Category Archives: Blenderized

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Hemp Milk

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 3 minutes
  • 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

  • 1 cup hemp hearts
  • 2 1/2 cups of water
  • 4 pitted dates
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla

Directions

  1. Place hemp hearts, dates and 2 1/2 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 cup of water and the vanilla and secure lid.
  7. Select Variable 1.
  8. Turn machine on and blend for 30 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.
  • 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.

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,Aloe juice and fresh Aloe Vera,coconut oil 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.

Homemade “Ripple Milk”

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: about 1hour 5 minutes
  • 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).
  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.  It is thick so if you plan on drinking it, you may want to thin it out a bit.  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.

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 $4.29 for 48oz.  Since I only used 1 cup of dried beans, I made 80oz for only 33 cents!

Raw Coconut Milk

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • 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.

 

 

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.

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!

GE

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.

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:

https://www.vitamix.com/Find-Recipes/B/A/Baby-Food-Pur%C3%A9es

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.

Mango Puree

2 ½ cups peeled and seeded mangos

GE1. Place the mango pieces into the Vitamix Container and secure lid.
2. Select Variable 1.
3. Quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then High.
4. Blend for 20 seconds.
5. Pour into ice cube trays, cover with plastic wrap and freeze.
6. Store cubes in labeled and dated Ziploc freezer bags.

Ready to freeze
Ready to freeze

Food Tip: Freezing chopped fruit like mangos and pineapples without pureeing them first is a problem because the pieces stick together. Freezing blackberries and raspberries whole is ok but, if you love them in your smoothies but don’t like the seeds, pureeing them first is the answer.  To use as baby food:  Defrost only what you need and introduce new fruits to your baby’s diet to watch for allergies.

Money Tip: Buy fruit in large quantities when they are in season and freeze them. Mangos that are not in season can cost $1 each. Buying mangos from your local Mexican or farmer’s market when they are in season (especially here in California) can cost you as little as 25 cents each!  Homemade fruit puree is not only better for your baby but very inexpensive.

Time Tip: Pureed fruit cubes are perfect at smoothie making time. Open up a bag and grab as many of these perfectly portioned cubes as you need. They are all about 1 ounce so you’ll never spend time guessing how much you have. The individual cubes don’t stick together so you’ll never have to go in search of a hammer to break up your mango iceberg again!

Ready to use
Ready to use

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.