, and colander to wash and it turned out like crapola anyway;o) Feel free to comment and ask me questions about the Brezza.

When it came to freezing, I wondered about preventing freezer burn (or what I thought was freezer burn and it really wasn't), and I found this helpful article. 
Actually, that entire website is very helpful to me. I have used it to answer questions (why can she have cheese next month but not milk?), to look up recipes, and to just read interesting articles on feeding baby.

Which foods are most/least economical? Well, I'm sure it depends on the season, but with my April baby starting at 5 months, here is what we have found:
  • Most economical (use these as bases to mix in with new or expensive foods to stretch them out!): sweet potato, squash, blueberries, Store brand sugar-free organic applesauce, tub of Stonyfield farm whole milk organic yogurt
  • Most expensive/makes a small batch: mango, D'anjou pears (Bartletts are most expensive), avocado, kiwi, zucchini

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