Friday, January 7, 2011

Finicky Eaters

Finicky Eaters and Preventing Food Waste

by Lois Breneman - Copyright 2011 - Heart to Heart

Sweet Potato Pie
~ Our grandson, Justin (7), loves pumpkin pie, but he says he doesn't like sweet potatoes.  So after we had made pumpkin pies together during his last two visits, for Thanksgiving Day I made two *sweet potato* pies just before his arrival (can't freeze custard pies). I realize pumpkin is a very healthy vegetable as well as sweet potatoes, but wanted to help our sweet finicky eater see (and taste) that sweet potatoes are delicious too!

To remove the fibrous threads of sweet potatoes which some people don't care for, I used the mixer first, removing the threads that automatically collect at the base of the beaters by rinsing under running water.  Next I put the potatoes in the blender to get them as smooth as silk.

I made sure I didn't lie about the pie and say it was "pumpkin pie," but called it "Thanksgiving pie!"   The Libby's recipe for pumpkin pie (found on the can or Online), was used with a little less sweetener (I used mostly sucanat, a natural sugar, and a little stevia).  Justin ate almost two pieces and really loved the pie!  He obviously tasted no difference, so it was a success in this grammie’s eyes!   He helped to serve the pie, calling it "Thanksgiving pie" as well.  He decided he did like sweet potatoes - at least in pie!  Why not enjoy sweet potato and pumpkin pies all year round?

Spaghetti Sauce ~ If your child likes spaghetti, but rarely ever eats vegetables, you can sneak pureed red beets and carrots into the sauce, without him knowing it.  Start out using just a bit, and adding more vegetables each time.  To save yourself time and energy, cook, puree, and freeze those "sneaky foods" in ice cube trays (when he's not looking).  Then add a few ice cubes at a time to spaghetti, chili, and other foods in which the red/orange color will not give away your secret.  You may find that your child will acquire a taste for those vegetables that he has convinced himself that he hates.  Just keep it to yourself as long as you need to though.

Pancakes ~ Switch to using more whole grain flour (freshly milled will provide even more nutrition) in pancakes and in all your baking.  You can make your own pancake mix by mixing all the dry ingredients and freezing in individual batches, then adding the wet ingredients when making pancakes. Even if you have no food mill, try using your blender to mill wheat berries to replace a portion of the flour you now use. 

You could also mix up and make a large amount of pancakes ahead, and freeze them.  Then simply pop them in the toaster for a tastier and more nutritious breakfast than pop tarts, yet just as easy in the morning!  Add pureed pumpkin, sweet potatoes, or carrots to the pancake batter for even more nutritional value.

What to do with Leftover Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches? ~ Throw them out?  No!  Here's a way to save them and serve up a tasty treat!  Wrap and refrigerate them for later.  Then spread a thin coat of butter on the outside of both sides, as you would when making grilled cheese sandwiches.  Grill in a pan, and I think you'll find your kids and grandkids will love them, as ours did!  They are really good!  Two of our grandchildren like honey in place of jelly, but our other grandchild likes jelly, so his mother wisely buys "All Fruit" jams, as I do.  They are made with only fruit - no sugar or additional sweetener.

Free Freezer Soup ~ Any time you have leftovers of meat, vegetables, pasta, broth, or cheese, add them to a "Soup Pot" in your freezer.  Almost any 1-3 quart container will work as long as it has a lid.  Then when it's full and you need a meal in a hurry, thaw the contents in the microwave, and add whatever else you think the soup needs - diced potatoes, fresh or frozen vegetables, salt, or herbs.  Considering you may have tossed out those leftovers, or left them in the fridge to grow pussy willows, you will be serving a very tasty "Free Soup."  That's better than "Stone Soup," as the story goes!