Recipes With Hidden Veggies (Just Don’t Tell Your Kids)!
Getting your kids to eat vegetables doesn’t have to be a struggle. While little taste buds might be turned off by the flavor and texture of certain healthy foods, with a bit of creativity you can hide veggies in plain sight. All of these recipes are easy to prepare and taste great. The fact that they’re also nutritious can be your little secret!
Tropical Breakfast Smoothie (with hidden carrot and sweet potato)
Green smoothies have been wildly popular lately, and it’s easy to see why. They’re convenient, delicious, and pack multiple servings of vegetables into a single drink. But greens aren’t the only vegetable that can power a smoothie. If your kids are wary of any food that looks healthy, orange vegetables are a great way to hide nutrients. This smoothie is sweet and tropical, and kids won’t notice anything unusual behind the fun orange color.
Throw this smoothie together in minutes on a busy morning. Keep one in your child’s lunchbox in an airtight container with a BodyICE Kids gel pack for a refreshing smoothie during the school day.
150 g frozen mango chunks
150 g frozen pineapple chunks
150 g frozen banana slices
480 ml orange juice
75 g frozen carrot pieces
75 g peeled sweet potato, steamed and cooled
-Like most smoothies, the prep is fairly simple. Just place all of your ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth.
-Experiment with other ingredients in this smoothie to get added nutritional boosts. Try oats or Greek yoghurt for added for protein or ginger to support your immune system. The possibilities are endless!
Creamy Mac and Cheese Bake (with hidden butternut pumpkin)
This baked pasta dish is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. Butternut pumpkin is a great vegetable to hide in mac and cheese due to its color and creamy texture. This recipe looks and tastes just like the traditional dish. Your family won’t notice the added nutrients!
300 g butternut pumpkin, diced
160 ml milk (can be full fat or reduced fat)
225 g shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for topping
15 g butter
100 g chopped red capsicum
450 g pasta
salt and pepper to taste
Basil for garnish (optional)
-Steam or boil butternut pumpkin until fork-tender. Drain and allow to cool to room temperature.
-Add pumpkin to food processor or high-speed blender and blend until pumpkin has formed a smooth puree. If pumpkin is difficult to blend, add a splash of milk.
-Add milk, cheese, and butter to food processor and blend to a smooth consistency. Taste sauce, and add salt and pepper as needed. Set aside.
-In a large pot, boil water and cook pasta to package instructions. When pasta is al dente, drain and return to pot. Add cheese sauce and stir to combine. You can add some chopped red capsicum for a little colour.
-Add mac and cheese to a casserole dish and top with extra shredded cheese. Bake at 180 C for 15 minutes or until breadcrumbs and cheese are golden brown.
Silly Green Egg and Ham Bites (with hidden spinach)
Channel Dr. Seuss with this fun breakfast recipe. These egg bites resemble mini quiches, making them the perfect grab-and-go option for busy families. Ham and swiss cheese give these bites a delicious flavor that hides the taste of the spinach. Make a large batch of these at the beginning of the week and store in the fridge for healthy breakfasts all week long.
When your family is in a time crunch, warm up these egg bites for 15-20 seconds in the microwave.
8 large eggs
30 g raw spinach, rinsed
60 ml milk
40 g shredded swiss cheese
75 g cubed ham
salt and pepper to taste
-In a blender or food processor, combine eggs, milk, spinach, salt, and pepper until a smooth, foamy mixture is formed. Spinach should be completely blended throughout. Or, just chop the spinach finely and add it to the egg mix.
-Thoroughly spray mini muffin tins. Pour egg mixture into tins until each cup is approximately half full.
-Add ham and cheese to egg cups, making sure that the cups are no more than 3/4 full.
-Bake at 180 C for 10 minutes or until egg mixture is completely solid and a toothpick inserted into the egg comes out clean.
-Let egg bites sit for 15 minutes before removing from pan. Serve immediately or store for later.
-Serves 6 (makes 24 mini egg cups total)
Rainbow Pancakes (with hidden spirulina and beetroot)
What’s more special than a rainbow breakfast? Superfood powders give these pancakes their bright hues. These powders are loaded with nutrients and create colors vibrant enough to rival store-bought food coloring. Kids will know they’re getting a special treat with these fun pancakes, though they’ll never guess they’re getting veggies as well!
140 g all-purpose flour
15 g caster sugar
4 g baking powder
240 ml milk
1 large egg
28 g melted butter or oil
pinch of salt to taste
5 g each spirulina powder, blue spirulina powder, beetroot powder, tumeric powder (available online or in health food stores)
-In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine egg, milk, and butter or oil until one homogenous mixture is formed.
-Add wet mixture to bowl of dry ingredients and mix until all lumps are smoothed out and pancake batter is creamy.
-Divide pancake batter into three separate smaller bowls. Add one teaspoon of superfood powder to each bowl and mix thoroughly create different color pancake batters. Spirulina powder, blue spirulina powder, and beetroot powders will create green, blue, yellow and red pancakes. Add more or less powder to create darker or lighter colors.
-Grease a frying pan and cook pancakes over medium heat, flipping halfway through. Serve immediately.
Feel free to experiment with other veggies in these recipes, or use them as inspiration to add healthy ingredients to your family’s favorite meals. The possibilities are endless! Kids will find that vegetables really aren’t so scary after all when their flavors are masked by other ingredients. Bon Appetit!
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