Picky eaters tend to make meal times difficult. Regardless of the persuasive technique, they still won’t eat their vegetables. And with the holiday season fast approaching, it’s likely that many adults and children will go from October to January substituting sugary sweets for healthier options. We know that fruits and vegetables are important to acquire the right vitamins, minerals and nutrition necessary to keep our bodies healthy and strong. But how do you increase the fresh produce intake without the meal time fuss?
Missy Chase Lapine, author of the Sneaky Chef cookbook series, provides a few simple puree recipes that help boost fiber and nutrients while reducing sugar and fat in common dishes. By adding purees into your meals, you can satisfy appetites while also satisfying dietary requirements. These simple additions work great with many of your family favorites like mac and cheese, lasagna and cookies. The amount added can differ based on your tastes, but try a little at a time until you find what works best for you.
Purees are quick and simple to make and can be frozen for later use. Try one!
Purple Puree: 6 cups raw baby spinach | 1 tsp lemon juice | 3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
Puree all ingredients with 2 Tbsp of water until smooth. 1 to 2 additional Tbsp of water may be added for a smoother consistency.
Use it in: brownies by substituting half of the suggested oil; taco meat by adding ½ a cup per pound; burgers by using ¼ cup per pound.
Orange Puree: 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped | 3 large carrots, peeled and chunked
In a medium pot, cover potatoes and carrots with water and boil for about 20 minutes until very tender. Drain and blend with 2 Tbsp of water. Puree on high until smooth.
Use it in: Banana bread by substituting for half of the suggested oil; mac and cheese by adding ¼ cup to the recipe of your choice
Green Puree: 2 cups broccoli florets, fresh or frozen | 2 cups raw baby spinach | 1 cup frozen sweet peas
Steam the broccoli and spinach in a steamer over 2 inches of water, about 10 minutes or until tender. Add peas for the last 2 minutes. Drain and blend until smooth with 2 Tbsp of water.
Use it in: guacamole by using it in place of 1/3 of the avocado; lasagna by substituting for 1/3 of the sauce; chili by stirring in ½ cup per batch.
White Puree: 2 15oz cans of white beans, such as navy, cannellini or great northern
Rinse and drain beans. Blend until smooth with 2 Tbsp of water.
Use it in: coffee cakes, muffins or cookies by substituting half the butter called for.