Q&A with the Owner of Hidden Garden, Catherine Anderson

Every parent has encountered trouble when trying to feed your kids enough vegetables. Whether it’s brussels sprouts or broccoli, there’s inevitably something they try to leave behind on their plate at dinner. But getting enough vegetables in our diet can be a challenge for all of us. Enter Hidden Garden. This genius company based in West Vancouver has created all-natural cookies with a half serving of vegetables in each one. Plus they’re gluten free. How’s that for dessert?

IMG_0773We caught up with Catherine Anderson, the owner and creator of Hidden Garden, to find out how it all started and get a few of her tricks of the trade.

 

1) How did Hidden Garden become your passion and career?

CA CroppedI left my previous job as a corporate lawyer in 2012 because I was excited by the challenge of trying to figure out if I could develop a food product that had hidden vegetables in it but that still tasted good. With two little girls of my own, I was familiar with the effort that parents go to in order to sneak vegetables into their kids’ diets, and I wanted to come up with something that would make that easier for them. I spent six months in my kitchen mixing up various vegetable concoctions, many of which tasted terrible, before finally finishing the Hidden Garden cookie recipes. It was a labour of love and it’s so exciting now to see people trying the cookies, because inevitably people love them.

2) What is your first, or most memorable, memory of food?

I was a terribly picky eater as a kid. It drove my parents crazy, though at the time I couldn’t figure out why. Now I’m more sympathetic to what my parents went through with trying to get me to eat a more well-rounded variety of foods.

3) What ingredient should we all be cooking with and why?

Hidden vegetables! You can add pureed vegetables like squash, pumpkin and beets to a huge variety of food to boost the nutritional value without it negatively impacting the taste. You just need to play around with it and get creative.

4) Do you have a favourite or most-used kitchen tip you could share?

Buy a good set of knives. You’d be surprised at how much more enjoyable the cooking experience is if you have a high quality set of knives to use.

5) Where do you shop for groceries and why?

I shop at a few different stores. Save-on-Foods is a favourite because they support local producers, along with www.spud.ca when we’re pressed for time and some specialty stores in our area. Being in the food business I’ve now become a lot more aware of how important it is to support the small businesses in my community.

6) What’s for dinner tonight?

I’m not sure yet. I usually decide that on the fly after getting home at night. Any ideas?

Visit www.hiddengardenfoods.com to learn more and click here to download the Hiyu app to find your nearest retailer.