One of my 5 a day?!
If fruit and veg gives you the creeps now that nobody is there to spoon it into your mouth like an aeroplane, not to worry, we’re here to help with some nifty tricks to disguise the taste entirely…
- An avocado dip is a healthy, thrifty accompaniment to crisps, toast or even carrot and celery sticks if you’re channelling Gywneth Paltrow. Peel and mash the avocado up with lemon juice, garlic and chilli.
- Vegetable cakes – one small step for carrot cake was one giant step for all other seemingly unsuitable cake ingredients…Although the initial idea might have you running back into the orthodox arms of Mr Kipling, vegetables will make a cake more moist, fibrous and of course halve the calories..
Harley Wood’s Courgette Brownies:
2. Get a large mixing bowl and combine the oil, sugar and vanilla essence, mixing until it is blended.
3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbanate of soda, baking powder and salt into the mixture and get mixing!
4. Add the grated courgette, along with most of the walnuts, dark chocolate pieces and chocolate chips (make sure to leave enough for a generous sprinkling of each to go on top of the mixture) and MIX.
5. Pour the mixture into the baking tin and then sprinkle with the rest of the dark chocolate, chocolate chips and walnuts.
6. Place the tin in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes (depending on the heat of your oven).
- Grating is great. So is peeling, chopping or blending in soups because if you don’t like vegetables, you’ll hardly notice the flavour. Carrot gives good texture in Bolognese. Finely sliced peppers work well in a simple tomato pasta if you fry them to soften them first. Or pass courgette off as spaghetti by peeling the whole thing into long strips until you reach the centre, then steaming it before mixing it in with the sauce.
- Baked beans and baked bananas…The beans only count due to their tomato sauce, since rather bizarrely, spaghetti hoops do also, so take your pick. Bananas are a great energy boost during the day but can also make a lovely gooey dessert; slice through the skin, add a few squares of chocolate, wrap in foil and pop in the oven at 200C for about 20 minutes or until the skin is blackened.
- Adding lemon juiceto a drink not only counts as a portion of fruit but also boosts your immune system, clears your skin, and aids digestion. Warm water is best, but if you’re pushing it, vodka also…
- Freezing grapes genuinely makes them taste like mini ice lollies, or alternatively use fruit juice or smoothie to fill ice-lolly moulds and place in the freezer for at least four hours. To make your own fruit mix simply blend the fruit of your choice with a tablespoon of icing sugar. Strawberries, raspberries, banana and pineapple all work well. Or, use ice-cube trays and simply add to your drinks for a subtle, fruity flavour.
- For a tastier, healthier alternative to regular chips make your own using sweet potato, butternut squash, parsnips or carrots. Heat oil in a baking tray at 220 C before adding wedges of veg sprinkled with salt and pepper, and chilli, garlic or herbs if desired. Cook for 20 minutes, give them a shake then whack them back in for 20 minutes more until golden brown and crispy.
Words: Anna Foster and Stephanie Tait
Photo: Alice Wood