January 2011 Archives

Gluten-Free Brownie Recipe

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Hi, Missy, love your recipes! I\'m making snacks for my daughter\'s Brownie troop in a couple of weeks, there\'s a trooper who has celiac, so her mother has asked me to make it gluten-free and no wheat germ.  What to do? I purchased a gluten-free chocolate brownie mix, do I follow the rest of your recipe as is or what? Thank you!!!

Dear Cecily,

I certainly appreciate what you're trying to do! I actually have a recipe for Gluten Free Brownies in my third book, The Sneaky Chef to the Rescue. It's part of an entire section on recipes for kids with food allergies. I've pasted the recipe below. I suggest going with this one instead of trying to adapt your ready-mix.

Be sure to check out my Veggie Patch contest here. There are great prizes! You just may want to post an entry!

Have fun at your event!

Enjoy in good health,



You don’t have to have a gluten allergy to love these healthy brownies. They are rich and luscious without most of the worry. They’re safe both from high sugar content and from wheat sensitivities that affect so many people. Allergic kids no longer have to feel deprived when home-baked goodies are served.

Makes about 16 brownies

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips 
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Purple Puree 
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
One-quarter teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
½ cup GF Flour Blend 
1/4 teaspoon salt
Butter or non-stick cooking spray

Optional extra boost: 1 cup chopped walnuts


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Butter or spray, then lightly flour the bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan.

Melt the butter and chocolate chips together in a double boiler or metal bowl over simmering water (or in a microwave, checking every 15 seconds). Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool a bit. Meanwhile, in another bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and Purple Puree. Combine this purple egg mixture with the cooled chocolate mixture.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together corn starch, cocoa powder, cinnamon, coffee, GF Flour Blend, and salt. Add this to the chocolate mixture and blend thoroughly. Mix in the chopped walnuts, if using, then pour the entire mixture into the baking pan.

Bake for 32 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in pan before cutting the brownies and use a plastic or butter knife. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

Keeps for a week in the refrigerator, covered tightly.

Orange Minimuffins

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Hi Missy,

I started looking into your books when I needed to use up a supply of leftover babyfood & cereal. Your recipes have helped alot & helped me create my own sneaky recipes. I have included one of my favorites incase anyone else out there needs to find way's to use up leftover baby cereal.

Orange Minimuffins
> 1 cup flour blend
> 3/4 cup baby cereal (I like the mixed grain best)
> 4 tsp baking powder
> 1/2 tsp salt
> 1 tsp cinnamon
> 1/2 tsp nutmeg
> 1/4 cup brown sugar
> 3/4 cup orange puree
> 1 egg
> 2/3 cup orange juice
> 1/4 cup vegtable oil.
> dried cranberries & chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 400. Spray minimiffin pan with pam. Sift flour, cereal, baking powder, salt, cinnamon & nutmeg into a bowl. Stir in brown sugar. In a seperate bowl, mix orange puree, egg, orange juice & oil until well blended. Add to flour mixture until moistened. Add cranberries &/or pecans if desires. Fill muffin cups to the top. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until top springs back when touched.

Hi Missy,

My son will only eat peanut butter bagels for lunch. Is there
anything healthy I can sneak into peanut butter?

Thank you,

Dear Margaret,

You've come to the right place! Here's my list of Quick Fixes for Peanut Butter from my third book, The Sneaky Chef to the Rescue.

Enjoy in good health!


Peanut butter is not only a favorite among most kids (I love it too!), but it’s a pretty good food nutritionally. It is high in “good” fat, but at 9 grams of fat per tablespoon, it can pack on the pounds in kids and adults. That’s why I put this recipe in the “Light” section of the book – the additions below will not only add a good amount of nutrients, but lower the caloric density.

Try to choose peanut butter that doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup or any hydrogenated oil. These days, you can even get low-fat versions. Mix one of the following boosters into 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. Stir until well combined (I find it easiest to do this on a plate and mix with the back of a fork) and make your sandwich as usual.

Tip: Let peanut butter soften at room temperature before mixing in the sneaky ingredients below.

· 1 tablespoon White Bean Puree 
· 1 tablespoon Orange Puree 
· 1 tablespoon wheat germ (this is easier to get away with using “crunchy” peanut butter)

Label alert! Even if jar of peanut butter claims “no trans fats,” flip it over and read the ingredients, looking for partially hydrogenated oils. If it’s listed, it’s in there (although in small enough amounts that the label can still say no trans fats), and every little bit adds up.

Still Time to Enter!

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I'm so excited to share the first three week's of responses from Veggie Patch's Ultimate Sneak-Away Contest! The contest is almost half way through and we already have nine of the 15 winners. But there are two weeks still to go! It's super easy to enter, just click Here. Every time I look, there are more fantastic recipes freshly uploaded by moms across the country. I can't believe how creative and sneaky you all are!

Recent winners included simple and delicious gluten-free pizza crust, power cupcakes, cauliflower rice and veggie potato pancakes.

You can see why it's so difficult to choose only three Undercover Mothers each week from so many truly great entries and tips. Take a look at the contest entries page and you'll see all of the recipes. So far, six moms have each won a camcorder, Veggie Patch apron, my best selling book and an entire year's supply of Veggie Patch products.

Plus, one of them will win the Grand Prize which includes an exclusive culinary consultation with me at your house, where I'll personally teach you great ways to sneak veggies into meals, snacks and desserts and share advice for how to get your family the nutrition they need with foods that taste great.
I'll also prepare a delicious dinner for your whole family, while you use your $150 SpaFinder gift card to sneak away and indulge at a spa!

So what are you waiting for--Check it out Here!

I can't wait to hear from you all : )

With healthiest regards,


More Waffle Recipes!

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Hi Missy,

I was wondering if you had any other waffle recipes other than the Peanut Better Waffles. My daughter isn\'t crazy about the peanut butter flavor and without it they don\'t set up right. Any ideas?? Thank you! –Lynn T.

Hi Lynn,

Here's a couple of waffle recipes that will expand your repertoire!

Enjoy in good health, and warmest wishes for the New Year,


Top Banana Waffles

These waffles look and taste decadent, but when you make them for your sweetie on Sunday morning, you’ll have done your good deed for the day. The healthy combination of sweet potatoes, carrots, walnuts, and bananas will satisfy any hungry man—especially a man who doesn’t want to feel like he’s on a diet!

Makes 4 waffles
4 egg whites
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup Orange Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe #2)
2 teaspoons maple syrup, plus additional for serving
2 large bananas, mashed with the back of a fork (about 1⁄2 cup)
2 tablespoons Ground Walnuts (see Make-Ahead Recipe #15)
3⁄4 cup Flour Blend (see Make-Ahead Recipe #13)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
Milk, as needed

Preheat a waffle iron to medium-high and spray with oil.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg whites, vanilla, salt, Orange Puree, maple syrup, mashed bananas, and ground walnuts. In a large bowl, whisk together the Flour Blend, baking powder, and cinnamon. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, stirring until just blended. Batter should be fairly thick and slightly lumpy. But if too thick, add a touch of milk.
Spoon 1⁄3 to 1⁄2 cup batter onto the center of the prepared waffle iron (the amount of batter needed will vary according to the size and type of the waffle iron you’re using). Close the top and cook until the waffle is lightly browned, crisp, and lifts easily off the grids, about 5 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter, spraying the waffle iron with more oil if needed.
Serve immediately as the waffles come off the iron, or keep them warm on a plate, covered with aluminum foil. Serve drizzled with maple syrup.

Sneaky Tip:
To make your morning breakfast quicker, you can make the batter for any of the sneaky pancake and waffle recipes the night before and leave it covered in the refrigerator overnight.

Wiley Walnut Waffles

If you can’t get your man to sit down to a bowl of oats and low-fat yogurt, these waffles offer the same health benefits in a sneaky package. The optional chocolate chips act as the only sweetener in this recipe. Alternatively, serve with a drizzle of maple syrup.

Makes 4 waffles
4 egg whites
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup low-fat yogurt, plain or vanilla
1⁄4 cup low-fat or skim milk
1⁄4 cup Ground Walnuts (see Make-Ahead Recipe #15)
1⁄2 cup oat bran
2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄3 cup Flour Blend (see Make-Ahead Recipe #13)
1⁄4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, or 1⁄2 cup fresh or frozen (not thawed) blueberries,

Preheat the waffle iron to medium-high and spray with oil.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg whites, vanilla, salt, yogurt, milk, and ground walnuts. In another large bowl, whisk together the oat bran, baking powder, and Flour Blend. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just blended. Mix in the chocolate chips or blueberries, if using. If batter is too thick, add a touch more milk.
Serve immediately as the waffles come off the iron, or keep them warm on a plate, covered with aluminum foil.

Hi Missy,

I recently started a high protein diet with my co-workers which requires me to eat three servings of vegetables per day, the only problem being that I dont like vegetables (more so the texture than the taste). I thought about using baby food somehow, but I am not much of a cook so that is as far as I got. How can I sneak some vegetables into my food with it still being high in protein and low in sodium? HELP! I don't want to starve.

Dear Carrie,

Don't worry, you won't starve!! In fact, you'll be getting more nutrition than ever before, and you can still eat all of your favorite foods. Start by perusing the Free Recipe pages of my website where you'll find scores of great recipes for dishes you probably already have a taste for. Then you can check our hundreds of more recipes in my books, especially the Mens' Book, which is full of dishes more for the adult palate. But no matter which of my recipes you choose, you won't be able to detect any veggies in them, so texture definitely will not be an issue. And you don't need to be much of a cook either--my recipes are kept intentionally simple. You'll be successful on the very first try. I receive hundreds of letters attesting to that very fact.

Good luck with your co-workers!

Warmest wishes for a happy and healthy New Year,


Freezing Purees

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Dear Missy,

I am always guilty of one thing...going gung-ho at first over something \"new\" and then dropping the ball because of my hectic schedule with work and the kids. So, 2 questions for you:
1. How long do purees last in the freezer (chest freezer)?
2. Are any of your recipes (and which ones) good for freezing?

Just heard an old Vicky and Jen podcast with you and it re-ignited my passion for trying to get some veggies back in our lives! –Julie

Dear Julie,

I know exactly what you mean: I have the best of intentions when I hear of a good thing, and then life inevitably crashes in. But I've also learned to prioritize!

To answer your questions: the purees will last about 3 months properly sealed in the freezer. Almost all of my recipes freeze well. Nothing special to consider there.

If you puree once per month, it will pay off over and over again in everything you make. It is VERY worth it. You'll feel great feeding your family such healthy recipes. It's what got me hooked!

Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year,


Tried Various Methods...

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Dear Missy,

I just wanted to tell you, Missy, that you are the only person out there that understands my son's brand of picky eating. I tried to make vegetables fun like other people suggest. Bargaining and reasoning does not work. Repeated exposure only takes me so far. But sneaking the veggies in is genius!

Our dinner time fights are over and I just smile when I see him biting into a pizza packed with carrots and sweet potatoes. Score one for mommy! Thanks so much! –Tammy H.

Dear Tammy,

Thank you so much for the wonderful email! In the holiday rush, I've fallen a little behind in correspondence, but I wanted to tell you how much your letter means to me : )

Wishing you and your family a wonderful and healthy New Year!


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