One thing that has always surprised me is the instant “turn off” that healthy food gets.
I can make a delicious batch of sugar-free cookies and if I don’t announce they’re healthy, they’ll be devoured within seconds. I’ll be left cleaning crumbs and wishing I had set one aside for myself.
But if I make the announcement:
“Try these vegan, sugar-free cookies!”
I’ll be left with a plate full of 1/2 eaten cookies. Not that this upsets me, it means more for me.
But it is frustrating and I’ve learned over the years that what my family doesn’t know, won’t hurt them. In fact, it will help them because I am making sure their pallets are still happy but they’re getting an extra boost of nutrients simultaneously.
What kind of “healthy stuff” gets snuck in?
4 Secret Ingredients To Make Your Food Healthier
1. Add greens into breakfast foods and baked goods.
Have some spinach, zucchini or kale sitting in the produce drawer? Chop it up and add it to shakes, muffins, pancake batter, even cakes.
First off, neither spinach nor kale will affect the overall taste of the food. And secondly you can say it’s “the Hulks’ breakfast” to make it fun and explainable (if the kids ask how their pancakes became green just say you used food coloring). They’ll never know the truth.
My family loves my green cakes! Perfect for St Patrick’s Day, Halloween or just for fun.
2. Use oatmeal instead of flour.
Oatmeal is filling, high in fiber, and a complex grain; a much healthier option than your typical flour.
It can also be “heavy” which is why I suggest modifying recipes to be a 1:1 ratio of oats to flour when you first begin this transition.
I actually don’t keep flour in my house unless I have a specific recipe like pasta on the agenda.
Just grind the oats up and you have a new, healthier flour.
3. Walnuts are great meat substitutes.
Walnuts are high in healthy fats and believed to help brain health. They are also a great source of protein and loaded with flavor. Add roasted walnuts as salad toppers or even use them in place of hamburger.
I first pulled this one over my family about 6 months ago and they love “walburger”. Soak chopped walnuts for 2-3 hours then use as you would normal ground beef. Perfect for lasagna and tacos.
4. Cauliflower as mashed potatoes.
In the south, mashed potatoes are a staple… but not mine. Potatoes are full of vitamins, minerals and nutrients, however once milk, butter and everything else gets added… the calories can add up. Not to mention that potatoes are very starchy.
To continue having a fabulous side to pork chops and steak, try steaming cauliflower and blending it with a splash of milk (I use almond milk), garlic, and sea salt until smooth and creamy. Stir in fresh chives or rosemary and you have a fabulous side.
No one will be upset or even realize the potatoes are missing.
Did I mention my husband hates cauliflower but loves this? It works.
Do you ever have to lie or trick your family into eating healthy foods?