This week’s K/1 cooking project took us outside to our classroom garden to harvest our green and purple lettuces, cabbage, broccoli, and mint that have been growing for a few weeks now. The perfect dipping sauce for raw veggies is hummus, but rather than teach the kids the same old basic hummus recipe, we decided to add a little fire to the sauce and made it a spicy buffalo hummus instead!
We teach the students in three groups of 7-8, so we began our 30 minute cooking session by going out to the garden to harvest their little plots. Each student showed me which plot was theirs that they have been nourishing with water and compost and picking weeds, and we cut through many types of vegetables to bring back to class with us to eat in their raw state.
I had all of the ingredients lined up on the table, and each student was able to measure out the spice, squeeze lemon, and we stirred it around in the bowl to combine.
I saved the hot sauce (Tabasco) and cayenne pepper for the very end. This step can easily be skipped by placing all the ingredients in the food processor, but with a group of kids the journey is more important than the destination. When they were satisfied with the combination, I added it to the Cuisinart and whirred it for about a minute.
I asked which students wanted it spicy and which did not. Surprisingly, it was about half and half, but eventually everyone tried the spicy and said “this isn’t spicy at all!” I was surprised to receive such a favorable reaction among Kinders and 1st graders, but you should have seen them eating up their lettuce and raw veggies! It’s amazing what kids will open themselves up to when you give them an appealing plate of healthy food.
We also talked about which body parts purple lettuce, cabbage, and broccoli could be good for, in order to circle back around with last week’s lesson about What the shape and color of produce tells us. They remembered a lot more than I expected, and it was refreshing to hear how much they processed from one gardening/cooking lesson.
Later that day, I received a text message from my daughter’s Run Club coach informing me that she just beat two 8th graders in a 200 meter sprint! I told her coach to commend her because of all the healthy foods she eats that make her strong. The girl was on fire!
Next week, we’ll be making Mint Lemonade with mint from our school garden, lemons from all of our student’s trees, and a raw vegan simple syrup made from dates and water! What are your favorite recipes using mint? Our garden has a ton, and we’d love to use it!