Monday, January 17, 2011

How to get everyone in your family to eat vegetables - Pureed Vegetables

Adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything

I'm on a pureed vegetable kick!!  We are all inhaling these things almost as fast as I can make them.  LTH likes pureed parsnips the best but he'll also eat without any complaint pureed cauliflower and pureed carrots.  With a little discussion, he also ate the pureed butternut squash.  I wasn't as crazy about it myself though.  We are on our second weekend of me making 3 different pureed vegetables at once.  Then, we had vegetables of the rest of the weekend and for the first part of the following week.  It only took about an hour!

Most root vegetables will work here.  The ones I've tried are carrots, parsnips, cauliflower and butternut squash.  I want to try turnips and rutabagas.
You can also add different flavorings for each vegetables.  The cookbook recommends the following:
Carrots - ginger, orange juice and orange zest - VERDICT: makes the carrots almost like a dessert
Parsnips - sour cream - VERDICT: not needed - just add a little salt and pepper and you're good to go
Cauliflower - ricotta, nutmeg and Parmesan - VERDICT: I haven't tried the ricotta but they were great without it.  I do recommend the nutmeg.  It's an interesting flavor that makes the cauliflower have more taste.
Butternut Squash - roasted garlic - VERDICT: it needed more!! They would have been more palatable with more roasted garlic.  You live and learn.

Cut the vegetable into 1 inch pieces.  Put into pot with water just to the level of the vegetables.  Bring to a boil and cook for 5-10 minutes until cooked through but not mushy.  Although you can use a food processor or a blender to make these purees, I highly recommend investing in a food mill.  The food mill gets rid of any of the fibrous parts of the vegetables versus chopping them into smaller pieces. In the case of the parsnips, you will greatly appreciate the difference.  Once the vegetable is pureed, add the mix ins discussed above or come up with your own seasonings.

We've been using them as our vegetable dish at each meal.  But, I've also heard they can be used as dips for other vegetables or for chips.  They could also be used as a filling for ravioli.  Please post any other ideas!

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