Hiding ingredients are a means for many parents to sneak nutrients into their children’s meals. We may be unaware of the additional zucchini that was added to our carrot muffins or the bananas that were slipped into our afternoon smoothie. Now, speaking as an adult, I never fully appreciated what the ingenuity that came up with hiding nutrients in our everyday meals did for my health and wellbeing.
In fact, whether you’re an AU student living independently or with a family, there is room for adding nutrients into our meals. Sometimes, our taste buds may disfavor a particular food item. For example, my mother has a firm disdain for eggplants. The combination of the texture and the bitter taste has caused her to avoid this vegetable completely. However, when I had the opportunity to prepare a meal for her, I would add the eggplant to burger patties and meatballs. In the end, she could not taste the egg plant at all! These tricks have been helpful not only for my family, but for myself as well. Here’s a few tips students can use to help sneak some valuable nutrients into our meals in non-traditional ways.
Since investing in a single-serve blender last year, I have been using the blender to hide a variety of ingredients I normally dislike. After realizing my iron-deficient status, I forced myself to eat a variety of iron-rich veggies such as kale and spinach. One of the ways this was accomplished was by blending spinach into my breakfast smoothies and pancakes.
As a frequent baker, I enjoy following traditional recipes with my own improvisations. For example, replacing traditional recipes made of enriched white flour with oatmeal. This substitution not only increases fibre content but tastes delicious as well.
Stir fries present a unique way to flavor and hide non-traditional ingredients. For example, this stir fried tofu allowed me to add unconventional daikon vegetable to the dish. Having avoided daikon since moving out of my family’s home, I finally embraced the nutrients this vegetable had to offer by stir frying it with mushrooms and tofu.
To sneak nutrients into your dessert or dairy products, try adding toppings such as nuts and seeds to add an extra serving of fibre with very little change to the overall taste. Sometimes, you may not even notice the difference. For myself, I like adding crushed brazil nuts into my yogurt for additional protein and fibre content. For many athletes, protein powder can be another option as well.
While recovering from my wisdom tooth removal surgery, I feasted on a week’s worth of purees. The texture was suitable for my recovery process and many pureed veggies were hidden in the puree that helped me obtain the necessary nutrients while being unable to chew. For those without chewing problems as I had, purees can also be an excellent dip for snacks. Imagine guacamole and its ability to provide healthy fats and vitamins without compromising the taste!