Category Archives: Dairy Free

Pureed Fresh Ginger

  • Difficulty: easy
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Time to toss the grater, folks!  This is the fastest and easiest way to process ginger.

Ingredients


3 cups of fresh ginger root

Directions

  1. Wash (no need to peel) and cut 2-3 cups of fresh ginger root.
  2. Place into Vitamix container and secure lid.
  3. Select Variable 1 and turn machine on.
  4. Quickly increase speed to variable 10, then High.
  5. Using the tamper, press the ginger into the blades and blend for 1-2 minutes or until completely smooth.

Food Tip:  As most of us know, ginger root makes an excellent tea and seasoning for a wide variety of dishes.  When using it in tea, make sure to stir occasionally.  Mixed in, the particles go unnoticed. But, if you leave it sitting and then drink it, you will find that the particles settle to the bottom making your last sip pretty grainy.

Time Tip: Freeze ginger puree in “mini cube” ice cube trays and store them in labeled freezer bags.  Each cube is about 1/2 teaspoon so there no guessing when it comes to measurements.  Don’t bother peeling it.  The Vitamix is powerful enough to blend the root and the skin so smooth that there are no fibrous strands in the puree.  Plan ahead and keep some on hand in the refrigerator for easy mixing.

Money Tip:  I looked up Ginger puree on line and it was going for $9 a pound.  Fresh ginger root runs about $6-7 .  Because of its strong flavor, only a small amount is needed.  Keeping it in the freezer means less waste in the refrigerator and the convenient cubes are ready when you are.

Matthew’s Green Smoothie

ATTENTION: Make sure to get clearance from your doctor before trying any blenderized diet.

My Helper
My Helper

1 cup of peppermint or chamomile tea
2 oz of Avocado
2 oz of fresh Aloe Vera (optional)
3 cups of greens
Makes 2 cups

Bolus Feeding Syringe
Bolus Feeding Syringe

1. Place all ingredients into the Vitamix in the order listed and secure lid.
2. Select Variable 1.
3. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to 10, then to High.
Blend for 1-2 minutes or until very smooth (no visible leaves).

Night Feeding Via Pump
Night Feeding Via Pump

Food Tip: When using this smoothie in the enteral feeding pump, it is vital that there are no leaf particles. Because the bag tubing, extension tubing and g-tube are all small in diameter, small bits of leaves can get caught and cause the pump to alarm and stop the feeding due to “No flow out”. Green smoothies do not work well without some type of fat in them. Outside of the health benefits, that’s why the avocado is added.Also, if formula is normally given, it is best to combine the smoothie with the formula and mix well. It has been my experience that straight green smoothies without the formula mixed in tend to separate. The pureed greens are lighter than the water so the water will go though the pump leaving the greens stuck in the feed bag.  If Aloe Vera is used it must be food grade.  Do not use fresh Aloe Vera unless you know how to properly prepare it.

Time Tip: How much smoothie to give depends on total volume and tolerance. It is best fresh within 2-3 days so I store the remaining smoothie in a container that allows me to shake it up before pouring.

Money Tip: Since they are going to be blended, buy greens in bulk and freeze any portion you do not use within 3-5 days. That way there is no waste from greens gone bad in the refrigerator.  Fresh frozen greens such as kale and spinach break up easily once frozen allowing for easy measuring and blending.

Sunrise Green Smoothie

This makes for a great eye opener but It’s refreshing any time of day.

Sunrise Green Smoothie
Sunrise Green Smoothie

1 cup water

1cup romaine lettuce

1 cup fresh spinach

thin slice of fresh lemon (including the peel)

4 frozen pineapple cubes (or 4oz frozen pineapple)

2 frozen mango cubes (or 2oz frozen mango)

1 Stevia packet (or more to taste)

  1. Placed all into the Vitamix 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 or until desired consistency is reached.  Use the tamper if needed to push the ingredients into the blades.

Food Tip:  Any of your favorite greens will work in this smoothie.  Spinach and romaine lettuce are good starters for the novice green smoothie drinker because the fruit masks the taste of the greens.  As you get more accustomed to the taste, try removing the Stevia and some of the fruit.  That will retrain your palate into not always needing food to be sweet to taste good.

Time Tip:  As with my other smoothie recipes, I save time by pureeing the fruit and freezing them in ice cube trays.  No need to separate large chunks of frozen fruit. Also, I can add exactly the desired amount of fruit keeping the flavor just like I like it or give me option to change it up a bit.

Money Tip:  Buy your greens at a food warehouse such as Costco or Sam’s Club.  As soon as you open the bags, fill  gallon-sized freezer bags, label and date them, then put them straight into the freezer.  Use up the fresh greens in the refrigerator then begin using the frozen greens.  No more tossing half of your greens in the trash 3 days after you bring the home and running out to by more.  No waste ALWAYS means more money in your pocket.

Hummus

Hummus

2 cups cooked chick peas (according to the package)
¼ -½ cup bean liquid
3oz (1/3 cup) tahini (see recipe)
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup of lemon juice or a 2oz peeled section of lemon
2-3 cloves of garlic
1-3 tsp garlic salt

Hummus prep

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 speed to Variable 10, then to High.
4. Blend for 1 minute using the tamper to press the ingredients into the blades (if necessary).

Food Tip: Hummus is an Arabic word meaning chickpeas or garbanzo beans. The complete name of the prepared spread in Arabic is hummus bi tahini. So can you make hummus without tahini? Yes but, in my opinion, the flavor is lacking. Tahini is roasted sesame seeds that are blended to the consistency of creamy peanut butter. Eaten by itself, it has a rich nutty flavor. If you buy it in the jar it tends to have a bitter aftertaste. Blended with the chick peas it gives life and body to the spread. Traditionally, hummus is the consistency of yogurt but add the liquid to make it as thin or thick as you desire. Serve with fresh veggies, pita chips or as a spread for a pita sandwich or wrap.
Time Tip: 2 cups of sesame seeds makes about 1 cup of tahini. Make it in advance and keep it the refrigerator for future fresh batches. Another time saving technique is to make 3 batches (1 pound of dry beans cooked). Blend each batch individually and freeze them in various size plastic containers. After they are frozen, pop them out into a large Ziploc Freezer bags and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. That way you can defrost as little or as much as you need. Amazingly, it tastes as if it were just made after it’s been defrosted and warmed up a bit.
Money Tip: Buying dry beans is always less expensive (and tastes better) than canned beans. Making your own tahini in your Vitamix is way less expensive (and also tastes better) than buying it in a jar. Last but not least, freezing your hummus not only saves time but money. You only defrost what you plan to use in the next 3-4 days so there is none to throw away.

Nonfried Refried Beans

Non-fried Re-fried Beans
Non-fried Re-fried Beans

1 lb dried pinto beans
6 cups of water
2 tsp beef bouillon
Salt (to taste)

Quick soak- Place washed and sorted beans and the water into a 3 quart saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low for 1 hour. After 1 hour stir in the bouillon. Continue cooking the beans for 1-2 hours or until they are tender. Properly cooked beans should easily mash with the back of a spoon. Stir in salt to taste and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain the beans and reserve 1 cup of the broth.

  1. Place 3 cups of drained beans into the Vitamix.
  2. Select variable 1.
  3. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10.
  4. Blend for 30 seconds using the tamper to press the beans into the beans. Add small amounts of the bean broth to reach the desired consistency.
  5. Repeat steps 1-3 until all the beans are pureed.

Food Tip: Use them as a side dish, to make burritos, tostadas or as a base for 9-layered dip. Add them to soups and stews as a natural thickener with the added benefit of adding extra protein.

Savings Tip: Because they are inexpensive, buy beans in bulk and store in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dry place. Under these conditions, dry beans can last up to a year. Also watch for sales in Mexican or farmer’s markets. These markets often have sales that are better than buying pre-packaged beans.

Time Tip: Cooked and pureed beans can keep for up to 6 months in the freezer. Double the recipe and freeze them in 1-3 cup size containers. When defrosted, use within 3 days. If using them as baby food, freeze them in standard ice cube trays covered in plastic wrap. Once frozen, put them into labeled and dated freezer bags for fast, fresh, individual portions.

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.

GE

Ratatouille:
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.

Puree:
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.

GE

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.

GE

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:

GE

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.

 

Mixed Fruit “Pudding”

Orange/Banana "Pudding"
Orange/Banana “Pudding”

3 cups frozen (thawed) or fresh fruit
4 tsp Ball Instant Pectin

1. Place the fruit into the Vitamix container and secure lid.
2. Select Variable 1.
3. Turn machine on and increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
4. Blend for about 30 seconds or until the fruit is well blended and completely smooth.
5. Turn the machine off and remove lid.
6. Add the pectin and replace the lid.
7. Select Variable 1.
8. Turn machine on and increase speed to Variable 3.
9. Blend for 3 minutes.
10. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container or a mason jar for 3-4 days.

Food Tip: Some fruits can cause severe allergies. It is wise to wait until a baby is at least 12 months old to try fruits like strawberries and avocados. Be sure to test them in small amounts for about a week. This recipe works well with a meal, as a snack or as a dessert for those restricted to a pureed diet. You can also blend this with a portion of applesauce. Babies and those on pureed diets can have a hard time with strong flavors.

Time Tip: Thaw any frozen fruit to be used in the refrigerator overnight for quick processing the next day.

Money Tip: When fruits are in season you can save lots of money by cleaning, preparing and freezing them yourself. Bananas are not seasonal but you can save money by peeling and freezing the “freckled” ones before they go bad and end up in the trash. Have fun experimenting with whatever fruit you have and nothing will go to waste.

Footnote:  It is summer time and I have tried this recipe with fresh peaches and nectarines.  For some reason the instant fruit pectin is not thickening it as with other fruits.  I will continue to work on other ways of thickening these and add a separate blog entry.  I am not in the habit of giving up so keep your eye on this blog for “Peach and Nectarine Fruit Pudding.

Fresh Almond Milk

This recipe can be found in the Vitamix Whole Food Recipe book.  My twist on it is the added vanilla.  Because I filter my almond milk, I found that adding the vanilla after meant using less of it. Also the mash remains unflavored so it can be used in a variety of recipes.

GE

3 cups of water
1 cup of raw almonds
Sugar or sweetener to taste (optional)
1 tsp of vanilla

1. Place the water and the almonds into the Vitamix container and secure the lid
2. Select variable 1.
3. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to variable 10, then to High.
4. Blend for 2 minutes or until desired consistency is reached.

Food Tip: Milk can be filtered through a nut milk bag for a smoother consistency. The remaining almond mash can be used in lots of other recipes. Processed almond milks contain additives and many contain added sugar. One carton I found had 15g of sugar whereas fresh unsweetened almond milk has 0g and it’s always fresh.

Time Tip: Many recipes for almond milk require hours of soaking before blending. With the Vitamix that is unnecessary so it can be made on the spot with no waiting. Freeze the almond mash in ice cube trays so that they can be quickly added to recipes in 1oz portions. You never have to defrost more than you will use.

Money Tip: A quart of processed almond milk can cost $5 but making it fresh is about half if you buy the raw almonds in bulk.

 

Matthew’s Oatmeal

GE
Matt’s Oatmeal

This is the recipe that started it all.  After I blend this in the Vitamix, my family comes into the kitchen looking for the apple pie because that’s exactly what it smells like.  Even if you or your child has never liked oatmeal, give this recipe a try.  You will be amazed at how good it tastes.  The apples and raisins add natural sweetener.  If you like your cereals a bit sweeter you can always add your favorite sweetener to the bowl but try it first.  Enjoy!

GE
Basic Ingredients

4 cups of steel cut oats (cooked)

1 cup fresh coconut milk

2 cups of water

1 large apple (cut in quarters & seeds removed. DO NOT PEEL!) or 1 banana

1/3 cup raisins

2 tbs chia seeds (hydrated in 2/3 cup of water)

2 tsp cinnamon (substitute 1 tsp of vanilla if using banana)

  1. Bring 1 cup of dry steel cut oats, water and coconut milk to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and continue cooking for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and let stand for 15-20 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed.
  2. GE
    Cooked Steel Cut Oats

    Place the chia seeds, apple, raisins and 1 cup of the cooked cereal into the large Vitamix container in the order listed and secure the lid.

  3. Select Variable 1.
  4. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed toVariable10, then to High.  Blend until completely smooth.
  5. Turn off machine and remove lid.
  6. Add remaining cereal and replace lid.
  7. Select Variable 1.
  8. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  9. Blend for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until desired consistency is reached.
  10. Pour into ice cube tray, cover with plastic wrap and freeze.
GE
Ready for Freezing

Food Tip:  This recipe can be reduced by 1/2 and made in smaller containers.  This oatmeal is best suited for older babies and individuals on a pureed diet that can handle a bit of texture.  For younger babies and individuals with gag reflex problems it is best to start with basic oatmeal made from oat flour (see recipe in whole grains).  When making this recipe for younger babies, add 1 ingredient at a time with at least 4 days in between additions to test for allergic reactions.  This recipe tastes so good the whole family will love it!

Money Tip:  Watch your prices.  I use Steel cut oats instead of whole oat groats, old fashioned oats or quick oats.  Oat groats and Steel cut oats have a more robust flavor  and more fiber because of the oat bran.  Other than that, they are pretty much the same nutritionally.  Steel cut oats run about 65 cents a pound if you buy them in bulk.  Since you are grinding or blending, why not save some money.

Time Tip:  Each cube is approximately 1 once.  Storing you cubes in labeled freezer bags will save lots of time and your servings will always be fresh.  To serve, simply put the desired portion in a microwavable bowl the night before and heat for 15-30 seconds on high.  If the cubes have not been defrosted, it will take 30-60 seconds to heat. 4 frozen cubes takes approximately 45 seconds.