Not everyone likes veggies (especially picky children) but everyone knows the benefits of eating more vegetables or at least, having them in your meal. Whether you’re one of the veggie haters or not, here are 12 vegetables (some are technically fruits or flowers) to add in your diet and how to sneak them into your meal. Some are absolutely child-friendly! Don’t worry, we are not going the easy route through smoothies or salads. You might actually enjoy some of these dishes and not even think that the veggies are in them.
Spinach contains iron, magnesium, vitamins A, C and B-6, and it even has calcium! This is definitely a great vegetable to consume on a regular basis and here are some methods of sneaking them into your meals:
- Add the puréed spinach into a pancake mix. You can make funny designs to delight your young ones and once it’s drizzled with honey, they wouldn’t even know that the green is from vegetables but think that it’s from food colouring.
- Blitz it in a soup. Follow our Chickpea Soup recipe and simply add in boiled spinach into the food processor. You will be able to mask the spinach taste with the carrots and chickpeas. Add in a bit of cheese if you’re worried. Sadly, the green will still show but at least it’s in a soup and tastes nothing like the raw veggie.
- Add it into lasagne. Frozen spinach is great for this dish. The tomato sauce, béchamel and cheese will definitely hide the taste of the spinach.
Kale isn’t the easiest vegetable to cook but it is another great vegetable to add into your diet because it contains more vitamins, calcium and magnesium than spinach. One serving of kale supplies your daily needs of Vitamin C! It also contains iron but in a smaller amount compared to spinach, also has vitamin K and lutein (great for your eyes) which is why this vegetable has been called a ‘super food’. However, it is a bit bitter and can get a bit too chewy when cooked, making it slightly tougher to sneak into your meal. Nonetheless, we try.
- Make them into vegetable chips. This is easy if you have dehydrators but if you don’t, you’ll have to rely on your trusty oven. Some people choose to fry them but since we’re about healthy eating, we do not recommend that. We like this recipe of Crispy Tamari Kale Chips from Health.com.
- Put it in an omelette. Cut the kale into fine slices and just add it into your egg mixture. This will definitely ensure that the kale is eaten without complaint because it’s your seasoning of the omelette that everyone will taste.
- Put it into fried rice. Here’s an Asian twist. Again, chop it up into fine pieces and just stir fry it with your fried rice. This will cook it down while stir frying has been proven to negate some of the bitter flavour.
If you’re able to get baby kale, do use them instead as they’re a lot more tender and easier to cook down or to simply eat as a salad.
Technically speaking, broccoli is a head of flowers but since they’re green, we’ll still lump it under a vegetable. Similar to the previous two veggies, broccoli contains all the same nutrients in high amounts but it’s not that bitter (especially when stir fried). In fact, the flavour is quite mild but most people do not like the florets or texture.
- Similar to spinach, boiled broccoli works very well in the chickpea soup recipe.
- Broccoli also works very well in fried rice but do note that you will need to cook the broccoli first with garlic and the other ingredients before you add the rice as broccoli will take a bit longer than kale to cook.