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Cooking with “Hidden Veggies”

FEATURED PRODUCE: Cooking with “Hidden Veggies”

It’s time to get those picky eaters to eat more veggies! From zucchini shredded into muffins to spinach blended into brownies, find stealth ways to amp up the veggie content in the rest of this week’s meals … for the kids (and the finicky adults, too).

Here is a guide to hiding veggies in ways not even the choosiest eater will notice:

Shred them into muffins. Veggies are barely visible when they’re shredded into muffins, along with all sorts of other ingredients, such as raisins, nuts or even chocolate chips. Try this technique with zucchini or carrots. Or use a vegetable puree, such as sweet potato.

Blend them into dessert. If it’s made of chocolate, you can be sure your kids won’t taste the veggies. Add puréed spinach to cake for dessert that’s secretly a nutrient powerhouse. Blend squash into brownie batter or roasted beets into chocolate cake. Take it to another level with an avocado-based frosting. Or make this recipe for sweet, cinnamon-scented Pumpkin Spice Cake, with pumpkin as a main ingredient.

Sneak them into mashed potatoes. Add nutrition to mashed potatoes by mixing in other veggies. Try cauliflower, which no one will see, or add parsnips for a sweet addition. Turnips, celery root and sunchokes are also hard to notice.  

Mix them into breakfast. Finely grate or steam cauliflower and add it quietly to scrambled eggs. Whip up a smoothie with bananas, berries and your choice of milk, and add just enough spinach or kale for only a slight hint of green. Roll eggs into a tortilla and hide greens, onions and tomatoes inside.

Puree them into everyone’s favorite dinner entrees. Add puréed carrots or finely chopped mushrooms to ground beef for veggie-boosted burgers or meatloaf. Blend winter squash, peppers or greens into tomato sauce and serve with pasta. Or add a can of pureed tomatoes or squash to a chicken soup.