Category Archives: Dairy Free

Homemade “Ripple” (Split Pea) Milk

 

 

DIY Ripple Milk

  • Servings: 10-13
  • Difficulty: easy
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This recipe is more of an addendum to my split pea milk recipe.  I have had many more questions about it coming from Ripple drinkers.  Some of the struggles were:  separation, strong pea taste, watery taste and thickened texture.  My original recipe was written for g-tube feedings and oral eaters with limited taste experiences.  After fielding many of your questions, I set out to make a recipe that would work for Ripple drinkers.  Please keep in mind, nothing we make at home can match the process that Ripple can produce in the lab.  This recipe is creamier than my original recipe and does not separate.  Hopefully my adjustments will make it more palatable.  Please take note of the pictures above.  The picture in the top right corner show 2 mason jars.  The jar on the left is Ripple.  The jar on the right is the DIY Ripple.  Even after sitting overnight, it had not separated.

As always, my goal is not to just create and share new recipes but to educate:  To give information not opinions.  The pictures and notes are here to help you make the best choice for you.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of dry split peas (cooked in 3 cups of water)
  • 4 large Medjool dates (3oz)
  • 2-4 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 10 teaspoons of Sunflower oil (or oil of choice)
  • 7-10 cups of water

 


Directions

Cooking the split peas: Place 1 cup of dried peas into a bowl and cover with 3 cups of water. Let sit for 8 hours or overnight. Transfer the peas into a pot or into the pressure cooker. If cooking on the stove, cook peas about 1-1 1/2 hours or until the peas are completely soft and all of the water has been absorbed. Stir. If using an electric pressure cooker, select “beans/lentils” and adjust the time setting to 15 minutes. Once the timer goes off, allow the pressure to release naturally. This may take up to 15 minutes. Remove lid and stir. Note, if using the pressure cooker it is important NOT to use the quick release. The starch in peas is very light. Using the quick release up and out of the pressure cooker through the valve making a mess:

Power Pressure Cooker XL (2)

Making the milk: Place 1 1/2 cups of cooked peas into the large (64oz) Vitamix container. Add 3 1/2-5 cups of water, dates, 1/2 of the oil (5 teaspoons) and vanilla and let stand (to soften the dates) for 30 minutes. Blend on High for 1 minute or use the “Smoothie” setting.  Transfer first batch to mason jars and ice cube trays.  Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients.  If If the texture is not to your liking, you may want to run the milk through a nut milk bag to remove the starchy component of the peas.

DIY Ripple (11)

 Please keep in mind that, if you need it to have a higher caloric content, you will lose quite a few calories this way.  The milk will keep fresh for about 4 days in the refrigerator.  How quickly you use the milk will help you decide how much to freeze.  After I use what is in the refrigerator, I take out only what I will use the next day and let it thaw overnight.

Food tips: Although sunflower oil is listed, I used regular vegetable oil because I didn’t have any and couldn’t find any.  I put it in the recipe because that is the oil listed on the Ripple label.  I don’t know if it would taste any different since vegetable oil is pretty tasteless.  I’m sure it’s better for you so use it if you can find it and afford it.  Calories/cup are 141.5.  The breakdown is in the Cronometer picture below. Because Ripple is making it’s milk from extracted pea protein and not whole peas, their protein content will be higher. Other than that, my DIY version of vanilla Ripple is pretty close it is consumed unfiltered:

 

 

Time tip:  If you have a pressure cooker, use it.  Time and clean up can be cut in half that way.  Freezing the extra milk in ice cube trays makes it easy to defrost exactly what you want. Each standard ice cube is 1 once.

Money Tip:  Buying your peas from a bulk food store like Winco Foods  is the best money saver.  Most of their bulk food items are 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of those bought prepackaged.  It also saves on waste because you only buy what you need.

Fig Butter

Fig Butter

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: easy
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Fig Butter (5)

This was an unexpected surprise!  I was originally trying to add more fiber to the Poopinator Plus because we are still waiting on a referral to UCLA Children’s Hospital for a more in depth motility.  I also thought it would help his weight loss issue due his currently very limited diet.  Sadly the fig gave him too much gas so I had to pull it out.  But, as always, I try all of his blends to make sure they taste good and this was amazing!  So far, with only 2 calorie dense ingredients an zero prep time this is by far the easiest, highest fiber calorie booster I have made to date.

Ingredients

-8oz Hemp Milk

-8oz Dried Adriatic Figs

Directions

  1. Place the ingredients to the 32oz Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
  2. Let sit for 20 minutes to soften the figs.
  3. Select Variable 1.
  4. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  5. Blend until completely smooth (approximately 1-2 minutes), using the tamper to press the ingredients into the blades.

Food Tips:  This recipe packs 56.8 calories per 1 ounce serving.  That makes it a good calorie booster without added sugars and/or syrup.  Because it’s important for oral eaters, I always taste my recipes.  This tastes amazing on toast (as seen in the picture).  By itself it’s pretty sweet but added to other pureed dessert or snack recipes, I think it would tastes great.

Time tip:  Freeze this butter in ice cube trays then pop them out into freezer bags for easy storage and quick defrost.

Money Tip:  As with most of my ingredients, the figs and hemp seed are best purchased at a bulk food store  like Winco.  The prices are always much lower and you can by just what you need so there’s no waste.

 

 

 

 

The Poopinator Plus

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Matthew did very well on the Poopinator for a time.  Then slowly it stopped working and he began backing up again.  We had to put him back on Miralax, added Lactulose, Senna Plus, Enemeez and eventually the Peristeen pump.  Each addition brought some relief for a time but then stopped working.  He ended up back in the hospital for yet another clean out in October and to complete some much needed testing.  After a Sitz Marker Study, we came to the conclusion that there was no specific areas of colonic inertia .  His infectious Disease doctor highly suspects the backing up of his bowels was the cause of the g-tube stoma infection and the GI doctors are suggesting an Apendicostomy.

So here we are caught between a rock and a hard place.  Matt eats most of his blends by mouth but gets meds, extra water, the Poopinator and an overnight feeding of green smoothie.  Because of issues with his immune system, having an Appendicostomy done most likely would increase his chances of  infection.  On the other hand, after 16 years of major GI issues, I can’t see how I could maintain his nutrition and medication regimen without the g-tube.

So now I am on a mission.  Delay or completely avoid another surgery.  He has been drinking a blend throughout the day that contains hemp milk and it seems to bring him some relief.  Then it came to me:  Why not give him a straight shot of it with The Poopinator?  It might have a better effect that way.

Ingredients:

  • 4oz of the original recipe or any combination of the foods listed in The Poopinator
  • 1oz of hemp milk

Directions:  Warm the Poopinator THEN add the hemp milk.  I have found that warming the Poopinator Plus in the microwave causes the hemp milk to clump.  That can cause an extension tube to clog.  I have also noted that heating hemp milk in a recipe causes it to thicken.   Give as a bolus at the fastest rate that is tolerated.  Flush with at least 10cc of water.  If the volume is too high, reduce the solids before reducing the hemp milk until a tolerable volume is reached.

Please remember this:  Medication and/or surgical intervention is not a failure on your part (somehow I think I’m talking to myself here).  The goal is to do whatever it takes to give our loved one(s) the best quality of life possible.  Blended whole foods is by far the best choice over formulas but sometimes it’s just not enough.  Hang in there and don’t quit!

 

 

Chia Seed Pudding

One thing about fresh coconut milk:  It only lasts about 4-5 days in the refrigerator.  So once you make it , you will want to get the most out of your fresh batch before you have to freeze what’s left.  Since I already have the chia seeds out when I’m making Matt’s oatmeal,  I always make some chia seed pudding. This is one of my favorite snacks and it’s easy to make.

  • 2 Tablespoons of Chia seeds
  • 1/2-2/3 cup of fresh coconut milk

Directions:

Put the Chia seeds in a small mason jar.  Add the coconut milk and stir until they begin to absorb enough of the milk to be suspended.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.  The Chia seed pudding is good for about 4 days but, I guarantee that it won’t last that long.  Enjoy! Makes 2 servings.

Food Tip:  This snack is high in protein but also high in fat.  Eat it sparingly especially if you are making your own coconut milk.

Time Tip:  Freeze the coconut meat in 6oz portions.  When it’s time to make your milk just defrost and blend.

Money Tip:  Coconuts are not that expensive.  They tend to run about $2 but the price drops around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

 

Mooie!

enteral-feeding
Night Feeding Via Pump

Ok it’s been a while since I been able to add a new recipe so here goes.  I’m dedicating this to 2 young tubie warriors.  This ones for you, kiddos!

Three years ago, right before Matt had his hip surgery, his digestive tract started giving him problems again.  I was trying to avoid putting him on laxatives so I developed a green smoothie that I had hoped would help him.  I originally put fruit in it and offered it to him to drink.  He liked it (sort of) but he only drank 2oz.  I knew that was not enough to work so I went back to the drawing board.  Then it dawned on me.  He has a g-tube!  He doesn’t need to drink it so I can remove the fruit and add more greens!  It worked.  The added greens allowed me to add more fiber without fighting with him about the taste.  Now when I give him a bolus feeding or hang his bag for his night feeding he smiles and says, “Ooh! Mooie!  Yup.  You got it.  That’s where the name came from.

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Bolus Feeding

Since each child and adult that are g-tube dependent have different issues, I caution you to check with your doctor before changing a feeding regimen and, if you get the ok to to try this, add small amounts at first and watch for adverse effects.  I do not recommend making this smoothie with anything else but a Vitamix.  The Vitamix blends the green so finely that there are little or no leave particles to get caught in the filter of the feeding bag.  If the filter gets clogged that feeding stops and the alarm goes off.  It’s less of a problem for bolus feeding but, if there is difficulty in breaking down solids, it could cause issues.  This is the one that worked for Matt:

  • 1 Cup of peppermint or chamomile tea
  • 2 Tablespoons Organic apple cider vinegar
  • 1oz fresh Aloe Vera (optional)
  • 2oz Avocado
  • 3 Cups packed greens (your choice)
  • 4 tsp organic olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

Makes 2 8oz smoothies.  I have also added 1 tsp of fresh pureed ginger when Matthew’s stomach was more upset than usual.  Feel free to experiment with different greens.  Sometimes I will buy the large bag of Power greens or spinach from Costco along with Romaine lettuce hearts.  I also keep a close eye on the local farmer’s market for greens that are on sale.  Parsley is great because it helps settle the stomach.

Hemp Milk

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Very Easy
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Hemp milk is by far the easiest dairy milk substitute.  There is no cooking and, with the Vitamix, there is no need to run it through a filtration bag.  It is very calorie dense with lots of protein.  It tastes great as is but I’ve added a couple of ingredients for folks who like their milk substitutes a little sweeter.

Ingredients

  • 4oz hemp hearts
  • 2 cups of water
  • 4 pitted dates (about 1-1.5oz)
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla

Directions

  1. Place hemp hearts, dates and 2 cups of water into the Vitamix into the container and secure lid.
  2. Select Variable 1.
  3. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  4. Blend for 1 minute.
  5. Turn machine off and remove lid.
  6. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of water and the vanilla and secure lid.
  7. Select Variable 1.
  8. Turn machine on and blend for 10 seconds.

 

Food Tips:

  • It is a good idea to slice the dried pitted dates lengthwise before putting them in the Vitamix.  This will ensure that no part of the pit was left inside during processing at the plant.  I have yet to find any literature that says they are dangerous but the pieces can clog g-tubes.  Even if a piece gets through it could cause problems in the GI tract of someone who already has difficulty processing solid food.
  • If you have time, soak the dates and hemp seed for 30 minutes before blending.  This reduces the amount of sediment and completely removes the need for straining or filtering.
  • Store hemp seed in a mason jar.  It is easier to pour the seed into the Vitamix container than to scoop it out of a container with a spoon.  Also, store the seeds in the refrigerator.  Hemp seed is high in fat so they can go rancid quickly especially if you live in a hot/humid climate region.
  • One cup of fresh hemp seed milk has about  194 calories.  It has 10 grams of protein and 14 grams of fat so, unless you have a high caloric need, I suggest sticking to the 1/2 cup serving size.  Hemp milk will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.  Drink it straight or add it to smoothies.  It is also a great base for blenderized meals.
  • As with all “Super Foods” take the time to research and steer clear of the idea that “if less is good, more is better.”  This is very important if you are dealing with specialized or restricted diets, on medications or have various health conditions.

 

Time Tip:  Freeze any portion of the milk that will not be used in 3-4 days in ice cube trays.  Store the cubes in labeled and dated freezer bags for up to 6 months.  Since each cube is about an ounce, you can quickly grab what you need without wasting any.

 

Money tip:  Shop around before buying hemp hearts.  They can run as high as 12 dollars a pound in some stores and on line.  Winco has the lowest price at $7.02 a pound.  They can be found in the bulk food section for much less than the prepackaged bags.  It is good to alternate seed/nut milks.  If you are on a tight budget, alternate the types of nut/seed/bean milks you make to save money.  This is also important especially for individuals on blenderized diets to insure balanced nutrition.

 

The Poopinator

The Poopinator was lovingly named for it’s ability to move “mountains” (insert laughter)! I had reached the end of my rope, tied a knot and was hanging on for dear life when the knot unraveled. Matthew’s KUB showed that he was backed up again and the GI wanted me to do another “clean out”.  Matthew does not suffer from constipation in the typical sense (hard stools).  He suffers from slow transit constipation and lack of sensation so he can’t feel when he has to go and I wanted him off Miralax. We had done it before (more times than I care to remember) but this time was particularly bad. Needless to say I (and I’m sure Matthew) had had enough so I reached out to my Facebook group, “Blenderized RN” for help. I got lots of suggestions for foods that work as laxatives. I tried several individually but they didn’t work. So I put on my mad scientists lab coat and glasses and went to work. And so The Poopinator was born!  No more Miralax!

Ingredients


1 once pureed celery
1 once pureed pumpkin
1 once pureed butternut squash
1 once pureed papaya

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl or small jar and stir.
  2. Using a 60cc syringe, draw up mixture making sure to expel any air bubbles.
  3. Give bolus at a rate that is comfortable for your child.  For example, Matthew does well if I give 20mls at a time and wait 5 minutes in between.
  4. Finish with a water flush.  Use whatever volume your child can handle.  I use 15ccs because Matt can handle it.

If 1 once of each item is too much volume, you can cut them in half. You can also start with only 1 item and see how it works before adding another.For convenience I blend the ingredients separately, freeze them in ice cube trays and store them in labeled and dated freezer bags. That way you use exactly as much of each ingredient without wasting any. Because he gets his bolus in the afternoon, I take out the cubes I want in the morning, put them in a small mason jar and let them defrost in the refrigerator. Be sure to warm the jar slightly before giving the bolus so you don’t end up with an upset stomach.  If this recipe doesn’t do the trick, try The Poopinator Plus. 

Here are some other foods that can have a laxative effect: Prunes or prune juice, *fresh spinach, black strap molasses, peaches, pears,pineapple, orange, apricots, plums, soaked raisins, flax seed and flax seed oil, hemp seed and hemp milk, Aloe juice and fresh Aloe Vera,coconut oil, dried dates, dried figs and sweet potatoes.

Since everyone’s system is different, some things may work too well (causing diarrhea) and some not at all. It can be frustrating but don’t give up. Try foods independently or, like I did, create your own cocktail. Like any good recipe, just remember to write it down so the items and amounts stay consistent.

*Be careful not to use too much fresh spinach.  The iron in it can be counterproductive if not constipating.

Split Pea Milk

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
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The first time I had ever heard of this was on a Facebook group called blenderize RN. Having a teenage boy on a blenderized/pureed diet can be difficult at times. Because of his complicated GI tract and minimal oral experience, it’s hard finding things he can and will eat without slowing his digestion down. Since Matthew drinks his formula, I wanted to increase his calories and protein without adding more formula but do it in such a way as to not upset his very restricted palate. Enter “Ripple” (aka split pea milk). Since everything I blend for him is homemade, I thought I would try making it myself. I added 1 cup to his normal formula recipe and he didn’t even notice. It was so easy and inexpensive, I just had to share.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of cooked yellow split peas
  • 3 1/2 cups of water
  • 2 tsp vanilla (optional)
  • 4 pitted dates

Directions

  1. In a medium size sauce pan, bring 1 cup of dry yellow split peas and 4 cups of water to a boil.  Boil for 10 minutes on high then reduce temperature to simmer and cook until peas are soft (about hour).  Do not drain the peas before adding them to the Vitamix.  Because the peas settle, you will want to sir the pot before measuring them out.
  2. In the large Vitamix container, add ingredients in the order listed and secure lid.
  3. Select Variable 1.
  4. Turn machine on and increase speed to Variable 10, then High.
  5. Blend for 1 minute or until completely smooth.
  6. Remove milk from blender and repeat steps 2-5 with remaining peas.

Food Tip: This recipe makes a total of 10 cups of milk.  Ripple is made in a factory with added oils and gums that are not in my homemade recipe.  The oils and gums allow the milk to stay in solution.  Even when using the Vitamix and a filtration bag, homemade milks will separate and need to be shaken before drinking or using in a recipe.  They have also reduced the peas to pea protein and removed the pea flavor.  If you are used to drinking the store bought Ripple, this may be a jump for you.  It is thick so if you plan on drinking it, you may want to thin it out a bit.  You can also run it through a filtration bag to remove more of the solids.  With 75 calories per cup and 8 grams of protein, it makes an excellent addition to a blended diet.  It can also easily replace cows milk in baking for those who have a dairy free diet.  Milk will stay fresh in the refrigerator for about 4 days.  For oral eaters, please check out my DIY Ripple Milk post.  If you are already a Ripple drinker, you may want to read How Is Ripple Milk Made? before you try to make it.  It will explain the difference.

Time Tip:  Make the full batch and freeze extra milk in ice cube trays then store in labeled and dated freezer bags.  Each cube is about 1 once making measuring a  breeze.

Money Tip: One pound of dry split peas cost around 70 cents a pound at bulk food stores like Winco.  Ripple milk runs about $4.99 for 48oz.  Since I only used 1 cup of dried beans, I made 80oz for only 33 cents!

Raw Coconut Milk

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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coconut-milk-2

When I was a little girl growing up in Massachusetts, one of my favorite memories was making coconut beans and rice with my grandma. It was an old family recipe from Jamaica that was made during the holidays. When we were making it, the wonderfully sweet smell of fresh coconut filled the house. I can remember sitting at the kitchen table with a cheese grater grating the coconut meat by hand and placing it on cheese cloth. I can also remember the stern look I got from her when she caught me sneaking a piece to nibble on. It was my dad’s job to “milk” the coconut. The cheese cloth containing the shredded coconut was tied and placed in a pot of boiling water for 20 minutes then squeezed and measured. My dad was the only one tough enough to handle the job. All of this took lots of time but the final dish was like no other. It was a labor of love so we didn’t mind.

Fast forward to the present. Because of the Vitamix, I can make fresh coconut milk in a fraction of the time, no scraped knuckles from the grater, with less mess and nary a burn from scalding water.

Ingredients

Prepare fresh coconut

6oz fresh coconut meat

4 cups of water (total)


Directions

  1. Place coconut meat into the container and secure lid.
  2. Select Variable 1.
  3. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then High.
  4. Blend for 30 seconds or until a fine mash is formed using the tamper to press the coconut meat into the blades.
  5. Turn machine off, remove lid, scrape container with a Vitamix spatula, add 2 cups of the water and replace the lid.
  6. Select Variable 1.
  7. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  8. Blend for 1 minute then pour contents into a Vitamix filtration bag to extract the milk.
  9. Return the mash in the filtration bag to the Vitamix container and add the remaining 2 cups of water.
  10. Repeat steps 6-8.

Food Tip: Save the coconut water extracted prior to removing the meat from the shell to drink separately.  Coconut milk is VERY high in fat calories so watch how much you drink (about 256 calories per 4oz serving). It is an excellent way to boost the calories in a blenderized or pureed diet for people with volume intolerance. Raw coconut milk will only stay fresh in the refrigerator for 4-5 days so freeze any unused milk and/or coconut water in ice-cube trays and store in dated labeled freezer bags. Always test for allergies by giving a small amount (1-2 tsp) over the course of 4-7 days.

Time Tip: Coconuts typically contain 12-14 oz of meat. Freeze any unused meat in a dated and labeled freezer bag for future use.

Money tip: Coconuts are less expensive during the holidays so stock up, process and save.

For more information on picking and processing fresh coconuts, please see my blog post on that topic.

Basic Blend

This is one of those “what we had for dinner” blends.  The picture and the recipe are spoon thick because it can just as easy be used for someone on a pureed diet.  To make it thinner for bolus or pump feeding, just add more turkey stock or bone broth if you happen to have some.  You may notice that the stock is green.  That’s because I blended the meal right after I had made a green smoothie.  By not washing out the container, I saved time and water.  Plus all of the extra nutrients from the green smoothie are now in the dinner blend!

1/2 cup of turkey or chicken stock

2 cups steamed or raw broccoli

1/2 cup brown rice

6oz (approx. 1 cup) cooked turkey or chicken

  1. Place all ingredients in the container in the order listed and secure lid.
  2. Select Variable 1.
  3. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to variable 10, then to High.
  4. Blend for 1 minute, using the tamper to press the ingredients into the blades.

Food tip: This recipe is great for starting out.  None of the ingredients are commonly associated with food allergies.  Raw broccoli is a little harder to digest so, if the blend causes gas, steam the broccoli first.

Time Tip: If you are blending for a little one, freeze the blend in ice cube trays for quick easy 1 oz portions.  Depending on the caloric need, use batch blending and store in feeding specific quantities.

Money Tip:  Buying meat on sale is the best way to save money. For example, I buy an extra turkey during Thanksgiving and keep it in the freezer.  I cook it up some time later as a Sunday dinner, turn some of the leftovers into turkey enchiladas and setting aside at least a cup for blending.  Then I boil the carcass to make a a quick turkey stock or, if I have time, turkey bone broth.  Also, buy broccoli in bulk at a club store.  Use as much fresh as you can eat in 4 days and steam the remainder before freezing in 1-2 cup portions for later use.