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The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Food in Kids' Favorite Meals Excerpt from The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Food in Kids' Favorite Meals

by Missy Chase Lapine



Earth Day Milk Shake
Makes 2 servings

2 cups vanilla low-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt
4 to 6 tablespoons Green Juice (See Make-Ahead Recipe below)
¼ cup milk
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Blend all ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Serve in tall glasses with a quick squirt of whipped cream and a straw.


Sneaky Chef Make-Ahead Recipe: Green Juice

3 cups raw baby spinach leaves (or 2 cups frozen chopped spinach, or frozen chopped collard greens)
1 cup water

If using raw spinach, thoroughly wash it, even if package says “prewashed.” Bring spinach or collards and water to boil in a medium pot. Turn heat to low and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Pour into a fine mesh strainer over a container or bowl, pressing the green “pulp” with the back of a spoon until all the liquid is released.

Store in refrigerator up to 3 days, or freeze ¼ cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers. This makes about 1 cup of Green juice. Double the recipe if you want to store another cup of juice.


Sneaky Chef Brainy Brownies 
Makes about 30 kid-sized brownies

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ cup sugar
½ cup Purple Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe below)
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons Flour Blend (equal parts white flour, whole grain flour, and wheat germ)
¼ cup rolled oats, ground in a food processor
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
Butter or non-stick cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Butter or spray only the bottom, not the sides, of a 13-by-9-inch or 9-inch square baking pan.

Melt the butter and chocolate chips together in a double boiler or metal bowl over simmering water (or in a microwave, checking every 15 seconds). Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool a bit. Meanwhile, in another bowl, stir together the eggs, vanilla, sugar, and Purple Puree. Combine this purple egg mixture with the cooled chocolate mixture. In a mixing bowl, stir together Flour Blend, cocoa powder, oats, and salt. Add this to the chocolate mixture and blend thoroughly. Mix in the chopped walnuts, if using, then pour the entire mixture into the baking pan.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in pan before cutting the brownies and use a plastic or butter knife. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

Keeps for a week in the refrigerator, covered tightly.



Sneaky Chef Make-Ahead Recipe: Purple Puree

3 cups raw baby spinach leaves (or 2 cups frozen chopped spinach, or frozen chopped collard greens)
1½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries (no syrup or sugar added)
½  teaspoon lemon juice
1-2  tablespoons water

If using raw spinach, thoroughly wash it, even if the package says “prewashed.” Bring spinach or collards and water to boil in a medium pot. Turn heat to low and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. If using frozen blueberries, quickly rinse them under cold water to thaw a little, and then drain.

Fill the bowl of your food processor with the blueberries and cooked spinach, (or collards) along with the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of water, and puree on high until as smooth as possible. Stop occasionally to push top contents to bottom. If necessary, use a second tablespoon of water to make a fairly smooth puree.

This amount of spinach and blueberries makes only about 1 cup of puree. Double the recipe if you want to store another cup of the puree. It will store in the refrigerator up to 2 days, or you can freeze ¼ cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers.

Copyright © Missy Chase Lapine