Pasta sauce is one of my absolute favorite things to pack extra veggies into! Any time you have a sauce, chili, soup, or stew, is an excellent opportunity to be sneaky healthy. By blending things in, no one knows they are there, yet you are giving the people eating the meal extra doses of fiber and vitamins. There’s no reason not to!
The best things for blending in include beans, greens, and carrots. Beans thicken the sauce because of their natural fiber content. Greens may change the color a bit, so keep that in mind. And carrots provide a slight sweetness while not affecting the overall color very much. Keep in mind with carrots, you must cook them first so they soften before trying to blend them in, or juice them.
In this sauce, I went really bold and added some spinach as well as a half bag of frozen carrots and peas I had left from a previous meal. To this I added a full can of stewed tomatoes, and 1/2 cup milk. Simmering everything together makes it soften, and then if you have eaters that won’t tolerate chunks, pop half or all of it into a blender before serving.
- 1 package frozen spinach, thawed
- 1 can stewed diced tomatoes
- 1/2 bag frozen carrots & peas
- 1/2 cup milk
Step 1: Thaw the spinach, and squeeze out extra water. Put in a pan with the peas and carrots, and cook, stirring often, for about 15 minutes or until carrots have softened.
Step 2: Add the tomatoes and milk, and cook another few minutes. Puree in a blender. You can further cook it down to thicken the sauce, or serve as is.
I added some crumbled cooked bacon and sprinkled on Parmesan cheese, but if you serve as is this is a perfect vegetarian meal. You can see what I mean about the greens changing the color of the sauce. If that is a problem, just start with very small amounts of greens, maybe just a handful of spinach rather than the whole package.