Healthy Switcheroos

Two containers of applesauce

In 2007, Jessica Seinfeld (yes, Jerry Seinfeld’s wife) put together a cookbook called “Deceptively Delicious” which enabled parents to give kids what they want and what they need at the same time. In other words, she hid vegetables and fruit in recipes such as chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, and grilled cheese sandwiches. We like to think as adults that we’re smart enough to make the right food choices and eat the recommended amount of vegetables and fruit a day…but sadly we’re not. The principle of substitution is genius so please enjoy the healthy switcheroos that I’ve picked up over the years.

Cooking or baking with butter, oil or lard? Try substituting the fattening moist ingredients with: applesauce, canned prune, pumpkin puree, carrot baby food or mashed banana. Personally, I use applesauce instead of oil all the time and you would never know the difference…just don’t tell my boyfriend. However, purees work best when fruit is already in the recipe so for chocolate goodies try Greek yogurt for oil or butter.

A recent study was conducted at Pennsylvania State University, which investigated whether the same trick that got you to eat your vegetables as a kid could help you lose weight now. To summarize – yes it can. When pureed vegetables were sneaked into three daily meals participants ate nearly 360 fewer calories. For instance, in pasta salad skip the ½ cup of mayo and add a ½ cup of pureed roasted peppers and you’ll save yourself 435 calories. Or in chowder skip the 1-cup of cream and add 2 cups of pureed sweet corn and you’ll save yourself 556 calories.

Start hiding your veggies in a healthy way because we’re too old now to stick them up our nose or give them to the dog under the table.

Image courtesy of B.Inspired Vintage