A few years ago, I received two cookbooks as a gift:
- The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids’ Favorite Meals, and
- The Sneaky Chef to the Rescue: 101 All-New Recipes and Sneaky Tricks for Creating Healthy Meals Kids Will Love
Both cookbooks are by Missy Chase Lapine, and she was really on to something. Sneak healthy ingredients like pureed vegetables and beans into ordinary, kid-pleasing recipes like Mac & Cheese and Pizza, and no more fights to get them to eat foods they otherwise wouldn’t eat!
With my own daughter, picky eating has been a huge battle. But the recipes I’ve tried from Missy’s cookbooks – especially chocolate pancakes (made with sneaky ingredients like pureed spinach) – have actually been received well by my daughter. I don’t make these sneaky recipes all the time – it does take extra time – but it has proven effective for getting those not-so-popular veggies in my kids’ diets!
That’s why I jumped at the chance to review Missy’s new book, Sneaky Blends: Supercharge Your Health with More Than 100 Recipes Using the Power of Purees. Not so much for kids this time, it’s a book for anyone wanting to add a boost of nutrition to their meals by using purees.
Sneaky Blends is more than a cookbook – Missy has put together a whole, detailed plan to use vegetable blends to replace more high calorie ingredients in recipes. In fact, a study at Pennsylvania State University found that doing so helped participants eat 357 fewer calories each day (or 2,500 calories a week!).
Sneaky Blends is 285 pages and is divided into two parts –
- The Plan: which is chapters 1 – 3, with information about blending and a 3-day detox plan, and
- The Blends: chapters 4 – 5, with the recipes.
Honestly, I can’t see myself ever doing a detox plan – but the book offers great tips, such as 40 ways to sneak blends into your everyday meals (such as, try them in salad dressings, soups, nut butters, etc). And the photos in the book are amazing – the book makes vegetables look so delicious and tempting!
One of the recipes I tried was the Skinny Sweet Potato Donut Bites. I had to search several different stores for a mini donut pan to make this (I finally found one at Michael’s), but it was so worth it – the mini donuts tasted just like regular mini donuts! I even fooled my husband and son into thinking that’s what they were – little did they know the donuts had sweet potatoes, carrots and whole grain pastry flour in them! They (and I) gobbled them all up! Here’s how they turned out – Yum!
Other recipes I plan to try include:
- Sweet Potato Crepes
- Chocolate Crepes
- “No More Muffin Top!” Blueberry Muffin Tops
- Crunchy Kale-Crust Pizza
- 4 P.M. Protein Cookie
- Winter Detox Hot Cocoa