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There’s no doubt about it, not very many children have an affinity with vegetables. As soon as food ventures outside the realm of peas or sweetcorn, many parents find it hard to convince their little ones that vegetables are yummy and nutritious, and that they should definitely be eating them.

So if you have this problem and have unsuccessfully tried just about everything to get them eating veg willingly, from the 50s method of “You’ll go to bed hungry if you don’t eat it!” to the modern method of letting them prepare the food with you and “experience” the vegetables, you’re probably at your wits end.

Image by: Juhan Sonin

However, there is a simple way you can sneak vegetables into your kids’ food without them knowing – with a cunning base for all of your cooking.

What you need:
1 Onion
1 Stick Celery
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Carrot
Handful of Mushrooms
3 Tomatoes

Wash the celery, carrot, mushrooms and tomatoes, and top and tail the celery, carrot, onion and garlic. Peel the garlic and onion, and chop all vegetables into rough chunks – they don’t need to be small or precise, it just makes the ingredients a little easier to blend. Add all ingredients to a food processor with a blade attachment in, or a blender (static, handhelds don’t tend to be powerful enough). Whizz until veg resembles a paste – you may need to stop and stir it to get any chunks still caught in the corners.

Heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan, and add your vegetable base to it. Cook over a medium heat, stirring regularly for 10-15 minutes, or until most of the water has evaporated and you have a slightly drier paste.

You can then add whatever else you like to the veg to make it into a sauce or stew. It makes a great base for tomato pasta sauce, chilli, curries, sausage hotpots, beef stew – and with a pint of stock added, and a little cornflour to thicken, it makes a great veggie gravy for your Sunday roast or bangers, mash and peas.

You can also try adding in seasonal vegetables to give a bit of variety to your base, and give a wider range of vitamins – courgettes, leeks, bell peppers and butternut squash all work really well. Play around with the recipe to hone it to your little one’s taste – maybe they secretly prefer a base with more carrots or one with courgettes? One warning: kids may find recipes with the base used so yummy you’ll need to give your PVC tablecloth a good wipe down afterwards!

If you like, make up quadruple quantities and add at least 2 cans of chopped tomatoes, cook down, and you can freeze it in daily portions. Just remember to take it out of the freezer at least 6 hours before use to defrost!

Have you tried this recipe? What did you think?

Attached Images:
  •  License: Creative Commons image source

Louise Blake is a mum of one little man who doesn’t like his veggies! She currently writes for Wipe Easy Tablecloths with tips on how to get your kids eating healthily.