Delicious meals with hidden veggies that pack a healthy punch. Picture: Flickr.com
Delicious meals with hidden veggies that pack a healthy punch. Picture: Flickr.com

3 hidden veggie recipes for picky eaters

By Sacha van Niekerk Time of article published Jul 1, 2020

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Struggling to get a picky eater to eat their veggies? Try these hidden veggie recipes.

Children have an amazing talent for spotting anything green in their food, meticulously pushing vegetables to the side of their plates to be avoided at all costs. If their vision somehow fails them, that’s when their super sensitive palettes kick in. 

It seems kids are too smart to fall for your clever disguises of cheesy sauce and pasta to camouflage every pea, pepper and piece of broccoli. So, if your mealtimes involve a lot of tentative chewing and the infamous “face” kids make when they’ve just tasted something they don’t agree with, loud sighs of exasperation and the spitting out of every morsel of veg, you are not alone.

The solution to your parenting woes may be in hidden veggie recipes. Blended, pureed and smashed into anything from chocolate mousse to popsicles and pancakes, these delicious, veg-packed foods will have your toddler or child munching away, consuming their daily greens whilst being none the wiser. 

The secret behind why this hack works so well is partly due to any strong vegetable flavours getting dulled down by the other more prominent ingredients. But also because the sometimes unappealing texture of veggies - like slimy spinach, baby marrow, aubergine and crunchy onions, carrots and peppers - are muted in the preparation process. All flavours and textures blend together seamlessly for a super scrumptious meal for little one's without any fussing.

Beetroot muffins
By @spoonfuls_byruby


Ingredients

  • 1 medium beetroot
  • 1 cup plant based (almond) milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 (overfilled)cup kamut flour (or other listed options)
  • ½ cup cacao powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt

Instructions

Scrub and trim the whole beetroot, slice in half and bake tightly wrapped in foil with a drizzle of olive oil at 190 degrees celsius for just over an hour (or until very tender).
Once cooked, place in the fridge to cool and switch the oven setting to 180 degrees celsius.
Mix flour, sugar, cacao, salt, baking soda, baking powder in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl mix almond milk, vanilla and ACV, leave to slightly curdle for 5 mins. Then add this mixture to the dry mix.
Blend beetroot with a dash of water til a paste is formed and add into the large mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer (I used a handheld one) and once everything is combined it should form a very “airy” mixture.
Spoon mixture into 10 muffin liners and bake for about 25 mins. Remove from heat and let cool for at least 30 mins.

Vegetable nuggets
By @griottes


Ingredients

  • 1 leek
  • 2 small carrots
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 5 button mushrooms
  • ½ onion
  • 2 small cloves of garlic
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g of feta
  • 70g croutons
  • 50 gr of cooked semolina
  • Salt, peppers, spices
  • Oil

Instructions

Cut the leek, onion and garlic into very fine pieces. 
Cook in a pan with a little oil for ten minutes.
Peel and cut the zucchini, leek, carrots and mushrooms and mix.
Use a kitchen towel to squeeze all the mixed vegetables and get all the excess water out. 
Add feta and semolina to the cooked vegetable mix. 
Press again well so that the mixture is not too wet.
Add mixture to a bowl with the eggs and combine. 
Add salt, pepper and spices of your choice. If it is too wet add a little flour.
Form balls with the dough.
Crush croutons to obtain fine breadcrumbs. 
Roll the balls in breadcrumbs and flatten slightly to form a patty. 
Heat a little oil in a pan, and cook the nuggets for a few minutes on each side.
Enjoy with a little homemade ketchup, or a yogurt sauce.

Smoothie pops
By @nikkivegan


Ingredients

  • 1 cup frozen peaches (or mango)⁣⁣
  • ½ cup frozen strawberries⁣⁣
  • ½ cup frozen cauliflower rice⁣⁣
  • ½ cup chopped frozen zucchini ⁣⁣
  • ½ large frozen banana ⁣⁣
  • 2 cups water⁣⁣
  • Juice of ½ a lemon ⁣⁣
  • ½ cup unsweetened vegan yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup ⁣⁣

Instructions
⁣⁣
Combine all of the ingredients in a large blender and blend until very smooth. Transfer to popsicle molds and freeze overnight. ⁣⁣

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