All About Ingredients: Oatmeal With Fruit and Cinnamon Breakfast Smoothie

fruit-925202_1920Essential Puree stresses the concept of nutritional healing. The American public has never been more conscious of eating well to maintain good health. The person with swallowing difficulties will have more choices of foods to eat if they use new technology to widen the circle of foods that may be prepared safely in the dysphagia kitchen.

With the proper tools and cooking and prep method, you can puree anything. On this website, I review the best and the latest kitchen appliances. One of the best game-changing kitchen appliances is the nutrition extractor. This is inexpensive, it has a small footprint, it is not noisy, and it is powerful. It is a step beyond a blender because it has specially designed blades that can liquefy vegetables and fruits to a smooth state, or to a state where remaining amounts of fibers may be removed by running the liquid through a mesh sieve with a spatula.

The idea of the nutritionally dense fruit and vegetable drink has turned into a trend nationwide. Millions of nutrition extractors have been purchased globally. So here’s my suggestion as a technique for the dysphagia kitchen. Catch the wave. I recommend the NutriBullet 900 as the basic appliance. I have been using one for years. It is a sturdy appliance that delivers good performance without being noisy and without taking up a lot of space on the counter. What is even more important, it travels well in a carry case designed for the purpose. This means the person with swallow difficulties can take the machine on the go to a restaurant or an event, without being left out because of the swallowing disorder.

I also recommend the NutriBullet Rx because of the soup function. This baby is like a fast car. It does the job. Performing the same task as the Rolls Royce of blenders, the Vitamix and the NutriBullet Rx can make a hot soup in 7 minutes from raw vegetables.

A new product has come on the market. NutriNinja has recently released a personal nutrition extractor, the Nutri Ninja Auto iQ 1100W Personal Blender with Smooth Boost. I will be putting it through the test kitchen as soon as mine arrives. I have used the regular NutriNinja, and it is an excellent machine.

The guideline set by the U. S. D. A. is for five servings of fruit and vegetables a day. In the dysphagia kitchen, you can make use of the recipes for the Nutriblasts and thicken them. You can have them as a snack or even as a breakfast. Several recipe booklets come with the machine, but there is a website that is a fantastic resource in terms of nutritional information. NutriBullet is selling good health. They have done their homework in regard to nutrition, and they employ a dietitian who is available to ask questions.

If you use the right tools, you may have a liquid breakfast that is nutritionally dense and thickened for the swallow. You can vary the ingredients, which puts an end to patient boredom. They are easy to make. You can use both fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables and whey or plant-based protein powders. Since I like the avocado as an ingredient for thickening soups and sauces, I wrote a blog post on how to buy an avocado. I have had a number of requests from readers for more instruction on how to pick the ingredients that go into smoothies, protein drinks, soups and recipes in the Essential Puree books and on the website. On the NutriLiving website, you will find two infographics that you can download to your own devices. This one analyzes fruits. This site has info on nutritional content of veggies.

Note: It is best to receive clearance from your healthcare provider (physician, dietitian or SLP, speech language pathologist) before adding a new ingredient to your diet. The healthcare professional will also give clearance for the prep method, the nutrition extractor. The NDD is not a one size fits all diet. The object is safety.

This Oatmeal and Fruit Smoothie has a balance of carbohydrates, protein and fiber, with a minimum amount of sugar, and a healthy spice, cinnamon. It is a good start to the day in a form that is easily tolerated by a person with swallowing difficulties. The trick is in getting the oatmeal soft for the puree, and that is why I recommend the cooking appliance, the mini rice cooker.


Variety is the spice of life. One of the ways to avoid boredom is to vary the flavors, which means you need an arsenal of tasty ingredients. To vary the protein, add a tablespoon of peanut butter powder dissolved in a tablespoon of warm water, or even a tablespoon of good peanut butter, meaning no trans-fats, dissolved in a tablespoon of warm water by whisking. Almond butter will also work. This turns your morning oatmeal into a PBJ oatmeal. Delish. Remember to get clearance from your healthcare provider, physician, dietitian or speech language pathologist, before adding any specific ingredient to your smoothie. For the Oatmeal Fruit and Cinnamon Breakfast Smoothie

Equipment: Mini Rice Cooker and a NutriBullet

Prep Time: 5 minutes     Cook Time: 10 minutes       Level: Easy      Servings: 2


  • 1/2 cup steel cut oats or good quality rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp. dried Goji berries
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 shake of cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • Pinch salt
  • Instant Thickener if needed


Place a half cup of good oats in the mini rice cooker and add 1 and ½ cups of water, a handful of goji berries, a shake of cinnamon, a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of honey to the oats. Close the lid and turn on the mini rice cooker.

The rice cooker will go through its cycle and turn off when the oats are done. I suggest stirring the oats occasionally. The oats will finish very soft in texture, perfect for puree. If they need a few more minutes, add a quarter cup of water and turn on the mini rice cooker until the porridge is soft enough to puree smoothly.

Meanwhile, make the NutriBlast of your choice, with berries, frozen fruit, spinach, or Brussel sprouts. Use water or coconut water or any non-dairy milk, such as almond milk.

Extract the smoothie until it is smooth. 90 seconds.

When the smoothie is finished, add a cup of the cooked oats.

For protein, add a heaping tablespoon of plain lowfat Greek yogurt. The smoothie will thicken with the yogurt and oatmeal. If it needs more thickening, add some instant thickener, enough to obtain the desired level of the NDD.

Swirl Away!


Featured photo credit: StockSnap via Pixabay, cc