This page was last updated on: December 22, 2007
Soft and Pureed Foods Ring
Soft and Pureed Foods Ring by butterfly7483
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How to Puree Food
Welcome

Unfortunately there is very little information out there on how exactly to puree food. For people with Epidermolysis Bullosa and other disorders that cause swallowing or chewing problems, a soft or pureed diet is a lifelong battle. This is unlike most situations where people are only on a pureed diet for a few days or weeks due to surgery or illness. So it is important to find a wide range of healthy and tasty foods that you can survive on happily.

For those with Epidermolysis Bullosa:
Even if you can eat fairly well most days it helps to know how to puree food for the days you may have a sore, stricture or blister in your esophagus. Pureed food usually goes down with less pain then textured food.

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|Food Textures|Supplies|How to Puree|Appearance|Misc. Tips|

Food Textures

It takes trial and error and some experimenting to get the hang of pureeing different types of food to the needed consistency. Different conditions and people require different consistencies so please be aware of what is needed before attempting to serve or eat anything. Here are the two main examples:

Soft: Also called Mechanical Soft usually includes foods to be or cooked to a soft consistency then either chopped or minced into smaller pieces. Some chewing is required. You can use a food processor, chopper or knife to achieve this.

Pureed: Food is pureed to mashed potato or pudding like consistency with no lumps remaining. You can use a food processor to achieve this and a sieve or strainer to remove lumps. Cooking food to a soft consistency will help it puree better.

Some may only need some things pureed or chopped such as meat but able to eat softer foods such as breads, eggs, soft fruit, pastas etc. without pureeing or chopping.

Supplies

In my opinion it's well worth it to invest in a few needed supplies to make preparing and pureeing food easier and more enjoyable. Here are some suggestions:

1) Food Processor (to puree and/or chop food)
2) Sieve/Strainer (to strain out lumps)
3) Blender (to prepare drinks, smoothies and soups)
4) Juicer (to juice fresh fruits, vegetables and wheatgrass)
5) Slow Cooker/Crock Pot
6) Soft and Pureed Cookbooks (for recipes and ideas)
7) Helpful Kitchen Gadgets (to make cooking a little easier)






Feel free to e-mail me with any comments, questions or suggestions

If you have a soft and pureed recipe site please join my webring!

ATTENTION!
I'm not a doctor or nutritionist, but a person living with RDEB who wants to share some food ideas. Every person and every condition requires different textures and thickness in food.
Please use caution when trying new foods and recipes.
Food Processor

I recommend that when you search for a food processor that you pick a smaller size one such as 3 cup or smaller. Larger ones are unable to puree smaller amounts of food so unless your whole family is on a pureed diet I don't recommend the large ones.

Do your research, this is the one item you should probably splurge on because you will be using it daily. It should be good quality and easy to use.

Read other people's ratings and reviews to determine which one is right for you.

If possible purchase extra bowls, lids and blades so you can use your processor multiple times a day without having to rewash the same bowl.

It's also good to have an extra processor as a back up especially if you are restricted to a pureed diet. Just in case yours breaks or malfunctions.

Also purchase a small travel size processor for trips.

Putting a non stick mat of some sort under the processor makes it easier to turn the lid and bowl without the whole thing moving.

Recommended Processor: The processor I currently use and love is called the Cuisinart DFP-3 Handy Prep 3-cup Food Processor. I love this processor because it is the perfect size, easy to use, powerful, the blades pull the food down into them pretty well, the base is heavy and stays in place when removing the lid and bowl and it takes up very little counter space. I originally chose this processor because of it's many good reviews and have not been disappointed. An added bonus is that the Cuisinart website sells all of it's parts individually so you can purchase extra bowls, lids and blades. To view and purchase this processor please visit my Amazon Store and click on the Kitchen Appliances section.

Sieve/Strainer

I typically don't use a sieve or strainer (I usually just spit out any leftover chunks or lumps) but they can be very useful when preparing meals for yourself or someone else to ensure there are no lumps left that may cause a choking hazard.

Blender

Blenders are needed to make drinks, smoothie, shakes and soups.

Pretty much any blender will do, be sure to pick one that is good quality and easy to use.

Some food processors come with blender attachments!

If lifting and pouring the blender is difficult, the new smoothie blenders have levers you can lift to dispense the liquid right into a cup or bowl.

Juicer

A juicer is not necessary but are wonderful for your health. You can juice fresh fruits and vegetables and even wheatgrass. Cooking vegetables often strips the nutrition from them while juicing them fresh you get all the nutrients they offer.

When purchasing a juicer make sure it says it can juice leafy green vegetables as many of them don't. Green leafy vegetables are very beneficial especially for those with Epidermolysis Bullosa and those who are Anemic.

Only certain juicers will juice wheatgrass. If you are interested in this make sure it specifies that it does wheatgrass.

Recommended Juicer: The juicer I currently use and love is called the Omega Juicer 8003 I originally chose this juicer because of it's many good reviews and many features and have not been disappointed. It's easy to use however I need help taking apart and cleaning it due to my limited hand use. But it has many features, it juices just about any fruit, vegetable including green leafy and even wheatgrass. It can also be  used as a food processor, coffee and flour grinder and pasta maker! It even makes nut butter and baby food! I haven't tried using it yet for anything except juicing but will be sure to post how it works to puree food. To view and purchase this juicer please visit my Amazon Store and click on the Kitchen Appliances section.

Slow Cooker/Crock Pot

A slow cooker such as a Crock Pot is a good appliance to have because slow cooking foods, especially meats help it to come out softer and juicier which makes it easier to eat and puree.

Slow cookers are nice because you can throw your ingredients in in the morning or afternoon and it's ready by dinner.

Just about any slow cooker will do, some have more features than others so be sure to do your research first.

Soft and Pureed Cookbooks

There are a few soft and pureed recipe books out there. They come in handy to give you not only recipes but inspiration to come up with your own. Please visit my Amazon Store and click on the Soft and Pureed Cookbooks section for more info.

Helpful Kitchen Gadgets

There are dozens and dozens of kitchen gadgets out there are you know. Some of them really come in handy to make preparing and cooking easier especially for those with EB or limited hand function. Some things you may want to look into are:

Black and Decker Jar Opener (handy dandy product!)
Hand Blenders (for blending drinks etc.)
Choppers (various choppers can be useful)
Convection Microwave (I love mine, I no longer need to use my oven which was very hard)
Independent Living Aids (various aids to help in the kitchen)

Please visit my Amazon Store and for more products.


How to Puree

|Basic Tips|Meats|Vegetables|Fruits|Starches|Miscellaneous|

Basic Tips

  • Choose all natural or organic foods if possible. They are often healthier and sometimes even taste better.

  • Cook food so it comes out as soft and moist as possible. Using a slow cooker/Crock Pot is very useful for this.

  • Chop food into small pieces before putting into food processor.

  • Add liquid to food processor in small amounts to reach desired consistency.

  • Puree food while it is still hot or warm.

  • Avoid foods with nuts, seeds, stringy foods or foods with skins as they often do not puree well.

Meats

  • Cook meat so it comes out soft and moist, it will puree much easier than tough and dry meat. Slow cooking meat in a slow cooker/crock pot is a great option.

  • Meats puree differently depending on the muscle fibers, and amount of fat and moisture in the meat. Add liquid in small amounts and a stabilizer such as a piece of bread if needed. You can use the liquid/sauce the meat was cooked in.

  • You can also add mashed potatoes, it will give it a nice flavor and help it to puree to a smoother consistency.

  • Sometimes  meats puree fine alone though they may come out a bit dry.

  • Some people prefer to puree the meat dry until it's almost a powder then add small amounts of liquid and finish pureeing. It's really up to you to decide what works best.

  • Stringy beef or things with skins often do not puree well such as hot dogs.

  • When pureeing fish you can add lemon juice, mayonnaise or tarter sauce.

  • When pureeing chicken, beef, turkey etc. you can use various sauces, broth or gravy. 

  • For tuna or canned salmon you can puree with mayonnaise.

Click HERE for soft and pureed meat recipes, including Bruce's steak recipe. It's a great way to make steak soft and easy to eat and if it needs to be pureed it can be.

Vegetables

  • Vegetables are very important for a healthy diet. You can steam vegetables then puree with water (preferably the water you cooked/steamed them with), sauce, melted butter, half slice of white bread, or even some baked, steamed or mashed potatoes.

  • Cooking vegetables often strips them of their nutrients. A good alternative is to juice them. Add an apple to sweeten the flavor. (Juicing Recipe page coming soon)

  • Many vegetables taste good pureed together, experiment to find your favorite combinations. One I like is carrots, broccoli and cauliflower.

  • Peas, corn and other vegetables with skins or shells should be pureed carefully because there may be large pieces of skin left. Unfortunately some vegetables just do not puree well no matter what you do.

  • Don't be afraid to buy baby food vegetables, it's great for a quick snack or for on the go. You can take off the label or scoop out into a different container so people don't know it's baby food. If possible buy organic baby food.

Fruits

Fruits can be prepared in a variety of ways:

  • Add to smoothies

  • Juice them in a juicer

  • Puree in food processor, add gelatin to thicken if needed. You can also add ice to make a slushy. You can also puree fruit with yogurt or cottage cheese

  • Some fruits such as bananas, avocados and some canned pears are soft enough to mash with a fork.

  • You can also cook or steam them:

Apples, peaches, pears, plums and apricots can be prepared in one of two ways:
Water Method - Wash fruit, peel and cut into small pieces then add 1/4 cup boiling water to one cup fruit. Simmer until tender (10 - 20 minutes) then puree until smooth.
Steam Method - Wash fruit, peel and steam for 15 - 20 minutes then let cool and remove pits. Blend or puree until smooth.
I have not tried this either but it sounds good!

  • Don't be afraid to buy baby food fruit, it's great for a quick snack or for on the go. You can take off the label or scoop out into a different container so people don't know it's baby food. If possible buy organic baby food.

Starches

  • I've been having a bit more luck pureeing pasta. First you need to cook the pasta so it's very soft and tender. Larger pastas and filled pastas such as ravioli seem to work a bit better.

  • Add small amounts of sauce at first until you reach desired consistency.

  • You can also puree pasta with meat or vegetables.

  • Puree rice with melted butter or sauce.

  • If you can chew or smash food with your tongue, angel hair and cut fideo pasta can often be eaten without pureeing especially if it is cooked well.

  • Cous Cous is a neat type of pasta that is extremely small, almost like cream of wheat but thicker. It cooks quickly and can also usually be eaten without pureeing.

Miscellaneous

  • Beans/Legumes - Some canned beans such as refried beans puree well or are soft enough to eat as is. You can also cook your own by doing the following - soak 1 cup of any legume in water overnight or bring to a boil for 2 minutes, then cover and allow to sit for 2 hours. Drain the water, add 3 cups fresh water and bring beans to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until beans are tender (anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on your choice of legumes) Skim the surface often as beans are simmering. Puree with 3/4 cup milk.
I have not tried this myself but it definitely sounds like it would work!

  • Chunky soups can be pureed in a blender.

  • Cookies can be softened in milk or hot chocolate. Avoid cookies with nuts or oatmeal.

  • Breads and crackers can be softened in soup. Bread can also be softened with melted butter and/or jelly/jam. Toast/heat bread to make it mushier. Muffins can be softened with melted butter.

  • Hard boiled eggs can be pureed with mayonnaise to create egg salad.

  • Moist cakes, pancakes, muffins, donuts, cornbread and some other foods may be able to be eaten as is if you are able to chew or mash things with your tongue.

Appearance

Often times pureed food looks unappetizing, like blobs on a plate. To make your food look more appealing you can try the following:

Use scoops of various sizes (such as an ice cream scoop) to scoop your food onto the plate so it's a nice shape instead of just a blob.

Use molds to shape your food back into what it originally was or just to make it look pretty.

Miscellaneous Tips

  • Some areas have meal delivery services. I found one near me that delivers all natural and partly organic meals right to my door once a week. You can then re-heat them in the microwave or convection oven and puree them. This is an easy way to get in some healthy meals if you're unable to cook.

  • To make grocery shopping easier make a huge list of everything you ever buy at the grocery store. If you shop at multiple stores make one for each. Have a line and checkbox next to each item. Put your lists in plastic sheet protectors. Use dry erase markers to mark off what you need on the lines and use the checkboxes to check off what you've gotten while shopping. This is also good if you have an aid or caretaker because they can take the list with them and know exactly what you need. Be sure to put specific brand names and sizes next to each item. Then all you do is wipe off the list and it's ready for next time.

  • Always keep your blender, juicer and processor out on the counter.

  • Do not store any food or drinks in your blender or processor because then when you need to use them they won't already be occupied.

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