Cherry, strawberry, basil, and coconut milk puree

 Cherry, strawberry, basil, and coconut milk puree | Me & The Moose. Cherries, strawberries, basil, and coconut milk combine in this puree that is equally delicious for babies, toddlers, and grownups. #meandthemoose #puree #babyfood #toddlerfood #summer #cherry #strawberry #basil #coconutmilk

This is one of the tastiest things I make for M. Since he's exiting the puree stage, we usually give this to him in a pouch or let him feed himself with a spoon (after which, he looks like baby Dexter). It's also incredibly forgiving and versatile. Want to use only berries or only cherries? Do it. Have lots of coconut milk to use up? Dump in as much as you want. Want to freeze them as popsicles? Freeze away (though I recommend using more coconut milk for a creamier texture if you plan to freeze them). However, you CAN NOT use dried basil in place of fresh. You could skip the basil, but really, it's the star of the show.

This recipe is also a great way to use up fruit and herbs that are past their prime, like this:

See? Not so fresh. Roasting takes care of that!

 Cherry, strawberry, basil, and coconut milk puree | Me & The Moose. Cherries, strawberries, basil, and coconut milk combine in this puree that is equally delicious for babies, toddlers, and grownups. #meandthemoose #puree #babyfood #toddlerfood #summer #cherry #strawberry #basil #coconutmilk

You can also use frozen fruit (see parenthetical directions in the recipe for adjustments) when berries and cherries are out of season. Frozen fruit, in my experience, releases a lot more liquid during roasting, so I reduce the amount of coconut milk and don't add any extra water. But feel free to adjust based on what happens in your oven.

Cherry, strawberry, basil, and coconut milk puree

1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, quartered (2 cups of whole berries if using frozen)
1 heaping cup cherries, pitted (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk (1/3 cup if using frozen berries)
2-3 Tbsp water, as needed
3-4 large basil leaves

Pre-heat the oven to 350. Place the fresh or frozen strawberries and cherries on a foil or parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes. Since frozen berries are more liquid-y, aim for 20 minutes with frozen and 30 minutes with fresh. As always, check the berries to avoid scorching. My "fresh" fruit (really, my not-bad-enough-to-throw-out-but-not-very-appetizing fruit) didn't release any liquid, so I added a few tablespoons of water in addition to the coconut milk.

Once your berries are roasted, dump everything into the blender and blend until smooth. There will be tiny seeds from the berries and bits of basil. M had a terrible gag reflex as a baby, but was never bothered by either, so no need to strain.