Rhubarb Yogurt Parfait

You better start sending out brunch invites to your friends and family because we’re celebrating National Dairy Month and National Fruit and Vegetable Month with Rhubarb Yogurt Parfaits!

That’s right – June is National Dairy Month and National Fruit and Vegetable Month, woohoo!

There’s a surprise at the end of this recipe so make sure you read the whole blog post!

For this recipe, you’ll need rhubarb, sugar, water, yogurt, and granola.

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Chop the rhubarb into small pieces, then place in a small saucepan with water and sugar. Heat until it becomes a thickened sauce.

Grab an empty jar or container. Build the parfait by first filling the jar with yogurt, followed by granola, then rhubarb sauce – repeat!

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Bon appetite! Enjoy your tasty rhubarb parfait. 🙂

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You can buy granola or follow the directions for homemade granola in the recipe below.

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BUT WAIT….there’s more!

If you have extra rhubarb leftover or just love cooking with rhubarb – here’s a bonus recipe. Surprise! 🙂

Rhubarb Candy Twists!

All you need is rhubarb, sugar, and water! Preheat oven to 200ºF20180613_092703.jpg

Use a vegetable peeler or a knife to thinly slice the rhubarb.20180613_092950.jpg

In a small saucepan, stir water and sugar together over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and lightly spray with nonstick spray. Place strips of rhubarb in the sugar/water mixture then place on the baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes.

After the rhubarb is done baking, twist the strips into spirals. 20180613_110233.jpg

Give the spirals a minute to set and then enjoy your tasty snack!

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Recipe adapted from tikkido.com

Woo-hoo it’s Rhubarb!

Since rhubarb is often sweetened with sugar and has a pinkish red color, you may think it’s a fruit but it is actually a vegetable! Have you ever tried rhubarb? It is not the most common vegetable around but that just makes it more exciting to learn about. 🙂 rhubarb-1350969_640

Rhubarb looks like celery but is bright red with big green leaves at the top. Rhubarb can be more of a green color with hints of red.

It also has a very tart flavor which is why it is usually cooked with sugar and/or other sweet fruits.

In ancient China, rhubarb was used for medicine. It was so highly prized that people would give it as a gift to the emperor. It must have been some good medicine!

This is a great time of year to find rhubarb at the farmers market! When picking out rhubarb, make sure the it is firm and not bendy. Don’t eat the leaves! The leaves contain a poisonous substance that you definitely don’t want to eat.

 

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Like other fruits and vegetables, rhubarb has a lot of nutrients that make your body happy! Below is a few of the main nutrients found in rhubarb.

Vitamin C: important for skin and bones, also helps the body heal.

Calcium: keeps teeth and bones healthy.

Potassium: helps nerves and muscles work correctly.

Fiber: helps the digestive system stay healthy.

 

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The real question is – what in the world do you do with rhubarb?? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Use it in baked goods (there are a lot of recipes online)
    • Pies
    • Muffins
    • Crumble
    • Cobbler
    • Cake
  • Make rhubarb jam
  • Chop it up and use it in homemade ice cream
  • Sprinkle with brown sugar and roast in the oven
  • Use as a salad topping
  • Eat it raw with a little honey

 

varieties

Timperley Early: As the name suggests, this variety of Rhubarb grows earlier than the rest.

Victoria: This variety grows fairly long and is a lavender pink color.

Glaskins Perpetual: This type of rhubarb has bright red stalks that are juicy and hold flavor well.

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recipes

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Rhubarb Yogurt Parfait
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Rhubarb Candy Twists (2nd recipe on page)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Information came from eatwellutah.org, medline.gov, extension.usu.edu

 

 

 

Fun Under the Summer Sun!

sun-47083_640.pngSchool is over and the sun is out!! Does life get any better? Now that you’ve got a little bit more time on your hands – what fun things are you going to do?

Summer always provide a lot of opportunities to be physically active. No matter what fun activities you do this summer, make sure to keep your body moving!

In case you run out of fun ideas or start feeling a little bored, we have got you covered!. Below is a list of fun activities for each month. Click on the activity page for a larger, printable version.

What sounds like the most fun to you??

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Have fun!

Broccoli Bites

Maybe you love broccoli or maybe it’s your least favorite vegetable, either way, you will definitely like this recipe! It is easy, cheesy, and nutritious. 😉

In the last blog post we learned that broccoli is very nutritious – make sure to check it out if you haven’t read it already. This recipe makes it easy to add broccoli to your day!

For this recipe you will need, steamed broccoli, whole wheat bread crumbs, shredded cheese, eggs, garlic powder, oregano, and basil. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

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Blend all the ingredients in a food processor or blender.

 

Time to get a little messy! Use your hand to roll the blended ingredients into 2 inch balls. Place on a lightly greased baking pan.

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Press down slightly on each broccoli ball so they are a disc shape.

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, after that, flip the broccoli bites over and bake for another 10 minutes. The bites will have a slight crisp and will taste great!

 

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Do you like ketchup? Try dipping these in ketchup or another dip you like.

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Enjoy!

Let’s Brocc’n’Roll with Broccoli!

e707ca936f06874de2b42c1b5f40c8f6-e1528122484864.pngHave you been told “You have to finish your broccoli before you can leave the dinner table”? Its not the phrase you want to hear when there is something more interesting than dinner going on.

Today were going to learn about why broccoli is a vegetable you don’t want to skip out on. If you don’t believe me, keep reading!

Before we talk about the benefits and uses of broccoli, here are a few facts about it:

  • Broccoli is harvested in the spring and fall.
  • Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family.
  • When selecting broccoli at the store, make sure it is dark or bright green and that the top is firm and tightly bunched.
  • If you have broccoli in a garden, cut the top of the broccoli off so that the bottom of the stem is still planted in the ground. The stem will grow more broccoli florets, even though you already chopped the top off!

 

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Part of the reason you get told to “finish your broccoli”, is because broccoli is a powerhouse of nutrients! You may still need to be convinced on why you should eat broccoli, but your body loves broccoli. Here are some of the great nutrients in broccoli:

Vitamin C: important for skin, tissue, bones, and healing.

Vitamin A: helps with good vision and bone health.

Fiber: important for good digestion.

Folate: helps make new cells.

Sulforaphane: this nutrient is only found in plants. Research suggests that it can reduce cancer risk!

 

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If you want the benefits of eating broccoli but you’re not a big fan of the flavor – try one of the ideas below!

  • Bake your broccoli! Sprinkle it with a little olive oil and shredded cheese then put it in a 425ºF  oven for 15-20 minutes.
  • Add it to a salad
  • Add it to a pasta
  • Put it in a stir-fry
  • Use it as a pizza topping
  • Add it to an omelet
  • Eat it raw with some hummus

Can you think of other tasty ways to eat broccoli??

 

varieties

 

 

 

Sprouting broccoli: this is the kind you most often see at the grocery store. It is also known as Calabrese.

Broccolini: this is a combination of broccoli and kale. It has a long stalk with small florets on top.

Broccoflower: this type is a cross between broccoli and cauliflower – it is a light green color.

Broccoli sprouts: a small sprout with small leafy green tips – sometimes put in salads or sandwiches.

 

recipes

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Broccoli Bites

 

Information came from medlineplus.gov, msuextension.org, panen.org

Gardens are Great

Have you ever eaten a fruit or vegetable that you grew in a garden? It is a lot of fun to watch a plant grow from a seed to something you can actually eat! Today we’re going to learn a little bit about growing a garden.

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You may think of gardening as a something that looks like the picture to the right. A plot of dirt, like the picture, is a great place for garden but you don’t need this much space to start a garden. If you don’t have a big backyard, there is no need to worry!

You can plant vegetables and fruit in pots, buckets, or wherever there’s space, dirt, and sunlight!

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 put your plants.
  • 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.

 

Today we’re going to keep it simple by learning how to grow tomatoes in a pot. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you grow some fantastic tomatoes:

Step 1: Don’t plant until the weather is warm enough. If the lowest temperature at night is about 50º F your tomatoes will be happy.

Step 2: Pick a good pot.  The pot should be sturdy and big enough for the roots to spread out. Make sure that there is at least one hole on the bottom for water drainage.

herb-817486_640Step 3: Fill your pot with the right soil. Potting soil works best for tomatoes, you can find it at stores with a garden center.

Step 4: Plant the tomatoes. Instead of planting tomato seeds, make it easier by planting a tomato seedling – this means it has been growing for a few weeks. By doing this, you get a head start and avoid the tricky beginning stages of growing tomatoes.

agriculture-blurred-background-close-up-965740-e1527871561164.jpgStep 5: Give the plant sunlight and water. Tomatoes will grow their best if they get at least 8 hours of sunlight each day. Wait till the top layer of soil has dried before giving the plant more water.

Step 6: Use a stake to support the plant. If the tomato plant has a wired cage around it, it won’t fall over as it grows.

Step 7: Pick and eat when ready. When the tomatoes are the right color, pick them off the plant and enjoy!

For more detailed steps and images, click here.

 

Do you feel ready to plant your own tomatoes?? Grab your whole family to help! With your family’s help you may find yourself planting more than tomatoes!

What fruits or vegetables do you want to grow?

Have fun!

Poll!

What’s in Season?

activity_8.jpgDo you have a fruit/vegetable garden at your house, school, or community? If you do, put your hands in the air and say “woot woot!” – if you help work on the garden do an extra “woot”. Having a garden helps us eat foods that are fresh and nutritious.

The time when a fruit or vegetable is ready to be picked and eaten is the time it is considered to be “in season”. Each week for the next couple of months, we will learn about a fruit or vegetable that is currently in season.

For anyone who doesn’t have a garden nearby, don’t worry! You can still get the fruits and veggies that we’ll learn about from the grocery store or the farmers market.

shopping_8.jpgAlso, be on the watch for another blog post this week about how to start your own small garden.

If you’re thinking “I don’t really like vegetables or fruit”, be prepared for some recipes that will change your mind! It’s going to be a fun summer learning about and tasting lots of yummy and fresh fruits and vegetables.

 

Are you ready for a summer full of fresh fruits and vegetables? If the answer is yes, put your hands in the air and do another “woot woot!”.

Veggie Omelet Muffins

Have you thought about going to the farmers market after the last blog post? Well today’s recipe, Veggie Omelet Muffins, uses ingredients that you can find at the farmers market!

Depending on where you live some of the ingredients might not be available yet but that isn’t a problem for this recipe. You can get creative and add any tasty vegetable you find at the farmers market!

Let’s get started. First gather the ingredients – you’ll need eggs, bell pepper, corn, carrots, shredded cheese, and a little salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 375ºF.

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Chop the bell pepper, shred the carrots, and cut the corn off the cob. Mix together in a bowl.

Spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray. Add 3 tbsp. of veggie mixture into the muffin tins.

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In a bowl, mix eggs, cheese, salt, and pepper.

Add egg mixture to the muffin tin.

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Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.20180522_120138.jpg

Voila! Enjoy these tasty veggie omelet muffins!

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What different veggies would you use in this recipe? Here are a few ideas:

  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Mushrooms
  • Broccoli

 

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Fun at the Farmers Market

Do you like fresh fruit and vegetables? Free samples? Locally made goods? Do you like having a good time?

If the answer is yes to any of those questions, visit your local farmers market! Going to the farmers market is a win-win situation – you have a good time and the local community is supported.

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Here are a few reasons why the farmers market is great:

  • Fruits and vegetables taste better when you buy them from the farmerProduce often travels 1,000+ miles to get to the grocery store – over this time, fruits and vegetables lose some of their fresh, delicious taste.
  • The Earth will thank youWhen food doesn’t have to travel so far to be sold, less pollution is released into the environment.
  • People who go to the farmers market tend to eat more fruits and vegetables. As we know, eating fruits and vegetables is important for good health.
  • You can learn a lot from the farmers. The farmers can give you recommendations on how to use the produce they are selling. You can also ask about how, where, and when their fruits/vegetables are grown.
  • New fruits and vegetables to try! You might just find your new favorite fruit or vegetable at the farmers market – sometimes there are even free samples to try 🙂

 

For a little extra fun try the farmers market scavenger hunt! Get your family involved and make it a competition. Click here for a printable version.

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If you’re a little younger or have young siblings, click here for a kids version of the scavenger hunt.

 

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There are a lot of recipes on this website that incorporate fruits and vegetables you can find at the farmers market! Find a recipe that sounds tasty, then see if you can find some of the ingredients at the farmers market.

Today we have talked about fruits and vegetables but you can find all sorts of things at the farmers market – fresh eggs, honey, dairy foods, artwork, tasty snacks and more!

 

Not sure where to find the closest farmers market? Type in your zip code at this website: https://www.ams.usda.gov/local-food-directories/farmersmarkets

 

Information for this post came from nutrition.gov and farmersmarketcoalition.org