Sep 17, 2012

How to puree your veggies

In my last post, HERE, I talked about how I have started 'hiding' vegetables in my meals. 
And I explained that its not really hiding them since mainly my husband and I eat the meals and both of us know what is in it (A-Cakes sometimes will eat it too) but the vegetables are pureed in in the meal so  you can't really taste it and it helps to get more of your daily veggies in. 

So here is how I started out, using the book Deceptively Delicious as a guide I bought a whole bunch of vegetables at the store, I came home and spent a morning steaming all those vegetables (cut up the veggies in chunks before you steam them). Unfortunately I don't have a steamer, but I do plan on getting one in the near future. But if you don't have a steamer it is fine. All I did is use my rice cooker, you can use pot on the stove too, and just added a small amount of water. I then put the vegetables in the water and covered it with a lid. And left them in there to steam. If  you aren't using a steamer stir the vegetables every so often and make sure the water doesn't evaporate all the way or the veggies will burn. Then once they are steamed you just need to add the vegetable to your blender and blend it until smooth. I then poured it into small sandwich sized ziploc bags, in about 1 1/2 Cup amounts. 
I did this with each vegetable I had bought, then I let them cool in the bags and then put them in a bigger ziploc in the freezer. 
Freezing the vegetables is nice too, because sometimes they go bad before I have a chance to use them, and this way they don't go to waste. I usually make a meal with some kind of meat in it for dinner, so when I take out the meat out of the freezer each morning to thaw I just take out a vegetable baggie too, and it works perfectly. 
If you have a veggie fresh on hand and you are using something that is going to be cooked like spaghetti sauce you don't really need to cook it first. It will cook in the sauce, especially if its a squash because those cook up fast. 

Here are the vegetables I used: 
Zucchini Squash
Yellow Squash

You can try fruits like bananas or other veggies like butternut squash and beets, but I have not tried those veggies yet. 

I will be adding more recipes as I go with this new plan, but some ideas in using these veggies that I have used are:
(some of these recipes were posted before I started this meal plan, look for the updates at the bottom of the post for the pureed vegetable I used)

Spaghetti with meat sauce

Chicken Fajitas

Chicken Enchiladas- These enchiladas are fantastic, I have yet to post the recipe on this blog though, but you can find it at Annie Eats. I add a cup of Cauliflower to the sauce. It is perfect. 

Banana Bread- This was one of the few recipes I have used from the Deceptively Delicious cookbook (I mostly use the book as a reference) and it was delicious. It didn't have a ton of sugar which was nice, and it uses half whole wheat flour and half white flour, banana puree and cauliflower puree. I also went a step further and used applesauce instead of oil. 

Applesauce instead of Oil - I don't make my own applesauce, yet. But it is technically a puree. And I love using this instead of oil in my baked goods. I have used it in zucchini bread, banana bread and cupcakes and it turns out great every time. So much healthier for you! Next I am going to try it in brownies. 

Smoothies-  I love Perfectly Pineapple Smoothies that I eat every morning for breakfast. Lots of fruit and spinach. You don't even need to puree the spinach before hand since it is pureed in the blender and doesn't need to be cooked. 

I just started this, but already I am loving the idea, so I will be editing my recipes I have up to add the purees to the recipes and adding new recipes as I create them. 

1 comment:

Trevor, Deidre & Mckinlie Edwards said...

You are awesome! I've been wanting to do this! Maybe I'll have to get the book now