September 28th, 2015
| Supporter: Breast Cancer
Treatment can leave patients facing difficulties with producing saliva, swallowing foods, or a dramatic change in taste. Despite these difficulties, Chef Ryan Callahan provides simple solutions for putting together meals for cancer patients.
Someone recently asked me to come up with cooking ideas to help their husband, with head and neck cancer, eat meals. He has had radiation, chemo, and all of his teeth removed. Between swallowing issues, no teeth, altered taste, and no saliva, cooking for him seems like an overwhelming task but the great news is we can fix this! What I would recommend are the following: soups, smoothies, and a special category that I don't really touch on in my book but will teach you here very quickly. It is called a Puree.
A puree is exactly what it sounds like. It is a fully cooked dish introduced to a blender and liquefied. The big key difference between a puree and baby food is adult flavoring. Follow the Roundness of Flavor and Palate Cleansing techniques in my book and you should have absolutely no trouble with this.
Below you'll find my 3 reasons why purees are great for cancer patients.
1. Purees taste exactly like whatever you make them out of.
2. You can alter the consistency of a puree.
3. Purees can be served hot or cold.
One last thing to remember: make sure you have plenty of fluids going into the person you are cooking for, because you want to absolutely avoid dehydration at all cost. Believe it or not, water is actually not very good at re-hydrating and will tend to taste terrible while on chemotherapy. Look to lemon/lime sports drinks, fruit juices that they enjoy (especially the more citrus-y ones), broths, and last but not least do not discredit meal replacement smoothies as an excellent way of sneaking in a few extra vitamins as needed.
I hope this helps. Feel free to write me with any more questions.
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