Introducing the Foolish: Greek Yogurt with Warm Black and Blue Sauce

Diane WolffHow To, Thoughts Comments

A Quickies for Caregivers Sweet Snack: Ready in Twenty Minutes The Fool is the easiest and most basic dessert in the world. It can also serve as a snack at four o’clock in the afternoon, when there’s a dip in energy and a person might want a light snack. This combination of blueberries and blackberries is a treat for the eyes as well as for the tastebuds. I call this version a Foolish because a Fool, the almost abandoned traditional English dessert, is properly made of a layer of fruit … Read More

The Portable Snack: Three Ways to Eat On the Go

Diane WolffAdvice, How To, Thoughts Comments

The Tailgate, the Portable Shake and the Instant Milkshake Fall is almost here. The weather is about to be spectacular. Within a month, it will start to get cooler and soon the leaves will begin to turn. Even if you live in a warm climate, such as in California, Arizona or Florida, the air becomes cooler and the humidity drops. People want to be outdoors, and that includes the dysphagia patient. The biggest social event of Fall is attendance at a sporting event, like soccer, football, or lacrosse. The family … Read More

Five Ways to Help a Caregiver 

Diane WolffAdvice, How To, Thoughts Comments

Dysphagia Care at Home and In a Healthcare Facility Let me speak of the unsung heroes of our world, those who take care of the elderly and others of all ages with challenging health conditions of all types. We here at Essential Puree like to think of ourselves as having a caregiver perspective. I speak from personal experience. I am an author and a journalist. I am an Asia specialist, and I have traveled all over the world in search of great stories. Through a chain of circumstance, I left the life … Read More

Ripe Plantain Arepas: The Latin Kitchen Series

Diane WolffHow To, Recipes, Thoughts Comments

Arepas de Plátano Maduro The arepa is one of the most popular foods in Colombia and Venezuela. It is probably equivalent to the English muffin or the scone but with a Latin flavor profile. This is a breakfast food, with a flavor like a banana biscuit with savory to balance the sweetness.  It can also be served as a side dish for meat or poultry. The arepa is made from ripe plantains. It is also made with masarepa, or corn flour. (available at specialty markets or from Amazon). The arepa … Read More

The No-No List

Diane WolffAdvice, Thoughts Comments

Essential Puree Recipes for the Dysphagia Kitchen with No Additives and Preservatives Essential Puree has a philosophy – Clean Eating. Our recipes, featured in both the From Scratch and Quickies for Caregivers series, recommend clean ingredients. We have a saying here at EP, “The least-processed food is the best.” Know where your food comes from, coax out the flavors, and treat food with respect. “Food is precious.” That last bit is a quote from the great chef Alice Waters, owner of Chez Panisse in Berkeley. Essential Puree believes that the nutritional … Read More

The Food Mill: Why the Dysphagia Kitchen Needs One

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I recently wrote a post about the five low-tech tools that anyone can use in the puree kitchen. One of them was the food mill. Then, I came across this wonderful article recommended by the woman who is founder of my online food writers group. The author says that if you want a silky puree, then you need a food mill. It saves you a step. If you use a blender, to get a silky puree, you have to run the dish through a mesh sieve. With the food mill, … Read More

Staples for the Japanese Pantry

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Japanese cuisine is one of the healthiest in the world. Many of the dishes are easy to make at home. The most famous, such as yakitori, or grilled skewers of chicken, are easy to puree. They are delicious, but to get the authentic taste you need the right ingredients. Below, I give you an excellent link by a noted Japanese food writer; your own guide to the Japanese pantry. I lived in Japan for a year and went to school to learn Japanese cooking. I am a huge fan of … Read More

Travel Tips for the Dysphagia Patient

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How to Eat in an Airport or on a Flight For the patient with swallowing disorders, taking a flight requires planning ahead. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has rules, but it is not that difficult to bring food to the airport. In the common areas of an airport, it might be difficult to get pureed food in a restaurant. If you are in the common areas or even in a restaurant, you may eat a take-along pureed meal. Most restaurants would not object to a person with special dietary needs … Read More

The Chinois: A Fine Strainer for the Dysphagia Kitchen

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Cucumbers are in season. Here is a cucumber soup. It is not the cucumber as you usually think of it; this one is juiced in an old-fashioned electric juicer. Cucumber juice gives this Cucumber Vichyssoise (the French term for potato and leek soup) a slightly green color. It is very appetizing and very cooling in summer. The soup is made with cream and is known for its smoothness. Even the name of the soup is smooth as it rolls off the tongue. There is a reason for the cliché, “Cool … Read More

Why You Should Stop Using Bleached All Purpose Flour

Essential PureeThoughts Comments

Ingredients are a big part of the Essential Puree approach to the dysphagia kitchen. Part of the Essential Puree system is stocking the pantry with great go-to ingredients for every season of the year. Essential Puree is all about bringing the trends of the food world into the dysphagia kitchen. I focus on expanding the variety of dishes made from great ingredients, while paying careful attention to the science of the safe swallow. It is about nutritional healing and clean eating. I have devoted many blog posts to the importance … Read More