Alright, gather round everybody – it’s time for a serious talk. We’re going to discuss something that I know for a fact many of you are wildly uncomfortable with: adding vegetables to your desserts.
Wait! Hang on! I know that vegetables that have been hidden in desserts are the reason that you have trust issues. But before you flip over the table and storm out of the room, just know that having a delicious dessert with vegetables as a key ingredient is possible – I’ve not only tried it myself, but I’ve also tried it on my notoriously picky husband and friends. So, hear me out with some of these suggestions.
“Avocado brownies” might just sound like some kind of food roulette that just pairs two wildly different foods together like “tuna popsicles” or “peanut butter stew”, but this combination not only works – it’s nigh-indistinguishable from regular brownies. Brownies usually require a nice, fatty agent in big quantities that brings the whole dish together – usually it’s butter, but today it’s avocado. Substituting avocado for butter works so well that I tricked my friends into eating it: they were halfway through their brownies, actually complaining about vegan substitutions like cauliflower pizza bases or almond milk, when I revealed that they were, in fact, eating avocado brownies! *cue supervillain laughter* Admittedly, maybe the sugar content messes up the health benefits of the avocado – but hey! You’re not eating more butter, right?
Beetroot Red Velvet Cake
Okay – are you getting red velvet cake for the unique flavour? Or are you getting it for the Instagrammable bright red cake? You know the answer to that question, so don’t lie. Red velvet cake is all about perception, and nothing will quite add to the bright red colouring like beetroot. Not only does the beetroot in your red velvet help with the vivid colour, but it also adds an important element of moisture to it – something without which all cakes will fail. There’s not much of a difference in taste with this one, as no matter which recipe you choose there’s still tons of sweet stuff in it. You’ll just get a little extra nutrition, a hint of beetroot, and brilliant colouring!
Cauliflower Rice Pudding
Some people call this “Keto” rice pudding or “Paleo” rice pudding. I’m not going to subscribe to any fancy names – I’m just going to call this what it is: it’s rice pudding but instead of rice you use cauliflower. Simple as that. Cauliflower rice is pretty decent – with enough flavouring you can make believe that it’s actual grains of rice, not just cauliflower in the shape of rice. Luckily, with rice pudding, there is no shortage of sweet, delicious goodness that goes into it, like sugar, milk or cream (almond, if you’re going truly vegan with this), vanilla, and cinnamon. You still get the same delicious flavour without doubling up your carbs for the night!
You may roll your eyes and think that including carrot cake on this list is a cop-out – but you’d be wrong. The fact that carrot cake is fully accepted as a legitimate dessert just proves all the above points! Carrot cake’s existence as a popular dessert is just proof that any of the above veggie-dessert combos can catch on and become widely accepted as legitimate desserts. Yes, it’s got a ton of sugar, icing, and flour in it, but it’s still one of the rare vegetable/dessert chimeras that is an easy way to get some more veg in your dessert. And – because of how widely available this cake is – maybe err on the side of carrot cake when you are faced with a difficult choice at the restaurant!
So the question is, how do you sneak your vegetables in? Got a courgette torte that’s all the rage? Share the love!