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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise
Ask Aunt Nettie

We're delighted to share our Aunt Nettie with you. She's agreed to answer any questions you might ask about vegetarian food, its preparation, and even clean-up tips. But we have to prepare you. She just might want to come right over to your house and help you fix dinner.

To send any questions to Ask Aunt Nettie, .

Dear Aunt Nettie,

My daughter is a three year old vegetarian and I am attempting to gradually change our diets to vegan. As of right now she does not usually eat fruits or vegetables although I offer them in many different varieties at every meal.

She has always been a picky eater, but she did eat baby food veggies and fruits as an infant. Now she calls them yucky no matter how I present them. She gets protein from "fake" chicken and meat products as well as peanut butter, peanuts, power bars, and does eat fruit in the form of jelly, or in muffins. Can you suggest any way to disguise fruits and veggies or any recipes that might make them look more fun or appealing. I believe she is getting a healthy amount of these foods but would like to encourage her to try to eat more.



Howdy there, RL,

Well, darlin', bein' a parent shure does give ya some things ta puzzle over, now don't it? Those little ones kin be mighty fussy, an' the strangest thing is that jes when ya think ya got 'em all figgered out, why, they up an' change their ways!

But I do have a couple ideas that kin work with lots 'o children. You kin put a heap o' fruit in a smoothie that you kin make with soy or rice milk. Put in some cinnamon--those little ones do like cinnamon--an' some vanilla extract. Maybe a little maple syrup ta make it a smidge sweeter.

Usin' that same idea of a smoothie, maybe you kin put some fruit in the blender or processor, make the mixture nice an' thick an' put it in the freezer. Then serve it up jes like ice cream.

Y'all might try makin a sauce with different vegetables ta use like a dip fer them veggie meats an' maybe a fruit sauce fer yer fruit n' soymilk ice cream.

'Nother idea is ta visit our Recipe Index. Look under Dips n' Spreads ta find Winter Fruit Butter. Now whatcha do is spread some o' that deelicious fruit spread on a corn tortilla. Then slice up 1 apple real thin, thin almost like paper, an lay them slices over the spread. Put it on a bakin' sheet under the broiler. When it gits bubblin' hot, take it out an' fold it up. Let it cool a tad an' see if yer little one likes it. If'n ya want, you kin put some peanut or almond butter on afore ya put on the spread.

I like hearin' that y'all keep on servin' them veggies in different ways. With them young'uns, y'all really don't have ta worry none. They go thru some times when they don't hardly eat a bite at all. Makes mothers fret a heap, but when they's not growin', they's jes not eatin'. An' y'all don't have ta worry none 'bout protein. Yer little darlin' sounds like she's comin' along jes fine.

Before ya know it, she's gonna be eatin' ever'thing in the house--you jes wait an' see!

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie


    1 medium banana, cut into chunks
    4 kiwis, peeled
    1/2 apple, cut into chunks
    15 pitted dates
    1/3 C. (80 ml) toasted sesame seeds
    1 1/4 C. (300 ml) soymilk

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Start on slow speed for a few seconds and then switch to high speed until completely pureed and smooth. Pour into glasses and serve with a spoon if mixture is very thick. The smoothie can be made a few hours ahead and chilled. However, fresh fruits always taste best when eaten soon after cutting. Makes 3 servings.

If You Haven't Met Aunt Nettie. . .

Our Aunt Nettie has a head like a hard disk. It's filled with gigabytes of information about food and cooking. And she's just itchin' to share her learnin' with city folk who live in mortal fear of the stovetop.

Aunt Nettie grew up on the farm. She did not eat out of a can or reach into the freezer. There was no microwave to pop her food into. Everything she made was from scratch. All the food she ate was natural, without pesticides. It was grown right there on the family farm, and she had to cook to survive. At eighty-three years young she still leaps and bounds around the kitchen and can shake, rattle, and roll those pots and pans with the best of them.

Nowadays, Aunt Nettie just shakes her head and complains, "Nobody cooks anymore. They have no idea about puttin' a meal together." She's on a mission. She wants to help those younguns eat better so they can grow up healthy like her own eight kids.

Click here for past Ask Aunt Nettie Columns

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