In her first book, "Deceptively Delicious," Jessica Seinfeld, wife of comedian Jerry Seinfeld, taught readers the charms of cooking with pureed vegetables or fruits.
The concept was to steam the veggies, puree them in a food processor and set them aside to be used in recipes, or freeze them for later use.
Moms could whip up oatmeal raisin cookies, but mix in some banana and zucchini when the kids weren't looking.
Children got foods they loved, but unbeknownst to them, they were getting the added nutrition, too.
And successful. "Deceptively Delicious" landed in the No. 1 spot on The New York Times bestseller list, and now, two years later, Seinfeld has penned a follow-up: "Double Delicious."
The book keeps its predecessor's homey 1950s look and the idea of purees, but amps up the nutritional value of each recipe, boasting "more recipes made with veggies, fruits and whole grains," according to its cover.
Seinfeld consulted what she calls her "kitchen cabinet" for feedback on each recipe.
The cabinet includes her three children, Sascha, 9, Julian, 7, and Shepherd, 5.
It also features nutritionist Joy Bauer, who vetted most of the book's recipes with a few from the author's husband.
Jerry's thoughts on some recipes, along with comments by the couple's children, are peppered throughout the book, and this time he even gets his own recipe: "Jerry's Cinnamon Buns."
You might be thinking that cinnamon buns can't possibly belong in a book that touts healthy eating, but Bauer points out that the buns "have about one-tenth of the fat of the ones you buy at the mall."
Jessica Seinfeld states in the book that "if you keep your ingredients
wholesome, watch the amount of sugar and saturated fat you cook with, and control your portion size, then having a treat should be completely enjoyable."
And with that, she added an extensive dessert section to "Double Delicious," to go along with its "Breakfast" and "Mealtime" recipes.
"Quick!" tabs mark recipes that will take 20 minutes or less to prepare, and advice on how to shop more healthfully at the supermarket and how to equip your kitchen for pureeing is also included.
Unique recipes include "Cinnamon-Maple Quinoa," an alternative to oatmeal that includes quinoa, a protein-rich seed, "Salmon Burgers" which include carrot puree, and "Cauliflower Gratin," which contains whole cauliflower pieces and butternut squash or carrot puree.
The Times consulted Connie Crawley, a registered dietician at the University of Georgia, about the health benefits of using purees in recipes as in "Double Delicious!".
"Of course, the more you manipulate a vegetable, the more you lose," Crawley said.
"When you put it in a recipe like that, you're diluting it somewhat just by the other ingredients. When you put the flour, the egg and the milk, you're diluting the vegetable, so they're not getting probably the equivalent as if they ate the vegetable itself."
Crawley said parents should keep in mind how many fruit or veggie servings end up in the meal, if they are tallying the hidden nutrients along with the other servings their children eat throughout the day.
"You have to know what you're starting out with, as far as the amount of vegetables you're pureeing, and then how much of that puree you're actually putting into the recipe," Crawley said.
While Crawley is quick to point out that purees in recipes won't replace whole servings of vegetables or fruit, she said purees are a fine substitute for fat in a baking recipe.
"You can cut the fat by almost a third and you will still have a fairly decent product."
Crawley said adding puree to baked goods adds moistness and texture to foods that might be dry when fat is removed.