We often write about modified diets with the focus on what ingredients to eat or avoid. There are many people, however, who must eat food pureed, regardless of whether they are on a modified diet or not. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, more than 6 million Americans have difficulty swallowing, requiring them to eat pureed food, which helps prevent complications such as choking, aspiration pneumonia (a potentially fatal lung infection), or pulmonary problems.
What is pureed food? Puree, by Dictionary.com’s definition, means “a cooked food, especially a vegetable or fruit, that has been put through a sieve, blender, or the like.” Pureed foods have a smooth pudding-like consistency, without chunks or textures and do not require chewing.
If you, or someone you are caring for, has difficulty chewing or swallowing food, we recommend two indispensable kitchen utensils:
- Blenders: Great for creating liquid purees. Mushy solids like yogurt, cooked pasta or rice, and any cooked vegetables work best in blenders. Please note, raw vegetables, dry poultry, nuts, and all bread types do not blend well and should be avoided.
- Food processors work well with solid foods. They chop, dice, slice, puree, and even grind up hard grains. The pulse action also allows you to have control of the consistency and texture of the purees.
Another option is handheld immersion blenders, which work best with foods that are mostly liquid, like soups and sauces. Be careful to avoid splatters when using an immersion blender, especially when working with hot liquids. Immersion blenders are not as powerful as food processors and should not be used with hard, solid foods. If you are working with liquid and desire a thicker texture, try adding yogurt, wheat germ, or baby cereal.
We know it gets tricky with modified diets. There are many limitations, and sometimes the flavors are compromised. At Springible, we are determined to continue to bring you flavorful and nutritious recipes that meet the requirements of your modified diet. Try one of these three pureed food recipes that we found to be delicious, especially the Bacon and Smoked Gouda Cauliflower Mash!
NOTE This feature references remarks made from articles at Firefly Friends Community, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and, The University of Florida IFAS Extension.