Saturday, April 3, 2010

Q&A Saturday: Purees - How Do You Use Them?

Mandy asked:
I love my "Deceptively Delicious" cookbook. I have a bunch of pureed veggies in my freezer now that I should probably try to use up soon. I'd love to know how you use things like purees in your recipes - a future post perhaps? hint, hint. :-)

Thanks for asking Mandy!  I love to answer questions y'all might have, so ask away!

First of all I have to tell you I love love love my Magic Bullet (and No they didn't pay me to say that!)  My Momma bought a two-for-one special on TV and gave us one as a gift.  I've used it for everything from purees, smoothies, salsas, guacamole, baby food, spice's amazing and totally worth the money.  And this is what I use to make all my purees.  They come out smooth every time.

I do love the Deceptively Delicious cookbook.  In fact, my cousin is the one who told me about it a couple of years ago.  I've only used it to make a Blueberry Crumble which utilized pureed spinach.  And believe it or not, I really could not taste it after it cooled down.  Before then though, oh yes, you could smell the spinach...  I also made the Brownies using the pureed spinach.  It was good too.  But you have to cool it down, even put it in the fridge.  It's very dense and cake-like.  

Pureed spinach has made it's way into my Baked Ziti and really any time I remember to use it, I'll add it to spaghetti sauce.  It changes the color from red to a rusty color.  Not really bad at all and it tastes the same, only more healthy.  
I've also finely chopped spinach so it could masquerade as "parsley" in a turkey meatloaf, meatballs, and hamburgers.  Yes, please don't tell my hubby!  He really thinks it's parsley!

Pureed cauliflower has been known to show up in the mashed potatoes.  I pureed frozen cauliflower and instead of adding butter, I poured the puree in, mixed it up and then added just about a tablespoon of butter.  It was really good and my husband had no idea!  It tasted remarkably good too!

Pureed butternut squash is a favorite of mine.  I love to add it to muffins, pancakes and breads.  I also love to sneak it into my kids' macaroni and cheese.  I'm trying to get away from purchasing the "blue box" mac and cheese, although my kiddos LOVE it.  When it's nearly free at the store, I do buy it for them and use this method of adding the butternut squash.  Before adding any milk, pour in about 1/2 cup pureed butternut squash and then adjust the milk and butter.  I'm going to tinker with this using a homemade cheese sauce for macaroni and cheese, I'll let you know how that turns out.

Pureed applesauce is delicious as a substitute for oil in most recipes as is pureed prunes (just use baby prunes in the jars).  I use applesauce in a homemade pancake recipe that is not only healthy but it's super delicious!

How about you?  Do you use pureed veggies in your meals?   


Susie said...

I have been really curious about that book!!

Mandy's Life After 30 said...

I have got to get myself a Magic Bullet -- you're the tenth person to tell me you love yours! My food processor isn't the greatest!

Thanks for sharing some of your tips with incorporating purees into your foods. I actually just did some pureeing of yellow squash and spinach yesterday and even BEFORE I read this post, I discovered your Baked Ziti recipe a few days ago and printed it out for future reference. I can't wait to try that one! I've used pureed sweet potato into pancakes -- I'll have to try it with your applesauce recipe. I use cauliflower in my mac and cheese. And I've started adding broccoli into meatballs and turkey burgers. You can't taste it!

I've made that blueberry crumble thing you're talking about -- it's good. In fact, I've made about half of that cookbook's recipes. So if you ever want to try one, ask me if I've made it and I'll tell you what I think. I actually made her spinach and carrots brownies this week -- but I double the cocoa powder and add more chocolate b/c I found you could still taste the spinach even after it cooled. It smells a little funny but they surprisingly taste good. Her "spaghetti pie" and "grilled cheese sandwich" recipes are AWESOME and I make them once a month!

Thanks so much for answering my questions!

P.s. -- have a great trip to Savannah! I expect some yummy strawberry recipes upon your return! :-) LOL.


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