Planting a Vegetable Garden!

Have you or your family every grown a vegetable garden? Planting vegetables and watching them grow can be a lot of fun. 😄 My favorite part of growing a garden is being able to eat fresh veggies from my backyard!

Do you remember the blog post about how to grow tomatoes last spring? Click here to view that post. Today we’re learning about when to plant certain vegetables and how to make sure they grow well!

There are a few things you want to keep in mind when you start a garden:

  • ☀️ Sunlight: plants need sunlight to grow – make sure to find a sunny spot to plant your vegetables.
  • Dirt (Soil): whether you’re planting in the ground or in a container, plants will grow best in good soil. Have a parent or other adult help you find or purchase good soil.
  • 🌱Type of plant: some fruits and vegetables don’t grow well in certain areas. Click here to find out what fruits and vegetable grow best where you live.
  • 🌦Temperature: in the world of gardening you may hear the term “frost dates”, these dates refer to the time it is best to start planting. For the most part you don’t want to start planting until temperatures stay above 32°F. In Utah, the last frost date typically lands at the end of April or beginning of May.

When is the best time to plant your favorite veggies?

(these dates are specific to Utah)

March 15 – May 1:

  • Artichoke
  • Asparagus
  • Onion
  • Rhubarb
  • Broccoli
  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Cabbage
  • Radish
  • Beet
  • Potato
  • Carrot
  • Cauliflower

May 5 – June 1:

  • Spinach
  • Cucumber
  • Summer squash
  • Sweet corn
  • Snap beans

May 20 – June 10:

  • Pumpkin
  • Eggplant
  • Tomato
  • Pepper
  • Winter squash

If you don’t have enough space to plant a garden at your house, you may be able to find a community garden to use instead. Go to this website to see if there is a community garden near you:

https://communitygarden.org/find-a-garden/

Have fun gardening this year!

Information for this post came from livewellutah.org

Cauliflower Popcorn

This recipe is a bit different than your average popcorn but, like popcorn, it makes a great snack! If you didn’t catch the blog post about cauliflower from earlier this week, click here to check it out.

You may be surprised how quickly this simple recipe gets eaten. After you’ve tried cauliflower popcorn, you might never be able to eat cauliflower any other way. 😉 It’s delicious!

To begin gather the ingredients, all you need is cauliflower florets, olive oil, and salt. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.

Place the cauliflower on a baking sheet, drizzle the olive oil and salt over the cauliflower. Use you hands to toss the cauliflower so the ingredients are mixed.

Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Every 3-4 minutes use a spatula to turn the pieces around.

This recipe tastes best if it is eaten soon after its done roasting!

Bon Appetite!

Give a Holler for Cauliflower!

Cauliflower and broccoli may look similar but if you don’t like broccoli, you still ought to give cauliflower a try!

Cauliflower is in the same veggie family as broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprout, kale, and collard greens. These vegetables are called cruciferous vegetables.

Not sure how you feel about cauliflower? Well, King Louis XIV (a French King in the 1600s) was one of cauliflower’s biggest fans. He demanded it to be served at many of his fancy palace dinners. Next time you’re eating cauliflower you can pretend to feel like french royalty. 👸🇫🇷🤴

When you’re picking out cauliflower at the store, make sure to find one that is dense/tight and heavy. Avoid picking one with dark spots or mildew.

Cauliflower may look like a boring, ordinary vegetable but it is an excellent source of nutrition! Research has shown that substances called glucosinolates, which are found in cauliflower, can help protect your body from cancer! 🙌

Below are some other nutrients that cauliflower contains high amounts of:

  • Vitamin C: needed for proper growth and good immunity
  • Vitamin K: important for healthy bones and tissues
  • Folate: helps the body make new cells

In the past few years cauliflower has been turned into foods that you might not typically associate with cauliflower, such as: cauliflower pizza crust, cauliflower rice, cauliflower mashed potatoes, cauliflower tortillas, and the list goes on!

The list below will give you some simple ways to add more cauliflower to your diet:

  • Use as a salad topping
  • Add it to a soup
  • Mix it into some Mac and Cheese
  • Roast it with your favorite spices/herbs
  • Dip it in some hummus
  • Add it to a stir fry

Do you have any other ways you like to eat cauliflower?

When you think of cauliflower, you probably picture it as white. Cauliflower can also be found in orange, purple, and green varieties! These different colors vary in taste and if cooked for too long can lose some of their nice color.

Cauliflower Popcorn

Information for this post came from verywellfit.com and snaped.fns.usda.gov/seasonal-produce-guide/cauliflower

Creative Veggie Creations

There is no shortage of veggie recipes on the Kids Create blog! Try a new one this week.

Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti
Green Bean Fries
Zucchini Pizza Bites
Summertime Corn Salad
Roasted Radishes
Mediterranean Burrito
Green Pea Avocado Dip

Veggie Vibes

The MyPlate section we’ll be highlighting this month is…

Vegetables!

Did you know we should eat abut 2 1/2 cups of vegetables a day?

Veggies are another one of nature’s treats. Most aren’t as sweet as fruit, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t as delicious! The vegetable food group contains a wide variety of flavor and color. What is your favorite veggie???

Veggies are full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals that keep us energized, healthy, and strong!

Ever wonder what each vitamin does? Click here to see a list of vitamins and minerals and their functions, plus foods where you can find each vitamin/mineral. Did you notice that almost every vitamin and mineral can be found in some sort of vegetable?

By adding veggies to your diet, you reduce the risk of getting some diseases that can develop later in life. Keep your body healthy by eating 2-3 cups of veggies each day! 😁🥦🍠🥕🥬

VEGGIE ACTIVITIES

Let’s have some fun with a game or two before we discover some delicious ways to spice up our meals with veggies.

Dining Decisions: Power up and choose which foods will give you the most energy and muscle strength.

Memory: If you’re still learning the names of vegetables, try this game. Pair the name of the vegetable with its picture, that is if you can remember where they are!

Getting Veggie Vibes in the Kitchen!

What are some ways you can make veggies exciting? The great thing about vegetables is that they can be prepared in several different ways. So if you don’t like one, just Vary Your Veggies!

For example: Lets say you don’t like fresh broccoli in salad. Well, try putting broccoli on a baking sheet with a little olive oil and roast them until they are crunchy! It will give you a total different flavor and texture that you might LOVE.

Challenge: This week try to find 3 ways to prepare your favorite vegetable. Keep an eye out for another blog post this week that my be able to help you with this challenge.👩🏽‍🍳👨🏼‍🍳

Happy Creating!

Sweet and Salty Roasted Almonds!

On the last post we learned about why almonds are awesome and today we’re learning how to use them in a delicious recipe!

This recipe makes a great snack and is sure to satisfy any sweet or salty craving you have. 😁

To start, gather the ingredients – you’ll need raw almonds, honey, olive oil, salt, and a little bit of cayenne pepper. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

Next, combine all ingredients together in a bowl.

Place the almonds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake the almonds for 10 minutes or until the honey has caramelized. After baking, allow the almonds to cool before enjoying this tasty treat!

Nuts About Almonds

There are many kinds of nuts in the world – peanuts, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, cashews, pecans, etc. – but today we’re talking about almonds!

Most of the world’s almonds come from California – over 80%! There are over a half million acres of almond farms across the state of California. That’s a lot of almonds! Even though most almonds are grown in California, people all over the world enjoy this tasty nut. 🌎😋

Almonds are tasty in their simple nut form but almonds have taken on many forms over the past years. At the grocery store you may have seen almond milk, almond butter, almond flour, or even almond oil. Have you ever tried one of these products before?

You may have guessed that almonds are a good source of protein since we’ve been focusing on protein this month. Approximately 1 oz of almonds provides 6 grams of protein – that’s pretty good!

Almonds are a good source of many other nutrients, as well. The list below contains some nutrients you receive by eating almonds:

  • Vitamin E: help prevent cell damage and support immune system
  • Magnesium: needed for proper muscle and nerve function.
  • Manganese: needed for converting food to energy and for healthy bones
  • Fiber: helps your gut and blood sugar levels stay happy
  • Unsaturated fat: this type of fat is better for your heart❤️

A handful of plain almonds makes a perfect snack but what else do you do with almonds besides eat them plain???

Here are some ideas:

  • Sprinkle slivered almonds on a salad or on roasted veggies
  • Use almond butter the same as you would use peanut butter
  • Many baked good use almonds
  • Use slivered almonds to decorate cakes or pies
  • Roast raw almonds with your favorite seasonings
  • Instead of peanut brittle, how about almond brittle?
  • Sprinkle slivered almonds on ice cream

How do you like to eat almonds?

There are more the two dozen varieties of almonds but most almonds falls with three main categories. These categories include:

  • Nonpareil: have a thin skin which is easily removed – often slivered, chopped, or halved.
  • California: often used in manufactured products like almond flour.
  • Mission: the skin is darker than the other varieties and absorbs different flavors well

Information for this past came from almonds.com and medlineplus.gov

Protein for Teen Athletes

Everybody needs adequate protein but for those of you who are athletic, a little extra protein can help with muscle strength.

Exercise causes muscle cells to breakdown, protein from foods aids in repairing muscle damage from exercise. This process leads to the growth of more muscle and strength.

Here’s the thing, athletes don’t need to drink a glass of raw eggs every morning or stock up on protein powders. Athletes can get the extra protein they need from normal foods in the pantry or fridge. Some examples of high protein foods include: chicken, fish, peanut butter, greek yogurt/regular yogurt, beans, cheese, and much more.

Eating too much protein can also be a problem. Sometimes people think the more protein, the better, but this isn’t true. Too much protein may even cause the kidneys to be overworked and lead to dehydration.

So how much protein is enough?? The amount of protein you need depends on age, weight, and gender, however, a good rule of thumb is 0.45-0.6 grams of protein per lb. of body weight. For instance, if you weigh 115 lbs. you would want to aim for about 50-70 grams protein/day. Non-athletes should aim for 0.3-0.4 grams protein per lb. of body weight per day.

My advice: don’t get caught up in the numbers! Food should be enjoyed, it shouldn’t feel like math homework. Listening to your body’s hunger cues and eating whole, nutritious foods will be more helpful in the long-run.

For more information about protein for athletes, click here.

Information from this post from eatright.org/fitness

You are the ‘Peanut’ to my ‘Butter’

Remember this post? It’s from over a year ago but it highlights an excellent source of protein – peanut butter! 🥜🥜🥜

Peanut butter was likely made by Myan Indians many years ago, but the first time it was introduced to the United States was at the St Louis World Fair in 1904. A physician had developed peanut butter as a healthy protein that could be given to people who couldn’t chew very well. Later, soldiers during World War 2 used peanut butter as a protein source when meat was scarce.

Nowadays kids, teens, parents, and the elderly all share a love for that creamy (or crunchy) delight. In fact, it is estimated that the average American eats 6 pounds of peanut product each year!

Did you know? It takes 540 peanuts to make a 12- ounce jar of peanut butter! That’s a lot of peanuts!

Quick Tip: Look at the ingredient label at the grocery store with your parents. Some companies like to add a lot of sugar and additives, but it is better to find a peanut butter with an ingredient list showing: “Peanuts” or “Peanuts, and salt”, as the ingredients.

Peanuts (and several other nuts) are:

  • Full of protein– Peanut butter is a great plant based protein that is easy to add to recipes and snacks to help build muscle and other tissues in your body. 2 Tb of peanut butter has the same amount of protein as a whole cup of milk!
  • Fiber: If you aren’t getting enough fiber in your diet, you might want to reassess! Fiber keeps your gut healthy and strong so that your body digests foods easier. It also keeps your heart healthy, and can help prevent diseases such as heart disease and colon cancer.
  • Healthy fats- Believe it or not there are good and bad fats! The worst fat (one that you want to avoid completely) is trans fat. Saturated fat is another one that is not as good for your and should be limited in your diet. On the other hand, unsaturated fats can help with your body’s metabolism, and peanut butter has more than double the unsaturated fats than saturated!
  • A healthy source of calories but be careful of overdoing it! Remember how there are 540 peanuts in 12 ounces of peanut butter? That makes this treat pretty high in calories (2 Tb is about 190 calories)
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Peanuts have several vitamins and minerals including biotin, manganese niacin, folate, vitamin E, copper, and thiamine.

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We have all tried the classic PB & J but here are some other healthy ways to try Peanut Butter:

  • Add 1-2 Tb in a smoothie
  • Make a peanut butter and fruit sandwich (use apple slices, banana slices, or any other whole fruit that you like)
  • Use as a dip for fruits and veggies
  • Make oatmeal peanut butter energy balls for an easy snack to grab on the go (look for the recipe this week)
  • Use to make a peanut sauce for pasta dishes
  • Put in parfaits
  • Put on oatmeal

What is your favorite way to eat peanut butter?

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There really isn’t a wide variety of peanut butter types (aside from smooth and crunchy), but if you want to try some other nut or seed butters here are a few:

  • Almond butter
  • Soynut butter
  • Cashew butter
  • Sunflower seed butter
  • Hazelnut butter

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Nutty Fruit Dip
Peanut Butter Energy Bites