Bariatric Pureed Recipes for Vegans

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I’ve heard from so many people that the pureed diet stage after bariatric surgery is the most dreaded. 

Full liquids won’t be so bad, I can just have a bunch of smoothies and soup. But pureed diet…what tastes good pureed? 

And how do I get enough protein? Can I eat vegetables and fruits?

What are good bariatric pureed recipes?

If you’ve been wondering about all of these things, this is the blog post for you. I have 12 delicious recipes from myself and other dietitians that are either already pureed or would be delicious if you pureed them. They are perfect as bariatric pureed recipes. 

I will also be discussing ways that you can increase the protein content of soups and purees to help meet your protein requirements.

bariatric pureed recipes: delicious recipes that are still delicious when you puree them.

What is the pureed diet stage?

The pureed diet stage after bariatric surgery typically occurs as the third diet stage after bariatric surgery. Full liquids and clear liquids come before it. 

You will probably start on the pureed diet stage at about 2-3 weeks after your bariatric surgery. 

bariatric surgery diet stages: clear liquids to full liquids to pureed/semi-solid to soft to regular. most people take about 3 months to get to a full regular diet.

There are some bariatric programs that skip the pureed diet stage altogether and just go straight from full liquids to soft diet. Another variation I have seen is a hybrid pureed/soft diet stage where some foods are able to be eaten in their normal texture if they are very soft and it is recommended to puree other foods. 

Read more about the pureed diet stage here.

You should follow what your bariatric surgery program recommends. 

What is the purpose of the pureed diet stage?

You are probably wondering why you should even bother with the bariatric pureed diet stage. Why not just skip ahead? You probably see people that share their journey online saying that they skipped the pureed stage and they were fine. Here’s why you should not skip the bariatric pureed diet stage if it was recommended to you by your bariatric program.

  • Pureed foods don’t require much chewing. Most people are terrible at chewing and after bariatric surgery it can be very problematic if you don’t chew enough. Food that is not chewed well enough tends to be poorly tolerated. 
  • Pureed foods tend to be easier to digest. You are still healing from your surgery when you start on pureed foods. The smooth texture is easy on your stomach.
  • Foods in the pureed diet stage are more filling than full liquids. They help you learn what hunger and fullness feels like for you after surgery. 
  • Blended and pureed foods are easier to fortify with additional protein if needed. In the early stages of your diet after bariatric surgery your portions will continue to be small. If you’re not meeting your protein needs, you can add more protein to the purees you are eating. I will show you how to do it here

Bariatric Pureed Recipes

*All recipes and photos below shared with permission*

All of the recipes below are either pureed or should puree easily. 

Please continue to follow the guidelines given to you from your bariatric program as to when you can advance your diet or eat particular foods. 

Autumn Squash Soup 

autumn squash soup

‘This is the BEST Autumn Squash Soup recipe made with butternut squash, carrots, onion, garlic, apple, and fresh herbs. So healthy and full of fall flavor, you’ll be wanting to eat it all season long!’

From Christie Gagnon, RD at Hoorah to Health

Watermelon Nice Cream 

watermelon nice cream

‘This Watermelon Nice Cream requires only 3 ingredients and is the perfect summer treat! It is refreshing and delicious, and is a healthier alternative to ice cream.’

From Christie Gagnon, RD at Hoorah to Health

Green Smoothie with Spinach, Mango & Banana 

‘Refreshing and delicious, this green smoothie is made with spinach, mango & banana. It is packed full of nutrients and is great for breakfast or as a snack!’

From Christie Gagnon, RD at Hoorah to Health

Easy Ratatouille in the Slow Cooker 

easy ratatouille in a bowl with bread

‘This easy ratatouille cooks gently in the slow cooker with only 20 minutes of prep time! It is perfect for your end of summer produce!’

From Laura Yautz, RDN at Being Nutritious

Instant Pot Vegan Butternut Squash Soup

instant pot vegan butternut squash soup

‘This creamy, comforting soup comes together in just under 30 minutes using nourishing vegan ingredients.’

From Cassidy Reeser, RD at Cozy Peach Kitchen

Lentil Potato Stew

lentil potato stew

‘A down home and hearty low sodium soup that’s satisfying to the soul!’

From KeyVion Miller, RDN at The Millers Kitchen

Roasted Butternut Squash Carrot Ginger Soup

roasted butternut squash carrot ginger soup

‘This Roasted Butternut Squash Carrot Ginger Soup is packed with vegetables, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Butternut squash has a sweet, nutty flavor and is rich in vitamins A and C (among many others) which support immune function, bone health, and eye health.’

From Jackie Silver, MHSc, RD at Jackie Silver Nutrition

Vegan Pumpkin Soup

vegan pumpkin soup

‘This vegan pumpkin soup is the perfect blend of sweet pumpkin and apple, fragrant curry powder, savory broth, and rich coconut milk!’

From Chrissy Carroll, RD at Dairy Free for Baby

Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup

pumpkin sweet potato soup

Pumpkin sweet potato soup combines the hearty, nourishing flavors of autumn in an easy 30 minute vegan instant pot recipe.’

From Sarah Schlichter, RD at Bucket List Tummy

And 3 recipes from me, Ashley Krautkramer, RD, CSOWM at Vegan Bariatric Dietitian:

Vegan Cheddar Broccoli Soup

vegan cheddar broccoli soup

‘A heavenly vegan broccoli soup that is surprisingly creamy with a garlicky twist.’

Silken Tofu Scramble

silken tofu scramble and pureed version

‘A delicious tofu scramble with a delightful and easy to tolerate soft texture.’

Bariatric Ricotta Bake

bariatric ricotta bake

‘This is an amazingly creamy and cheesy vegan bariatric ricotta bake. The classic recipe, but vegan!’

How to Increase Protein in Bariatric Pureed Recipes

If you’re not meeting your protein requirements or just to make meeting the requirements easier on yourself, you might consider adding protein to the purees you are eating. 

Here are some foods you can add to up the protein of pureed foods:

  • Beans
    • Add about 7-8 g protein per ½ cup added
  • Lentils
    • Add about 9 g protein per ½ cup added
  • Nut and Seed Butter
    • Peanut butter adds about 7 g per 2 tablespoons added
  • Nutritional Yeast
    • Adds about 6 g protein per ¼ cup added
  • Tofu
    • Depending on the firmness of the tofu added this will vary. Soft silken tofu is about 4 g of protein for a 3 ounce portion. In contrast, 3 ounces of extra firm tofu is about 9 g protein. In general the softer tofu blends easier, but is lower in protein.
  • Protein Powder
    • This will vary by brand. Bob’s Red Mill Soy Protein Powder has 16 g protein in ¼ cup.
  • Soy Milk
    • Adds about 8 g protein per 1 cup
  • Chia Seeds
    • Adds 5 g protein per 1 ounce
  • Flax Seeds
    • Adds 6 g protein per 1 ounce 
add protein to purees. beans/lentils: add 7-9 g protein per 1/2 cup. nuts/seeds & nut/seed butters: add 5-7 g protein/serving. tofu: adds 4-9 g protein per 3 ounces. soy milk: adds 8 g protein per 1 cup. protein powder: adds 15-30 g protein per serving. nutritional yeast: adds 6 g protein per 1/4 cup.

Keep in mind that depending on the strength of your blender, the above foods may puree with ease or you could be left with chunks. Typically during the pureed diet stage you will be encouraged to have foods with a smooth texture, rather than food with chunks in it. 

To make nuts and seeds easier to blend you can try soaking them for 12-24 hours first and then blending them into your pureed dish.

Find out more about different types of protein after bariatric surgery here.

I added 3 different protein options to my Vegan Cheddar Broccoli Soup to see how it tasted. 

Soy Protein Powder

Adding a serving of soy protein powder to one serving of the vegan cheddar broccoli soup worked well. It did not change the taste very much, but did make the soup thicker. It was not grainy and reheated well in the microwave.

add 1/4 cup soy protein powder (unflavored) to 1 serving of the soup. adds 16 g protein.

Hemp Protein Powder

Adding a serving of hemp protein powder to one serving of the vegan cheddar broccoli soup did not work well. The protein powder taste was strong and the texture was grainy. 

Silken Tofu

Adding half a block of extra firm silken tofu to one serving of the vegan cheddar broccoli soup worked well. It made the soup thicker and more creamy. It was not grainy and the tofu was undetectable. The soup reheated well. 

add 1/2 the block of extra firm silken tofu to 1 serving soup. adds 14 g protein.

In Conclusion

I hope you find a recipe that you enjoy for the pureed diet stage after bariatric surgery as a vegan. Please share with me or any of the other amazing RDs that shared recipes above if you tried any of these recipes.

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