In my last post I tried to emphasize how impossible, and unnecessary, it is to create a perfect recipe for blended meals. Fortunately our bodies are designed in such a way that we can survive and thrive (barring other problems) WITHOUT “perfect” nutrition. Of course, we desire to have and provide excellent nutrition (except when I want chocolate chip cookies), right? But you know I am talking about blended meals for tube-dependent persons. Somehow we perceive or know that a person who needs a tube in order to receive nutrition perhaps needs better nutrition than most. Although in my case I don’t know that for certain. However, if I could have given my older children the nutrition I have given Natalie I certainly would have!
Last night I concocted a recipe, which follows, and then calculated the percentages of carbs, fats, and proteins. I did this by looking up the nutritional information about each ingredient at reliable online resources. By counting up total calories, total grams in each category, multiplying those grams times the number of calories in each category and then dividing by the total number of calories, blah blah blah. You get the picture. This is a vegetarian recipe:
2 c. chopped zucchini
1 c. chopped walnuts
4 c. romaine lettuce
2.5 c. water
16 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained
1 c. cooked quinoa, drained
½ c. coconut milk
When I blended this recipe, I added the garbanzo beans last, after blending all the other ingredients well. Beans = starch production = gluey texture. I only blended for about 30 seconds after adding the beans. With the lowest possible setting, I blended for 2 more minutes to stir out as much air as possible. The final result was approximately 9 cups of blended food.
The total calories = 2155
Not bad, because that means 29.9 calories/ounce. Calorie density is important in blended meals because we can only put so much food in a person’s stomach at a given meal. Blended meals have a higher volume, typically, because of the liquid required to attain a consistency that can be pushed through a skinny little tube!
However, with this recipe, the ratios come out like this:
59% fat, 30% carbs, 11% protein
Ouch! Not enough protein, too much fat, not enough carbs. I’m sure that many of my recipes have TONS of protein, not enough carbs and adequate or too much fat. I will be evaluating my other recipes to see how they come out. It takes a while to calculate, so please be patient.
But guess what? I AM GOING TO FEED THIS TO HER – HAPPILY!!! Because I know it is all good food, good for her and will serve her well.