Can’t stand Brussels sprouts? The little ones refuse anything green? No worries. Just get a little sneaky with your cooking and include healthy additions in standard recipes. I’m usually one to try something new…but it rarely sticks. But when it comes to experimenting with healthy add-ins, I’ve been doing it on a daily basis – and even my kids enjoy it (gasp!).
Here’s how I’ve found my way to scientific satisfaction and more energy in the kitchen:
1. Breakfast burritos. I have mixed these up in all sorts of ways, adding in pureed onions and peppers until they look like ‘sauce’. Which makes them less detectable to the kids (visible pepper avoiders) and adds in tasty flavors. I’ve substituted brown rice for white and still no one has noticed! I’ve replaced sour cream with VOSKOS® Greek yogurt (VOSKOS® is one of my favorite add-ins…you may notice as you read on) to reduce the amount of fat and increase protein.
2. Muffins. This is a great go-to snack that everyone loves. Few can resist the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven, at it’s best in the form of a muffin that fits in your hand. Sweet or savory, muffins have become a vehicle for me to include whatever is on hand: oatmeal, greek yogurt, flax seed, etc. Get creative- a puree of blueberries and kale made for a bright muffin adventure one morning!
3. Dessert. Cake batter is delicate so you have to be careful here. I did have one memorable disaster that led me to my first (and only) rule of additions: Add in small portions first, larger portions later. A quarter cup of something is likely to go undetected in desserts – replace some of the butter with applesauce or VOSKOS® greek yogurt, add in a fruit or even carrot puree. Sweet potatoes are an excellent addition to a rich dessert. It feels great to make recipes more healthful and see how the detectives…er, I mean family try to determine what I’ve done differently. Often they don’t notice at all…shh!
4. Dips. We are all prey to the allure of dips; hummus, ranch dressing, salsa…it adds flavor and texture to veggies or chips. I’ve been able to add in roasted peppers, garlic, onions, beans, olive oil, carrots and squash to create some well-received dressings for carrots and pretzels. Replacing part or all of the sour cream with Greek yogurt should go without saying at this point.
One final tip: Parties and movie nights are good times to introduce a new dish…picky folks tend to inspect a little less and feel inclined to enjoy the food when they’re content with the activities going on around them.
Best of all, when yo start experimenting with healthifying your recipes, the kids aren’t the only ones eating healthier. The adults in my household are enjoying the fruits of my experiments too. Try it for yourself! include a sneaky, nutritious addition (such as oats or pureed beans) in Grandma’s meatloaf for tonight’s dinner!