6 Ways to Sneak Veggies Into Your Loved Ones Diets
Updated: Jul 25, 2020
Does your spouse need a LOT of convincing to eat their veggies? Do your kids (even mine do at times!)? Sometimes the best way to make sure your loved ones are getting the nutrition they need is by HIDING it. No, this isn't the dream land where they eat all the raw kale you offer. But this is LIFE. Sometimes you gotta mince it up to get it down the hatches! Here are some tips (and recipes to go along with them!) to get these nutrient-dense veggies into the bellies of ALL in the home - whether they know it or not.
This old favorite is one of the simplest ways to add in vegetables where you might not expect them. The easiest candidates are carrots, winter squash, sweet potatoes ( check out this recipe using white sweet potatoes! ) and other root vegetables. These starchy roots (and squashes like this butternut squash mashed potato recipe ! ) will boil up and mash similarly to spuds, and will blend in quite well color-wise. If you have picky eaters then keeping the potatoes prominent will help with keeping your other vegetables incognito. Something is better than nothing! Dark leafy greens work well also, but are better pureed instead of mashed if you want to disguise them. When you want to give this a try simply add in cut vegetables and cook until soft and mashable in the same pot as the potatoes. Then, mash and—voilà!
Tomato (or any) Sauce
It’s actually an old chef’s trick to add a carrot into your tomato sauce to sweeten it and lessen the acidity. Kitchen secrets aside, veggies definitely have a place in tomato sauce! You can up the nutrition by adding in leafy greens like kale ( like this kale tomato sauce recipe! ), arugula or spinach and pureeing them into the sauce ( like this sauce with added herbs! ). Summer squash and eggplant also work very well in tomato sauces, and there are plenty of recipes that outline how to add them in. Also, don’t forget about classic Italian additions like olives, artichokes and capers.
Pancakes, corn bread, muffins and you name it—quick breads are an American staple that, as the name implies, you can whip up fast. These are some of the easiest baking projects, and oh so rewarding. Common examples include zucchini bread, pumpkin bread and even carrot cake (while that last one is considered more of a dessert). However, you can easily add pureed pumpkin or sweet potato (like this sweet potato bread recipe that's popular in our FB group right now!)—as well as shredded beets, carrots and zucchini—to pancakes, cornbread, waffles or any muffin recipe you choose!
Smoothies & Juices
Who doesn’t love a great juice? Well, maybe some people. Nonetheless, we still think this is a great way to get your vegetables in on the daily. One trick is to do equal parts sweet fruit (think apple, orange or mango) with equal parts vegetables. Bitter vegetables like kale and celery can be overpowering and are best used to taste. Carrots are wonderfully sweet and can carry out most of the vegetable component easily. Other great additions: beets, cucumber, ginger, turmeric, garlic and spicy peppers. Apple Carrot Beet Ginger Juice HERE !
Hummus and Dips
Wherever there’s a puree you can add a vegetable puree to it! Hummus is a wonderful vehicle for a wide variety of additions. Think arugula and scallions for a savory twist, or beets (like this roasted beet hummus ) for bonus sweetness and a rich magenta color. If you're adding in a starchy root vegetable it’s best to cook it and puree it—then add to the hummus to blend, or puree the two together if you’re making hummus from scratch. Other dips include cheese dips and baked dips, both of which have an affinity for dark leafy greens like collards and spinach.
Mac n Cheese
Whether you’re having the dairy filled version (like the "Grown Up Mac n Cheese" pictured here ), or a vegan alternative (like Isa's Broccoli Mac recipe here! ), mac and cheese is one of the easiest ways to score some extra vegetables in your diet. Simply cut the vegetables to your desired size and boil them with the pasta. Once done you finish your mac and cheese recipe as normal and dig in! Butternut squash is excellent in mac and cheese (like this Butternut Mac recipe here! ).
These airy, green jewels are a nutritious snack that almost fool you into thinking they’re junk food. So tasty! If your loved ones already know and love kale chips it’s easy to sneak extra veggies into these crispy, crunchy beauties. Try adding finely shredded carrot ( like in this recipe! ) before dehydrating (different colored carrots are especially fun!). Pulverized tomatoes are a natural addition as one of the wet ingredients for the coating, and add important nutrients and antioxidants (not to mention flavor -- check out this recipe for sundried tomato kale chips! ). Finely minced herbs work great here too—and while not technically a vegetable, have great nutrition to add. What are your favorite ways to sneak veggies into foods? Share with us on Facebook and Instagram !
RECIPE of the WEEK: Beans & Greens!
Beans and greens: SUCH a classic combo, and a total staple in my household. But there's honestly not much better than a good bean (made from DRIED, local, organic heirloom beans ideally!!!) PLUS a great GREEN, that was picked FRESH just for you and your delicious meals. This recipe was posted by CSA member Sarah in our Facebook Group -- and she said it made her a total DRY BEAN convert PLUS a swiss chard convert!! If you're on the fence with either of those foods - this is a recipe for you to try!