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The Sweet Side of Vegetables | Great Performances


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The Sweet Side of Vegetables
by Suzannah Schneider, Sustainability Connector

You've always been nagged to "eat your vegetables." The phrase might evoke terrifying childhood memories of soggy broccoli, bitter greens, and gross-sounding plants like rutabaga or asparagus. By now you've hopefully grown to adore your cruciferous produce and eagerly anticipate the first asparagus stalks of spring, but we doubt you're greedily scarfing vegetables with every meal...until now!

Betcha didn't know vegetables could be infused into dessert, huh? Read on to learn how celebrate the sweeter possibility of vegetables.


Image © Andrew Luzmore

We'll start easy. The hot pink color of beets make anything look like candy, whether sweet or savory. Not to mention that the majority of the beets grown in this country are used for sugar! Beets pair beautifully with chocolate, whether you want to dress up a boozy cake or sneak into a batch of cupcakes. Fresh-pressed beet juice can also be stirred with vodka and a touch of simple syrup for a liquid dessert...


Image © Martha Stewart

Another easy one: carrot cake! Or muffins. Or bread. For a new twist on carby carrots, try this recipe for Southern spoonbread to dress up an already sweet root vegetable. 

Craving something a bit less Paula Deen-ed? This light carrot cake pudding bridges the gap between sweet and savory.


Image © Peace Love Kale

Did you know that kale and other greens get sweeter after being hit with frost? Plants can defend themselves against freezing weather by turning starch to sugars! Keep this in mind for the coming winter season: Kale Cookies n Cream Ice Cream. Borrowing from the wonderful Chloe Coscarelli, give your standard vanilla ice cream a bit of cruciferous funk with kale.


Image © Visions of Sugar Plum

But, we know, it's too early to begin fantasizing about frost-enhanced leafy greens. If you're feeling sneaky, you could tuck tomatoes into a chocolate dessert to make classic Thunder Cake, one of my childhood favorites (and a great book!).


Image © Serious Eats

With corn so sweet this time of year, do you really need to blend it with sugar? Is it cheating if we call slabs of raw sweet corn off the cob dessert? Yes? Ok. Try corn cookies with Beth's Farm Kitchen lemon curd, as inspired by Greenmarket favorite Body and Soul. You can also sweeten your booze with our sweet corn cocktail.

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