I love veggies, which probably isn't a shock coming from a nutritionist. While I wish everyone else felt the same, the truth is there are some people who just don’t like them. That is why I was excited when my editor discovered Undercover Veggies last month at the Fancy Food Show.
Undercover Veggies is an all-purpose seasoning that claims to provide eight vegetables plus 20 percent of your daily dose of vitamins A, C, and E, and selenium in one 1/4-teaspoon serving. From the ingredient label, I can tell you that the "eight veggies" come from whole-vegetable concentrates and extracts of onion, broccoli, broccoli sprouts, tomato, carrot, spinach, kale, and Brussels sprouts. So is this is an unbelieveable way to sprinkle some kale into your diet, or too good to be true?
I am not so sure how much of the 20 percent of your vitamins comes from actual veggies or from the Veggie Vitamin™ Blend of beta carotene (vitamin A), ascorbic acid (vitamin C), d-alpha tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), and sodium selenite (selenium). Sea salt is also on the ingredient list, providing 120mg sodium per serving.
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In my opinion, I don’t see any downside of using this seasoning if you like the taste of it and stick to the one serving. In my mind, it can act as a safety net for your diet, just like a multivitamin, and it has 0 calories. If you fall off the healthy eating wagon for a day, a sprinkle of Undercover Veggies can instantly give you some extra vitamins. However, more would not be better. I would be concerned about the sodium content rising as well as vitamin A since high levels of A can be dangerous to the fetus development in pregnant women.
The company recommends using the seasoning on foods like pizza, tomato sauce, taco meat, and chicken nuggets, which is obviously an attempt to market it as “kid-friendly." I have always been a believer that we should encourage our children to eat actual veggies instead of hiding them, and I guess at the end of the day, I feel the same way with grown-ups.