Tag Archives: Blenderized

G-tube feedings

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.

Coconut Milk/Pros and Cons

As Matthew grows it gets harder and harder to keep up with his calorie need without adding more formula.  To complicate things more, in the last 2 years, his bowel has begun functioning much less efficient.  Because of that I tested him for 4 days with coconut oil to make sure he wasn’t allergic to it.  Once I saw that he was not allergic to it, I began making his oatmeal with fresh coconut milk I blend myself.  Since I had already done research on it, I felt comfortable giving it to him.  I will post that recipe and my recipe for coconut seed pudding soon.

Since there is a lot of confusion about the health benefits of it, I thought it would be good to pass on what I have read.  I feel strongly in educating myself on anything I eat but much more so for Matthew.  So many of us race off after every new “super food” that hits the news without looking into the particulars of it.  I tend to look for articles done with research behind them and, because of my medical background, articles written by MDs.  I know there are many doctors who are anti whole food healing but not all of them are.

I read this article about coconut milk and I felt it gave a good picture of the pros and cons of it.  Take a look and decide for yourself.

 

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.

 

 

Nooooo!

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So what do you think happened here?  Was it:

  1. The baby threw up.
  2. The syringe malfunctioned.
  3. The med port popped open.

If you guessed #2, you were right.  Sticky syringes can be annoying if not down right disastrous.  Has it happened to you or is it just me and the mom of this baby?  I have had to clean walls, ceilings and floors because I forced a syringe filled with medication or oils.  You know the drill.  You use a syringe, wash it, let it dry and forget about it until it’s time to reload it.  When bolus feeding a blenderized diet it can cause a sticky syringe within in 1 to 2 uses.  We all know tossing our syringes after so few uses is out of the question. You have to use those syringes 5-6 times a day minimum for up to a week so what do you do?  The answer:  Lubricate the plunger.

I use coconut oil for 2 reasons: 1) It was recommended to me by another Tubie mom and 2) when I used olive oil it still got stuck.  So here’s the process:

  1. Starting with a dry syringe and plunder, dip the plunder into a bowl containing slightly warm coconut oil.
  2. Make sure to coat all surfaces of the plunger.
  3. Insert the plunger into the syringe and move the plunger up and down inside the syringe several times while turning the plunder.
  4. For the 60cc syringe, I sometimes use my finger to lubricate the inside in addition to the plunger.  This is helpful if the blend is fairly thick or the syringe has been reused a number of times.

Now you are ready to load your feeding.  It is very important to give the feeding immediately after loading it. It has been my experience that, if you set the syringe down and come back to it, the plunger will be stuck.  And what happens when you have a syringe full of a blend and you try to force into the extension tube?  Refer to picture 1.

If you are feeding on the go, I suggest you carry the coconut oil with you in a small vial.20170130_091230  It is solid at and below room temperature so you will want to keep it somewhere that is fairly warm.  If you can’t do that, you can still use it on the plunder but you have to do step #3 until the friction in the syringe melts it.

I would love to hear what works for you.  Please leave a comment.  The more information we have the fewer, “Nooooo!” situations we will have.

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.

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 Foodwishes.com 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.

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.

 

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.

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.