Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday Food for Thought: Hidden Vegetables

This article on MSNBC about a Penn State study on the benefits of extra servings of vegetables hidden in everyday food caught my attention.  The study's findings, that extra veggies may help weight loss, weren't surprising.  Replacing foods that have a higher calorie density with lower calorie foods of the same volume will result in a calorie deficit and therefore weight loss.  What was surprising was how the researchers tested this.  Steamed, pureed vegetables were included in food in a way that the test subjects did not see a difference.  Including extra veggies this way has been the basis of several cookbooks recently, mostly aimed at getting children to eat more veggies.

Personally, I don't like idea of hiding veggies in food.  I like a more positive attitude toward them, and finding ways to make them taste good.  But I'm certainly not against creative ways of including them in traditional dishes, like butternut squash in mac n cheese, or carrot puree in spaghetti sauce.  In fact, I think the veggies add a lot of sweetness in these cases, making the food taste better overall, with no need to cover up the fact that they're there.

How do you feel about hidden veggies?

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