About two Christmases ago, I found the cookbook Deceptively Delicious on sale while I was waiting in line at Borders. This is the book that Jerry Seinfeld's wife developed based on the idea of sneaking vegetable and fruit purees into standard kid foods to up the health factor. At the time, Baby was barely eating solids but for $7 it seemed like a worthwhile purchase for the future. Now that she is eating a lot of big-kid foods, this cookbook holds a lot more interest.
Instead of buying frozen chicken nuggets that are full of preservatives and fat, I tried the "deceptive" chicken nugget recipe. Really not much difference except that they are coated in either broccoli, pea, sweet potato or spinach puree prior to rolling in a breadcrumb mixture. The recipe instructs to pan-fry them but I thought I'd try baking them instead. They turned out great. You can taste a hint of the broccoli in some bites but not if you dipped them in any sort of sauce.
I had a few bananas that were getting close to a trip to the trashcan so I decided to try her banana bread recipe. It calls for a mix of whole wheat and white flour and uses brown sugar instead of white. The recipe also calls for half a cup of cauliflower puree. Even as I write that, it sounds revolting but this is the essence of the cookbook. You add purees to recipes in such a way that the taste is not noticeable. The bread is actually very tasty. My only complaint is that it isn't as fluffy as the regular banana bread I make, probably because there are less dry ingredients overall. The texture of the bread is similar to my normal recipe but the slices are a lot smaller because the bread doesn't rise as much.
I'm digging the concept behind all this. The purees are relatively easy to make, but more time-consuming than it sounds when reading the introduction and directions. I like the idea of sneaking veggies and fruits into standard foods. Baby isn't fussy and eats pretty much whatever we put in front of her but I've seen enough kids to know this may not always be the case. Rather than make meals a misery, it's a simple way to help us all get a little extra nutrition without really noticing. Because as my own mom pointed out when I told her about the premise, I'm 30 and I still don't care for vegetables or eat them as much as I should. Maybe I'm not just doing this for Baby after all.