I have had Jessica Seinfeld's "Deceptively Delicious" on my recipe book shelf for over 2 years without ever even opening it. Yep, 2 years. I got the book as a gift when I was pregnant with Emily and I had good intentions of being all sneaky with my vegetables but lets face it: I'm lazy. I'm also a terrible housekeeper but that is beside the point.
The 5 a Day hand idea has been ridiculously clever and the kids are having fun with it (and it is helping to get them eat fruits and veggies) but I still don't think they are getting enough. Nor would any pediatrician. Or dietitian. Or any other -ian's. So this weekend I busted out the book, my blender and made a little trip to the grocery store. And I'm not gonna lie--the kids come by it naturally because I AM NOT KIDDING YOU I had to ask a lady shopping near me, "Is this a sweet potato?"
Saturday night after the kids went to bed I spent 2 hours steaming and pureeing vegetables. Butternut squash, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes and avocado.
Let me pause for a minute to make a plea...
Dear Magic Bullet Folks,
My blender is from hell. Satan literally resides in my blender. I need a Magic Bullet. Kara says I need one and so does Jessica Seinfeld. If Jessica Seinfeld says I need one then I must really need one. I know I'm not a famous blogger but if you send me a Magic Bullet I will blog about you in every post. Seriously, every post I write I will somehow fit in a way to say how much I love my Magic Bullet.
Jennifer Henderson, a mother who desperately needs/wants a Magic Bullet
After I pureed the veggies I divided the puree up into 1/4 cups and put them in snack size ziplocs and then I put all the bags in to one big gallon size freezer bad. So now my freezer is plum full of 7 large freezer bags full of pureed veggies.
It truly was two of my finest hours and it got me all misty eyed thinking of my glory days when I used to make my kids' baby food. I know, its true. I really did make their baby food. It surprises me too and I'm the one who did it.
Now I know I've got my haters out there who will criticize me for hiding vegetables in my kids' food. They will say its deceitful and how will they ever learn to eat healthful food if they don't know it and blah, blah, blah. I'm sure my haters will say that I lie to my kids about Santa Clause so this was just the natural progression in my big web of deception I disguise as parenting. To them I just say this: SUCK IT. No, I mean it, really you can just suck it. The night after I spent 120 minutes pureeing vegetables until my kitchen's windows were wet from steam and my blender was smoking (no lie) my kids ate pancakes for breakfast with carrots snuck into them. They also ate a whole banana each and chased it with some yogurt. For a snack they had a cheesy quesadilla with pureed beans spread sneakily on the tortilla under the cheese. For lunch: mini-pizza with spinach tucked quietly into the sauce. Afternoon snack was some organic, gluten free granola bar that they love and have no idea is good for them and strawberries (I've been doing those for a couple of weeks now). Dinner was homemade chicken nuggets battered with pureed sweet potatoes and cauliflower and panko breadcrumbs with steamed carrots and homemade bread and finally, their bedtime snack was an applesauce muffin I had made earlier in the day that had butternut squash baked into it. Yummy. They ate awesome without complaining and Hot Jeff and I were thrilled at all the yummy vegetables they had eaten without knowing or without complaining.
My theory on this, besides that I just don't care and am going to keep on doing it, is that they will acquire a taste for these items because IT IS IN THE FOOD. Secondly, I just don't care and am going to keep on doing it. Third, at some point they will get old like me and know they need to eat their vegetables so they don't keel over at 55 and they will buck up, throw some garlic on them and eat up.
I'd like to give a shout out to Gigi also. Gigi was sneaking vegetables into food before sneaking vegetables into food was cool. Gigi used to put zucchini into her brownies. Ok, I hear you...yes, it was because she had a surplus of zucchini and not because she gave a rip about nutrition but nevertheless, Gigi was sneaking vegetables into food before it was cool. Woot, woot Gigi.
Today was Day Two of Deceptively Delicious and it has gone great. Today is Samuel's 4th birthday and he requested macaroni and cheese for dinner. I know better than to make it homemade so I made the blue box kind he so dearly loves but I snuck in pureed carrots! No one knew except for me and I don't eat that crap!
While I was doing all my muffin baking this weekend (I also made peanut butter and banana muffins with carrots in them) I got nostalgic for my bread making days up in Alaska and have made several loaves of fresh whole wheat bread! I'm now on an unrealistic quest to feed my family homemade bread. We'll see how that goes. That is taking the Going all Little House on the Prairie thing a little far and I may have to start channeling Laura Ingalls Wilder so I'll keep you posted on that. I do have 2 loaves rising right now though.
Please don't lose all hope in me though. I may be changing the way we all eat around here and makin' my own bread and crazy stuff like that but there is still 3 loads of laundry on the couch that need to be folded and put away and my bathrooms still look like they belong in a frat house. Don't worry--at my core I'm still lazy and would rather be on Facebook than in the kitchen.