Can You Keep a Secret?
I’ve been hiding something from my family for the past year. It’s something that falls under the category of “what they don’t know won’t hurt them.” In fact, it could actually help them!
They don’t know that I’ve become a “sneaky chef”, thanks to Missy Chase Lapine’s cookbook series by the same name. The Sneaky Chef cookbooks rely on the use of several basic recipes for pureed foods which are rendered tasteless and invisible when stirred into food items.
For the past year I’ve been adding pureed white beans, zucchini and cauliflower to the Kraft macaroni and cheese I serve my kids. It looks and tastes exactly the same as always, but I find it stays with them a lot longer. They couldn’t tell that the yummy banana muffins we ate for breakfast yesterday were also full of pureed carrots and sweet potatoes. And they would be shocked to know that their favorite brownies are packed with spinach and blueberries.
It has been pretty easy to incorporate Sneaky Chef methods. By mixing wheat germ and wheat flour into my white flour I can easily fortify all my baked goods without a difference in taste. The author does not assume we all have hours to spend in the kitchen, and she shares methods for boosting everything from store-bought barbecue sauce to jarred spaghetti sauce. I spend a couple hours every other month (after the kids are asleep, of course) cooking the vegetables and preparing the purees. I freeze them in ½ cup portions and can easily add them to my recipes throughout the week.
I’m still feeding my kids recognizable vegetables at meals, but I’m thrilled to know they are getting a double dose! My veggie-hating husband happily chows down on everything from chocolate French toast to refried beans, never suspecting they contain healthy ingredients he wouldn’t otherwise touch with a 10-foot pole. I enjoy adding some healthy items to our menu while still turning out crowd-pleasing meals.
|The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids’ Favorite Meals|