Another Big (and Yummy) Idea

Although we have used our Whole Foods-funded cooking station for simple food prep, we recently used it for one of our Big Ideas—full-fledged cooking classes in the garden.  Chef Greg from Healthy Adventures, through California School’s VEBA program, provided an afternoon of cooking instruction as part of our staff wellness program.  He made white bean hummus, Greek salad with swiss chard and kale, and spring peas with dates and walnuts.

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Best part?  We harvested many of the ingredients on the spot!

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And look!  Harvest of the Month!  Thanks Chef Greg for an awesome afternoon.

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95% of students report “yum” on kale

Our garden ambassadors periodically cook/prepare garden produce and host a “taste test” during the 10:15 recess at this adorable cart:

Thank you Kymm for repurposing this old AV cart we found in the storage barn!

Today we tackled kale—considered by many to be the most nutritious vegetable to eat.  It also seems to grow effortlessly and abundantly—here’s some plants grown from seed by our PLUS team (junior high leadership).

Kale framed by yellow snapdragons

Kale can also be perceived as hard to eat.  To introduce it to our kids in a positive way, the ambassadors met before school to blend up smoothies with kale, apple juice, bananas, celery and fresh lemon juice.  Kids lined up for a taste, and the girls recorded a “yum” or “yuck” rating.

I love this idea because it introduces kids to new foods and flavors, all in the fun of a recess “taste test.”  One girl lingered for a few minutes before getting up the nerve to down her ounce of green smoothie—once she did, she asked for the recipe so her grandmother could make her more.  Some kids got back in line and begged for seconds.  Another little girl said she wished we had it every snack recess.  Teachers came out to taste test too!

Mrs. Younce gives kale smoothie an enthusiastic “thumbs up”!