Dip it, Dunk it, Eat it! // Cool Cucumber Dip

One of my favorite ways to eat raw vegetables is dunked in a flavorful dip! Making your own dip is easy and fun….let’s get started!

First, gather your ingredients. You’ll need garlic, dill, salt, lemon juice, and plain non-fat Greek yogurt. Using non-fat yogurt instead of mayonnaise makes this dip a healthier choice than what you’ll find at the store.

Dump all the ingredients in a bowl or liquid measuring cup.

Stir to combine, and you’re practically finished! The only thing left to do is to slice the cucumber.

Feel free to cut your cucumber however you like, but here are some step-by-step instructions for slicing cucumber spears.

  • Step 1: Using a vegetable peeler, peel stripes on your cucumber.
  • Step 2: Cut both ends off your cucumber.
  • Step 3: Slice the cucumber in half both ways – first the long way, and then the short way.
  • Step 4: Slice each cucumber section in half and….
  • Step 5: Slice each cucumber section in half again! You should have 16 spears total.

Dunk spears into your prepared dip. Try dipping other vegetables too – like carrots, radishes, or celery!

Enjoy!

Freezing Fruits and Veggies // Broccoli Pesto Pasta

Did you know frozen fruits and vegetables are just as healthy as fresh fruits and vegetables? They can taste just as good too!

Freezing fruits and vegetables allows you to enjoy fresh produce all year long, even when they aren’t in season. It’s smart to save excess produce from the farmers market, garden, or store in your freezer.

The trick to freezing fruits and vegetables is blanching. Blanching is a simple process that helps fruits and vegetables stay fresh for longer periods of time. This video gives a quick demonstration of the blanching process.

Different fruits and vegetables require different amounts of cooking time. Use this handout as a guide to know how long each fruit or vegetable should be placed in the boiling water.

Broccoli is a great vegetable to use – fresh or frozen! We made some Broccoli Pesto Pasta using frozen broccoli. This was one of my favorite recipes as a kid – even though the sauce is green, its very tasty and doesn’t take long to make!

We’ll need pasta, broccoli, Parmesan cheese, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, and a bouillon cube.

After cooking the broccoli, place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth.

And presto! You have pasta sauce for dinner. Add to a plate of cooked pasta. Top with Parmesan, grilled chicken, or lean ground beef.

Enjoy!!

You Are What You Beet // Pink Risotto

When you visit the farmers’ market this month, you’ll likely see large bunches of beets with bright pink stalks and giant leaves! Beets are a great source of folate, potassium, fiber, and vitamin C.

Beets get their vibrant pink/red color from an antioxidant called “betalain.” Betalains help protect good cells in your body that keep you healthy! To learn more about beets, read this unbeetable post from last summer.

One of my favorite ways to eat beets is in risotto – a creamy, cheesy rice dish you’re sure to like. Because of the betalains in the beets, beet risotto turns a bright pink! How fun is that?

You’ll need a few simple ingredients to make this risotto. Brown rice, low-fat mozzarella cheese, bouillon cube, onion, beets, and chickpeas (optional).

  • Step 1: Even though the large stalks of beets are beautiful, all we need are the bulbs at the bottom. Cut the tops off and save to use in a different recipe.
  • Step 2: Peel the skin off the beets using a vegetable peeler.
  • Step 3: Slice and dice the beets into small cubes.
  • Step 4: Slice and dice onion into small pieces.
  • Step 5: In a large fry pan, cook the beets and onions over medium heat until they are soft and tender. Then add the rice.
  • Step 6: Slowly add water to the pan. You’ll add about 1/2 cup of water at a time. Stir the water, rice, and vegetables until the rice looks dry. Continue stirring and adding water until the rice is soft and tender (about 30-60 minutes).
  • Step 7: Add mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Stir into risotto until the cheese is melted.
  • Step 8: Mix in chickpeas to the risotto mixture.

Now it’s time to enjoy your masterpiece!

Happy creating!

Harvest Schedule // Kid-Approved Rhubarb Muffins

Lots of farmers markets in Utah will be selling rhubarb around this time of year! Rhubarb is a funny-looking vegetable that looks like pink celery. The stalks can be eaten plain, but most people like them best when they are baked into desserts like pies, cakes, or muffins.

Here are a couple fun facts about rhubarb!

  • While the stalks are safe to eat, rhubarb leaves are actually poisonous
  • Darker stalks are more flavorful
  • Rhubarb is a great source of fiber, potassium, and vitamins A & K

You are most likely to find fresh rhubarb during May or June. Help your mom make a shopping list that includes all the ingredients you need to make these delicious rhubarb muffins!

Use our Harvest Schedule handout to finish up your shopping list. Find a few vegetables that will be available at the farmers market this week.

Want to learn more? Check out this post from last year!

References

Fruit and Veggie Swaps // Cheesy Spinach (er…Kale!) Bites

One of the best ways to save money and get fresh food is to buy fruits and vegetables that are “in-season.” When fruits or vegetables are in-season, that means they are ready to pick and eat from the garden.

This sounds great, but what if you want to make cheesy spinach bites before your spinach has grown? Use the Fruit and Veggie Swaps Handout to find another vegetable you can use while the spinach is growing!

Today we’re using kale instead of spinach in our cheesy spinach bites!

First, gather all your ingredients. You’ll need onion, garlic, oil, eggs, low-fat cottage cheese, shredded cheese, and kale.

Next, heat up the onions and garlic in a fry pan until the onions are clear. After the onions and garlic are cooked, add them to a blender or food processor with all other ingredients. Mix until all ingredients are well combined. Spray a muffin tin. Pour batter in the tin until they’re full.

Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees.

These bites make for great on-the-go breakfast or lunch snacks. Serve with fruit or a slice of whole-wheat toast.

Enjoy!

Meet Me at the Market // 5 Delicious June Veggies

Have you ever been to a farmers’ market? Farmers’ markets are fun places where farmers can sell delicious fruits and vegetables to people like you! They usually happen at a park or other community center during the summertime.

People like shopping at farmers’ markets so they can buy fruits and vegetables that taste fresh and support the neighbors and farmers that live around them.

Sometimes you can try new fruits or vegetables that are hard to find at the store – like these purple carrots!

The fruits and vegetables sold at farmers’ markets will change every week, depending on what time of year it is. During June, you’ll want to keep your eyes out for these 5 veggies! Click on their links to learn more.

  1. Beets
  2. Broccoli
  3. Carrots
  4. Cucumbers
  5. Leafy Greens (spinach, kale, etc.)

How many vegetables will you find this month?

Raving Radish Dip // The Fun Way to Eat Your Vegetables

It’s that time of year when radishes are popping out of the ground, just waiting to be eaten! Radishes are often thought of as spicy or bitter, but turning them into a yummy dip will help mellow out those flavors.

We only need three ingredients for this dip…garlic, radishes, and low-fat cream cheese.

First, cut the tops and bottoms off of the radishes.

Next, slice each radish into four pieces. You can do this by cutting a ‘t’ shape into each of the radishes.

Place the garlic and radishes into a food processor or blender.

Pulse the food processor on high until the radishes are in tiny pieces, as shown in the picture below.

Now, add the cream cheese to the food processor. Mix until smooth.

And just like that, you’ve got yourself some radish dip!

Try eating your radish dip with whole-wheat crackers and vegetables like cucumbers, carrots, or bell peppers!

Enjoy!

Scrumptious Spaghetti Squash

spsqThis is the last week that we’ll be focusing on a seasonal fruit or vegetable. Don’t worry, there are many fun, delicious, and nutritious things in store!

To end this fun series, we’re entering the world of winter squash by learning about spaghetti squash! Can you guess why this squash is called spaghetti squash? It got the name because, when its cooked the inside becomes stringy like spaghetti.

It’s still a little bit early for spaghetti squash to be harvested. Winter squash is in season in the fall and winter. Keep an eye out for spaghetti squash at a local farmers market or at the grocery store.

When picking out a spaghetti squash, look for one that is heavy and doesn’t have any soft spots or cracks. 👍

 

healthbenefits png

 

 

Spaghetti squash will make your body happy because its tasty and nutritious! Below are some of the nutrients in spaghetti squash:

Fiber: helps with good digestion and regulating blood sugar

Vitamin C: boosts the immune system

B Vitamins: needed for the conversion of food into energy

Manganese: also needed for converting food to energy and for healthy bones

 

creativecreations

Squash your hunger with spaghetti squash! This squash is usually eaten cooked, click here to watch a short video on how to cook spaghetti squash. Here are some ideas on how to eat cooked spaghetti squash:

  • Top the squash with spaghetti sauce for spaghetti squash spaghetti!
  • Top it with any sauce that sounds good to you
  • Simply season it with your favorite spices
  • Sprinkle some cheese on it while its hot
  • Mix it with some roasted vegetables

This video will make your mouth water by showing 4 creative ways to use spaghetti squash!

 

 

varieties

 

 

 

johannes-hofmann-409389-unsplash.jpg

As mentioned, spaghetti squash is a type of winter squash. Other common types of winter squash include:

Butternut: this squash has a light tan color and is pear-shaped – it has a light, sweet flavor

Acorn: this squash has green and orange skin – it has a mild nutty flavor.

Pumpkin: everyone’s favorite squash to carve. Click here for a whole blog post about pumpkin.

 

recipes

Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti

 

Information came from medlineplus.gov, produceforkids.com, verywellfit.com

 

Peach Muffins

Peach season is a wonderful time of year! Don’t let it pass by without sinking your teeth into a delicious peach or one of these peach muffins. 🙂

Could there be a better combination than peach and muffin? I don’t think so. This recipe makes a great quick breakfast or snack.

Get this recipe started by gathering your ingredients:

Peaches

In a large bowl mix flours, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. In a different bowl mix oil, eggs, and sugar. After both mixtures have been mixed, pour the egg mixture into the bowl with the flour mixture.

muff.jpg

Mix together until ingredients are all well incorporated.

6ef515b251046061471562ff218a58de

Chop the peaches into small pieces. Mix the peaches into the batter.

Untitled design

18af965dd9ea7a6f556b0e145ee2240f

Line a muffin tray with muffin liners. Pour the batter into the muffin tray.

c82b694486a1ddf4777acc8b6942e3fc.jpeg

Bake the muffins at 400ºF for 25 minutes.

29f93b5062c9bd348d5540a785202325

Yummmmm! 😋 After cooling for 10 minutes these muffins will be ready for eating.

peachmuffin-1.jpg

The Green Bean Machine

sonja-langford-974-unsplash.jpgGreen bean, string bean, french bean, snap bean – they’re all the same thing! Why do green beans have so many names? I don’t know, but I do know that they’re a vegetable everyone should be eating!

Green beans came from Peru but today, green beans can be found growing all over the world! In fact, they’re one of the most popular vegetables people grow in their gardens. Have you ever grown green beans?

Green beans are sometimes called string beans because they have a string that runs along the pod. The string doesn’t taste good so in 1894 a scientist figured out how to grow green beans with out the string. Most green beans today are stringless but the name, string bean, has stuck around.

 

healthbenefits png

 

A green bean is like a little machine that, when eaten, supplies your body with vitamins and minerals! Below are some of the main vitamins and minerals you get from eating the green bean machine:

 

Fiber: important for digestion and healthy blood sugar levels

Vitamin K: deficiency in this vitamin may cause blood to be too thin

Vitamin C: helps tissues stay healthy and promotes healthy growth

Folate: used to make new cells

 

creativecreations

Besides eating green beans raw, how else can we eat green beans? Here are some ideas:

  • Dip them in your favorite dip
  • Eat them with a salad
  • Put green beans in a stir fry
  • Roast them in the oven with a little olive oil and salt
  • Cook beans, then sprinkle with your favorite cheese
  • Garlicky green beans are easy and tasty
  • Add green beans to a soup
  • Make green bean casserole

beans-260210_640

 

 

varieties

 

 

 

 

Green beans aren’t always green, they can also be purple, red, or golden. Varieties of green beans are split into two groups based on how they’re grown – bush or pole.

Bush Beans grow without any support and can grow 1-2 feet tall. They’re able to grow in hotter weather compared to pole beans.

Pole Beans grow along a pole which helps grow more beans in less space. Pole beans take a little longer to grow than bush beans.

 

recipes

Green Bean Fries

 

 

Information came from softschools.com, verywellfit.com, extension.illinois.edu