I get such a kick out of hiding healthy ingredients in my children’s food. If it doesn’t affect the taste, why not provide the extra nutrients for them? It’s such a win-win.
The nutritional powerhouse that I frequently sneak into my children’s food is ground flaxseed. You can find it at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and most mainstream supermarkets at this point.
Flaxseeds come from the flax plant, one of the oldest fiber crops in the world. Flaxseeds are high in fiber and protein. They contain vitamins B1, B2, C, E, carotene, iron and zinc.
Flaxseeds are rich in ALA, an omega 3 fatty acid which reduces inflammation associated with heart disease. They also contain lignans which have antioxidant qualities. (They actually contain 100 to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods.)
And the best part is that it really doesn’t have much flavor which is why I play the ‘sneak it in’ game with it so often! (It’s such a fun game. You should try it!)
Here are 4 ways I hide flaxseeds in my kids’ meals. Note – Im talking about GROUND flaxseeds, or flaxseed meal as it is sometimes called, not the seeds in their whole form.
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1 teaspoon ceylon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 4 slices Ezekial (or whole wheat) bread
- Combine all of the ingredients (except the bread) in a pie pan*.
- Dip each piece of bread in the mixture, drenching both sides,
- Cook it up in a frying pan for about 3 minutes per side.
So when the french toast is done, it definitely has a ‘brown’ look to it, but my kids don’t care because they think it is coconut sugar! Coconut sugar looks just like brown sugar but I prefer it because it has a lower glycemic index than brown sugar. So basically my kids think I’m awesome because I put brown sugar in their french toast. Booyah!
*I love using a pie pan to make french toast because it has sides which makes it easy to combine liquids, but it is also flat which makes it easy to dip the bread!
Pizza English Muffins
- 1 whole wheat Ezekial english muffin or whole wheat english muffin
- 1/2 cup marinara sauce
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread 1/4 cup marinara sauce on both insides of the english muffin.
- Sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds on top.
- Sprinkle 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella on top of the ground flaxseed.
- Place the english muffin on the cookie tray and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
Once again, THEY HAVE NO CLUE!
Whenever I bake any type of muffin, cookie, or brownie, I always substitute ground flaxseed for 1/4 of the amount of flour called for in the recipe. So if I am making cookies and the recipe calls for 1 cup flour, I use 3/4 cup flour and 1/4 cup ground flaxseeds. Doesn’t affect the taste (or the cooking process) at all!
You can basically hide anything in smoothies, as long as there is enough fruit to cover up the taste. But since ground flaxseeds are brown, I suggest using blueberries as the fruit of choice so that you can’t see it. Try this delicious recipe that makes enough for two people:
- 1 1/2 cup almond milk (or any milk of your choice)
- 3/4 cup frozen blueberries
- 1/2 to 1 cup spinach*
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 1/2 banana
- Blend the spinach and the almond milk in a blender.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and blend on high for one minute
- Option to add water or more almond milk to achieve desired consistency.
*Don’t worry. The spinach will just makes the blue from the blueberries darker. But if you want to take it slow with your kids, then you should start with 1/2 cup or even omit it.
And there you have it! 4 ways to infuse your kids (and you!) with lots of flaxseed goodness!