With all the great celebrity endorsements that it has already received, I have to ask myself, is the new book by Jessica Seinfeld (Jerry’s wife) something one would buy who does not have a private chef, round the clock nannies, six personal assistants, and rides in private jets?
The whole premise of this book is to get kids to eat healthily, by “hiding” pureed vegetables and fruits in everyday foods that your kids eat. The idea is quite brilliant and not as far-fetched as you might think.
Traditionally, we all have enjoyed carrot cake, pumpkin muffins and zucchini bread. Adding pureed vegetables in small un-noticeable amounts, so as not to change the flavor too much, is indeed a great way to add veggies to a child’s diet.
I must stress though that the recipes in this book are very healthy to begin with. It’s not quite like adding ketchup to your Big Mac and counting that as a vegetable. Mixing in some puree sweet potato or butternut squash to shredded cheese for a grilled cheese sandwich is more the theme here. The brownies made with spinach and carrot puree sound most intriguing! According to Joy Bauer, the resident dietician for this book, the brownies each have 133 calories, and 3 grams of fiber. Forget the kids, I want one of these! (Oops, maybe not-see PS at the bottom of this post!)
My only reservation about this book is how much advanced planning is needed to make these unique and health-conscious recipes. In the very beginning of this book, Jessica says that “no training or kitchen knowledge whatsoever” is necessary to make these recipes. That is true if you have a well stocked kitchen, with both food and equipment, and know your way around the kitchen. Many fans of my site, www.startcooking.com would be hard pressed to figure out how to make all these purees from scratch. I would probably recommend buying a few jars of puree baby food just to get a jump start on some of these recipes.
The BEST part of this book is all the parenting tips. Everyone who has children should buy this book for that reason alone. All of these tips are creatively dispersed throughout the book with quotes from (famous) moms, Jessica’s children and of course Jerry. The format, layout, and design of Deceptively Delicious are totally retro and work brilliantly. I also like that almost all the recipes have photos to match. At startcooking.com I have discovered a picture is worth a thousand words!
P.S. I made the brownies and served them to some friends. They were AWFUL! No one ate more than one bite. If you are going to eat brownies, SPLURGE and eat the real thing!
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