The smoothies followed a fruit tasting where students discovered a new love for fresh mango and kiwi. One student said she thought kiwis were nasty before she tried them, but now she knows they are delicious. Upon discussion of this epiphany, they realized the importance of trying new foods before evaluating whether they liked them. We also visited the strawberry patch at school to talk about seasonality of different berries and where fresh berries in mid-December would be coming from.
Before Thanksgiving, students worked in groups to carve their own "fall" themed pumpkins. FoodCorps stepped in to show the class how to roast their own pumpkin seeds using a tad bit of oil, salt, and a lot of flavors like curry powder, paprika, and chili powder. One student exclaimed, "These taste like french fries!" They loved the crunch and flavor of these nutritional gems, and learned why a seed would have so many nutrients.
In another lesson, classes prepared collards in a new, healthy way. We discussed our family traditions, and then the nutritional benefits of minimally cooking collards and adding healthier fats than pork, and less salt to a green. We briefly sauteed the collards with crushed red pepper, chicken broth, and soy sauce, and they were a hit! One student brought the collards to her mom, a cafeteria worker, who asked to learn the recipe! Thanks to Beth Perkinson for this delicious idea.
This week students harvested arugula from the garden to make their own arugula pesto. They roasted their own garlic and walnuts, and then blended them with the arugula, olive oil, and a tiny bit of salt. Add a little freshly-grated parmesan, and there's your pesto! After spreading it on their homemade, whole-wheat pita chips, the students said this was one of their favorite recipes with FoodCorps this year. Thanks for this delicious, fresh recipe idea from volunteer Karla Capacetti, who also helped with collard day, and thank you Ms. Jones for welcoming FoodCorps into your classroom!