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foodie feb

Hello February!

Image result for hello february free


If January is the month to detox, then February is the month to eat!

Januaries highlights were Veganury and Dry January. Whereas in February we have Pancake day, Valentine’s day, Chinese New Year and even British Yorkshire pudding day! Plenty of foodie days to get your teeth into!

Whilst being healthy and not drinking is great, who can turn down a pancake (or three) or a romantic meal for two? Lucky for you we have the perfect ideas for you for this foodie month.

Yorkshire Pudding Day – 3rd February

The first Sunday in February has been given the fond title of British Yorkshire Pudding Day.

The Yorkshire pudding was traditionally made in a large tin, rather than the individual puddings that we are familiar with today. Often it was served before the main meal – which helped to fill hungry mouths so less meat needed to be served – particularly during hard times! The main ingredients for Yorkshire Pudding batter are, Eggs, Milk and Plain Flour; using lard instead of oil usually makes them tastier. They make a perfect accompaniment to everyone’s fave dish – The Sunday Roast!


Delicious homemade yorkshire pudding as seen close up and browned at its edges

Want to celebrate Yorkshire pudding day, in a different way? Check out these deliciously different recipes.

Cooking Yorkshire Puddings:
When cooking Yorkshire Puddings there are basically five things you have to remember:
1 – Never, ever, use self-raising flour or any kind of raising agent or baking powder; doing so will achieve flat, soggy puddings.
2 – Make sure the batter is of the right consistency, a little thicker than un-whipped double cream, and as smooth as possible.
3 – Make sure you have about 3mm (1/8 inch) of very hot fat in the bottom of the tin, as the fat begins to smoke, add the batter.
4 – Never, ever, open the oven door for the first 10 minutes of cooking time and after that, only enough to have a peek at what’s happening, if you really have to, the aim is to allow the puddings to rise and go brown without them collapsing.
5 – Enjoy them, with a thick gravy.



The day of love! Valentines is Wednesday 14th February and what better way to someone’s heart, than through their mouths! Start the day with breakfast in bed, make some classy cocktails, cook a romantic meal for your loved one and get in the mood! Orrrrr skip the romanticness and just eat lots of yummy food and chocolate!

box, celebration, chocolates

Chinese New Year

The Chinese animal zodiac, is a repeating cycle of 12 years, with each year being represented by an animal and its reputed attributes. Traditionally these zodiac animals were used to date the years. In order, the 12 animals are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig. Each year is associated with a zodiac animal. 2018 is the year of the Dog. Chinese New Year (CNY) or ‘Spring Festival’ is China’s most important festival and holiday. The next CNY falls on Friday, February 4th, 2018. CNY is celebrated by a quarter of the world! Spring Festival is a major holiday in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, and in many of China’s neighbouring countries such as Singapore and South Korea. And it’s celebrated in the world’s many China towns.

appetizer, Asian, asian food

In China, traditions and celebrations vary greatly across the country. In the North, Chinese dumplings are the must-eat food on Chinese New Year’s Eve, but south of the Yangtze River most people eat spring rolls or sticky rice cake.

The New Year’s Eve dinner is called ‘reunion dinner’, and is believed to be the most important meal of the year. Big families of several generations sit around round tables and enjoy the food and time together. Dishes with lucky meanings must be included in the dinner such as fish, dumplings, and spring rolls.

Some Chinese worship their ancestors before the reunion dinner, to show that they are putting their ancestors first.

What to Eat — Top Lucky Foods

Chinese people like eating, and they eat a lot during the Spring Festival. Food for the New Year emphasizes lucky symbolic meanings such as fish, which means ‘surplus’. These foods are served during the 16-day holiday season from the eve of CNY to the Lantern Festival. Click here for the top CNY desserts!



Veganism is a way of living that seeks to remove all forms of cruelty to animals for food or any other purpose. From accessories and clothing to makeup and bathroom items, animal products and products tested on animals are found in more places than you might expect. However, nowadays there are affordable and easily-sourced alternatives to just about everything. With over 22,000 products and services registered with the Vegan Trademark alone, living a vegan lifestyle has never been easier.

Why Vegan?

For the animals

Preventing the exploitation of animals is not the only reason for choosing this lifestyle, but for many, it remains the key factor in their decision to go vegan and stay vegan. Avoiding animal products is one of the most obvious ways you can take a stand against animal cruelty and animal exploitation everywhere.


For your health

More and more people are turning to a vegan diet for the health benefits: increased energy, younger looking skin and eternal youth are just some of the claims from enthusiastic plant eaters. Well, eternal youth might be a bit optimistic, but there are certainly many scientifically proven benefits to vegan living when compared to the average western diet.

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For the environment

From recycling our household rubbish to cycling to work, we’re all aware of ways to live a greener life. One of the most effective things an individual can do to lower their carbon footprint is to avoid all animal products.

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For people

Just like veganism is the sustainable option when it comes to looking after our planet, plant-based living is also a more sustainable way of feeding the human family. A plant-based diet requires only one-third of the land needed to support a meat and dairy diet. Avoiding animal products is not just one of the simplest ways an individual can reduce the strain on food as well as other resources.


Veganuary is a charity inspiring people to try vegan for January and throughout the rest of the year. Why not try being vegan for a month whilst discovering a whole new world of taste and flavor. Before you do check out these myths….

So what do vegans eat?

The short answer – lots! – a vegan diet is diverse and includes all kinds of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds, beans and pulses – all of which can be prepared in endless combinations that will guarantee you’re never bored. From curry to cake, pasties to pizzas, all your favourite things can be suitable for a vegan diet if they’re made with plant-based ingredients.

Check out these vegan recipes for ideas. We have chosen our two of our favourites from this website with the recipes below!!

Grilled pumpkin and black bean burger

An easy to make burger bursting with flavour.


1 tbsp canola oil

½ c diced red onion

½ c diced red pepper

3 cloves minced garlic

1 tsp ground cumin

1-15 oz can organic black beans

1 tsp kosher salt

2 minced chipotle peppers

¼ c fresh corn

3 tbsp pure pumpkin

1 c vegan Breadcrumbs

½ c chopped Pecan


Dice red onion and red pepper and minced garlic.  Heat canola oil over medium heat then add garlic, onion, red pepper and corn and sauté for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Place rinsed and dried black beans in a deep bowl.  Using the back of a fork, mash about half the beans and leave half whole.  Then add pumpkin, sautéed vegetable mixture, chipotle peppers, pecans, bread crumbs and cumin. Mix well until all ingredients are combined to desired consistency. Note, if the mixture is too dry you can add a little more pumpkin.  Using hands, form into four large patties and refrigerate.

Heat the grill to a medium-high heat.  Brush grill with canola oil then place the burgers on the grill.  Cook for approx. 3-5 minutes on each side.

Remove and serve immediately on your favourite vegan roll.  Top with avocado spread, freshly roasted tomato, caramelised onion or your favourite burger toppings. Enjoy!


Other toppings include watercress, chopped slaw, organic pea shoots, serve with sweet potato fries!

Salt and pepper to taste

Berry muffins

These vegan berry muffins are simply divine! They are sweet and full of fresh berries. Serves 12.


160g hard coconut oil

3/4 cup medjool date paste (make it here)

1 tsp ground vanilla beans

2 flax eggs (2 tbs flaxseed meal + 5 tbs warm water)

1 3/4 cup self-raising flour

2/3 cup soy milk

1 cup mixed berries


Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius and prepare a cupcake tin with 12 medium cupcake wrappers.

In a medium-sized bowl using electric beaters, beat coconut oil until smooth.

Add date paste and beat for 2 minutes or until well combined.

Then add vanilla beans and flax eggs and mix until smooth.

Add flour and soy milk and fold into mixture.

Pour batter into prepared cupcake cases.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes.

Ice if desired, and enjoy!

Want to find out more about the vegan lifestyle? Sign up to the free Vegan Pledge today. There are hundreds of thousands of vegans across the globe.

Tis the season

Tis the season to be jolly….. and creative!

Christmas is a mere two weeks away. Its the time of the year when the decorations come out of the loft; you go shopping for the perfect gift and stress about how little time you have. How about this year, instead of going out into the hustle and bustle of the high street you create your own Christmas craft at home. You could make a unique decoration that you bring out every year or even a one of a kind gift for someone special – whatever you decide, your masterpiece will be a real showstopper!

Not sure what to make? We have compiled the perfect list of ideas. Take the pressure out of Christmas and get crafty with Collective Purchasing! These ideas are great to do together, young or old. So bake (or buy!) some cookies, pop on some Christmas music or a festive film and get your creative juices flowing!

art, artistic, arts and crafts




These decorations are simple yet fun to make. Simply paint some lolly sticks and glue them into snowflake shapes and hey presto! Instant chic decor!

awesome 54 Cheap and Creative DIY Christmas Decoration Ideas You Should Try for Your Home

Candy Wreath

With a load of acrylic candy canes, make this mouth-watering wreath to hang on your door. Santa will know just how to find you!

With a load of acrylic candy canes, make this mouth-watering wreath to hang on your door. Santa will know just how to find you! Get the tutorial at At the Picket Fence.

Terracotta Christmas Tree

Clay pots make this Christmas tree decoration easy and fun, especially when topped with a bright red star.

Clay pots make this Christmas tree decoration easy and fun, especially when topped with a bright red star. Get the tutorial at Life is a Lullaby.



Sock Snowman

Rice, socks and rubber bands are the keys to creating this adorable winter friend.

Rice, socks and rubber bands are the keys to creating this adorable winter friend. Get the tutorial at Ciao Mama.

Reindeer Jar

These cute jars will do all the talking. Start by coating Mason jars in glitter and then transform them into reindeers, snowmen and Santas.

These cute jars will do all the talking. Start by coating Mason jars in glitter and then transform them into reindeers, snowmen and Santas. Get the tutorial at Crazy Little Projects.

Sweet treats

None of these takes your fancy? Move on into the kitchen and give the gift of food! We all know the way to peoples heart is through their stomachs!!

Peanut butter fudge

This homemade fudge recipe makes an easy sweet treat or a stunning edible gift.

Peanut butter fudge

Peppermint Creams

These easy, homemade version of the retro classic make delicious Christmas presents.

Peppermint creams

Chocolate fridge cake

A no-bake cake that’s perfect for making with children. You can also pick and mix the fillings to suit your taste.

Chocolate fridge cake


Make sure you send us photos of your creations. If you need any stock in order to create these festive delights don’t forget to give us a call!

Collective Purchasing does Gluten Free

Since the summer we have been working on a gluten free month for collective purchasing. We spoke with many suppliers and brands who supply gluten free products and spoke with coeliac UK to gain some more insight into life without gluten. We were able to gain some great insight into how to cater for those with gluten allergies.

Weekly Vine


We opted for the month of October to be our ‘Collective Purchasing Does Gluten Free’ month, and wow what a success. We sent a select few of our members a pack in the post with the opportunity to win a hamper of goodies, all kindly donated. There was also some great information supplied by Coeliac UK and we had some product offers! We ran the campaign on twitter, offering one lucky winner a hamper of goodies from the following;

We had over 430 people enter the competition, and we ended up with so many products, we were able to give a runner up prize. So two very lucky twitter followers won so amazing gluten free products! You want to be in with a chance of winning in the future? Make sure you give us a follow!

Product of the week

Throughout the month of October all our products of the week were focused around gluten free, and whilst these are no longer available, keep an eye out for future product of the weeks on our twitter page!

We just want to thank everyone that was involved; and we look forward to doing more awareness months in the future. If you want to find out more about gluten free, check out this blog we wrote – you guessed it, in October!


Gluten Free

Gluten-Free – The facts!

We have all heard of gluten-free diets but did you know 7% of Brits are gluten-free because of allergies or intolerances, compared with 8% who avoid gluten purely for health reasons!

Coeliac, wheat allergy, gluten intolerance – what’s the difference?

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  • Coeliac disease is a serious illness in which the body’s immune system attacks itself when gluten is eaten. This causes damage to the lining of the gut and means that the body cannot properly absorb nutrients from food. Coeliac disease is not a food allergy or intolerance, it is an autoimmune disease.
  • Wheat allergy is a reaction to proteins found in wheat, triggered by the immune system and usually occurs within seconds or minutes of eating.
  • Non-coeliac gluten sensitivity is when symptoms similar to coeliac disease are experienced, but there are no associated antibodies and no damage to the lining of the gut.

Gluten in food

Common Foods That Contain Gluten include Pasta, Noodles, Bread and Pastries, Cereal & Granola and things like stuffing as well as some sauces.

Food shopping

This is by no means an extensive list but is where gluten is commonly found.

Now we know the basics, let’s look at what other, more surprising products contain gluten.

  • Some alcohol
  • Some instant coffee granules
  • Spices
  • Soy sauce
  • Some chewing gum
  • Liquorish

Food Swaps

When looking into food swaps try some of these…

Cereal – Try gluten-free oats or cereal alternatives.

Crisps – although not all contain gluten, try rice cakes or prawn crackers as a safe alternative.

Beer-check the labels, but you can buy gluten-free beer as an alternative. If not stick with wine!

** We recommend checking the labels on everything to ensure **

Check out some of these recipes from a blog we wrote last year!


When preparing gluten-free foods, it is important to avoid cross-contact. Cross-contact occurs when foods or ingredients come into contact with gluten, generally through shared utensils or a shared cooking/storage environment. In order for food to be safe for someone with celiac disease, it must not come into contact with food containing gluten.

Places where cross-contact can occur:

Toasters used for both gluten-free and regular bread


Cutting boards

Flour Sifters

Deep fried foods cooked in oil shared with breaded products

Shared containers including improperly washed containers

Condiments such as butter, peanut butter, jam, mustard, and mayonnaise can become contaminated when utensils used on gluten-containing food are double-dipped.

Wheat flour can stay airborne for many hours in a bakery (or at home) and contaminate exposed preparation surfaces and utensils or uncovered gluten-free products.


bazaar, bottles, business


Keep warm these winter months!

Its officially autumn, the nights are drawing in and soon the heaters will be on!

Eating healthy will keep you alert, energised and help protect you from illnesses in the winter months. Keeping a colourful and varied diet is extremely important – try to aim for 5 daily portions of fruit and vegetables.

Photography of Maple Trees

We have found some yummy winter warmer recipes for you to try!


Porridge is a fantastic filling and warming start to the day. Once you’ve mastered the basic porridge recipe, get creative and add your favourite toppings. Think fruit, toasted nuts and honey – the options are endless! Check out some of our favourite combos below…

Stir through coarsely grated apple (core and all) and runny honey, then squash in a handful of blackberries. Top with more fruit and a drizzle of syrup.

Blackberries On Table

Stir in a generous pinch of ground cinnamon, some poppy seeds and maple syrup. Top with sliced banana and a handful of toasted almonds.

Bunch of Yellow Banana

Stir through coarsely grated apple (core and all) and maple syrup, then top with a handful of toasted pecans and a drizzle more syrup.

Variety of Brown Nuts on Brown Wooden Panel High-angle Photo


Lunch, dinner or supper; soups make a great meal. Team with some crusty bread and butter and you have the perfect winter warmer to fill up until the next meal!

Click this link for some tasty and healthy soup ideas. Our fave is this creamy mushroom soup!

Creamy mushroom soup


  • 600 g mixed mushrooms
  • 1 onion
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • a few sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • olive oil
  • 1.5 litres organic chicken or vegetable stock
  • 75 ml single cream
  • 6 slices of ciabatta
  • extra virgin olive oil


  1. Brush the mushrooms clean, then finely slice.
  2. Peel and finely slice the onion, celery and garlic, then pick the parsley, finely chopping the stalks. Pick the thyme leaves.
  3. Heat a splash of olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion, celery, garlic, parsley stalks, thyme leaves and mushrooms, pop the lid on and cook gently until softened.
  4. Spoon out 4 tablespoons of mushrooms, and keep for later.
  5. Pour the stock into the pan and bring to the boil over a medium heat, turn the heat down to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper, then whiz with a stick blender until smooth.
  7. Pour in the cream, bring just back to the boil, then turn off the heat.
  8. Toast the ciabatta on a hot griddle pan, then top with most of the reserved mushrooms and drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil.
  9. Spoon the soup into bowls, garnish with the chopped parsley and remaining mushrooms, and serve with the ciabatta crostini on the side.


Although not always the most attractive dinner, a bowl of warm, hearty stew is always a welcome sight on a cold day. From a classic beef stew with dumplings to a vegetarian hotpot to a quick fish stew, click here to find a recipe for every occasion.

Keep Moving!

Silhouette of 4 Person Walking

Even though it’s harder to get motivated with the shorter days and cold weather, it is still important to stay active in the winter months. If you can, try to get out of the house for a breath of fresh air. If not there are plenty of exercises that can be done indoors from armchair exercises to yoga and even dancing. It is also really important to stay hydrated in the winter as we do in the summer, it is harder and as we get older it is harder to recognise the signs of being dehydrated. A great way to know you are keeping hydrated throughout the day is to fill a large jug with water in the morning and use that throughout the day, add lemon or cucumber to the water for extra flavour.


Dementia Awareness

Lets talk about Dementia


Alzheimer's Society

Every year World Alzheimer’s Day takes place on 21 September, and is the focus of World Alzheimer’s Month in September. It’s an opportunity for organisations and individuals around the world to raise awareness, highlight issues faced by people affected by dementia and demonstrate how we can overcome them to help people live well with dementia.

The word ‘dementia’ describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. These changes are often small to start with; however they soon become severe enough to affect daily life. A sufferer may also experience changes in their mood or behaviour.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, but not the only one. The specific symptoms that someone experiences will depend on the parts of the brain that are damaged and the disease that is causing the dementia.


A person with dementia will have cognitive symptoms (to do with thinking or memory). They will often have problems with some of the following:

  • day-to-day memory – for example, difficulty recalling events that happened recently,
  • concentrating, planning or organising – for example, difficulties making decisions, solving problems or carrying out a sequence of tasks (such as cooking a meal),
  • language – for example, difficulties following a conversation or finding the right word for something,
  • visuospatial skills – for example, problems judging distances (such as on stairs) and seeing objects in three dimensions,
  • orientation – for example, losing track of the day or date, or becoming confused about where they are.

How we help

As a company who looks after the spending for hundreds of care homes on a daily basis; We fully support ways to improve
the quality of life for sufferers. We are all also dementia friends. If you need to find out more about dementia friends, click here!

Here are a few ways we help you to help sufferers.

Trusted suppliers

We work with the likes of Care shop, Countywide and Blueleaf who are all specialised in the dementia field. Not only do they supply medical goods, but they supply items such as memory boxes and games. We featured one of the games packs in our product of the week last week. Prices start from £39.95!

Food moulds

As part of our offering, we can source food moulds through our furniture and equipment department. A fairly new concept within the UK care home, a silicon food mould will transform a dementia patient’s plate. Making meals more visually pleasing, appetizing and helping residents to dine with dignity. Read more here…


Dementia friendly crockery

Equipment to help support residents with dementia is the perfect way to promote independence. We provide a  wide range of tableware that does just this.

 “Eating three times a day is something many of us take for granted but just think how difficult mealtimes can be for many people with disabilities; we believe the right tableware can be a relatively simple way to ensure your guests get the nutrition they need as independently and safely as possible”. Bidvest Catering Equipment.


It’s Brew Time!

A great Cup of tea remains a national treasure and is the most consumed drink in the UK! We typically brew up 3 times a day; although one in four thirsty Britons will get through 5 cups or more!

How do you like your tea?

Whilst us Brits can all agree that we love tea, how we enjoy our tea is quite a different story. Some like it milky, some like it strong; Whilst some like it with sugar, some are sweet enough!

A poll for WRVS, a charity that provides support for older people, revealed 35 per cent of people like their tea to be mid-brown; with only 3 per cent preferring their tea very milky. One in five likes to brew their tea in a teapot, while a traditional 6 per cent still use a cup and saucer. And 7 per cent are so picky that they will not let anyone else make them a cuppa. (when you know what you like, you know hey!)

How do you drink your tea

*Photo from Daily Mail.*

Try something new!

Fancy trying some new Tetley teas? Check out this blog from 2016 where we reviewed loads of teas, from fruit to decaf! We said it then, we will say it again – Tetley, we love you!!!


Collective Purchasing Tetley Tea Review


Furniture and Equipment

Collective Purchasing – Your one stop shop for all your furniture and Equipment needs.

Our dedicated furniture and equipment department can supply competitive prices for anything from towels and bed linen to care equipment and beds.

Make us your first stop!

Whether you know the exact make and model you are after or need greater assistance on what to choose; we will give a no obligation quote on any item. Our prices are competitive with a huge range of available suppliers to choose from. We were able to save a 68-bed care home 29% on Nisbet’s prices when they were kitting out their facility. Each week we also have one very special offer on – Our CP Product of The week – From table and chairs to magic mixers we really do have it covered!

 Like us on Twitter to keep up to date with what we have on offer!



Find out what else we can offer here.  We can save you money on all your daily consumables including housekeeping. Check out our focus on housekeeping here – Still not sure? Read why you should look into using a buying consortium.

Bringing soft food to life!


Eating is a multi-sensory experience. Chefs make food look pleasing, coffee shops waft the smell of pastries and coffee into the streets to seduce the passer-by and indulgent treats are placed at eye level in supermarkets.

It would be logical to think that taste is the sense that rules the roost. The biting, chewing, and swallowing is the bit that tells us what food tastes like. Our mouth is full of flavour receptors telling us that this tastes sweet, or this tastes bitter.

However, research suggests it is our eyes leading the way with our tongues following. Our eyes see the food, they tell the brain what it will taste like and we taste what we think we should.

Image result for senses

So, what happens if our food doesn’t look appealing on the plate? How would that affect the taste?

Many people, especially in care homes, need to have their food puréed due to swallowing difficulties. It is estimated that 70% of people in UK care homes need to have some level of purée meals. These meals can be shapeless, tasteless and they generally don’t look like the foods that they are.

Senses we use when eating


We eat with our eyes first. If you see something you fancy, you want to eat it. In restaurants, the server may walk past with something that you may not have considered, but you think it looks good so you order it. In shops, tempting goodies are put at the checkout so you grab them without thinking. This is why you should never do your food shop when hungry!

The appearance of the food we eat plays an important role when eating. If you needed to eat a puréed diet and were handed a meal that resembled baby food, you might not be too excited to eat it.

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Smell is another sense you use when eating. You may be in someone’s home for dinner and as you walk in you can smell the food cooking from the kitchen. Freshly baked bread can often be smelt in supermarkets and fast food restaurants pump the smell of their food into the street. All this entices you to eat – hungry or not.

Purée meals can sometimes not smell as strongly as solid foods. This is because they are often mixed with liquids in order to make them soft enough.  If all ingredients are mixed together it can be difficult to decipher what you are eating. Coupled with it not looking like it should, it is no wonder that residents may refuse food.  A company called Ode have come up with a fantastic sensory device. Their foodie fragrances offer sensory stimulation before meals are served, helping to promote appetite. When placed in a shared room, Ode’s fragrances foster conversation and create engaging mealtimes, helping reduce social isolation in older adults. Creating mouthwatering smells in the room can help bring back memories of mealtimes for those who have memory problems.



Image result for senses when eating


You touch your food with your mouth and tongue and if it doesn’t feel right you spit it out. Whilst texture doesn’t affect taste it can certainly affect the enjoyment of a dish. A purée meal is just that, purée. There is no way around it. The food needs to be easy to swallow and therefore the texture will not be the same as solid food.


The recent craze of taking photos of food and posting them on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram means we are seeing and thinking about food even more. In fact, the average Brit spends a whopping third of their waking time either talking about or thinking about food.

When eating, all senses are used and this is what makes eating enjoyable. Eating is a sociable occasion, especially in a care environment. Meal times could be the only sociable activity residents partake in each day. The look, texture and taste of foods can make a world of difference in someone’s desire to eat. If a resident is presented with a meal that doesn’t smell or look appetising they might not want to eat it. At the end of the day, those with swallowing difficulties still eat with their eyes. Purée meals are essential; they provide nutrients to those who otherwise would not be able to eat. The trick is to make these meals fun and enjoyable again. When you serve a meal always ask yourself, “Would I be happy to eat this?”

Image result for eating care home

Purée meals

There are many ways to make purée food more appealing. Rather than liquidising the different parts of a meal all together, liquidise the main element of the meal and the vegetables separately. This way, they keep their individual taste, smell and colour and look more inviting. To improve the appearance of the plate, use a range of different coloured foods in meals to increase variety e.g. fish or meat in sauce, puréed carrots and mashed potato.

Food presentation

Always think about the presentation of food to make it attractive and appetising. You can pipe mashed potato through a shaped nozzle or pipe cream on to puréed fruit; serve puréed food using an ice cream scoop or use moulds to give food shape.

Piping bags and ice cream scoops

The use of piping bags allows the chef to pipe shapes out of puréed food onto the plate. This helps make the resident’s plate look more exciting and ‘normal’ as the purée looks more like solid food. Using piping bags and ice cream scoops mean that food is separate on the diner’s plate. This prevents the food from looking unattractive and encourages less waste. Piping bags and ice cream scoops are readily available and most care homes will have them already, making it a cheap option for improving the presentation of food. The below image shows how you can combine both these tools. Using an ice cream scoop for the mashed potato and a piping bag for the carrots has instantly transformed this plate into a meal that looks more edible.

Image result for puree food

Food Moulds

Another way to make mealtimes with a purée diet more pleasurable is to use food moulds. These can revolutionise meal times for people with swallowing difficulties – bringing a sense of normality back again.

With a little bit of imagination, you can create anything that your residents desire; from curry to salmon. These moulds will encourage residents to eat once again, and will help make them feel a part of the care home community; as the food on their plates will look like that of other residents’.


Food moulds are easy to use. You simply create the puréed food and once the mix has reached the correct consistency, you spread the mixture into the purée food mould and freeze.

There are so many different recipes available, here are a few. Combining the piping bags, ice cream scoops and the moulds will help make mealtimes a happy time once again.

Using the correct foods 

Lots of foods work well when softened with liquids such as fruit juice, cream, yoghurt, gravy, stock and meat juices. All these also add extra nutrients to the meal. As with other meals, it is important to ensure the puree is well seasoned as this will improve the taste; especially once blended as when food is pureed it can lose some of its original flavours. Some foods don’t blend well, so using the correct food is important.

Using the correct foods 

Lots of foods work well when softened with liquids such as fruit juice, cream, yoghurt, gravy, stock and meat juices. All these also add extra nutrients to the meal. As with other meals, it is important to ensure the purée is well seasoned as this will improve the taste; especially once blended as when food is puréed it can lose some of its original flavours. Some foods don’t blend well, so using the correct food is important.


You may be thinking that all this will make your time in the kitchen longer. However, using these tricks will save you time. You will no longer need to spend as much time cooking and preparing purée food daily as you can batch cook and freeze the dishes. This means there is less time spent making purée meals, and cleaning the food blender multiple times afterwards!  The moulds are also oven and microwave safe as well as dishwasher safe making cleaning a breeze!

There are even companies that sell puree food frozen. Companies such as Nourisher who have a range of 12 protein flavours, 8 vegetables & 2 carbohydrates frozen in ready to use ice cubes and pouches. This makes creating meals for those on a soft diet even easier.

If you would like to purchase any moulds or equipment to make your residents’ lives easier when it comes to eating, give us a call today!


01329 236821