Monthly Archives: July 2014

Pureed Whole Grain Pancakes

All of my pureed diet recipes must pass a taste test.  I feel, if I won’t eat it, why would anyone else?  I sampled this recipe and it a tasted like an amped up Cream of Wheat.  I had one of my girls taste it and she cleaned the plate!


1/3 cup of water
4 pancakes (or 4oz by weight)

  1. Add ingredients the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
  2. Select Variable 1.
  3. Turn machine on and increase speed to Variable 10.
  4. Blend for 10-15 seconds using the tamper to press the ingredients into the blades.

Food Tip: Serving this warm with maple syrup has all of the flavor of my whole grain pancakes minus the chewing. Increase or decrease the water 1 tablespoon at a time to reach the desired consistency.

Food Tip: If fiber needs to be restricted, use my whole grain pancake recipe but use ½ cup of oat flour, ½ cup quinoa flour and ½ cup of all purpose flour instead of the combination listed.

Money Tip: Of course you can use a prepared pancake mix or frozen pancakes but those will always more expensive.

Time Tip: As with all of my pureed recipes, any leftovers can be frozen in ice cube trays and stored in Ziploc bags for future use.

Whole Grain Pancakes

Whole Grain Pancakes
Whole Grain Pancakes

½ cup all purpose flour
½ cracked wheat or whole wheat flour
¼ cup oat flour
¼ cup quinoa flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tsp double-acting baking powder
1¼ cup of milk (any kind)
2 eggs
3 tablespoons melted butter


  1. Combine dry ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. Combine eggs and milk in the Vitamix container and secure lid.
  3. Select Variable1.
  4. Turn machine on and blend for 3 seconds.
  5. Turn machine off and remove lid.
  6. Add in dry ingredients and secure lid.
  7. Select Variable 1.
  8. Increase speed to Variable 3 and blend for 10 seconds.
  9. Turn off machine and remove lid.
  10. Add the melted butter and secure lid.
  11. Select Variable1.
  12. Increase speed to Variable 3 and blend for 5 seconds.
  13. Set the batter aside for 5 minutes to allow it to thicken (liquids take time to soak trough the brand of whole grains).
  14. Pour batter directly from the Vitamix container onto an electric griddle preheated to 350 degrees or a standard griddle over a medium to medium high heat.


Food Tip: The combination of flours makes these pancakes light and full of flavor. Maple syrup adds the finishing touch but you won’t want to use much. They are also great straight out of the toaster plain. The whole grain flours are a great source of fiber and protein.

Money Tip: Homemade pancakes take a little more time and effort than pre-made batters but they are far less expensive (not to mention they taste so much better). Frozen prepackaged pancakes may be a quick grab but they are even more expensive than the pre-made batters (Again, taste is an issue).

Time Tip: Pre-grind a portion of your whole grains into flour and keep on hand for quick addition/substitution to your favorite recipes. Making these pancakes with a mixer takes a lot longer and pouring directly from the Vitamix container saves time on clean up. Keep the leftovers (if there are any) in a Ziploc bag in the refrigerator. They will stay fresh for 3-5 days but trust me, they will not last that long. You can also double the recipe and freeze the extras in stacks of 4 in a Ziploc Freezer bag.

Whole Grain Flour

Nothing matches the flavor and nutritional value of homemade baked goods made from fresh ground flours.  No need to purchase a flour mill if you have a Vitamix.  The time it takes to grind grain into very fine flour is unbelievably fast!

GE½ -2 cups of whole grain (wheat berries, steel cut oats, rice, quinoa, millet,barley, cornmeal)

Steel Cut Oats
Steel Cut Oats
  1. Place the grain into the Vitamix container and secure lid.
  2. Select Variable 1.
  3. Turn Machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then High.
  4. Blend for 1 minute.

Food Tip: Any whole grain can be turned into flour. The standard wet blade Vitamix container will grind grain but, for best results, use the specialized dry blade container. It can be purchased separately but it comes with the Complete Kitchen package. Whole grains produce a small amount of moisture while grinding. To keep your flour from caking, leave the lid off of your air-tight storage container until the flour is completely cooled so that the moisture evaporates and does not get trapped inside.

Money Tip: Buying whole grains in a bulk food store saves a lot of money. The price per pound is always lower than pre-packaged. Depending on how often you use them, buy 1-3 pounds and store them in an air tight container. Unlike bleached all purpose flour, whole grains still have their natural oils. To keep them fresher longer and avoid waste, they should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.

Time Tip: Pre grind a portion of your whole grains into flour and keep on hand for quick addition/substitution to your favorite recipes.

Melon Agua Fresca

Here in southern California the summer heat is just beginning to ramp up.  With temperatures that hover near 100 degrees sometimes into October, staying cool and hydrated is high on our list of priorities.  My husband came across this recipe on and asked me if I could make it.  I just happened to have half a watermelon in the refrigerator so my answer was, “Absolutely!”  I researched the heath benefits of watermelon and was surprised at what I found:

Despite popular belief that watermelon is made up of only water and sugar, watermelon is actually considered a nutrient dense food, a food that provides a high amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for a low amount of calories.
Watermelons have become synonymous with summer and picnics, and for good reason. Their refreshing quality and sweet taste help to combat the heat and also provide a guilt-free, low maintenance dessert for kids and adults alike to enjoy.
Along with cantaloupe and honeydew, watermelons are a member of the botanical family Cucurbitaceae. There are five common types of watermelon: seeded, seedless, mini (also known as personal), yellow and orange.
This MNT Knowledge Center feature is part of a collection of articles on the health benefits of popular foods. It provides a nutritional breakdown of watermelon and an in-depth look at its possible health benefits, how to incorporate more watermelon into your diet and any potential health risks of consuming watermelon.
Nutritional breakdown of watermelon

1-1244912058986lAlong with cantaloupe and honeydew, watermelons are a member of the botanical family Cucurbitaceae.
One cup of diced watermelon (152 grams) contains 43 calories, 0 grams of fat, 2 grams of sodium, 11 grams of carbohydrate (including 9 grams of sugar and 1 gram of fiber) and 1 gram of fiber. One cup of watermelon will provide 17% of vitamin A, 21% of vitamin C, 2% of iron and 1% of calcium needs for the day.
Watermelon also contains thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, choline, lycopene and betaine. According to the National Watermelon Promotion Board, watermelon contains more lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable.
Despite being a great source of the above nutrients, watermelon is made up of 92% water.
(Excerpt taken from Medical News Today. Originally published: Sunday 10/6/13)

Watermelon Agua Fresca
Watermelon Agua Fresca

6 cups fresh scooped or chopped watermelon
2 cups cold water
Simple syrup or other sweetener to taste (optional)

1. Place watermelon and water into the large Vitamix container and secure lid.
2. Select Variable 1.
3. Turn machine on and increase speed to Variable 10, then High.
4. Blend for 30 seconds.

No straining needed
No straining needed

Food Tip: This recipe makes 2 quarts but it can but cut in half and made in the smaller container. Unlike with a standard blender, there is no need to strain out the fibers from the watermelon seeds. The Vitamix blends so completely that, not only are there no fibers, there is very little recognizable pulp when you drink it. Watermelons are typically at their peak of sweetness between June and August so, unless you have a serious sweet tooth, there is no need to add any sweetener.  Don’t like watermelon?  Try the same recipe with cantaloupe.  It is just as refreshing!

Cantaloupe Agua Fresca
Cantaloupe Agua Fresca

Money Tip: As with any fruit, buying watermelon in season is always cheaper especially if you buy them at a farmer’s market. I recently purchased a 25 pound watermelon on sale for just over $3.

Time Tip: The original recipe used a standard blender that required 1 minute of blending. When made in the Vitamix it took 30 seconds and there was no time spent on straining.

Mango Ice cream

So what do you serve for dessert when it’s 102 degrees outside?  Ice cream, of course!  This is a fresh and fruity twist on an old time favorite.  My husband likes his with a sprinkle of shredded coconut while my girls prefer it without the banana.  With the Vitamix I can make 2 servings at a time in less than a minute so everyone gets exactly what they want!

Mango Ice Cream
Mango Ice Cream

1 coconut milk (or fat free milk) cube
1 pureed cottage cheese cube
2 oz frozen banana
6 pureed mango cubes
6 pineapple cubes
(Makes 2 servings)

1. Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
2. Select Variable 1.
3. Turn machine on and quickly increase to Variable 10, then High.
4. Use Tamper to press ingredients into the blades.
5. In about 30-60 seconds, the sound of the motor will change and four mounds should form.
6. Stop machine. Do not over mix or melting will occur. Serve immediately.

Food Tip: I have found that using frozen pureed cottage cheese cubes makes for a smoother ice cream that is higher in calcium and lower in fat than using half n half or heavy cream. This recipe is very versatile. Try mixing and matching any frozen fruit and “milks” you have to create your own healthy fruit “ice cream”.

Money tip: Buying a 3pound container of cottage cheese may seem like over kill but I use it to replace almost all of the milk products in my recipes. At Costco it only costs $4.99 whereas the 16oz container can cost $2.50 in the grocery store. After the larger container is opened it will keep for 5-7 days. Freezing a portion when it is opened will ensure freshness and minimize waste.

Time tip: Using Frozen fruit and cottage cheese cubes takes the guess work out of balancing flavor and texture. Preparation time is shorter because there is no need to measure anything. Also you won’t have to spend extra time making the ice cream trying to break down cottage cheese curds.


Ratatouille and Brown Rice Dinner

I made this for the family last night and offered it to Mathew for the first time.  He was hesitant at first but, after I fed him the first spoon, it was all bright eyes and smiles!

Brown rice:
1 cup of brown rice
1 tablespoon of butter
2 cups of water
2 tsp chicken bouillon

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes.


½ pound each sliced yellow summer squash and zucchini (about ¼ inch thick)
½ large onion-sliced
1 medium tomato-sliced or 1 15oz can stewed tomatoes-drained
1 clove of garlic-minced
½ tsp Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp of ground pepper
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ cup Parmesan cheese

Directions: In a medium bowl, toss all vegetables EXCEPT the yellow squash in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and set aside. In a large skillet, sauté yellow squash in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 2 minutes turning once. Add remaining vegetables and seasons to the sauté pan and stir to blend evenly. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the squash is fork tender. Turn off heat and mix in the cheese.

Sautéed Chicken Breast:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6-8 oz each)
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Sea salt
Ground black pepper
Dried basil leaves

Directions: In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat until shimmering. Season both sides of the chicken breasts and place in the skillet. Cover and cook about 5 minutes each side until it is firm to touch.

1. Place 1 ½ cups of the “ratatouille”, 1 cup of the brown rice and 4oz-6oz of cooked chicken breasts into the Vitamix in the order listed and secure lid.
2. Select Variable 1.
3. Turn machine on and increase speed to Variable 10, then High.
4. Blend for 30 seconds or until the desired consistency is reached.


Food Tip: Pureed meals can seem bland because of the texture. To make it more appealing I use fresh vegetables and garlic along with a fair amount of seasons. Some individuals have digestive tract issues and/or hypersensitivity to flavors that require a bland diet. Reduce or remove the seasoning to meet their needs.

Money tip: Buying brown rice from a bulk food store like Winco’s is the best way to go. Because of the oils in it, it will keep in the pantry for about a month opened but will keep longer in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Buy only what you need based on how you will store it to avoid waste. This is a great meal to make in the summer because zucchini and yellow squash are cheaper this time of year.

Time Tip: This was dinner for the family. All I did was to puree a portion of the leftovers. The added time was about 5 minutes. Freezing them in ice cube trays and storing them in labeled Ziploc bags ensures quick well balanced meals. Defrost what you will use the next day in the refrigerator and warm it in the microwave before serving.


Mellow Yellow Power Smoothie

I whipped this up after a trip to the gym with my husband.  He tasted it and loved it.  He suggested I add a bit of nutmeg to it and use it as a replacement for eggnog during the the holidays.  That’s saying something because he REALLY loves eggnog.  He might just have something there.  Keep your eye on my blog during the holidays.   You never know.  But for now:


½ cup water
12 raw almonds
½ cup low fat cottage cheese
2/3 cup yellow squash
1/3 cup raw baby (or sliced) carrots
1 tablespoon flax seed
4 (about 4oz) frozen pureed pineapple cubes
4 (about 4oz) frozen pureed mango cubes
1TSB whey protein

1. Place all ingredients into the Vitamix in the order listed and secure lid.
2. Select Variable 1.
3. Turn machine on and increase to Variable 10, then High.
4. Blend for 30 seconds or until the desired consistency is reached.

Food Tip: This recipe makes 2 cups and contains 26 grams of protein. It is great as a post workout meal replacement. For individuals on a pureed diet or as a healthy snack, remove the whey protein and use as two 8oz servings. It’s thick enough to be eaten with a spoon even though you can drink it through a straw. The yellow squash adds vitamins and antioxidants and is very low in calories. It has a mild flavor so it blends well in any smoothie while adding to the creamy texture.

Money Tip: Yellow squash in season is very inexpensive but I prefer to grow my own because it’s fresh AND it’s free! As I have said in my fresh fruit puree entry, buying mangos in bulk when they are in season, pureeing them and freezing them is an excellent way to save money. flax seed is less expensive when buying it from a bulk food store plus you only buy what you need so it doesn’t go bad.

Time Tip: This smoothie only takes about 5 minutes to prepare and using the individual pureed fruit cubes shortens the time even more.


Baby Food Purees

Baby food purees are a great place to start when you are dealing with those restricted to a pureed diet.  Whether they are special needs adults or children or just an older adult who has lost their ability to chew food, starting simple is best.  How a food looks, smell and feels is as much apart of enjoyable eating as taste is.  Each person is different.  When testing a new blended food start small.  Making a large quantity of a new food is a waste of time and money.  Some, like Matthew have a fear of trying new foods simply because they have become accustomed to drinking processed protein shakes and liquid supplements.  New tastes can be overwhelming.  Encourage 1-2 small spoonfuls but never force them.  Forcing them will only make it harder to get them to try something new the next time.  The link below is directly from Vitamix and can also be found in their whole Foods recipe book:

Yes, it can be frustrating but don’t give up.  Please feel free to contact me if you have specific questions.  I will do my best to help you with your particular need.

Vitamix Verses Jamba Juice

I was able to find this information on
Jamba Juice Smoothies Prices:
Item                                            Sixteen Original Power
Classic Smoothies                 $4.29     $4.99       $5.69
All Fruit Smoothies                $4.69     $5.39       $6.09
Fruit & Veggie Smoothies    $5.69     $5.39       $6.09
Pre-Boosted Smoothies       $6.69     $5.39       $6.09
Fit ‘n Fruitful Smoothies      $4.99     $5.69       –
Creamy Treats                        $4.69     $5.39       –

Now let’s do a little math. Say “Average Joe Smoothie” was to buy his favorite classic smoothie 5 days a week. In the course of a week he would spend (drum roll please) an average of $27. Now let’s stretch that out to a month: $108. If “Joe Average Smoothie” were a diehard smoothie fan and he were to do that for 1 year it would be about $1,300! He could have bought the Vitamix 5200-Deluxe Complete Kitchen TWICE!  We bought that package because of all that it could do and it was less expensive than buying it a piece at a time.  Also the machine replaced my blender, mixer and food processor for most of my recipes.  Goodbye counter clutter!

Food Processor in Storage
Food Processor in Storage

To make a smoothie at home it would cost about $1 and that is not factoring in the gas to get to Jamba Juice. Since the Vitamix is so much more than a smoothie maker, you will really be saving a whole lot more. As for the nutritional differences…Well that’s another blog entry. I’ll be getting to that one soon.