Have you ever wanted to know how to puree food or why you even have puree? Well this article will hopefully answer these questions and give you a little more information about pureed foods and the benefits of vegetable puree for your diet. We will begin by discussing exactly what puree is!
How to Make Puree?
The most common and popular method for making puree is to add food chunks in a blender and blend them with a very little amount of water, stock or milk if needed.
You can make many tasty food combinations in the food processor and eating pureed food doesn’t have to be bland. Not all foods are meant to be pureed but many regular foods can be made into a pureed food meal.
Here is a quick guide on how to puree food for babies and adults:
How to Make Fruit Puree
Fruits can blend in their natural form and usually do not need any extra water added before blending because of their internal water content. Fruits are great for infants and elderly patients.
Pureeing Foods After Weight Loss Surgery
Bariatric patients can enjoy pureed fruits such as ripe bananas or pureed apples, but gastric bypass patients need to ensure the fruit is not too high in sugar to avoid illness and dumping syndrome.
When making pureed food for weight loss patients it is better to make pureed food recipes from scratch rather than using canned fruits so you can control the amount of sugar and processed ingredients in the pureed diet.
How to Make Vegetable Puree
Vegetables will need to be cooked before being blended into a puree.
Vegetables are a great source of nutrition on the pureed blended diet and often blend nicely when soft and combined with milk or chicken stock or bone broth.
Check out this recipe for making your own Instant Pot Chicken Broth to use for making puree foods.
Steam Vegetables to Puree
You can steam vegetables in an instant pot or steamer or boil them on a stovetop.
Once cooked the solid foods can be placed into a food processor or blitzed with an immersion blender.
Adults can eat pureed food made from vegetables. Foods such as pureed carrots, mashed sweet potato, pureed squash and smooth mashed potatoes are tasty options for a healthy diet.
Cook food until it is soft enough to blend into a smooth mixture, adding milk or chicken broth as needed for desired consistency and taste.
Fish can also be added to the diet in a pureed form – try making a salmon and vegetable puree or tuna and potato puree.
How to Make Protein Purees
Cereals and proteins like meat need to be properly cooked to a soft texture so that they can be blended appropriately. Mixed food puree can be made by combining two or more food groups.
Pureeing food such as cooked meat, cottage cheese, meat, fish, poultry etc is a great way to make a high-protein pureed meal for adults who may need extra protein in their diet.
Pureed meats can also be added to vegetable purees to add extra protein and flavour.
Pureed Meats for Infants
For infants, pureed meats are a great way to introduce them to new textures and flavours as they start solids. Just make sure the meat is cooked thoroughly before blending and avoid adding any extra salt or seasoning to baby food.
When making pureed foods for infants or toddlers you can use an immersion blender, a food processor or a specialised baby food grinder.
Babies need to eat foods that are smooth and free of chunks, so make sure to blend or grind your pureed foods until they are smooth and not lumpy.
How to Make Meat Purees
You can blend meat on its own by combining it with a stock or broth or puree meat with a root vegetable or mashed potatoes.
Blending Beans for Protein Purees
Another great source of protein would be blended beans, legumes and pulses. You can cook beans in the Instant Pot for example Instant Pot Black Beans can be cooked and then mashed to make a puree.
You could also make refried beans in the Instant Pot with this Instant Pot pinto beans recipe.
Best Vegetables to Puree for Adults
Here are some of the best-cooked vegetables to puree for adults. Be sure to place the soft foods into the food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
- Butternut Squash
- Sweet potatoes
- Green Beans
Remember to always check with a healthcare professional before starting a pureed food diet for yourself or a loved one to ensure it is the right option for their specific needs.
Best Ingredients to Puree With Vegetables or Meat.
Here are some popular ingredients for creating pureed food.
- Chicken Broth: Forms the base of the puree, providing a savory flavor and helping to achieve the right consistency.
- Plain Greek Yogurt: Adds creaminess to the puree and brings a tangy note that balances the flavors.
- Whole Milk or Low Fat Dairy Milk: Helps to create a smooth and creamy texture, making the puree more palatable.
- Olive Oil or Butter: Enhances the richness and depth of flavor in the puree, giving it a satisfying mouthfeel.
- Cream Cheese: Lends a thick and velvety texture to the puree, enhancing its decadence.
- Cottage Cheese: Adds a unique tang and creaminess to the puree, while also contributing to the protein content.
- Mild Or Processed Cheeses: Melt well into the puree, adding a delightful cheesy flavor and creamy texture.
- Powdered Milk Cheese Yogurt: Can be used to thicken the puree and add a subtle dairy flavor, without altering the overall texture too much.
- Sour Cream: Brings a tangy richness to the puree, complementing the other flavors and adding complexity.
- Canned Coconut Milk: Can be used as a dairy-free alternative to create a creamy texture, while also adding a subtle tropical flavor.
- Frozen Fruit: Can be blended into the puree for a sweet twist, adding vitamins and natural sweetness.
- Meats: Cooked and finely blended meats add protein and savory flavor to the puree, making it more filling and nutritious.
- Beans: Can be pureed smoothly and offer a good source of fiber and protein, while also adding a hearty element to the dish.
- Cooked Pasta: Can be blended into the puree to add body and a comforting, starchy component.
- Cooked Cereals: Can be used to thicken the puree and add a subtly sweet, grainy flavor.
The Benefits of Vegetable Puree
Vegetable puree has many benefits, the most obvious being the nutrients and goodness found in pureed veg. There are other benefits to eating vegetable puree and here are the reasons as listed below:
Vegetable Puree After Weight Loss Surgery
Following gastric bypass surgery, one will need to undertake a soft food diet stage whilst the stomach is healing.
Having plenty of pureed vegetables will not only allow you to get the nutrition you need, it will do so in a safe and easy to digest way.
Pureed vegetables can also be a great way to add bulk and fibre to your diet during weight loss without adding extra calories.
Vegetable Puree for Older Adults, Infants, and Those With Difficulties Chewing or Swallowing
Pureed vegetables can also be a great option for older adults, infants, and those with difficulties chewing or swallowing. Vegetables blended into a puree offer the same nutrition as their solid counterparts but in a form that is easier to consume.
Pureed vegetable meals can also be added to soups, sauces, casseroles and other dishes for added nutrition and flavour.
Pureed Vegetables and Picky Eaters
Pureed vegetables can also be a great way to sneak in extra nutrition for picky eaters, whether they be children or adults.
Adding pureed vegetables to sauces, and soups, or even blending them into smoothies can increase the veggie intake without the picky eater even noticing.
Vegetable Puree for Toddlers and Child Taste Development
The complementary feeding period of a baby has great significance on this food choice in later life. It is suggested that mothers should introduce vegetables before fruits to enhance palatability and taste.
Pureed fruits are sweet and easy to adapt to. Vegetables on the other hand are bland in taste, thus requiring some effort to make adaptable for your baby.
Be careful not to give spicy or acidic foods, as these may irritate your baby’s immature digestive system.
Pureed vegetable meals can also be a great option for toddlers and children as they transition from purees to solid foods, offering them the nutrition they need in a form that is easy for them to consume.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different vegetables and seasonings to find combinations that your child enjoys.
Some patients who are hospitalised or in critical care units need food to be provided through enteral or tube feeding depending on their medical and health condition. Food like cereals, protein, and vegetables can be provided to them by making a puree in a tube.
Soup For Elderly
Sometimes older people may have issues chewing food. As age increases, chewing capacity decreases.
Vegetable puree is a very appropriate option for the elderly who struggle with solids as it is soft in texture, and pureed vegetables need little effort to swallow in comparison to solid veg.
Vegetable purees have a significant role in therapeutic diets. In the mechanical soft diets, food is offered in the pureed form so that persons who have a mechanical issue in chewing can still enjoy the goodness of vegetables.
A bland vegetable puree diet can help patients who need to lower the spices and fat content they consume to prevent the worsening of conditions such as ulcers and GERD.
Provision of the Nutrients
Most importantly vegetable puree is rich in vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes. It provides essential micronutrients to the person who is on the pureed blended food diet and we all know the wider the variety of vegetables we eat the better for our bodies.
Get a Good Blender or Food Processor
To make pureed vegetables, you will need a good blender or food processor. Make sure to always follow the manufacturer’s directions for use and safety precautions.
Start by washing and peeling any necessary vegetables, then chop them into small chunks. Cook the vegetables until they are tender (either by boiling, steaming, roasting, or microwaving) before transferring them to the blender or food processor.
Add a small amount of liquid (such as broth, water, milk, or juice) to aid in blending and achieve desired consistency.
Blend until smooth and serve immediately or store in airtight containers for future use.
For added flavour, experiment with herbs, spices, and other ingredients such as garlic, onion, or cheese. Enjoy your homemade vegetable puree as a soup, sauce, dip, or in other dishes.
Enjoy Creating Pureed Food Recipes
Pureed foods can be a creative and delicious addition to your meals. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different vegetables and seasonings to find puree foods combinations that you enjoy.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Puree?
A smooth mixture of food that has uniform consistency is called a puree. Mostly, made from vegetables or fruit, puree is made for multiple purposes and can help people of all ages.
Who Needs to Eat Pureed Foods?
Puree has a role in enhancing the tastes for a baby when they first begin solids following a milk diet.
Older people including adults may need puree as part of a therapeutic diet and bariatric patients will need a pureed food diet following weight loss surgery.
Puree for Babies
When babies are ready to start solids, puree can be a great way to introduce them to new tastes and textures.
Pureed food for babies can easily be made at home by blending or mashing fruits and vegetables with breast milk or formula until it reaches the desired smooth consistency.
How Much Puree Food for Adults?
For some people with multiple illnesses, you may need to calculate their total daily energy expenditure. Then you can work out a pureed food diet plan with the best possible food choices to enable them to get the daily nutrition needed.
Calculating Pureed Meals
You may want to ask your nutritionist to use TDEE calculator measurements to work out how many calories a patient burns and how much food is required daily. This can be super helpful for an elderly patient or someone who is working on weight loss.
Pureed food for adults is often a mixture of vegetables, proteins, and starches – but it all depends on individual needs.
Can You Puree Raw Vegetables?
Raw vegetables can be tough to puree and may not blend smoothly unless they are very ripe.
If you want to make a raw vegetable puree it may be best to use a high-powered blender instead of an immersion blender or food processor. Only give adult patients pureed food recommended by a dietician or doctor.
How to Freeze Pureed Foods?
Pureed foods can be frozen in small portions for future meals or snacks. Place the puree in a freezer-safe container and label with the date before putting it into the freezer to enjoy within 2-3 months.
You can store small amounts of pureed food as ice cubes using ice cube trays. This can be a great way to make sure you have single servings ready to go in the freezer when needed.
To thaw frozen foods , place the container in the fridge overnight or use the defrost setting on your microwave for a quick thaw. Always check the temperature before serving to make sure it has fully thawed and is heated through.
When reheating pureed foods, do not microwave them in their plastic container as it can cause harmful chemicals to leach into the food.
Instead, transfer the puree to a microwave-safe dish before reheating.
Always remember to properly label and date any pureed foods stored in the freezer and follow safe food handling practices when preparing and storing pureed meals.