These 9 Recipes Have Hidden Health Benefits

January 5, 2021

Whether you’re trying to get your kids to eat more greens or you want to improve your nutrition in the new year, there’s a healthy recipe for you. If you pick the right ones, you won’t even notice the extra serving of vegetables or whole grains. Luckily, you don’t have to look very far. Here are some of the best recipes to transform your family’s diet and get you on the right track in 2021.

Sesame Cauliflower

1. Sticky Sesame Cauliflower by Chocolate Covered Katie

Cauliflower has been enjoying the spotlight for a few years, thanks to its health benefits and versatility. From the veggie’s high fiber and choline content to its ability to replace carbs and meats, cauliflower can really do it all. You can even substitute florets for chicken with this Asian-inspired recipe. Top with sesame seeds and scallions and serve with a side of rice and vegetables.

Zucchini ricotta roll-ups

2. Zucchini Ricotta Roll-Ups by Plant Based News

If you love lasagna but want to go light on the carbs, try these zucchini lasagna roll-ups. Instead of cheese, those pale little pockets of goodness contain tofu and nutritional yeast and taste exactly like ricotta-stuffed shells. As long as you cook the dish long enough, the zucchini should be just as tender as noodles, too. Plus, the veggie is packed with vitamins A and C, manganese, and potassium to keep you healthy all season long.

Mashed potatoes and parsnips

3. Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips by Simply Recipes

Are you looking for a healthy side dish to serve at your next party? Look no further than these mashed potatoes and parsnips. This white, creamy side is full of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C. Plus, parsnips are the most inconspicuous way to add vegetables to your plate. Top with parsley and chives, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Spinach pancakes

4. Hulk Pancakes by Safi in Motherland

Your kids may not like spinach, but they’ll love hulk pancakes. Even the pickiest of toddlers won’t be able to resist these fluffy, green flapjacks, especially if you top them with sprinkles. The secret ingredient here is spinach, which gives the cakes their vibrant hue and provides loads of essential nutrients. Upping your spinach intake can improve eye health, support a whiter and brighter smile, reduce blood pressure, and even prevent cancer.

Garden Vegetable Cornbread

5. Garden Vegetable Cornbread by Taste of Home

Nothing complements chili like a piece of buttery, crumbly cornbread. Unfortunately, traditional cornbread can be quite unhealthy, especially when you consider all the buttermilk and butter that goes into it. Luckily, this healthier recipe calls for more vegetables than it does milk. The carrots, sweet red peppers, and fresh poblanos add a depth of flavor you wouldn’t expect. Plus, these veggies are highly nutritious and low in calories, so you can enjoy more without having to loosen your belt.

Quick Mushroom Barley Soup

6. Quick Mushroom Barley Soup by Taste of Home

Instead of calorie-dense broccoli and cheddar soup, opt for a healthier dish and make some creamy mushroom barley soup. This recipe calls for carrots, mushrooms, and onions, all of which support a healthier, happier you. Plus, the barley is rich in antioxidants, fiber, selenium, and manganese. This grain also contains copper, vitamin B1, chromium, and niacin to support better health. Stir in celery, kale, and other ingredients to truly make this recipe your own.

Vegan mac and cheese with smoky shiitake bacon

7. Vegan Butternut Mac and "Cheese" with Smoky Shiitake "Bacon" by Pure Wow

Roasted, pureed butternut squash lends itself well to a vegan cheese sauce, and this mac is just begging you to mistake it for cheddar. Like cheese, this squash contains a fair amount of calcium and vitamin A. However, it also has magnesium, zinc, fiber, and vitamins E, B, and C. Top with smoked paprika and shiitake mushrooms for added flavor and nutritional value. You won’t even miss the dairy.

Matcha overnight oats

8. Matcha Coconut Chia Overnight Oats by Flavor the Moments

You’ve heard of overnight oats, but have you tried this matcha coconut variety? This easy recipe is perfect for meal-prep lovers and is full of nutrients so you can start your morning off right. The coconut milk contains electrolytes, while the matcha powder provides antioxidants. Meanwhile, the chia seeds will keep you full and energized. Top with coconut flakes and enjoy for up to four days.

Flourless Chickpea Brownies

9.  Chickpea Brownies by This Healthy Kitchen

These fudgy, decadent brownies are hiding a powerful secret — chickpeas. These little beans provide a fudgy consistency that could fool even the biggest chocolate lover. Plus, they’re rich in fiber, protein and manganese. Sweeten this recipe with dates and add peanut butter and chocolate chips to make things even creamier. Top with walnuts and more chocolate chips and enjoy them guilt-free.

Making Health a Priority

If you’re determined to put your health first in 2021, making smarter food choices is an excellent place to start. By adding hidden vegetables and grains to your meals, you can easily boost your nutrition without compromising flavor or passing up your favorite comfort foods.


As long as you’re willing to play around with different recipes and never judge a recipe by the ingredients list, you’ll be well on your way to a healthier, happier you. Remember, small changes add up to create big results.