Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A brownie a day keeps the doctor away!

I would love for J to eat these Kale Chips I made.

E grabbed the whole bowl out of my hands and curled up for some evening TV. I'm not worried about her nutrition.

J needs iron. And here is my new brownie per day. These aren't normal brownies. They are what we call "Super Brownies". Super because they contain spinach and carrots.  And not in minuscule amounts either! In one 8X8 square pan, these brownies contain a whopping 1/2 cup of spinach and a 1/2 cup of carrots. That doesn't seem like a lot of spinach, but as a puree I can pack a huge amount of spinach into that little measuring cup. It starts with this.

Jessica Seinfeld's, Deceptively Delicious. I have a lot to say about this book, but more about that later. Here is how this starts.

This is one and a half bags of prewashed baby spinach! That's a lot of spinach! After making our puree, we add carrot puree and this is what we have.

Not at all appetizing, but I just make sure the kids are out of the kitchen until I add the chocolate. We end with this little treat.

 These three little brownies disappeared so quickly and I was so tickled with myself.  The neighbor girl ate spinach at my house and she didn't even know it!

So back to Deceptively Delicious. I'm so thankful for this book. But not everyone is crazy about it. Many dieticians would prefer parents concentrate their efforts on actually putting spinach in front of a child rather than hiding it in a chocolate goodie. But these dieticians aren't talking about my child. They are talking about a "normal" child with eating habits that may include being very picky, but not with a serious feeding problem and vitamin deficiency. For a parent of a child with both of these problems, I rely on this book. If I wasn't able to get some veggies into J via this chocolate brownie, she wouldn't get any veggies! Ever!

This is a list provided by WebMD of some iron-rich foods.

To boost the amount of iron in your diet, try these foods:
  • Red meat
  • Egg yolks
  • Dark, leafy greens (spinach, collards)
  • Dried fruit (prunes, raisins)
  • Iron-enriched cereals and grains (check the labels)
  • Mollusks (oysters, clams, scallops)
  • Turkey or chicken giblets
  • Beans, lentils, chick peas and soybeans
  • Liver
  • Artichokes

The only food J will touch from the above list is an occasional scrambled egg. No dried fruit, no meat or fish of any kind, no veggies, no iron-enriched cereals. No! No! No! Yuk! Yuk! Yuk! She also likes to say it will make her sick.'s hidden in a brownie.

And here is another little interesting tidbit. There are two distinct forms of Iron. Heme iron is the kind of iron found in red meat and it is extremely efficient and readily available to the body for absorption. Nonheme iron is found in other nonanimal sources. Vegans and vegetarians alike need to be particularly careful about increasing the absorption of iron because they ingest more nonheme iron. The answer lies in another vitamin. Vitamin C ingested with nonheme iron is the perfect way to get the most iron absorbed into our bodies. Well, second only to eating a plate of liver or a big juicy steak. And what do Mrs. Seinfeld's brownies have in them? Carrots which are loaded with vitamin C. Thus we are left with the true Super Brownie!


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