Though I haven’t posted recently, I have been busy.
I am in the process of filming cooking lessons on the techniques neccessary to puree almost every food. There will be five lessons in all.
The cooking lessons will be on a DVD that will be included in the purchase of my care manual “Making Every Bite Count”. Because this information is essential to living on a puree diet, I hope to make all the full length videos available to view online for a small fee.
Through these cooking lessons, I will show you how to modify the foods you love so you can still eat them if you are on a puree diet.
First up: Meat
Pureeing meat can be a real challenge! Cooked meats can be hard to puree because meat protein form tight bundles that need can be difficult to chew, let alone puree. When pureeing meat, keep in mind that:
- you need to start-out with cooked meat
- meats that are easier to chew will also be easier to puree
- you’ll need broth or other cooking liquid
- you’ll need an instant food thickener to bind the puree into a cohesive mass for safe swallowing
- purees don’t have to be soupy
- purees can taste great!
This video is just a snap-shot of the full video, so take a look and get some ideas!
Autumn is in the air and apples and pumpkins are in season.
It seems that everywhere you look, there are pumpkin-spiced lattes, pumpkin bagels, pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin pancakes not to mention apple pie, baked apples, apple cider, apple this and apple that! Both fruits (and yes, pumpkin is technically a fruit!) are full of vitamins, fiber, phyto-nutrients and other goodness. Because pumpkin is full of Vitamin A and fiber, it is a super-food. Combine pumpkin with a powerful anti-inflammatories like cinnamon, ground ginger or other warm spices and you have an especially delicious super-food!
The old saying: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is grounded in truth…though the saying does not include the all-American apple pie…which is too bad! The good news is that an apple pie smoothie can be just what the doctor ordered when you have trouble swallowing and can no longer eat a traditional apple pie. This apple pie a la mode smoothie recipe includes great anti-inflammatory spices (cinnamon and ground ginger) that boost overall health and is so delicious that you won’t miss the crust.
These autumn-in-a-glass smoothies are delicious and nutritious…even if you are not having trouble swallowing!
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
½ banana, chopped (and frozen is possible)
1 container honey Greek yogurt
4 ice cubes
½ cup canned pumpkin
1 cup orange juice
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
1 teaspoon finely ground flaxseed meal
1 tablespoon honey, maple syrup or brown sugar (optional)
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until perfectly smooth. If too thick or chunky to drink, add more juice and re-blend until smooth. Taste and adjust spices and sweeten, as needed.
Makes one generous serving
375 calories, 12 gm protein, 4 gm fat, 73 gm carbohydrate. 388% RDA Vitamin A, 88% RDA Vitamin C, 30% RDA Calcium, 13% RDA Iron.
Apple Pie a la mode Smoothie
½ banana, chopped (and frozen if possible)
1 container vanilla Greek yogurt
4 ice cubes
½ cup canned apple pie filling
1 cup apple juice or apple cider
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon finely ground flaxseed meal
1 tablespoon honey, agave nectar or brown sugar (optional)
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until perfectly smooth. If too thick or chunky to drink, add more juice and re-blend until smooth. Taste and adjust spices and add sweetener, as needed.
Makes one generous serving
475 calories, 12 gm protein, 4 gm fat, 103 gm carbohydrate, 6 gm fiber, 103% RDA Vitamin C, 28% RDA Calcium
I’ve developed a tool for living with a diagnosis of dysphagia, it is called:
“Making Every Bite Count”
Cooking for Someone with a Swallowing Problem
This care manual helps you how to manage your condition and
keeps your information and research organized
• Basic nutrition and how to make every bite count for someone who is having trouble getting enough to eat and drink by mouth.
• How to incorporate the standards of the National Dysphagia Diet into your normal eating habits.
• “How to Puree Just About Everything” – a cookbook with simple techniques on how to modify common, everyday foods.
• Delicious, easy recipes that the whole family can enjoy.
• Updated lists of regular, pre-made modified foods found in most grocery stores.
• Reviews of protein-calorie enhancers, specialty nutritional products, kitchen equipment and more!
• A swallowing screening tool.
• Pre-punched pages for monthly updates.
• Pockets and sleeves for keeping your paperwork and doctors’ orders in one place.
The purchase of this care manual also includes a monthly email update with seasonal recipes, advice, new product introductions and the latest information on webinars and support groups for living with or caring for someone with swallowing problems.
For more information or to order this care manual, please visit my website: http://www.dysphagiasolutions.com
I purchased, read and tested recipes from the four best-selling “Dysphagia Cookbooks” on Amazon. Each is well written and insightful but there are specifics that are unique to each book. Each is a “labor of love” for the author. If you purchase one of these books, I encourage you to read the forewords and acknowledgements as you will find something of value in each.
As a passionate cookbook reader, collector and author, I currently have more than 100 cookbooks in my collection. I subscribe to every food magazine that is currently published and I can’t seem to part with my 20 year collection of the now defunct “Gourmet” magazine. If you called me a “food-wonk”, you would not be far off. I have developed my own techniques and recipes and have combined them into a guide: “Cooking for Someone with Swallowing Problems”. This guide teaches the techniques you need to modify everyday foods and beverages. It has recipes and suggestions for eating out and stocking your pantry with pre-made, common everyday foods found in the grocery store. This guide is designed as a reference tool so you can modify the everyday foods you love so you can come close to living the life you had before you developed dysphagia. It is available for purchase for $29.95, which includes shipping and handling. If you want to purchase one, contact me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org. As part of the purchase of the guide, you will receive monthly updates, articles and new recipes.
The four best-selling “Dysphagia Cookbooks” on Amazon are:
- “Soft Foods for Easier Eating Cookbook” by Sandra Woodruff, R.D. and Leah Gilbert-Henderson, Ph.D. This is “A Complete Guide” to dysphagia management. The first 101 pages cover everything you need to know about stocking your pantry with food and kitchen equipment, thickening liquids, staying healthy, special considerations and more! If you can, take the time to read the first 101 pages, they are truly enlightening. The approximately 200 recipes follow the National Dysphagia Diet guidelines. The recipes are simple and easy to follow. Each recipe includes nutritional information and offers suggestions for substitutions and modifications. There are also tips for menu planning. The last thirty pages lists support organizations as well as products, manufacturers and distributors of products that make life easier for living with swallowing problems.
o This book was written in 2010, therefore it does not list many of the, new or improved products, new suppliers and support groups that have been developed in the last four years and there are many.
- “Down Easy: A cookbook for those with swallowing difficulties” by Judy Best. This book is especially helpful for someone recovering from cancer. The author, Judy Best, a graduate of a Le Cordon Bleu cooking school, was inspired to write this book as her husband was recovering from throat cancer. If you want to learn to eat again after you’ve been on a feeding tube, this book offers great tips. The recipes are simple, easy to follow, use whole foods and natural ingredients. Each recipe also has a complete nutritional breakdown and addresses whether it is gluten-free. This cookbook would appeal to someone who is transitioning to “regular” foods.
o The author has assigned her own “Down Easy Swallowing Levels”, so the recipes don’t follow the standards set by the National Dysphagia Diet. If you have been given a care-plan for the National Dysphagia Diet, it may be a bit confusing if/how you use the recipes.
- The “Easy-to-Swallow, Easy-to-Chew Cookbook” by Donna L. Weihofen, R.D., M.S, JoAnne Robbins, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, and Paula A. Sullivan, M.S., CCC-SLP. Part one of the cookbook covers information about how we swallow, and gives tips for managing some of the conditions that occur with swallowing problems. Part two contains approximately 150 recipes that will appeal to someone who enjoys the basic American diet. Each recipe includes a complete nutritional breakdown. This book is written for someone who is on a “Mechanical Soft” diet or who just needs foods that are easy to chew. It doesn’t completely address purees and how to modify each recipe for a “Puree” diet.
o Written about the same time the National Dysphagia Diet was developed, it does not use the same terminology. This book was published in 2002, so it can be a bit hard to find.
- “The Dysphagia Cookbook” by Elayne Achilles, Ed.D. In this cookbook, most of the recipes are written for someone who can eat soft foods. The author offers good advice on how to stock your refrigerator and pantry with foods that are easy to prepare and eat. The book also offers tips for traveling and eating out. The approximately 150 recipes will appeal to a wide variety of people.
o The recipes do not use the standards set by the National Dysphagia Diet, so you may need to read carefully and adjust the final dish. This book does not include nutritional breakdowns of the recipes.
As a teacher and trainer of the National Dysphagia Diet, I am always looking for ways to help my clients eat better.
My goal is to see people enjoy the foods and beverages that they can eat and drink. I like to stay up-to-date on research and publications, so I decided to take a look at some of the cookbooks that were written specifically for people who are living with swallowing disorders.
First, a disclaimer: I am a passionate cookbook reader and collector! I currently have more than 100 cookbooks in my collection. I subscribe to every food magazine that is currently published and I can’t seem to part with my 20 year collection of the now defunct “Gourmet” magazine. If you called me a “food-wonk”, you would not be far off!
I chose to review the four best-selling “Dysphagia Cookbooks” on Amazon:
- “Soft Foods for Easier Eating Cookbook” by Sandra Woodruff, R.D. and Leah Gilbert-Henderson, Ph.D.
- “Down Easy: A cookbook for those with swallowing difficulties” by Judy Best
- “Easy-to-Swallow, Easy-to-Chew Cookbook” by Donna L. Weihofen,, R.D., M.S, JoAnne Robbins, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, and Paula A. Sullivan, M.S., CCC-SLP
- “The Dysphagia Cookbook” by Elayne Achilles, Ed.D.
Each is well written and insightful but there are specifics that are unique to each book.
As I read through and tested the recipes in each of these cookbooks I came to realize that each is a “labor of love” for the author. If you purchase one of these books, I encourage you to read the forewords and acknowledgements as you will find something of value in each.
In my next blog, I’ll go into detail on the pros and cons of each book.
If you can’t wait until my next blog post, please contact me at Laura@dysphagiasupplies.com and I’ll email you the full review.