Smashed Chickpea Dip

In our last post, we learned a little bit about beans. Now, let’s put that knowledge to use! The beans we are using to day are chickpeas. Chickpeas are also called garbanzo beans. You can find canned chickpeas next to your other common beans in the store such as black beans and pinto beans. Let’s look at the complete list of ingredients you will need to gather:

  • Canned chickpeas
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Water

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Our first step will be to peel the chickpeas. The outer covering is completely edible and you may choose to leave it on, but peeling the chickpeas makes them easier to mash and will give you a smoother finished product. Peeling a chickpea can be done by simply pinching one end, the outer covering should pop right off.

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Next, add 1/3 cup water, 2 Tablespoons olive oil, and a dash of salt and pepper to your chickpeas. Then, start mashing! If you you want to mash by hand, use a combination of a whisk and a fork.

Mashing by hand, we were able to get our beans to this texture:

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If you are wanting a smoother bean dip and have access to a food processor or blender, use those appliances to mix until smooth.

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It’s just that simple! You now have a Smashed Chickpea Dip to use on just about anything. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Spread this on your sandwich bread instead of mayo
  • Dip carrot sticks or other veggies in this instead of ranch
  • Spread on a tortilla and fill with vegetables for a fresh wrap
  • Use as a dip for crackers and top with chopped vegetables

These are not the only options, come up with your own creations! Here is how ours turned out:

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This recipe is incredibly fast and easy. It is simple enough that it leaves room for a lot of creating. If you would like to be creative, try using different spices or beans.

Smashed Chickpea Dip

Happy Creating!

– Kids Create Team

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Knife Skills: Slice and Dice an Onion

Hey Creators!

Today we are taking a look at something all chefs, kids and adults, need to know. In many recipes we need to use knives to chop, slice, and dice. With a little bit of knowledge, knives can go from scary to safe. We will go over basics of using a knife called a chef’s knife, then take a look at how to dice an onion like a pro!

A chef’s knife is a common knife to find in the kitchen, and can be used for many different things. A chef’s knife looks like this:

However, if you don’t have a chef’s knife at your house, what we are learning can work with other knives too.

First, let’s learn how to grip the knife. To watch a short 1-minute video explaining this, click here.

Now that we know how to hold the knife, let’s use the knife to dice an onion. IMG_1814

First, cut the onion in half as pictured:

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Next, cut off the ends and peel the dry, papery layers off of the onion.

Create Tip: Have a garbage bowl out on your table. It will make things much easier and less messy.

Now, using your knife, cut the onion into strips, but don’t cut all the way through to the end.

Next, slice the onion in the opposite direction in thin strips. With the hand that isn’t holding the knife, remember to curl your fingers so your knuckles are closest to the knife as shown in the video.

Repeat with the other half, and just like that, your onion is diced! From here, the possibilities are endless. To used your diced onion to make a simple salsa, click here.

When it comes to knife skills, practice makes perfect. As you practice, using a knife in the kitchen will become much easier and take less time.

This week, try using your new skills by finding a recipe that includes a diced onion, or create your own.

Happy Creating!

– Kids Create Team

Bread Baking Basics

Baking bread can be a breeze! Today’s recipe shows that you don’t have to have an entire day set aside to make a loaf of homemade bread. Baking bread is a very hands-on activity, and a lot of fun. To make it even better, this bread is made with whole wheat flour which gives us much more nutrients than a white bread would. All of the ingredients you will need are common, and if they are not in your house already, are very inexpensive to buy. Here is our ingredient list:

  • whole wheat flour (I prefer white whole wheat flour, it makes for a smoother bread)
  • sugar
  • salt
  • active dry yeast
  • warm water
  • 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch bread pan

IMG_2403Now, let’s dive into making this dough.

First, mix the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in a large mixing bowl.

IMG_2419Next, pour the warm water into your mixture, then mix with your hands until there is a combined dough. Then, create a floured surface on a clean counter or table.

IMG_2421Knead the dough on the floured surface until you have reached a smooth dough that is just barely sticky. For a simple video on how to knead dough, click here.

Create Tip: Prepare to get messy! Remember to wash your hands well before you touch anything, and prepare for you hands to get covered in dough.

IMG_2423Once the dough is combined, it should be slightly sticky, but not too sticky. Form it into a ball in your mixing bowl, then cover with plastic wrap, and put it aside for 20-30 minutes. Now would be a great time to preheat the oven to 400° F.

Create Tip: Spray the bottom side of the plastic wrap with cooking spray to keep the risen dough from sticking to it.

IMG_2444After 20-30 minutes, the dough should definitely look larger because the yeast has done its job.

Grab your bread pan and spray the inside with cooking spray. Without squeezing it the dough too hard, carefully remove it and transfer it to a bread pan.

IMG_2450Place in the preheated oven, and let bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the loaf sounds hollow.

Create Tip: We checked our bread as early as 15 minutes. It is better to check early than overcook your bread.

When your loaf is baked, take out of the oven and crEATe!

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IMG_2439Use the recipe below to easily follow along:BasicWholeWheatBread_BreadHappy Creating!

– Kids Create Team

3-Ingredient Banana Pancakes

Good morning, creators! If it’s not morning when you’re reading this, don’t worry. These pancakes are so incredibly easy and delicious that you will want to make them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is likely that you already have all of the ingredients you need in the house. These pancakes are not only easy, but also healthy. the ingredients skip a lot of fat, added sugar, and refined grains that most pancakes have. We love this recipe, and we hope you will too. Let’s get started.

You will need:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1 large egg

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Now that you have your ingredients, you are only a few steps away from eating your pancakes.

(1) Mash your banana with a fork until it is almost smooth. The more ripe your banana, the easier it will be to mash and the more flavor it will have.

(2) Crack your egg into a small bowl and beat with a fork. Then mix the egg into the mashed banana.

(3) Add 2 1/2 Tablespoons whole wheat flour to to the mix. Mix the three ingredients together, and you have your batter.

(4) Heat an electric skillet or a simple frying pan on the stove to medium-low heat, and spray the surface with cooking spray.

Create Tip: Every stove is different. If the first pancake cooks too fast, turn down the heat for the next one!

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(5) Pour about 1/4 cup batter onto your cooking surface, and flip when one side is cooked.

Create Tip: A great way to test doneness is to use a flat spatula. Once you can scoop under the pancake without sticking to the pan, it is time to flip.

(6) Remove from skillet and top with your favorite toppings! This is where you can get creative. We have included some of our favorite combinations below:

Happy Creating!

– Kids Create Team

Be Brave! (Build Variety)

Is it bad to be a picky eater? Here’s the deal. Every food has different nutrients in it. If we eat a lot of different foods, we get a lot of different nutrients. If we eat the same foods over and over, we may get a lot of some nutrients and be missing out on others. It is important to eat a lot of different foods, and continue to try new foods. The word to describe this is variety. When we have variety in what we eat, we we are giving our body many different nutrients it needs to do its job. If you are picky eater, don’t worry! That doesn’t have to last forever. Keep being brave when it comes to trying new foods. It has been found that it can take about 12 times of eating a food until we start liking it. So if at first you don’t like a food, Keep trying! Being brave with food is the way to a diet full of variety and a healthy body and happy tummy.

Which of these meals looks like it has variety?

If you chose the first picture, you’re right! Different kinds of foods means more variety. To have more variety in what you eat this week, BE BRAVE! Try one food you have never tried, or you didn’t like the first time you tried. Creating a diet full of variety can be exciting and fun.

Happy Creating!

Art + Eat: Greek Yogurt Finger Painting

Who likes painting? Who likes snacking? Today’s post combines two of the world’s most wonderful activities! Greek yogurt finger painting is both a fun activity, and a colorful, nutritious snack. You will only need two ingredients:

  1. White Greek yogurt (plain, vanilla, honey, or coconut)
  2. Food Coloring (a pack of 4 colors should only cost around $1.50)

To start, separate your yogurt into separate bowls, however many colors you would like to create. If you are painting with friends, make sure you each have your own bowl of each color so you don’t share germs.

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Next, create your color palette. We used about 3 drops of coloring for one cup of yogurt. the more coloring you use, the darker the color.

Create Tip:  There are endless possibilities when mixing colors. Experiment with mixing and create your favorite!

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Once your colors are mixed well, it is time to create your canvas to paint on. You could use simple sheets of paper, or for a bigger canvas, try covering your entire table or counter with plastic wrap. Again, if you are paining with friends, make sure to have a separate sheet of paper for everyone.

The next step is very important, especially for finger painting…WASH YOUR HANDS. In order to make sure your hands are as clean as can be, wash them for at least 20 seconds.

Create Tip: Try singing the ABC song as you wash, and when the song is done you can be done too.

Once your paintbrushes (fingers) are squeaky clean, paint away!

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The great thing about having clean hands and not sharing paint or paper with anyone is…you can lick your fingers! When you’re needing to switch colors, just lick your fingers and start using your new color. Double dipping is okay if you aren’t sharing.

Now would be a great time to eat yogurt with your hands…when else would your parents let you do that?? This finger painting is a fun way to get messy and eat messy, but make sure you keep the space other than your fingers and painting space clean.

Have extra paint? Try topping your yogurt with granola, fruit, or your favorite cereal for a colorful snack. If you want to get creative and make homemade granola, there is a simple recipe here:

We hope you enjoy this fun Art + Eat.

Happy Creating!

– Kids Create Team

Simple Salsa

One simple way to make your food more nutritious  is to make something homemade that you would normally eat canned. Today we are making a salsa fresca, also known as pico de gallo. The challenge is to swap this out for canned salsa.

First, the grocery list to give to your parents:

  • 4 roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1/2 lime (or lime juice)

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Now, let’s do some chopping. First, wash your tomatoes off in the sink, then cut the cores out.

Next, cut your tomatoes in half from the top where you just cut, to the bottom.

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After they are halved, we are going to gut the tomatoes. Never gutted a tomato before? This just means to remove all of the extra juices so our salsa doesn’t end up soupy.

Take the tomato half and also get a bowl to put the guts in. Use your finger to scoop out the more juicy inside of the tomato that has the seeds out into your bowl. It should end up looking something like this:

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After all tomatoes are gutted, chop the four tomatoes and 1/2 the yellow onion into small pieces.

Create Tip: Not sure of the best way to cut an onion? Stay tuned for a new post in coming weeks…

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Pour both into a bowl and mix. Next, grab a large handful of cilantro.

Create tip: If you want a strong cilantro flavor, you can use some stems. If you want the flavor to be more mild, only use the leaves! 

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We are now going to chop the cilantro. Follow these three steps to make the chopping easier:

  1. Wash the handful of cilantro under cold water
  2. Squeeze as much liquid out of the cilantro as possible
  3. While keeping the cilantro in a tightly packed ball on the cutting board, cut into small pieces.

Mix your chopped cilantro in with the other ingredients.

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Now, for some fresh lime! Slice your lime into four wedges. Squeeze all of the juice from two of those wedges (1/2 lime) into your mixture.

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The finishing touch to bring out the flavor in our fresh salsa is salt. We used a 1/4 teaspoon.

Create tip: Because most of us get too much salt in our diet, only add as much as you need for flavor. Start with a small sprinkle, and slowly add until the taste is where you want it to be.

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Mix in your salt and lime juice. Taste test with a tortilla chip, and feel free to add more of an ingredient if you think it needs it.

Create Tip: If you would like a spicy salsa try adding some serrano and jalapeño pepper.

After that, crEATe!

Here are a few ideas for eating this simple salsa. Try using it wherever you would use canned salsa.

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Simple salsa with corn tortilla chips is a fresh summer snack.
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Simple salsa served with scrambled eggs and black beans is perfect for breakfast.
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Simple salsa in a bean burrito is a great meal on-the-go.

Happy Creating!

– Kids Create Team

The Best Spinach You Never Tasted

You’ve probably heard how healthy dark green vegetables are. This is because most dark leafy greens have a lot of Vitamins A, C, E, K, and folate. These are all important to keep our body working at its best. Instead of only eating them alone, it helps to think of creative ways to fit them into our meals. This week’s recipe is one of the simplest ways to eat more spinach, and to add it to a meal without even tasting it. Who’s ready for Eggs Gone Green??

First, what you’ll need:

  • eggs
  • spinach
  • green bell pepper
  • green onions
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • oil cooking spray

IMG_1469Keep in mind that the only ingredients you need to have are eggs and spinach, but this combinations is what we have found to taste the best.

First, chop your bell pepper and green onions into small pieces.

img_1478.jpgNext, crack as many eggs as you would like to cook in a blender. Then add spinach. We have found that 1/8 cup of tightly packed spinach for every 2 eggs is a good amount. This means…

2 eggs = 1/8 tightly packed spinach

4 eggs = 1/4 tightly packed spinach

8 eggs = 1/2 tightly packed spinach

You don’t need to measure spinach if you don’t want to, but too much spinach could change the texture.

Blend until chunks of spinach are smaller than grains of rice. This should only be about 5 seconds, or 5 pulses.

IMG_1472.jpgCreate Tip: Place the eggs closer to the blender blade and spinach further away. This will help it to blend faster.

Next, coat a frying pan with oil cooking spray, then heat over medium heat. Once the pan is warm, add the bell peppers.

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Stir the bell peppers with a wooden spoon until they are soft and starting to turn brown. Then, add your blended spinach and eggs. Right after pouring in the egg mixture, add a little bit of salt and pepper. Stir slowly until eggs until they are no longer runny.

Create tip: Turn heat on low when cooking scrambled eggs. It will make them less rubbery and more fluffy!

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Plate your eggs, then garnish with green onions. To garnish means to decorate a food dish with a topping that can contribute to the taste and look of the dish.

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These eggs have flavor on their own (especially with bell peppers and green onions) but feel free to try your favorite dipping sauces. Possible options include:

  • Salsa
  • Green salsa verde sauce
  • Ketchup
  • 1/2 ketchup, 1/2 hot sauce mixed together (pictured below)

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After about only 10 minutes of prep and cooking, you’re ready to crEATe!

To simply this meal in one simple line, here it is: Blend eggs and spinach together and cook in a oiled frying pan. Enjoy your Eggs Gone Green, a simple combination that is full of nutrients, inexpensive to make, and tastes good too.

Happy Creating!

– Kids Create Team

The Mediterranean Burrito

Many of you have had a classic bean and cheese burrito originating from Mexico. All the fillings wrapped up snug in a tortilla, it is always a favorite. Today’s recipe is the burrito with a Mediterranean twist. Mediterranean means coming from the area surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, such as southern France, Italy, and Greece.

Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 10.37.29 PMThis a perfect summer meal to prepare either together as a family, or by yourself. There is no cooking, only some vegetable chopping.

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Let’s start with ingredients to gather. Most of these are common foods, but you may need to put a few things on your parents’ grocery list for next time they go to the store.

IMG_1345You will need:

  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Feta cheese
  • Spices (Use what you have, but these work best)
    • Oregano
    • Ground coriander
    • Cayenne pepper
    • Onion Powder
    • Garlic Powder
  • Whole wheat tortillas
  • Vegetables (Use your favorites, this is what we used)
    • Spinach
    • Carrot
    • Tomato
    • Cucumber
    • Red onion
  • A can of garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas)

IMG_1351First we are going to make the creamy, cheesy spread that gives the veggies all of their flavor. To do this, mix together 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup feta cheese, and 1/4 teaspoon of each spice. Create tip: This recipe makes enough spread for 4 burritos. Ask your parents if you need help changing the recipe to make more or less at a time.

Next, chop up your vegetables. In our case, the carrot, tomato, cucumber, and red onion. We peeled our large carrot with a peeler, and used the shavings. it makes for a nice thin crunch! Create Tip: When choosing vegetables, pick a lot of different colors. Different colors mean different nutrients that help your body to keep doing its best.

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Now it’s time to start filling the burrito. Smear the feta spread across the middle of your tortilla, then pile on the vegetables!

Top the vegetables with some garbanzo beans. These beans and the Greek yogurt are the main sources of protein of the meal, which makes this meal filling even without meat. By now you should have a crisp colorful mountain of flavor on your tortilla.

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And now, a short lesson on burrito folding. Take the short ends of the tortilla, and fold them in. Tuck one long end across and around the toppings, then continue folding to wrap the deliciousness safely in its whole grain packet.

Next up, crEATe!

Here is the recipe all in one place to look back on, but as always, get creative. Feel free to try out different spice and vegetable combinations, and let us know how it goes by commenting on this post. Happy Creating!

– Kids Create Team

THE MEDITERRANEAN BURRITO

Nutty Crunch Fruit Dip

 

Today’s recipe is quick, crunchy, and delicious! Keep reading for a simple creation that can be used as a colorful breakfast, or filling summer snack.

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You will need four ingredients…

IMG_12101. NUTS. Any nuts will do, our favorites are almonds and walnuts. Nuts are packed with protein, which means they keep you feeling full and ready to take on whatever summer fun comes your way.

IMG_12202. YOGURT. We suggest Greek yogurt, which has about twice the amount of protein as normal yogurt. Again, making sure this snack fills your tummy all the way up! Plain or vanilla yogurt are the flavors we chose.

IMG_12243. NUT BUTTER. Peanut butter is what you probably already have in your kitchen, which is great! Create Tip: Try finding a natural peanut butter, where the only ingredient listed on the back of the jar is “peanuts”. If you feel like being creative, try this dip with almond butter.

4. FRUIT. Pick your favorite fruits to dip! We used apples, oranges, and bananas, because they are usually the cheapest. It won’t be hard to convince your parents to buy these. They are healthy and inexpensive.

Now that you have your four ingredients ready, let’s create!

  1. MIX one or two big spoonfuls of peanut butter (about 1/8 cup) into a single-serving container of Greek yogurt.

2. CHOP nuts into small chunks.

IMG_12533. SPRINKLE chopped nuts onto yogurt and nut butter mixture.

IMG_12664. SLICE up all of your fruit.

IMG_12705. crEATe!

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Keep things exciting and try something new every time you make this. Different fruits, yogurt flavors, and nuts can all make something deliciously unique. Happy Creating!

– Kids Create Team