9 Brilliantly Weird Ways To Eat Your Vegetables

Yahoo Lifestyle

We all know that eating fruit and veg is essential for our health. But have you tried it in ice cream or a cake? Here are nine great ideas on how you can up your intake of nutritious veggies. Courgette Brownie anyone?

Beetroot Ice Cream
Fresh beetroot (not the pickled stuff in jars) has a really sweet flavour - and it’s often used to add moisture and sweetness to chocolate cakes. It’s also rich in potassium, vitamins and contains iron. Beetroot also stains everything a bright fuchsia pink so it comes in handy as a natural food colouring, too. Dribble a few teaspoons of beetroot juice in your icing for cakes and biscuits. And just look at the colour of this beetroot and chocolate ice cream, posted by Jane at the blog Emerald and Ella.

Courgette Brownies
Monique, who writes at the blog Ambitious Kitchen, focuses on healthy recipes that are also really indulgent. And she created these gluten-free courgette and oat chocolate brownies.  Courgettes, a source of vitamin C and potassium, are often added to breads, muffins or cakes for moisture and sometimes texture. You won’t taste the courgettes here, just the chocolate - and a ‘chewiness’ from the oats. Gorgeous.

Spinach Green Velvet Cake
Yep, spinach in a cake. This spinach green velvet cake was created by Jessica of the blog Desserts with Benefits - and it looks fantastic. As well as baby spinach, it also contains cocoa powder and has a vanilla bean frosting all around the outside and through the middle. Spinach is a good source of iron and contains a range of vitamins including vitamin K and vitamin C.

Grapefruit and Kale Smoothie  
Kale is considered a bit of a super-veg, packed with iron and calcium. And while you probably wouldn’t think of whizzing the frilly green leaves in a fruit smoothie, it’s a great idea. Try this grapefruit and kale smoothie from Nicole at the blog Wonky Wonderful - and up your fruit intake while you’re at it, with sweet pineapple as well as citrussy grapefruit.

Artichoke Heart and Lemon Pesto
Artichoke hearts are full of antioxidants, high in fibre and are therefore thought to be good for the digestion. They’re lovely marinated and barbecued or blitzed into dips and pesto - like this artichoke and lemon pesto from the blog Red Shallot Kitchen. Marinated artichoke hearts can also be pressed into toasted sandwiches - they taste great with melted cheese and spinach.

Mushroom Bread Pudding
We often chop up mushrooms and stir them into pasta or risotto, but have you ever thought about making a bread pudding with them? These beautiful (and vegetarian) savoury bread puddings with garlic mushrooms and ricotta were created by Becca from the Amuse Your Bouche blog. Mushrooms are thought to be a good source of vitamin D, and also contain B vitamins to help keep our skin, hair and nails healthy.

Sweet Parsnip Loaf Cake
Next time you have a couple of fibre-rich parsnips leftover at the bottom of the fridge, grate them and add them to a cake or muffin mixture, like Laura did, of the blog Me and Mr Jones. Her parsnip loaf cake is also flavoured with cinnamon and nutmeg and looks completely delicious. Parsnips have a sweet, muted flavour when they’re baked in cakes, especially when combined with warm spices, and they can also be grated and used to make Indian-style fritters as well.

Aubergine Dip
Aubergines aren’t just for Moussaka - roast an aubergine until the skin is crisp - it’ll take about half an hour - and then peel it off. Cool and then squeeze out the excess moisture from the flesh of the aubergine and blitz it with lemon juice, parsley, a pinch of salt, cumin and garlic and you have a dip you can eat with bread or raw veggies. Aubergine is rich in fibre and has also been linked to good heart health.

Carrot, Courgette and Apple Bread
Well this is one way to up your fruit and veg intake - bake it all in a bread recipe. This carrot, courgette and apple bread comes from Trish at the blog Mom on Time Out. And that’s a cream cheese-based icing you see there, too. She’s flavoured this colourful bread with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.

What are your favourite vegetable recipes?