Frequently Asked Questions

From Wikipedia: Dysphagia is the medical term for the symptom of difficulty in swallowing. Although classified under “symptoms and signs” the term is sometimes used as a condition in its own right.

I had never heard the word dysphagia either until my mother was diagnosed.

I quickly found out that a million people a year are diagnosed with this condition, according to the CDC, and that by the year 2030, with the aging of the Baby Boom generation, 12 million people in the United States will have swallowing disorders.

From the day of diagnosis, the person with dysphagia needs to exclusively eat pureed food (also known as a “soft food diet”). This may be a shock to you, as it was for me.

Here are a few facts I learned during my research:

  • It is difficult to find soft food diet recipes that taste good.
  • Most ready-t0-eat pureed foods on the market don’t taste good, look unappetizing and can be filled with chemicals and are not very nutritious.
  • Dysphagia patients often lose interest in eating when there’s no flavor or visual appeal to the food they are served.
  • If the patient does not eat, the patient loses weight and the ability to fight off infections, such as pneumonia. Aspirational pneumonia is a hazard with swallowing difficulties. Aspirational pneumonia is much more difficult to cure than viral pneumonia, and it is often life-threatening or fatal.
  • The patient who loses all ability to swallow may require a feeding tube.
  • Poor nutrition, in time, creates poor health and loss of vitality and strength.

I was determined not to let this happen to my mother, so I perfected pureed versions of some of her favorite dishes. Ones that were packed with nutrition and were delicious. She loved them!

The EP Guidebook is exactly what the home cook or caregiver needs: It is easy to use and the recipes are delicious. Above all, it is user-friendly. It gets right down to the business of flavor.

It is a go-to, one-stop source. It provides tips, tricks and instruction on techniques and organization for a smooth-running puree kitchen that is labor-saving, time-saving and money-saving, all in one volume.


In this book I’ve focused on the perspective of the caregiver, from my own experience of being a primary caregiver to my mom for five years. I am keenly aware of the problem of caregiver burnout and caregiver isolation and make suggestions to deal with these all important issues.

The EP Guidebook contains a quick guide to the National Dysphagia Diet, with a description of the levels of thickness as determined for each patient individually by his or her healthcare provider.

You will also find instructions on the use of commercial thickeners and commercially thickened drinks from one of the best dysphagia care experts in the country. The commercial products recommended are the very best quality with no impairment of flavor.

As a bonus to those who purchase the EP Guidebook directly from our website, you will receive a free copy of my e-book The Master Sauce Guide. The great secret to making flavorful puree is a fabulous sauce. The sauce is the medium of flavor. The sauce makes the puree sing. No more boring food filled with chemicals and preservatives!


he whole country has become aware of nutrition for schoolchildren. The craze for nutritional healing has gripped American adults struggling with obesity and an epidemic of diabetes.
Yet the subject of nutrition for the elderly is a hidden and unseen issue, it is big, and it cannot be overestimated how important this is for the patients and their families.
The institutional cook may be unaware that making flavorful pureed food required more than putting a standard meal into a blender.
The science of surface area expanded by pureeing renders the food tasteless. Essential Puree provides the answer and the solution to making every meal delicious: the sauce is the medium of flavor. The cook must pay special attention to it.
Elementary rules of science, dear reader. When you season a four ounce serving of protein, you add enough seasoning for the surface of the protein.

When you puree the protein, you increase the surface area geometrically and the seasoning is lost for each particle. The Essential Puree Guidebook suggests putting the flavor into the sauce.

A simple half cup of sauce can give the correct consistency and also carry the flavor.

For this reason, Essential Puree recipes pay special attention to the creation and storage of sauces and pantry items to perfect the puree while imparting flavor.

No bland, boring, tasteless food in the world of Essential Puree.