Hidden Veggies

Recipes for hiding veggies into your kids everyday favorite treats.

By Jessica Levison

As any mom of littles knows, meal times are short, chaotic and hardly any of the nutrition you serve actually makes it into your kids mouth. And this is assuming you made them what they actually requested: a bowl of ketchup with a side of fries. If you’re ambitious enough to add veggies to that plate of fries, you should expect those veggies to be splattered all over the floor in less than 30 seconds. Besides, fries are technically veggies anyway, right? Ketchup? That’s a fruit bowl.

I know first-hand what a monumental task it is to get the kiddos to eat their veggies. It’s the main reason I developed an ice cream with hidden veggies you can’t see or taste. As an ice cream maker for over 10 years, it was my desperate attempt at disguising more nutrition into my kids meals, in the best way I could.

While ice cream with hidden veggies is just one of the tricks I use to sneak more nutrition into my kids diet, it’s not the only way to pull a nutritional fast one. And since my kitchen skills skew more Jennifer Garner than Chrissy Teigen these days, it’s also important that any veggie Houdini action be easy to implement.

One of my favorites is sponge cake with hidden cauliflower, which I top with sliced strawberries and a scoop of Peekaboo Vanilla with hidden Zucchini. It’s a light dessert or snack that packs the power of two powerhouse veggies.

Also on the menu are ice cream sandwiches, using chickpea flour for an extra dose of heart-healthy fiber (not to mention it’s also gluten free). The best part of this recipe is that the options for what ice cream to pair it with are limitless. My 6 year old is partial to Peekaboo chocolate with hidden cauliflower.

I’ll never understand why kids have no compunction about eating their own boogers, but won’t touch their peas. What I can do, however, is keep sneaking veggies into their meals in unexpected ways.


Sponge Cake (with hidden cauliflower)*

Adapted from: ButterSugarFlowers.com


(makes an 8″ round cake, serves 10)

1 medium lemon

1 medium orange

6 ounces (or about) riced white cauliflower

3/4 cup sugar

2 medium to large eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, divided

1/2 teaspoon seeds scraped from a whole vanilla bean, or vanilla bean powder or paste

1 and 1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda


Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8″ cake pan and flour the pan; set aside. Juice the lemon and orange, just until you have 1/4 cup juice total; set juice aside. Combine baking soda with flour in a large bowl and pour the juice over the cauliflower, along with two teaspoons of the vanilla extract. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, oil and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until smooth. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and cauliflower mixture and whisk until smooth; batter will be thick – ask your kids to pitch in here and whisk. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

*You can make this a la mode and add some hidden zucchini with a scoop of Peekaboo Vanilla Ice Cream.*

Ice Cream sandwiches (with hidden chickpeas and cauliflower)

Ingredients for cookies:

½ cup vegetable oil 

¾ cup confectioners sugar, sifted 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1¾ cups chickpea flour, sifted

½ cup chocolate chunks


Preheat oven to 300°F. Mix the oil, confectioners sugar using an electric hand or stand mixer for 3 minutes, until smooth and even. Add the chickpea flour to the bowl and mix on low for 2 minutes, until the dough is smooth and not sticky. Dust table with chickpea flour, then roll out and knead dough for 10 minutes. Fold in chocolate chunks. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and let it rest for about 2 hours. Scoop out small pieces by hand and form each into a ball in the palm of your hand.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and the place cookies about 1 inch apart on the pan. Bake the cookies for 15 to 20 minutes, until they have turned a very light golden brown. Let cookies cool and assemble the ice cream sandwich: add a heaping scoop of Peekaboo chocolate ice cream with hidden cauliflower onto the bottom cookie, and sandwich it with the second cookie. Enjoy!

Jessica Levison is the Founder of Peekaboo Organic Ice Cream, a line of indulgent ice cream with veggies hidden in every bite. Peekaboo is available for purchase in Austin at HEB, for more information visit peekabooicecream.com.

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