5 Vegetables You Can Sneak Into Your Desserts
As parents, sometimes we have to get creative to ensure that our kids get the essential vitamins and minerals they need – especially those of us with picky little ones. The good news is there are a number of ways you can easily increase the amount of veggies your child eats by incorporating them into desserts. Your family will think they’re getting spoiled rotten with these sweet treats without even realizing they’re actually eating healthier. If you’re struggling to get your loved ones to eat better, try these creative ideas.
Corn Ice Cream
Who doesn’t love ice cream? Now you can turn delicious, nutritious sweet corn into everyone’s favorite frozen treat. To make, sprinkle 1 ½ teaspoons unflavored gelatin over a tablespoon of water, stir and let stand. Combine 2 cups each of drained sweet corn and low-fat milk in a large saucepan and heat over medium heat. In a separate bowl, whisk 1 can (14 oz.) nonfat, sweetened condensed milk with 3 egg yolks.
Slowly pour the heated mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking steadily until well-blended. Return to pan and cook over medium heat, stirring regularly for 3 to 5 minutes. Place the resulting custard into a blender and puree until smooth. Strain into a large bowl and whisk in gelatin followed by 1 cup buttermilk. Chill in refrigerator for up to 1 day. Once chilled, whisk mixture and pour into ice cream maker to prepare according to manufacturer’s directions.
Carrots are packed with beta-carotene, fiber and potassium and are also rich in vitamins A, C, K and B8. Thankfully, nature also made them deliciously sweet, which makes them ideal for incorporating into a dessert, and this quick and easy classic carrot cake (with our without icing) is the perfect dish!
To prepare this recipe, in a large mixing bowl, sift together 2 cups each flour and sugar, 2 teaspoons baking soda, and 1 teaspoon each cinnamon and salt. Add in 4 eggs, 1 ½ cups vegetable oil and 3 cups of riced carrots. Mix until well combined. Divide batter into two 9” round cake pans, lined with wax paper and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let cool, and then add icing (if desired).
Chocolate Beet Cupcakes
There’s nothing quite as tempting as a decadent, moist chocolate cupcake, but there’s a way to make them healthier without sacrificing taste or texture. In fact, adding in beets is actually a great way to bring out even richer flavors while also boosting the immune-system with vitamin C, fiber and potassium.
Sift together 1 ¾ cups unbleached flour, 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda and ½ teaspoon of salt. In a separate mixing bowl, mix 1 ½ cups sugar, 3 large eggs and 1 cup vegetable oil with an electric mixer on medium for 2 minutes. Beat in 1 ½ cups canned sliced beets (drained and pureed). Add 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate (melted) and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Gradually mix together all ingredients, beating well after each one. Pour into cupcake holders, bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool and serve.
Sweet Potato Pie
When it comes to naturally sweet, vitamin-rich power foods, the sweet potato tops the list. An excellent source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium and vitamin B6, this delectable veggie makes the perfect addition to a variety of dessert recipes. So delectably tasty, this quick, simple sweet potato pie will have the whole family begging for more.
To prepare, combine 1 ½ cups sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, 1 (5 oz) can evaporated milk, 1 lightly beaten egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Stir in 2 cups of mashed, cooked sweet potatoes. Pour mixture into a 9” unbaked pie shell and loosely cover the edges with foil. Bake for 45 minutes at 375 degrees. Remove foil and back for 15 additional minutes, or until crust is golden brown and pie is cooked through. For an extra treat top with a dollop of whipped cream.
Cauliflower Blueberry Cupcakes
Watch your kids clean their dinner plates in anticipation of one (or more) of these mouth-watering cupcakes which, thanks to the “secret” ingredient of cauliflower, are also a great way to more vitamin C, protein and fiber in your kids’ diet.
To prepare, in a medium bowl, whisk together ¾ cup whole-wheat pastry flour, ¾ cup cake flour, 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda and ½ teaspoon salt. In a large mixing bowl, beat ¾ cup granulated sugar and ¼ cup canola oil on medium until combined. Beat in 1 large egg, ½ teaspoon coconut extract and ¾ cups mashed cauliflower. Set the mixer on low and alternate the addition of dry ingredients along with ½ cup nonfat buttermilk. Fold in 1 cup of blueberries, divide mixture into prepared cups and bake at 350 for 22-24 minutes. Cool and top with icing or additional blueberries before serving.
Getting children to eat more nutritious foods isn’t always easy, but with the right creative approach, it doesn’t have to be impossible. These deliciously deceptive recipes provide the perfect tasty way to sneak more veggies into everyone’s diet without having to sacrifice taste and texture of our favorite after-dinner treats.