Tips & Tricks – Making IDDSI and Baby Food With Sous Vide

When we think of baby food we think of pureed food. Stuff that is easy to eat, not to thin and runny, not to thick or chewy. This same concept however applies for people with dysphagia as well.

In short, dysphagia is a condition in which a person’s ability to eat and drink is disrupted. This is very common, more than 3 million cases a year in fact. IDDSI (International Dysphagia Diet Standardization Initiative) framework consists of an eight level continuum to provide common terminology to describe food textures and drink thickness.

IDDSI 8 Level Continuum

So the next time you make something such as baby food, realize 590 million people worldwide are living with dysphagia. This has been a very interesting learning experience for myself as I work deeply with equipment that serves all fascists of the healthcare industry as well as recently having identical twin girls to feed.

I have found great joy in making meals for my little ones and have been enjoying coming up with new ideas, flavors, and textures to get them accustom to. What I have found works the best, has been utilizing Sous Vide to cook down food without losing the valuable nutrients. Below, is a video I made on how I use my cool Sammic tools to help me make baby food.

The equipment used (I’m a huge fan of kitchen tools)
SmartVide7 (check out sous-vide.cooking)
SE-206 (Chamber Vacuum Sealer)
XM-12 (Immersion Blender)

A huge benefit from Sous Vide, is all of the moisture that would otherwise be steamed off, stays in the bag! Imagine a chicken breast cooked any other way. For one, you need to make sure it’s cooked safe, right? So generally we tend to over cook it, just to be sure. No over cooking with Sous Vide. Set to 165F, and the chicken can’t ever go past that temperature… Even if you are busy changing multiple diapers and extremely sleep deprived, and forget about the food that has been sitting in the tank. It’s all good, get to it when your ready, it will be waiting for you.

Foodservice Equipment – Sammic

The first frozen flakes of snow have already begun to fall for some of us in the chillier states.  On my recent business trip out to the intermountain states of Idaho and Utah, the mountain tops were beginning to wear their beautiful caps of pearl white snow.  I would get a good chance to view the unique scenery as I joined my local Sammic representative

vacuum sealed potatoes
Diced potatoes vacuum sealed for freashness

Chef Zach Barker of IFE Intermountain Food Equipment, on a four-day sales seminar that was loaded with cooking demos.  Being the new guy on the block at Sammic, I had a lot to learn about all of the unique solutions that the global leader provides the restaurant and hospitality industry.  I could think of no better person to learn some of the more advanced cooking skills for vacuum sealers, sous-vide, and vegetable preparation equipment, than from Chef Zach.  Our first order of business was prepping our food for our first demo scheduled for lunch the next day.  This is where Sammic first stepped in to make my life a whole lot easier.  By using the right tools for the right job we were able to get things done fast and consistent.  Setting up our CA-311 vegetable preparation machine with a dicing grid and slicing disc made fast work for our potato sides we were making.  What really made me happy was the fact that once all of the potatoes were cut, in a matter of seconds, I didn’t need to add them to water or spray them with an acid like lemon juice to keep them for oxidizing.  Nope, all I had to do was bag them up and vacuum seal them.

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Orange infused carrots

That was a huge timesaver alone, but what we really needed to do was precook, or par-cook, our root vegetables.  We were also going to serve infused carrots for lunch and those needed a little longer cook time than we were going to be able to pull off on site.  That’s where Sous Vide cooking really came through for us.  We had two options, cook and chill the food the night before, essentially softening the product enough to where we just needed to get it back up to serving temperature, or cooking the product the day of service by dropping it in the sous vide bath well in advance of the lunch where we would only need to remove it and serve it at our convenience later.  Because in this case, we were acting more like caterers, we went with cooking the day before and reheating for service the day of service.

We made Pork Roulade, infused carrots, roasted potatoes, sous-vide pineapples, and they were ready at a drop of a dime.

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Sammic SousVide in action

The combination of quick prep work with the vegetable dicing and vacuum packing, mixed with cook-chill cooking and sous vide retherming, really made for an exciting lunch that could be pulled off for a large group of people in a matter of minutes.  Now that I knew the ropes, we started cooking for the rest of the demos where we served everything from stuffed chicken breast to BBQ ribs, and all of our sauces and sides.  All of our guests were very happy to enjoy the wonderful food that Sammic had to offer.

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Sammic demo in action!

Needless to say, I had a great time and owe special thanks to Zach and all of the team at IFE for all of their hard work.  They have been Sammic representatives for years and do a great job spreading the word about how Sammic solutions can help save time and money in a kitchen will upping the food game to whole new levels.  I look forward to my next journey and will definitely come hungry… Thanks for reading!

 

-Nate Sanford; CFSP

 

 

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Chef Zach and Nate getting ready to hit the road

 

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Nate preparing for a presentation