Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Good and Bad of Pureeing

In an attempt to get more vegetables into my kids, I have joined the brigade of pureeing parents. I was seduced by Jessica Seinfeld's book Deceptively Delicious even before she appeared on Oprah. On my lunch hour, I went to the bookstore for a mental break and saw a pile of the pretty pink retro style books and loved the drawings and ideas. I went back to my desk, checked out her website and noticed she was about to embark on a publicity tour to promote the new book. I caught her on Oprah and was convinced I needed this book.I was intrigued, inspired and determined to get more vegetables into my kids. James (not quite 2) still eats just about anything thrown on his plate, but Camden (almost 4) is another story. He used to eat any and everything. And if you ask him what his favorite food is, he will honestly tell you 'Porridge', which is great. He likes to eat healthy foods but has developed some kind of inexplicable aversion to vegetables. He can spot a green pea in the sauciest of stews or soups from a mile away. It is infuriating.

I dived into the book and read it cover to cover. I loved the format, even though the principles have been done probably since the beginning of time. All parents at one time or another try to hide vegetables during phases when their little ones boycot them. But the presentation was great. Pretty drawings, helpful strategies and tips, and great ideas I never thought of. I set out on a mission and started to puree.I began with sweet potatoes, butternut squash and cauliflower. It didn't really take that long and it made sense to do a few at one time while I had all the equipment out. I made the mozzarella sticks (with cauliflower), and they were devoured so quickly by everyone that I didn't get a photo. I then moved on to a banana bread (also with cauliflower) which wasn't as successful. In fact, as soon as I took it out of the oven, the cauliflower smell overpowered the usual sweet and pleasant banana smell. I anticipated a small problem.

Camden occasionally has breakfast with his older cousin Madeleine at my sister's house and on one particular day I sent some over for them. It all came back in a tupperware, barely touched. Hmmm. I then sent a huge piece over to my other sister's house for James and his little cousin, Mia. My sister called and said they both spit it out. Now, this was surprising considering these two adore their vegetables. I went home and attempted to try it myself. I opened up the container and the smell had actually become so overpowering at this point, I couldn't even manage one bite. I actually felt guilty for trying to make the kids injest this one.

On a more positive note, I also made the Frozen yogurt popsicles. I pureed some mixed berries with plain yogurt and some powdered sugar, popped them in the deep freeze for a few hours and unmolded them for an after dinner treat. These were much more warmly received than the banana bread. They were delicious and I will try them again with some different fruits.

There are a few more recipes I have tagged to try soon. I plan on using the butternut squash and sweet potato for the chicken nuggets and turkey burgers soon. I have concluded though that banana bread is good enough on its' own and the addition of cauliflower is just not right. I think the kids will be happy with that.


Lisa said...

I commend you!! The banana bread *looks* good, but I can imagine that smell.
You've done well!

Paola said...

Oy! Banana bread with cauliflower?? Sounds a bit odd. But, this looks like a book I should check out! I'm a fan of 'the more veggies the better'!


annauk said...

Very interesting thread Sandy! Good luck with hiding the veggies - I have one who needs more veg, and he's nearly 19, LOL!!!

Aimée said...

As you know, I have a notorious picky eater, Noah. I will be following your progress with bated breath. Good luck! Please keep passing the tips along!!

Kelly-Jane said...

The yoghurt popsicles look great, I'd like them myself!

Please post again on your progress, I'm interedted too.