Friday, May 29, 2009

Giving that Seinfeld broad a run for her money.

Have you ever heard about something so awesome you refuse to believe it simply because if it was true, it might totally blow your mind?

That's kind of how I felt about people saying you could put raw spinach in smoothies. I mean, seriously. Spinach in a smoothie? That's just wrong. But they were like No, it's great. You can't even taste it! And if you use blueberries instead of strawberries, you can't tell there's spinach in it at all!


Despite the fact that we almost always have raw spinach and smoothie fixings on hand, I never bothered to try mixing the two together. Until now.

It was a particularly bad eating day for Liam (they're all pretty bad - the kid would happily starve to death if we let him) so I was mixing up a little afternoon power shake to keep him going. At first I pushed the spinach out of the way so I could grab the yogurt but then something stopped me. PUT THE SPINACH IN THE SMOOTHIE. I hesitated for a moment - would the world come to a screeching halt if Liam ate a leafy green? - then grabbed a big handful and threw it in the blender (along with plain yogurt, frozen mixed berries, a banana, orange juice and some vanilla whey protein powder).

Once it was all blended up, I really couldn't tell the difference. And, it actually tasted good. Exactly the same as usual! I gave it to Liam with a straw and tried not to giggle as he drank the entire thing (it took all afternoon, of course, but that's perfectly normal). If he didn't like it or could tell that something was different, he would have refused to drink it at all. But he liked it! (Liked it, forced it down, whatever - there's a lot of gray area when it comes to Liam's eating habits).

Buoyed by my spinach success, I swapped out his regular pancakes (whatever healthy whole wheat mix I happen to grab at the grocery) with sweet potato pancakes. And guess what? My son is now eating two vegetables! Woo hoo!!

Here's a great recipe I got from one of the moms in our Spanish class:

Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Pancakes

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups buttermilk
1 to 1 1/2 cups cooked mashed sweet potato

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 t vanilla

1/2 t salt

3 eggs

2 t
baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup canola oil

Puree sweet potatoes and eggs. In a large bowl, mix the buttermilk, applesauce, vanilla, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and honey. Incorporate the puree. Add the flour last. Use canola oil for frying pan or griddle. The remaining pancakes can be frozen and defrosted in microwave or toaster. (This recipe is very forgiving. I added ground flax seed and used plain milk instead of buttermilk and the pancakes still turned out great.)

I also made a batch of pancakes with the store bought mix and just added a cup of sweet potato puree, some apple sauce and ground flax seed. Both kinds passed the Liam test (and we liked them too). You don't even have to feel bad about letting your kid go nuts with the syrup - 100% pure maple syrup is chock full of magnesium and zinc, good for your immune system, and a great source of antioxidants. Pretty sweet, huh?

*Dies from totally predictable and cliche ending*


hezza said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hezza said...

My friend made the cookies with the bean puree from that Seinfeld chick's book and they were yummy. Bean Puree in cookies sounds really yukky to me, even though I like beans. I was surprised. Shredded zuchinni in muffins and breads is my only adventure into this realm, perhaps I should expand my horizons.

Girl Healthy said...

Spinach in a smoothie! Why, where ever did you hear of that? ;)

sunT said...

congrats on your success! i have to admit the seinfeld chick and the sneaky chef books are really great. although i cant purree my life away like them, it has made me be a little more sneaky. (but not for sia but for jared). lol

CelinaQ said...

Don't you love it when you make something that's good for you and delicious? That's the best!

No Mommy Brain said...

i loved "deceptively delicious" for about two days - until i realized that all the "kid friendly" food she's hiding stuff in (macaroni & cheese, chicken fingers, etc) is stuff liam won't touch with a 10 foot pole. i didn't want to push an all cupcake diet just for the sake of a little vegetable puree. but now i'm revisiting the book with different expectations - i may not be able to overhaul liam's eating entirely just yet but i can certainly make his treats a little healthier. :)