We all want our kids to learn to choose healthy snacks and crave more greens on their own. But this might have to start with a little covert operation. Below are some resourceful ways to sneak extra vegetables into ordinary meals. Incorporate the following three vegetable-based recipes for a nutrient-dense diet that will fool the family and please Popeye.
With a couple different fruits and several handfuls of veggies, this green drink hits all the bases for a well-balanced breakfast or snack. This recipe suits two, so split it with your child and enjoy all of the nutritional benefits or whip it together for your multiple children!
½ cucumber, cut into small pieces
½ cup blueberries
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ cup kale
½ cup spinach
½ cup crushed ice
1 cup almond milk
1. Place banana, tangerine, strawberries, blueberries, cinnamon, ice, and almond milk into a blender. Blend until creamy.
2. Once initial ingredients have blended together, open the lid and add the spinach and kale. Blend until the spinach and kale have fully deteriorated. The smoothie will have turned green, but you should not see any green leaves or large chunks.
3. Pour and enjoy immediately!
Add a handful of almonds in the last 30 seconds of blending for a punch of protein and fat and a crunch of nutty goodness.
Cauliflower and Broccoli Mash
Mashed potatoes appease even the pickiest eater. This broccoli and cauliflower mash masks its true vegetable identity and successfully poses as the beloved mashed potato side dish.
1 head of broccoli
1 head of cauliflower
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
Garlic salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1. Steam cauliflower and broccoli until very tender.
2. Drain water from the pot. Using a potato masher, mash the steamed veggies until well-mixed.
4. Add in the mayonnaise, garlic salt, pepper, and cayenne.
5. Serve up!
For creamier texture, use a food processor instead of a masher.
Next time you pack the kids’ lunches, try replacing the usual potato or tortilla chips with these zucchini chips. Their light and crispy crunch work well by themselves or served with salsa, cheese, or hummus as an after-school snack.
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 450°.
2. Thinly slice a zucchini.
3. Toss with olive oil and salt and pepper.
4. Spread the zucchini out onto a baking sheet and place into the oven for 25-30 minutes.
5. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes, then serve. Or, save the chips in a Ziploc bag for later use.
Sprinkle with nutritional yeast before or after baking for a richer flavor and a non-dairy, yet cheesy twist!