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Deceptively Delicious Cookbook Review

I usually try to stick to posts about food and recipes with an occasional family type post. This post is going to be about food and not about food. It is going to be a three part series of posts a little bit different than my usual posts. Why? Because I recently checked a book out from my library that has really bothered me, and it is actually a cookbook. How can a cookbook be so bothersome? Well, let me explain.

I have heard and read a lot of talk about the cookbook “Deceptively Delicious” by Jessica Seinfeld. I believe someone else also has a similar cookbook out right now. I knew by what I had heard and read that this would probably not be a cookbook I would use much, but everyone seemed to like it. I recently went to the library, and as I was looking through the shelves of cookbooks, I saw Deceptively Delicious. I thought, why not check it out and see why everyone likes this book so much.

I will start by saying that I have not tried any of the recipes in this book. They may work really well and give you wonderful foods, but I don’t think I will be trying any of the recipes anytime soon. What I think this book does is help prove what a spoiled, selfish, me-driven generation we are, and that many of us are now raising a generation that is as bad if not worse.

This book is all about “hiding” things that are good for kids in other foods. It hides sweet potato puree in pancakes, cauliflower puree in eggs, and broccoli, spinach, or beets in chicken nuggets. It also teaches you how to hide things in desserts. Did you know you can hide beets in chocolate cake or cauliflower in muffins?

I want to make it clear that I agree we do not eat enough vegetables in America. We need to eat more fruits and vegetables. I like to make fruit desserts and carrots cakes in order to at least make them “seem” healthier. What I have a problem with is the whole reasoning behind having to be deceptive about it.

We are raising generations of kids who don’t know how good they have it. What do I mean by this? I recently went through the Little House On The Prairie books with my kids. What we were reminded of was how hard those times were. Many times they lived on salt pork, beans, and bread. They really looked forward to having a garden, and if it was a bad year and the garden failed, it really impacted their lives. They would be facing nothing but salt pork, beans, and bread all winter long. Do you think they would have hidden vegetables in things to get their kids to eat them? No, their kids would have loved to see a carrot and probably even a beet.

Let’s move up a few years. What did many of our grandparents survive on during WW1, WW2, and the depression? I know mine survived on mainly vegetables. Would they hide them in dessert? No, they would be thankful for the few vegetables they had. Let’s move up to even more recent history, my childhood. If it had not been for my parent’s garden and my mom’s canning of fruits and vegetables, many of our meals would have been very slim and poor looking.

I know many people do not have gardens now. Most people do not even have the yard space for one, but my point is that in the last few decades we have gotten very spoiled when it comes to food. We can shop at any store and find a wide variety of food. Most is highly processed, refined and full of sugar. It is also pretty cheap. This is what our taste buds have grown to like. We no longer want carrots, cauliflower and beets. We want and crave sugar and highly refined foods. We don’t know what real food should and does taste like. We have to disguise it in other foods to get ourselves and our kids to eat it.

Have you seen or read this book? What do you think of it?

Tomorrow I will post my second reason for not liking the book.

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures


  1. Right on! I have to say that when you posted a while back about how you had to pick berries to make ends meet as a child I actually wished that I could teach my kids that type of lesson, as it is all to easy to be spoiled. Thanks for pointing that out about this book!

  2. Catherine R. says:

    You are exactly right, Lynn. I guess people think it’s cute or something that the word “deceptive” is in the title, but that does say a lot about how absurd things have gotten that we have to con children into doing something good for them. Do they think it’s child abuse to make a kid eat steamed broccoli? Probably! You know this lady probably has 2 full-time nannys per child. That’s what wealthy New Yorkers do.

    I am glad you gave this book a bad review! Anything that is connected to a celebrity is usually wrong. I have heard all about this book too, all over the TV and everywhere else like it’s the best thing ever. We ARE spoiled and ungrateful. Thanks for being truthful!

  3. Catherine, be sure to stay tuned for tom. I will deal with the kids eating steamed broccoli being like child abuse issue. 🙂

  4. Amen. 🙂 I’ve heard alot of buzz about this book, I haven’t read it either though.
    And how are our children going to grow up and make wise choices- when they never have been show how or what is wise?

  5. I have two comments about this:
    First–In general, I agree with you. I think that kids really need to learn to eat raw and cooked veggies in their whole/natural state. My husband and I both model good eating habits–we eat lots of veggies and the expectation is that our kids eat what we eat, and they do.

    But second–there are a LOT of adults out there who won’t eat vegetables. I have a friend whose husband adamantly refuses. And when the kids see this, they refuse too. This book has been very helpful to her both for her husband and her kids. Is it the “best” thing for them? Nope, but when you have an adult who has never learned to eat vegetables and isn’t willing to try, I think it’s a helpful alternative.

  6. Melissa, I think in the situation you are talking about this book might be helpful. But I don’t think that is the purpose of the book. They are promoting it as a way to get kids to eat. How you can sneak food in so they don’t know. Also I think an example like you speak of helps prove the point. Most kids are not taught to eat vegetables but the need to be. Usually if an adult won’t eat vegetables it is because they were not made to as a child. Aren’t we just continuing the cycle when we do the same thing with our children? I am going to deal with parents setting the example in my second and third posts.

  7. Marcela says:

    I really am enjoying your site..I will be back to read often! In regards to this post I wanted to share with you that I initially felt the same way about this type of cooking and the title itself turned me off we should not be “deceiving” or “sneaking” or teaching our children to “sneak” or “deceive”. However, the more I thought about it the more I liked the idea of making brownies with good ingredients not to be sneaky ut to add nutritional value was to our benefit. I will still serve vegetables in their pure form and expect my family to eat what is served and be grateful. I think incorporating these recipes in addition to our regular menu could only benefit my family’s health. So the point is not to deceive but to teach kids how to make healthy choices, eat healthy and cook healthy!

    • @Marcela, Thank you for your comment. I appreciate it. This post that was written almost 2 years ago and I have rethought a few of my views since then. I think many people are doing it to deceive, but I think there are many like you that do it for health. The more people that I have talked to the more I have realized many do it for health reasons. Thank you again and I am glad that you found my site.

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