I've had my share of struggles trying to get my family to eat more healthy foods. I've learned a few tricks that have worked fantastic for me and so I thought I'd share.
Have you ever heard of instead of eating mashed potatoes to try mashed cauliflower? Well it doesn't work, just tastes like mashed cauliflower. My trick is I do half and half. I mash up steamed cauliflower with my potatoes and no one noticed. They actually have said the potatoes were better than usual. This way they are not just getting a pure starch. Try it, I bet no one will be able to tell and its healthier.
Another item I use is when I bake banana muffins or bread. First all whole wheat flour, no fat and use agave syrup for your recipes instead of sugar and sneak in some carrots! You can do this to any recipe for muffins or cookies. First I shred @ a cup of carrots and then I blanch them (boil them for a few minutes in water) Drain and chop them up again so they are small and you throw it in the batter. The kids don't even notice they are there.
Black bean brownies...sounds odd I know but again very tasty. Here is the recipe,
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup agave syrup
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup egg whites
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tbsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
6 tbsp mini semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 8x8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a food processor, mix all brownie ingredients (except chips) together. Chop on high, until smooth. Clean off sides and blend for another 20 seconds. Add the chips and stir well. Spread into the 8x8 baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for about 1 hour at room temperature.
6 oz. fat-free cream cheese
1/4 cup agave syrup
2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp semisweet mini chocolate chips, melted
With a whisk attachment on an electric beater, blend all ingredients until light and fluffy. Spread evenly over the top of the cooled brownies. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the 2 tbsp of chips with a 2-second spray of nonstick cooking oil. Using a spoon, swirl the chocolate on top. Allow it to set in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Serve and enjoy. Don't forget to have seconds
This recipe was found on the Dr. oz website. My family gobbles them up.
Another great recipe is the chocolate chip cookies
Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
½ cup unsweetened applesauce (or you could put in mashed bananas)
½ agave nectar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup whole wheat flour, sifted
1 ½ cups rolled oats (not instant)
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp cinnamon
½ cup dark chocolate chips, semi-sweet
Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a mixer, add the applesauce and the agave, and mix until creamy. Add the egg, vanilla, honey and olive oil and mix well.
In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Slowly add the oat mixture to the applesauce mixture and mix just until combined. Add the dark chocolate chips, and mix.
Using a regular teaspoon, drop teaspoonfuls of cookie dough onto parchment lined baking sheets, leaving at least 2-inches between cookies. Bake until brown and crispy around the edges, about 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on wire racks
There really is so many opportunities to sneak veggies in or cut out fats and sugars, it just takes some experimenting and just go for it. I know that I am happier when I know that I am giving my family still food that tastes good, but also food that is healthier. We don't have to omit treats from our diet we just have to make healthier versions.