20    Nov 20121 comment

Family: Eat your veggies!

In many families, our mothers told us that we had to eat all our vegetables to have dessert. The trend today seems to be that we can eat vegetables in our desserts.

We tend to associate childhood memories with holidays and summer vacations. Adults keep looking for those desserts, but chefs today are reinterpreting that nostalgia.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and that means pumpkin pie. For many, it might be the only time we eat veggies in a dessert. In the US’s deep south, sweet potato pie is a favorite. We also know about zucchini bread and carrot cake, as well, but talented chefs are branching out.

Today, menus include pumpkin pie gelato with pecans, blackberries or pumpkin cayenne gelato with dulce de leche and cocoa nibs. Corn and even mushrooms are showing up in an amazing array of sweet things.

Broccoli and spinach well may be the “disliked” winners. Mine is okra, called bamia in the Middle East. Perhaps it was the way it was always served to me and I thought it was gelatinous and somewhat slimy. My husband loves it.

Here in New Mexico, a favorite condiment is raspberry jam with chili. Of course, almost everything in New Mexico has our famous roasted chili peppers in it! I make roasted chicken rubbed with that jam. The flavor is amazing, sweet with a kick!

While I don’t think seven-layer spinach cake will ever be on my favorite list, these chefs are producing tomato sorbet, corn crème brulee and chocolate-with-beet pastries. They say that eggplant can substitute in many recipes for apple or pear. Wow!

A delicious article in Food Technology magazine focuses on the way dessert is evolving in unexpected ways.

“Incorporating vegetables in dessert recipes is more about creating a flavorful dish and realizing that vegetables have various functionalities rather than using a particular one for 'shock value alone,'” said Michael Laiskonis, creative director at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York, N.Y.

What’s your favorite vegetable? Your most disliked vegetable? Tell us in the comments below.

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  1. Cooked Carrots and Cooked Spinach

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