The great veggie sneak continues – with a recipe

Ever since Jessica Seinfeld appeared on Oprah touting her new book “Deceptively Delicious,” there’s been lot of talk around the internet about sneaking veggies into kids’ food. Some are for it, some are against it. I tend to take a somewhat moderate approach. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with mixing vegetables into other foods, but I don’t believe in intentionally trying to deceive your kids. Seinfeld says she will set a box of store-bought mac & cheese out on the counter so the kids assume that’s what she is making, while in the meantime she is whipping up her own healthy homemade mac, cheese & veggie blend. That feels dishonest to me and rubs me the wrong way. It seems like a quick and temporary fix to me and I don’t think that will establish good eating habits for later in life either. However, just because I don’t agree with it doesn’t mean it won’t work for some parents and their kids. Bottom line is we all gotta do what’s best for our family.

Full blenderAnyway, in the spirit of sneaking veggies, I wanted to tell you about a new delicious smoothie recipe that I got from Julie at Rarely Home Mom. Here’s the kicker – it’s got spinach in it! The smoothie is called Groovy Green Goodness and green it is. I’m a fan of spinach, but I admit to being skeptical about drinking it, so I put off making the smoothie for a week. But with a name like Groovy Green Goddess, I couldn’t resist it for long. Yesterday after picking up some organic grapes, I decided to give it a go, and low and behold it was delicious! It seriously does not taste like spinach.

Groovy Green GoddessHere’s the recipe:
Groovy Green Goddess
1 banana, cut in chunks
1 cup grapes
1 (6 ounce) tub vanilla yogurt (I just used a few scoops of vanilla yogurt out of my 32 oz. container)
1/2 apple, cored and chopped
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach leaves

optional – ice

Place the banana, grapes, yogurt, apple and spinach into a blender. Cover, and blend until smooth, stopping frequently to push down anything stuck to the sides. Pour into glasses and serve. Serves 2

I also added some wheat germ to mine and you could substitute other flavors of yogurt if you like, as well as other fruits, though you may not end up with it being a groovy green color if you add berries and such.

J and A with the Groovy Green Goddess smoothie

I know, the real question is – what did the kids think about it? They loved it too! Ava was particularly impressed by the green color – which is her favorite. She gulped her’s down (and yes, I showed her that there was spinach in the blender before I made it), then started in on the one I was sharing with Julian (who drank it right up too). Pretty soon Ava had commanded control of my cup and was doling out sips to me and Julian while she intermittently took sips herself. I never would’ve thought the three of us would be doing battle over a spinach smoothie. ;)

Give it a try and see what your kids think. In the spirit of involving them in the process (something Michelle at What’s Cooking is very fond of and I think is a great idea as well), I encourage you to let them help you put the ingredients in the blender (using safety precautions like not having the blender on the base, of course). :)

I’m now wondering if it would taste as good with frozen spinach since I don’t often have fresh spinach on hand. Hmm. Guess I will be conducting my own experiment to find out.

Here are more great smoothie recipes.

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29 thoughts on “The great veggie sneak continues – with a recipe

  1. Oooh, what fun! Cooking experiments are always exciting since you never know what will happen. Green smoothies would be perfect for Halloween, too!

  2. For the record, Ava is fine eating spinach anyway, so its not odd that mentioning the contents of the smoothie wasn’t off-putting. She eats her spinach salad quite willingly, even shunning crunchy extras (Baco Bits) for simple spinach & dressing.

    btw, love that pic of Ava and happy boy.

  3. Just yesterday Dreena Burton was writing about sneaky mama tips on her blog.She has recently posted a smoothie with kale in it ;)Good that kiddos liked it.In my humble opinion frozen spinach might not work well.

  4. I agree with you- I will always be honest with my kids. And truly, usually if I can get them to take at least one bite- they often realize they DO like it! If they don’t, then I respect that, too, because there are things I would hate for someone to make me eat!

    Steph

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  10. I tried adding frozen spinach a while back (it made perfect sense at the time) but it’s actually pretty disgusting. It made the whole smoothie taste like you were eating cold, cooked spinach. Not really what I was going for as I was dashing out the door to work.

    It’s really terrific if you use frozen bananas. It gives it a wonderfully creamy texture. Kale is another wonderful green. Also, if you have a powerful blender, you could add some raw carrot (coarsely chopped first of course).

    My standard green smoothie is 1 frozen banana, 5 frozen strawberries or 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries, 1 cup canned pineapple (I buy the large can at Costco, portion it out into 6 manageable sizes and then thaw one portion for the week), and a little soy milk or orange juice. I also throw in some ground flax seed as well. I then fill the blender to the top with spinach (usually also from Costco). So delicious!

  11. I’m a big fan of ground flax seed as well.

    I had the same reaction to Seinfeld’s deceptions, but the truth is that I also don’t tell my kids about the extras that I add to their food. I don’t exactly hide it, either, though.

    Anyway, love the Groovy recipe, when it was really warm out I was big into smoothies. Now I’m more looking for soups and other warm good things.

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  13. Thanks for the recipe, I’m going to give that a try. Every time I whip up a green shake my kids always want some, but those have wheatgrass and kelp and stuff and hence have that fishy taste. LOL

    I think that scenario you described (putting the box of mac and cheese on the counter) is a little too deceptive, definitely.

  14. That looks great! Aidan LOVES yogurt and all the veggies mentioned in your recipe. The color is just beautiful and we know how much kids love to consume things with “weird” colors!

    Just this morning I snuck in the leftover roasted squash and grated apple into some Trader Joe’s mulitgrain pancake mix. Got it all mixed then discovered I was out of eggs! DOH! Gotta get to the store today… ;)

  15. I so agree with not “sneaking” veggies, but showing them how good they are. Aiden has always been a big veggies fan.

    This smoothie sounds pretty cool. We will definitely have to try it! Like Ava, Aiden already loves spinach too, so I’m sure it would be a big hit!

    BTW, the pic of her slurping up the groovy green goodness was priceless! And Julian looks so excited to get some too! lol Great post, Amy!!!
    ~J

  16. Kate would love that smoothie! I’m going to try making it for her when I get home. I’ve been putting zucchini in smoothies (and everything else!) all summer. While I don’t advertise what is in the smoothies, I don’t hide it either. But my kids eat their veggies without much fuss anyway.

    I have the DD cookbook and am really enjoying it. I’m planning on reviewing it on my blog also, but I want to make a bunch of the recipes first.

  17. My kids don’t need any of their food hidden, but I do!!! How do I hide the 8 ounces of water I’m supposed to drink 8 times per day? Somehow I don’t think coffee counts!

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  19. I am going to try this, I will pick up the ingredients I don’t have today at the commissary. I think my eldest will go crazy over the green color too. Thanks for sharing.

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