Wellness Wednesdays: Want To Put More Veggies in Your Family’s Diet!?

My kids and husband are big on their veggies. I can get at least one kind on there plate. But this is how I sneak more into our diet.

My favorite Purées I add to my recipes…

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Adapted from Oprah.com

Butternut Squash Purée

PREP – Cut off the stem, cut squash in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds.

COOK – Roast the halves of a cookie sheet, flesh-side down, at 400° for 45 to 50 minutes.

PUREE – Scoop out the flesh and puree in a food processor or blender for about 2 minutes.

Beet Purée

PREP – Leave them whole (trim any stems to 1 inch) and unpeeled.

COOK – Wrap in aluminum foil and roast at 400° for about 1 hour (they’re done when they can be pierced with the tip of a sharp knife).

PUREE – After peeling, place in a food processor or blender for about 2 minutes.

Broccoli Purée

PREP – Cut into florets.

COOK – Steam for 6 to 7 minutes. Florets should be tender but still bright green (if they turn an olive green color, they’re overcooked).

PUREE – In a food processor or blender for about 2 minutes. Add a few teaspoons of water if needed for a smooth, creamy texture.

Carrot Purée

PREP – Peel, trim the ends and cut into 3-inch chunks.

COOK – Steam for 10 to 12 minutes.

PUREE – In a food processor or blender for about 2 minutes, with a few teaspoons of water if needed for a smooth texture.

Cauliflower Purée

PREP – Cut off florets and discard core.

COOK – Steam for 8 to 10 minutes.

PUREE – In a food processor or blender for about 2 minutes, with a few teaspoons of water if needed for a smooth, creamy texture.

Spinach or Kale or Collard Greens

PREP – No prep at all for baby spinach. For mature spinach or other greens, fold leaves in half lengthwise with the stem outside, then strip the stem off the leaf.

COOK – Steam for 30 to 40 seconds, or cook in a skillet with 1 tablespoon of water for about 90 seconds, or just until wilted.

PUREE – In a food processor or blender for about 2 minutes, until smooth and creamy.

Sweet Potato Purée

PREP – Do not peel. Cut into quarters, if steaming. Leave whole, if roasting.

COOK – Steam for 40 to 45 minutes. Roast at 400° for 50 to 60 minutes.

PUREE – Scoop out the flesh and puree in a food processor or blender.

Store them in airtight containers in the fridge up to 3 days or freeze in 1/4c. or 1/2c. servings.

How to Use

I use these Purées in my pancakes (1/2c.), Mac n cheese (1/2c.), pot pies (1c.), chicken nuggets (1c.), brownies (1/2c. of 2 different Purées), scrambled eggs (1/2 c.), meatloaf (1/2c.), quesadillas (1/2c.), chocolate or white or yellow cake (1/2c.), spaghetti sauce (1/4c. of 2 different kinds), pizza sauce (1/4c.), 1/4c. Cookies, burgers (1/4c.), chili (1c. of 1 kind and 1/2c. of another), guacamole (1/2c.). You can put it in almost everything!

Example Recipe: Burgers

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Adapted from The Sneaky Chef

Makes 4 burgers

1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup Beet Puree or any other purée you want
1/4 cup oat bran, plus additional as needed
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound lean ground beef
4 hamburger buns or English muffins, preferably whole grain

Optional extra nutritional boost: lettuce, tomato slices, or grilled onions and mushrooms

Prep Day: In a large bowl, mix tomato paste, Beet Puree, oat bran, Worcestershire sauce, and salt. Add the ground beef, mixing with your hands until well combined. If the mixture is too sticky, add a bit more oat bran.

Using damp hands, shape mixture into four 1/4-pound patties. At this point, the burgers may be prepared a day ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator or frozen. If you are not freezing for future use, proceed to the next steps.

Serve Day: Thaw if frozen. Spray both sides of the burgers with oil and place them on the prepared grill or pre-heated pan. Cook for 4 to 7 minutes on each side or to desired doneness.

This an awesome way to add more veggies to your diet without your family even knowing!

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