I know many people have heard about Jessica Seinfeld’s book Deceptively Delicious, or have already bought this book. While I like the concept of adding “sneaky” nutrition into your child’s diet (especially if they are picky), I would also like to emphasize the importance of your child actually eating the whole food (ie. fruits and veggies), knowing what fruit and veggies look like, and enjoying a variety of unaltered foods. With that being said, I would like to give a basic overview of Deceptively Delicious, so you can decide if Seinfeld’s book is something you’d like to try with your child.
- Equip your kitchen with tools that make cooking easier.
- Stock your kitchen with staple ingredients that you will use again and again.
- Make purees, a few at a time, and then portion and freeze them for use in the recipes.
- The recipes. The deception begins!
Step 1 Examples
- Rice steamer–Seinfeld uses this for steaming her vegetables
- Food processor, blender, or Magic Bullter–used for pureeing and chopping
- Strainer, measuring cups/spoons, food storage bags, permanent marker–for the purees
- Electric mixer, baking cups, mixing bowls, baking pans–for baking
- Waxed papers/aluminum foil/parchment paper, potato masher, storage bins–other helpful cooking tools
Step 2 Examples
- Perishables: eggs, trans-fat-free margarine, lowfat plain or greek yogurt, reduced fat cream cheese, flaxseed meal
- Spices: cinnamon, salt, fresh ground pepper, dried basil, pumpkin pie spice, garlic powder
- Grains and Such: brown rice, couscous, whole-wheat bread, no-boil lasagna noodles
- For Baking: whole-wheat flour, oatmeal, unsweetened cocoa powder, vanilla extract, dried fruit, natural applesauce
- In the Cupboard: olive oil, natural peanut butter, canned tomatoes/navy beans/chickpeas, honey
Step 3 Examples
Vegetable Puree Example: Spinach
- Prep: No prep at all for baby spinach. For mature spinach, fold leaves in half lengthwise with the stem outside, then strip the stem off the leaf.
- Cook: Steam for 30-40 seconds, or cook in a skillet with 1 tablespoon water for about 90 seconds, or just until wilted.
- Puree: In a food processor or blender for about 2 minutes, until smooth and creamy.
Fruit Puree Example: Banana
- Prep: Use ripe bananas for the smoothest, sweetest, puree. Peel.
- Puree: Mash with a fork on a cutting board (bananas jump around in a bowl) then puree in a food processor or blender for about 2 minutes.
Step 4 Example
Peanut Butter and Banana Muffins
You Will Need
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
- 1/2 cup carrot or cauliflower puree
- 1/2 cup banana puree
- 1 large egg white
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 12-cup mudding tin with cooking spray or line with paper baking cups.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix 1/2 cup of the brown sugar with the peanut butter, the vegetable and banana purees, and the egg white, using a wooden spoon.
- Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl or a zipper-lock bag and stir or shake to mix. Add to the bowl with the peanut butter mixtures and stir just to combine (the batter will be a little lumpy–do not overmix). Add the remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar and stir once or twice.
- Divide the batter among the muffin cups and bake until the muffins are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center, 15-20 minutes. Turn the muffins out onto a rack to cool.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or wrap individually and freeze for up to 1 month.
More of My Thoughts
There you have it… a quick look at Deceptively Delicious. The more I look through the book, the more I actually like it. However, I just wish the title wasn’t Deceptively Delicious. I feel like it gives off a bad connotation, implying that we need to be sneaky in order for our kids to eat healthy. The book does have a lot of wonderfully healthy recipes, so that is a big plus. Additionally, I am very happy that the book has a section devoted to nutrition for children. This section was provided by Joy Bauer, who IS a Registered Dietitian, and a nutrition authority among high profile clients.