This is a guest blog by Leah Butcher, dietetic summer student at Kidney Foundation of Canada
At the Kidney Foundation, we get numerous calls about which renal friendly cookbooks we would recommend. If you only need to reduce sodium there are MANY cookbooks out there. But if you need to limit sodium, potassium, AND phosphorus, the number of cookbooks on Amazon is limited and many are at least a decade old.
There’s a lot of work that goes into ensuring a recipe is low sodium, potassium and phosphorus. Before we add a recipe to Kidney Community Kitchen we do a nutritional analysis using software to ensure it meets the requirements set by our team of renal dietitians.
You can modify a recipe without software but it takes practice. When I was first learning I found it helpful to review the list of foods that are low potassium and phosphorus given by dietitians [see here and here]. Once familiar with these lists I would search for recipes that use the same foods. I would also substitute some foods for lower potassium or phosphorus versions.
For instance I sometimes replace milk, which is considered a source of phosphorus, with low sodium soup broth in casserole or soup recipes. I replace whole wheat flour with half white and half whole wheat or use only white in baking. The same can be done with whole wheat pasta or brown rice. I substitute low potassium fruits when making pies, muffins and tarts and low potassium vegetables when modifying stir fries, casseroles, and soups. To reduce sodium, I choose low sodium products when possible and omit salt.
Another way I learned to modify recipes is by studying renal friendly recipes. On that note, a new cookbook has been developed by the Canadian Association of Nephrology Dietitians that you may enjoy: Kidney Friendly Cooking: for people with chronic kidney disease
The cookbook was written by a team of Canadian renal dietitians. It includes over 150 recipes including how to make healthy and kidney-friendly tacos, pasta sauces, curries, omelets and cakes.
Like Kidney Community Kitchen, each recipe is designed to be low sodium, potassium and phosphorus and can be used at all stages of kidney function.
We’ve included two recipes from the cookbook here for you to try and if you like what you taste you can order a cookbook for $35 at www.renalrd.ca.