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April Fools' food for kids: Hiding healthy ingredients in favorite treats

Some local Girl Scouts and Brownies got one sweet April Fools' Day prank played on them by a culinary school.
April 1, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
Some local Girl Scouts and Brownies got one sweet April Fools' Day prank played on them by a culinary school. The idea was to see if the kids could detect some healthy ingredients in decadent-looking dessert.

Chocolate, butter, eggs, sugar: typical brownie batter. But Chef Jeff Jimenez of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts is adding some sneaky ingredients.

"In actuality it's pureed so much that you can't really tell that it's in the fudge brownies," said Jimenez.

That puree he is talking about is saut?ed kale.

"Saut?ing kale properly without overcooking or undercooking will really give it a nice mouth feel when you bite into it," said Jimenez.

Rinse. Remove stems. Roll leaves up and slice thin, then saut? for sweets. And that's not the only hidden treasure.

"We have a chickpea chocolate chip cookies," said Jimenez.

Jimenez rinsed and lightly chopped a can of chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, and put them in traditional chocolate chip cookie batter to add taste, texture and healthy bean benefits.

"It's known as a colon cleanser. It's jam-packed full of protein," said Jimenez.

His thought on hiding healthy food?

"Just by introducing healthier alternatives or ingredients into the food and giving them a little bit more knowledge about it will increase their knowledge as they grow older," said Jimenez.

Some health experts have an issue when you hide nutritious ingredients in food. So why not make it fun and have a taste test?

We asked some Brownies and Junior Girl Scouts to give it a go to see if they could tell there were secret ingredients.

They didn't even notice.

Visually they looked and tasted the same, although the brownies had a slight kale aroma served right out of the oven. Which, unless these girls hadn't eaten in while, didn't seem to make a difference. Some were actually familiar with the green stuff.


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