5 Fruit and Vegetable Sneaks [TOP SECRET]

posted Aug 20, 2013, 10:24 PM by Merrin McGregor   [ updated Jun 16, 2014, 9:58 PM ]



To craft anything well, you need the right tools. 

Cooking, whether accidental or otherwise, is no exception. So to get you started on building your repertoire of fruit and veggie sneaks, let me fill your tricky toolbox with 5 starter tips for sly success in your Accidental Cooking: 

[Work it!]

Work with foods and flavors your family already loves...and exploit as needed to work your accidental angle:
  • If they prefer fruit over vegetables, try pairing both in one recipe
    Try Vegetables Accidentally recipe: Apple Coleslaw [Never Slaw It Coming] 

  • If classic guacamole is a hit in your household — as it is in most — adapt the key flavors and ingredients into a complete meal
    Try Vegetables Accidentally recipe: Tossed Guacamole [Gumshoe Guacamole] 

  • If bacon is an enchanting lure to someone in your family, play along! Use bacon to flavor and garnish a soup or to make a ‘salad’ more appealing
    Try Vegetables Accidentally recipes: Corn Chowder [Corn Chowder Cover-Up] or Couscous Cobb Salad [Cobb Salad Caper] 
Pairing their favorites with your secrets isn’t manipulative, it’s just a good compromise, right?

Vegetables Accidentally is now available! (Have you taken a sneak peek yet?)

[Squeeze it!]

You won’t have to put the squeeze on your family to slip these extra servings in. You can swap juice for some or all of the water or broth in many sweet or savory recipes. Try making sauces and dressings with apple or orange juice for a hint of sweetness, or give dishes a lift with a bit of lemon or lime.

MyPlate says 1 cup of 100% fruit or veggie juice counts, cup for cup.

Juices are a great accomplice for adding flavor and sneaking in extra cups!

Try Vegetables Accidentally recipes: Olive & Sun-Dried Tomato Polenta Sticks [Pulling Their Leg Polenta] or Sweet & Spicy Sausage Kebabs [Stickin’ to It Kebabs]

[Dry it!]

Dehydration isn’t all bad! Adding dried fruit packs a punch of flavor, color and sweetness to your dishes — and that sugar is not the kind you need to worry about. Having lost moisture and shrunk in volume, dried fruit has intensified in sweetness and flavor.

MyPlate says dried fruit counts as double when you’re tallying up cups.

For example, adding ½ cup of dried cranberries to a recipe adds 1 whole cup of fruit to your count! Best of all, dried fruit can easily be incorporated into both sweet and savory dishes. 

Try Vegetables Accidentally recipes: Beef Curry Supreme [Curry up to No Good] or Chocolate-Date Brownies [In The Dark Brownies]

[Swap it!]

There are times when a little subversion is perfectly okay — like when it comes to the health of those you love. Certain soy products are a great way to sneak in unexpected servings of vegetables. Roasted soy nuts have a great peanut-like crunch for snacking, and soy milk can be used as a direct swap for milk in cooking and baking. Try it!

MyPlate says consuming unenriched soy milk counts toward your vegetable intake!

Try Vegetables Accidentally recipes: Sweet & Savory Snack Mix [Sneak Mix] or Zesty Potato-Cheese Muffins [It’s a Muff-in-side Job] 

[Zip it!]

An Accidental Cook’s best tool is a good secret, and perhaps the most important tip of all is to just keep a lid on your kitchen cons. There is absolutely no good reason to share all of your tricks with your family. They can just love your cooking — tasty dishes, bold flavors and all — and you can delight in the extra fruit and veggies they’re eating...shh...accidentally.

More sneaks? Oh, yes the list goes on! I’ve offered up a second helping in another post