Since becoming a foster parent, I’ve discovered I’m a very sneaky person. But always for a good cause.
When these beautiful children came, they were in very poor nutritional health and not used to eating regular, real meals. I was used to cooking whatever I wanted to cook because my children are healthy and strong.
Times have changed now that we have foster children. Let the sneaking begin!
One of the best ways I have found to sneak in extra nutrition is with carrots and spinach….they can be hidden easily into just about everything!
I take a bag of baby carrots (they were on a SUPER sale and I got bags for .49! So stocked up!) because they are already peeled and require less work on my part, but I’ve used the regular carrots as well, or a bag of fresh, raw spinach. (I don’t have a Sam’s card, but I do have a LOVELY friend that does, and she picks me up a POUND of spinach when she can! I love friends that bless you with spinach! Thanks Jan!)
You take your bag of baby carrots, and put them into your little food processor (I bought mine at WalMart for $20, it’s called a Food Ninja and I LOVE it! I need a big one, but I don’t have a “big one” kind of budget. So I bought what I could afford, and just have to do the bag of carrots in small batches that will fit). Chop them up as finely as you’d like. I like to get them small, but NOT to the point of mush. Mush will change the consistency of the recipe.
Then, I start on my spinach. I used a big tub of fresh spinach from my sweet friend, Jan, who blesses us when she goes to Sam’s. I love Jan.
After you have it all chopped, to the size and consistency you want, you can either use them immediately in whatever you are cooking, or using a freezer bag, you can freeze it.
After I have put everything in the freezer bags, I flatten the bag out and squeeze out as much air as I can. (Oxygen is the arch-nemesis of frozen foods.) Now, here is the thinking behind flattening the bags out: when it comes time to cook with it, it is so much easier to break it off into the portions I want being thin and flat.
I know, I’m a genius.
I have also made bags of both spinach and carrots mixed together (because I was too lazy to do separate bags) and it works just fine.
Because the veggies are FRESH, they are far more nutritious and I know for sure my babies are getting their vitamins in a healthy form.
AND, the best part is, you can’t taste it.
I put them in almost EVERY dinner I serve (I do occasionally run out sometimes….so I can’t say EVERY dinner without lying. LOL).
Here they are in regular boxed mac & cheese…(I didn’t freeze these, just added them straight in. And I did add more because I really want them to start acquiring a taste for it.)
(I know….look at my poor pots and pans. They are 20 years old though, they were a wedding gift! HAHAAA)
Here they are in a casserole:
And in a whole big ol pot of chili!
(Yes I got strange looks from my family as I was taking all of these pictures…)
So there you have it! A good, easy way to ensure a little extra nutrition!