Difficulty in chewing: how to cook

Chewing food well helps digestion, because the more we chew food, we help the stomach and pancreas in this process, as well as aiding the assimilation of nutrients. when chewing problems appear, for example derived from age, it can happen that we stop consuming certain foods that are no longer easy for us to eat. But that would be a mistake, because we would stop eating some nutrients our body needs. In these cases, a solution is cook these foods in such a way that you can continue to benefit from their properties, as well as being able to continue enjoying certain flavors.

The Alícia Foundation, a social center dedicated to technological innovation in the kitchen promoted by the Catalonia – La Pedrera Foundation and by the Generalitat of Catalonia, has some Easy to chew cooking guidelines prepared with the advice of the Public Health Agency of Catalonia (@salutcat), with tips for cooking food so that it is easy to chew. In this sense it is proposed use the different cooking options: boiled, steamed, in a pressure cooker, in the microwave or in a double boiler, as well as fried, candied, poached or marinated, among other processing options

These are some examples of the recommendations of the Alícia Foundation depending on the type of food we want to cook:

–Cereals and tubers: we will have to soften them until they are suitable. In case of tubers (potatoes, sweet potatoes and cassava), “You have to extend the cooking time, boiled or stewed, without skin, until easily crushed. If they are fried, it will be necessary to avoid the formation of a crust; it is preferable to fry them“. If it comes pasta or rice, we will have to “cook them, boiling or stewing them, generally extending their cooking time up to twice the time indicated on the package“. The foundation also recommends “avoid long pastalike spaghetti, which will be more complicated to chew ”and“ accompany pasta and rice non-sticky sauces dense enough to give greasiness to the elaboration “.

-Legumes: If we talk about dried vegetables, It is advisable to “leave them to soak between 10 and 12 hours and then cook them by boiling them in water or stew over low heat and lengthen the cooking time until they are very tender”. Furthermore, the advice of the experts is that, once cooked, “if they are sufficiently soft and if the peel remains integrated when gently squeezed, they can be consumed directly. If not, it is advisable to consume them in cream or puree format. The latter advice holds true even if the the vegetables are cooked in jamsthat we can incorporate into a stew to make them even more tender.

-Vegetables: Raw vegetables, if we remove the hard parts, grate them or cut them very small and grind them, we allow ourselves to make cream, puree or soup and gazpacho, ideal dishes for those who have difficulty chewing. If the vegetables are already cooked, the Alícia Foundation recommends “Blanch them, stew them, sauté them, steam or microwave them (adding water during cooking), always extending the cooking time until they are easily mashed with a fork”.

-Fish and seafood: to cook them, we must discard its hard parts (thorns, scales, skin, shells), but initially we don’t have to choose “tiny fish,” of which it is practically impossible or very difficult to separate the hard partss: anchovies, sardines, sonsos … “

-Meat: In the case of meat, the foundation believes it “should be possible they break easily with light pressure with a fork, and if this is not possible, it is advisable to serve them in very small pieces, as if they were minced meat, and accompanied by a thick sauce or cream “. In this line, “Raw meats are not suitable.”