Or perhaps you live with a dodger of the green stuff?
Try these tricks to sneak some more nutrients into your diet
Till struggling to get your five-a-day?
With many experts now recommending 10-a-day, cramming enough fruit and veg into your life can sometimes feel like the quest for the Holy Grail, especially if you’re catering for a veg-refusenik partner or children. Enter nutritional naturopath Lucinda Miller. With 20 years’ clinical experience under her belt, she’s an expert at showing clients how to make healthy eating quick and easy. Now, in her new book The Good Stuff – Delicious Recipes and tips for Happier, Healthier Children (Crown Quarto, £20), the child-nutrition expert shares some clever cooking tricks for sneaking more fruit and veg into meals – perfect for the little veg-dodgers in your life but pretty handy for grown-ups, fool Here are some of Miller’s fop tips – from instant ways to pimp your meals to handy food-prep ideas that will ensure you hit your fruit and veg goafs every time.
Vowed to eat more fruit and veg but find it hard to do? Photo Gallery
Create crisps Sweet potato, butternut squash and celeriac make delicious, guilt-tree crisps. Cut the veg into very tine slices using a mandolin or food processer with a mandolin blade. To get them really crispy, soak the slices in water tor at least 10 minutes before patting them dry with a clean tea towel. Brush them lightly with coconut or olive oil, herbs and salt, then pop them in an oven preheated to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4 for 7-8 minutes. Crispy kale is also quick and easy to make: strip off the woody stalks, toss the leaves in some olive oil and pop them in a hot oven for 8-10 minutes, shaking the baking tray now and then to stop them burning.
Make mighty mash Mashed root vegetables such as carrot, squash, sweet potato, celeriac and swede are great alternatives to potatoes. We all love mashed potato but, on its own, it can cause your blood sugar levels to shoot up. Combining it with another vegetable with some butter and milk slows the release of energy. More veg equals more gut-friendly fibre, too. For a tasty shepherd’s pie topping, try a mash from a mix of roof vegetables – sweet potato, celeriac or carrots work well – and include at least one potato in the blend for the right consistency. Get grating This is the easiest way to slip some extra veg into almost any meal. Simply grate a courgette or carrot into meat or fish dishes such as Bolognaise, meatballs or stews when softening the onion.
Bake away If you’re feeding fussy children, muffins are a great way to hide vegetables. But they’re a tasty contribution towards your five-a-day for grown-ups, too. All you need to do is finely grate your chosen veg into the muffin mix before adding a favourite flavour. Add grated courgette along with banana when making blueberry & banana muffins and grate carrot into the mixture for carrot and poppy seed waffles. Brownies are also lovely and squidgy with added veg such as courgette. Bake away If you’re feeding fussy children, muffins are a great way to hide vegetables. But they’re a tasty contribution towards your five-a-day for grown-ups, too.
All you need to do is finely grate your chosen veg into the muffin mix before adding a favourite flavour. Add grated courgette along with banana when making blueberry & banana muffins and grate carrot into the mixture for carrot and poppy seed waffles. Brownies are also lovely and squidgy with added veg such as courgette If you’re cooking for stubborn veg-refusers, a great tip is to use vegetable purees concealed within a food they like.
But it’s also a quick way to fortify your meals with extra vitamins when you’re in a hurry. You can make the purees in batches and store in the freezer in small quantifies, such as in an ice fray. Just take them out of the freezer the day you’ll want to use them. If you’re sneaking them into kids’ meals, start by adding 1 -2 teaspoons of the pureed veg to the meal you’re hiding them in, then slowly add in a little more each time.
HOW TO MAKE IT: Steam a mixture of potato, celeriac and cauliflower until soft. Blend with the remaining steam water or freshly made stock.
HOW TO USE IT: A good option for kids who only eat beige food. Add to pancakes, muffins, waffles and bread recipes.
HOW TO MAKE IT: Fry a mixture of red pepper, swede, courgette and red onion lightly in olive oil and puree.
HOW TO USE IT: Add to tomato sauces, curries, soups, meatballs, Bolognaise or even to spaghetti rings or baked beans.
HOWTO MAKE IT: Steam turnip, cauliflower, courgette, broccoli and spinach. Blend with a little of the steam water or stock.
HOWTO MAKE IT: Steam carrot, butternut squash, orange pepper, cauliflower and swede. Blend with a little of the steam water or stock.
HOW TO USE IT: Add to Bolognaise, meatballs, shepherd’s pie and stews as well as tomato sauces.
OW TO MAKE IT: Love the idea of cauliflower rice but don’t find if filling enough? Try mixing a few spoonfuls of if with a grain such as rice or couscous. To make it, remove the tough central stalk from a cauliflower and pulse the florets 10 to 15 times until they’re reduced to tiny rice- or couscous-sized grains. Stir-fry in olive or coconut oil with a couple of tablespoons of wafer and add herbs or spices to taste.