PUREES, DIPS, SAUCES, SOUPS, PATE, DRESSINGS AND WHIPS
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© December 2012, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
Purees, dips, sauces, pate, dressings and whips can enhance a meal, and are eaten by many groups around the world. These items also are excellent for a nutritional balancing program, provided the ingredients are those that are healthful, simple and pure.
THE APPEAL OF THESE FOODS
1. Easy to digest. These items are already broken down and require little, if any chewing. This is particularly good for babies and young children, older people with poor teeth, those who have weak digestion, and others who may not chew thoroughly for any reason.
2. Ways to administer vitamins. Sauces and dips are excellent to disguise vitamins that one wishes to give to children, or to anyone.
3. Dips and pates are “fun foods” for many people. They can be eaten with blue corn chips, for example, or rice crackers. They can also enhance and dress up other food items to make them more appealing and tasty.
4. Changing the texture of certain foods can make them more appetizing. Some people object to eating just plain cooked vegetables, sardines, and other important foods. However, they may find them far more appetizing and exciting if they are made into a puree or a dip.
5. Rich in nutrients. When properly prepared (see below), purees, dips and sauces can be rich sources of vitamins and minerals to add to any meal. The nutrients are made even more bioavailable by pureeing them.
6. Foods for pets. Some animals such as cats, in particular, but also some dogs and others will not eat large chunks of meats or cooked vegetables. However, they will eat them when they are pureed to a creamy texture.
7. Desserts, cream soups and much more. Adding sauces, purees, dips and pate can assist you to make tasty desserts, soups and many more dishes. In this regard, they can easily add many new recipes to your cooking repertoire.
HOW TO PREPARE DIPS, PUREES, SAUCES AND PATE WITH A HAND BLENDER, OR WITH A FOOD PROCESSOR FOR LARGER QUANTITIES
For making some dips, sauces, pate and purees, a regular blender is not the best appliance to use. The reasons are:
1. Most require a fairly large amount of ingredients for the blender to work properly.
2. Most blenders require adding water to the food, and we do not like this. It dilutes the food, which should be thick to mix properly with saliva for optimum digestion.
3. Blenders are hard to clean, usually with multiple parts. This takes more time and work.
HAND BLENDERS FOR SMALL QUANTITIES
An excellent alternative is called a hand blender. The name is deceptive, because it is an electrical device. It is shaped like a thick rod, with a blade at one end, and a cord coming out of the other end. It is a small, inexpensive kitchen appliance that often sells for under $30.00 USD.
Operation. Simply place the hand blender in the pot in which you have cooked vegetables, for example, and it will puree the vegetables easily.
There is no need to add water, and this is one of its great advantages.
It is excellent to prepare a small amount of food.
If you have a large family, or are preparing a larger quantity of a dip or sauce or puree, then a food processor is usually the best machine to use. This also does not require adding water, which is beneficial.
SAMPLE PUREES, DIPS, SAUCES AND PATES
1. The simpler, the better. This means the fewer ingredients, in general, the easier it is to digest. For example, cream alone is an excellent dip or sauce. There is no need to get fancy. Perhaps add a touch of garlic powder or some other mild herb to the cream for flavoring, but nothing else.
2. Don’t add water, if at all possible, or add the least amount needed. This is also for optimum digestion and the best food combination.
3. Do not live on soups. This is because soups contain too much water, which dilutes the stomach acid and impairs digestion. You can have thick soups once or twice a week, but not all the time.
Vegetable purees. Suggestions that your children and family will love include puree of carrots, or cauliflower, perhaps, or any other vegetable, or a combination of several vegetables. To add sweetness, include a little carrot, onion, parsnip, pumpkin, winter squash or sweet potato.
Creamed vegetables are excellent for babies and young children. Even those who refuse to eat vegetables will often eat them when mixed with cream.
Spinach sag or pureed spinach with a little yogurt is also a favorite of many people, and a wonderful food.
Dips can be made from peas, beans, a little cream, and from cooked vegetables. A sardine dip or pate is superb, and often no one will figure out that it even contains sardines, as they are unrecognizable.
Soups. You can make thick soups with a hand blender or food processor. Please do not make thin soups, except maybe chicken soup. This is because thin soups mix too much water with the food, impairing digestion. Thick soups and chiles are better.
Cream soups with vegetables or meats, chile, dressings of all kinds, taco fillings and meat sauces are also superb, and offer alternatives to just eating plain cooked vegetables and meats, for example.