Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Creative Ways to Sneak in Vegetables

So, um, if you were thinking I was writing this post with kids in mind...I wasn't. I've been blessed to have pretty good eaters who are actually not too picky. Sure, Jack doesn't like broccoli(unless it's in  soup form), but he likes plenty of other green vegetables that I find it difficult to get too stressed out about that fact.

Unfortunately, I was writing this post with my husband and myself in mind. Shortly after we got married my mother in law asked me how I liked cooking for Erik since he was so picky about food. I remember being confused. I hadn't even noticed my new husband was picky, because as luck(?) would have it we were both picky about the exact same kinds of food, mainly vegetables.

However, now that we eat primarily real, whole foods, we've definitely been convinced of the necessity of getting more vegetables in our diet. It's been an interesting road so far, but here are some things that have worked.

1. Green Smoothies- Seriously these are such an amazing phenomenon. I was skeptical when I first heard about them, but seriously they taste great. If you make them right you can't even taste the spinach, and you think you're drinking a fruit smoothie. Erik's favorite is made with 3 oranges, a cup and half of spinach, 2 cups of ice, a splash of vanilla, and a little bit of honey to taste. I prefer ones made with blueberries and strawberries, but I do enjoy the orange one occasion.

2. Chicken Stock- Homemade broth is suppose to be really good for you, and I almost always have some stashed away in the freezer. I usually let the chicken bones simmer in a huge pot of water for about 24 hours,  but about 3 hours before the time is up I'll add in several onions and carrots. I don't prepare the broth for the freezer until it has cooled, and by that point I feel pretty comfortable in thinking that most of the nutrients from the vegetables have been pulled out so I don't feel guilty throwing the carrots and onions away.

3. Pulling Out Veggies at the Last minute- Admittedly, this one will make me sound a little pathetic, but I'll go ahead and confess it anyways. A lot of times when I'm making soups or stew, or really anything in the crock pot, I'll put in all the vegetables that the recipe calls for, but I wont slice anything too small. That way when it's time to eat I can simply ladle out all the vegetables I don't enjoy eating. Yes, I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I do this, but I have to believe that I'm getting more nutrition this way than I would if I didn't put any vegetables in my soups.

As time has passed, I've noticed that I actually am starting to enjoy vegetables more and more. Who knows, maybe one day I'll be crazy enough to actually leave the onions in my soup.



  1. Another great way to get veggies is by using shredded zucchini and carrots in tomato based foods, like spaghetti. You can't even tell they are there! I also like to make zucchini banana bread. Earlier this week I took two bunches of kale (one red one green) and a bunch of parsley, and blended that with just enough orange and lime juice to make it smooth. I then froze this super concentrated green juice into ice cubes, so, next time I want to make a smoothie but don't have fresh greens on hands, I can add some green cubes! That also helps cut down on the amount of ice to use in making it cold, which helps to keep it from watering down. I'm lucky to have husband and kids that love most all veggies, but my Hubby doesn't eat eggs or fish which makes my life difficult. How do you feed a person a healthy protein packed breakfast without eggs?! And fish?! Easiest dinner solution ever, but noooo. ;)

    1. Ooo that's a great idea thanks for sharing! And I feel your pain on the eggs, my hubby is completely burned out on them, and I've been at a loss for quick dinners too! :)


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