Posted by: heartfull | January 11, 2008

Not-So-Sneaky Cookbooks

I read a couple reviews of Jessica Seinfeld’s new cookbook, Deceptively Delicious with interest.  Just like every other mother out there, I’m always trying to get my kids to eat more veggies.  Their repertoire seems to be decreasing instead of increasing, though.  There was a time when they used to fight over the broccoli.  No longer.  We are down to tomatoes (in sauces), corn and green beans, and I am fully aware that calling corn a vegetable is a stretch.  Basically, we rely on fruits.

I subscribe to the theory that if I build it, they will come.  So I keep building.  But they aren’t coming.  I always have a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables on the table for dinner.  They just won’t eat the broccoli, sweet potatoes, avacado or asparagus.  The fruit plate, though, is always gobbled up.  I don’t hound them about anything but the green beans.  I know they like them, thus they must eat a serving if that is what I made that night.  Their new thing is to put sugar on them.  Whatever.  I don’t care as long as they eat them.

When I say “they”, I mean Bird and Mare.  Chip is the pickiest vegetable eater EVER.  He eats nothing but spaghetti sauce and fruit.

When it comes to fiber, I generally believe that if food tastes good, it will be eaten.  I don’t like to eat a sandwich made on whole wheat bread.  I don’t ask my kids to either.  But I do buy the new white whole-grain breads.  I hate all the crap in the them (high frutcose corn syrup, anyone?), but it is a concession I have had to make.  I can’t make daily trips to the bakery, and Trader Joe’s breads go bad before we can eat them entirely.  I guess I need the preservatives as much as the next mom.  I almost always make brown rice.  But I usually serve a loaf of white French bread with our meals and pasta is always regular pasta, not whole wheat or the multi grain variety.  I want my food to taste good and if I’m not getting my fiber from my starches, I get it from the other selections.

At the grocery store last week I accidentally bought three bags of white whole wheat AP flour.  This is the stuff the sandwich bread is made out of.  I didn’t realize it was whole wheat – I thought it was just regular AP flour but unbleached like I usually buy.  It was a new brand and on sale; I never would have  bought it otherwise.  I had just read in Cooks Illustrated that these are not All Purpose flours.  They don’t taste or bake the same as traditional white flour.  And man, can I tell you I can confirm that unconditionally.

Not wanting to waste the flour, I decided to try a few things with it.  The loaf of French bread I made was like glue in the bottom of my bread machine.  I threw it out.

I made a pan of brownies with it, thinking the sugar and chocolate would mask the taste.  They did to some degree.  The kids and John didn’t complain, but I could taste the difference.  Still, we ate the whole pan.

Next I tried banana bread.  I was the only one who ate it.  The kids took one bite and refused any more.

Last night, I decided to make oatmeal cookies with it.  Cooks Illustrated had written that this was the only recipe that the white whole wheat AP flour worked for.  I can confirm this – the cookies turned out fine.  Each batch of cookies uses 1 1/2 cups of flour and I’m seriously thinking I’m going to mix up three or four batches and freeze the dough for future baking because I really can’t stand to waste the flour.  Man I’m cheap.

So, Jessica Seinfeld, I have to say that I really don’t believe that my kids wouldn’t taste your vegetable purees hidden in the recipes you wrote.  If they can detect the slightly off flavor of white whole wheat flour in their banana bread, I’m pretty sure they’ll taste the cauliflower.



  1. Kids love fruit because (obviously) they are sweet. Unfortuatly, this often means an avoidance of vegetables; it can akso mean too amny calories. May I suggest that infants should be introduced only to vegetables so they develop a love for their unique taste.

    I have wriiten a book, just published, to help engender an appreciation for these important foods.
    You may want to take a look at the book, “The ABC’s of Fruits & Vegetables and Beyond”. Educators, parents (and grandparents for that matter) will be very interested in the book, as it helps mold kid’s attitudes toward these important foods from the day they start learning the alphabet. Out only six months, it has already been bought in bulk by a number of educational organizations and recommended by leading nutritionists. From best selling food writer David Goldbeck (me) and Jim Hensen writer Steve Charney. More at

  2. just try cutting the white whole wheat flour with regular white flour. I do about 60% unbleached to 40% whole wheat turns out just fine. I also put a small carrot grated finely into my spaghetti sauce,
    it works for my picky boy.


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