I used to think I was healthy because I ate fat-free foods, I drank diet soda, and I ate 100-calorie packs for an afternoon snack! I read labels, but not so that I would know what was in my food; instead, I wanted the calories and fat grams to be as low as possible.
But once you know better, you DO better, right?! I will never forget sitting in a nutrition class as part of my Personal Training Recertification, and the instructor said, “If I gave you a mystery red liquid and asked you to put this in your car before driving home today, would you do it?”
Of course we all emphatically said, “NO way!!”
She continued, “Well then, why is it that you constantly put mysterious foods in your bodies every single day? Do you know all of the ingredients in the foods that you are eating? If not, then you are treating your cars better than your own bodies.”
Oh. My. Word. This was my lightbulb moment! It was seriously life-changing for me. I went home and immediately made changes in what I was buying. No more low-fat salad dressings (now I make my own with REAL ingredients). No more 100 calorie snack packs (now I eat a piece of fruit with some nuts or nut butter as an afternoon snack). No more boxed brownies and cake mixes when my boys want a special treat (now I make them from scratch using ingredients I recognize). I stopped being afraid of fat and instead of looking at the fat grams, I began reading labels to make sure that I could pronounce the ingredients and actually knew what they were.
Unfortunately, it’s taken me longer to convince my three boys of the importance of counting chemicals instead of calories because quite honestly–they don’t care what is in their food. They just want it to look and taste yummy! So that has meant “hiding” some of the good stuff in their favorite foods and snacks, but what they don’t know won’t hurt them, right? 😉
Here is a short little video showing how I hide black beans in one of my boys’ favorite treats–chocolate brownies! (And I’ve included the recipe for these little yummies below)
2 cups black beans (If using canned beans, this recipe requires one can beans. Drain and rinse before using).
1 bag or 2 cups of chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life Gluten Free Chips)
1/2 cup applesauce (I used unsweetened)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 T cocoa powder
1 T maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350.
In a food processor, combine the black beans and chocolate chips very well.
Once they are broken up well, add in the remaining ingredients and keep processing until a smooth batter forms.
Line an 8X8 pan with parchment paper leaving enough paper to stick out the sides.
Spoon batter into the pan.
Bake for about 30-35 minutes.
Lift the brownies out of the pan by grabbing the extra sides of parchment paper.
Cut into squares with a pizza cutter.
These brownies need to be stored in the fridge.
(Recipe courtesy of My Whole Food Life).
I would love to know how you hide some healthy ingredients into your family’s favorite foods!