Kid Chef Lemon Zucchini Muffins

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When kids grow an organic lemon tree in a container on the patio, they can add lemon juice and lemon zest to baked goods, main dishes, salad dressings, and lemonade. One organic zucchini plant produces abundant zucchinis for the whole family. Zucchinis are delicious in cakes, breads, and other baked goods as it keeps the batter moist and has a mild flavor. Kids can preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl whisk 1 ¾ cup organic whole wheat pastry flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, ½ tsp sea salt, and the zest of one organic lemon. Kids can carefully grate the lemon peal on the small holes of the grater to create the zest.  In a small bowl mix ½ cup organic cane sugar, ½ cup organic grape seed oil, 5.3 oz soy yogurt, 1 tsp vanilla, and the juice of 1 lemon. Kids can grate one organic zucchini on the large holes of the grater and add 1 1/3 cups of grated zucchini to the large bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the large bowl and mix with the dry ingredients. Divide the batter into 12 muffin cups lined with paper liners. Bake 20 minutes and cool before serving. Kids can freeze the muffins for future lunch box treats.

Kids Brain Food

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What kids eat affects their brain. A balanced diet of colorful organic veggies, organic whole grains and beans, and organic fruits and nuts can protect the brain and reduce the chance of developing mental disorders. Foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as organic walnuts, kiwi fruit, flaxseeds, chia seeds, coconut oil, and peanut butter, improve brain health. Kids who have increased amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in their diet perform better in school. Omega-3 fatty acids support brain plasticity and the movement of molecules related to learning and memory.  Kale is a good brain food, containing antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. Kale is great in soup, pasta, and salads. Folic acid, found in spinach, orange juice, and yeast, is essential for healthy brain function and has been shown to prevent cognitive decline. In tests, the curry powder spice, turmeric, has been shown to reduce memory problems, brain trauma, and Alzheimer’s disease.  Antioxidants, found in blueberries and many fruits, nuts, and veggies, can prevent chemical chain reactions and cell damage from occurring. Researchers have found that eating junk food negatively affects the brain’s synapses. Learning and memory skills are harmed by the high intrans fats and saturated fats in fast foods. Physical exercise can improve brain function throughout life with an increase in blood that flows to the brain. The greater the blood flow, the faster oxygen and other important nutrients reach the brain’s neurons. When kids grow an organic veggie garden their brains are charged with the exercise, fresh air, smelling the herbs, communing with the microbes in the soil, and listening to the birds and bees.  Kids can get a powerful brain boost by growing their own colorful organic fruits and veggies and eating omega-3 rich foods.

Kids make Compost

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Kids can grow food in their organic patio garden using planet cooling, organic regenerative practices and petition farmers to do the same. Kids can create free fertilizer, weed preventing mulch, soil improver, and plant disease prevention by making compost and imitating nature. Kids are amazing composters because they’re curious, love to play in the dirt, are fascinated with earthworms, and have boundless energy. Compost improves soil structure, retaining more water and giving roots room to grow. Kids can start composting in a 5 gallon pail or any of the many different kinds of compost bins available. In a large backyard, kids can make open air structures with wood and wire like in the picture below. Notice the thermometer on the right. As hungry bacteria transform green plants and dry leaves into compost, the temperature rises to 160 degrees and weed seeds and pathogens are destroyed.

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Start with rich soil and layer fresh green plant scraps with brown dry leaves; add vegetable scraps, fresh grass, weeds, coffee grinds; add another layer of dry leaves or dry shredded wood, water it, and let it cook. Pictured next to the open air compost below are three different types of compost bins. The first two are homes for Red Wriggler Worms who eat fungus, algae, and bacteria, and leave the highest quality nutrients and micro-organisms for water retention, air flow, and minerals in the rich soil this compost creates. Worms are nature’s master composters, excreting a highly nitrous fertilizer called castings. Worm castings make the best food for the soil and the veggie plants.

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By layering fresh green plant scraps with brown dry leaves in their compost bin to cook under a lid, kids can make terrific food for their organic veggie garden. Kids can add a trowel full at a time of organic compost into the soil of the garden containers every few weeks to feed the soil and grow veggies rich in nutrients. Kid gardeners can solve some of the world’s most pressing problems by inspiring parents, teachers, and community organizers to compost food and plant wastes, grow organic food gardens, and cook what they grow.

Kid Chef Quinoa Casserole

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Kids in South American have been eating quinoa for thousands of years. Thanks to the ancestral farming practices by the people of the Andes Mountains, quinoa continues to exist in its natural state. Quinoa is a Super Food plant-based source of complete protein, gluten-free, rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Kid Chefs can rinse ½ cup organic tri-color quinoa, bring to a boil, and let it simmer 15 minutes. Kids can peal, chop, and steam 3 organic sweet potatoes, ¼ cup organic red onion, and 1 clove garlic. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Put the cooked veggies in a casserole dish and mash until smooth with 1 tbsp organic extra virgin coconut oil, 1 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil, ½ tsp sea salt, ¼ tsp curry powder, ¼ tsp cumin, ¼ tsp coriander, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper.  Mix in the cooked quinoa and 1 ½ cups organic green peas into the casserole with finely cut sprigs of fresh from the garden chives, oregano, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Smooth down the top of the casserole and bake for 30 minutes. Slice into six pieces and cool in the casserole 15 minutes before serving with a salad.

Kids One Bowl Meals

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Kids love a bowl of ramen soup, pasta, or polenta with tomatoes and eggplant.  All in one bowl meals are now popular in high end restaurants and are easy to create at home. Kid Chefs can create delicious broths with organic soba noodles, dashi, and organic veggies fresh from their patio garden. Organic brown rice, quinoa, pasta, and lentils can also form the basis of nutritious bowls with sauces that are rich in flavor. Kids can make tasty sauces with organic ginger, garlic, and chives or tomatoes, onions, and cilantro. Nutritionist agree that a rainbow of fresh organic veggies provide kids a balance of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients essential for building healthy bodies. Kids can chop organic veggies to create a colorful bowl with rice or pasta.  Kids can grow an organic garden in pots, containers, or raised beds in patio, school, or community gardens and have access to local in season veggies they grew themselves.  When kids grow herbs in their organic patio garden, they can snip a sprig of basil or parsley and cut it into their bowls for extra energy and flavor. Kids can also add different textures to the bowl with bean sprouts, roasted mushrooms, nuts, or chickpeas. One bowl meals use many sauces and spices from the recipes of different cuisines around the world. Kids can choose beans, grains, veggies, sauces, garnishes, and everything necessary to create a nutritious balanced meal in a bowl.

Kids feed the Roots

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When kids decide to grow an organic veggie garden in their patio, they can start with a pot filled with rich organic vegetable potting soil. Kids can start seeds in a wet paper towel on top of the refrigerator. Within a couple of days, kids will see roots growing from the seeds. Kids can plant the seeds in the pot and water the soil. The root’s job is to bring food and water to the plant and to anchor the plants in the soil. Roots help keep the soil in place in stormy weather by draining water and forming a network of roots that bind the soil together and hold the plant and soil in place. Some tree roots are strong enough to grow through rocks, which breaks up rocks to make more soil. The roots take in nutrients and water through tiny root hairs from the soil and sometime store food for the plant. Roots can be different sizes and shapes.  Some plants, like carrots and beets, grow one main tap root. Other plants, like tomatoes, grow lots of thinner roots of similar sizes called fibrous roots with smaller roots branching from them. Some plant parts growing underground look like they are part of the roots but are really part of the stem. Onions are bulbs from the stem with roots growing from the bottom and potatoes are tubers from the stem that can grow new potatoes if left in the ground. Compost is the best food for the roots and the highest quality fertilizer. Compost improves soil structure, retaining more water and giving roots room to grow.  Six months after kids start a compost bin, they can add a trowel full at a time of rich organic compost to the soil of the garden containers every few weeks to feed the roots. Throughout the year, kids can feed the roots organic compost and put mulch around the plants, like the kids in the picture, and harvest abundant delicious veggies.

Kid Chef Party Bean Salsa

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Kids love the crispy crunch and zesty goodness of chips and salsa. When kids grow an organic veggie garden on their patio, they can harvest lots of fresh juicy tomatoes and herbs. The night before the party, kid chefs can soak ½ cup organic black beans in a pot. The next day, strain the water, rinse the beans, and simmer for 50 minutes. Kids can chop 1 cup organic tomatoes, ¼ cup organic red onion, 1 clove garlic, ¼ cup organic bell pepper, 1 deseeded organic chili pepper, basil leaves, and chives. Strain the cooked beans and add them to the tomato mixture. Add ½ tsp sea salt and mix for a snack high in protein and nutrients. Kids can cut organic whole wheat, rice, or corn tortillas like a pizza into chips, place them on parchment paper in a baking tray, sprinkle with organic extra virgin olive oil and sea salt, and bake them in the oven at 350 degrees for 8 minutes to make crispy crunchy chips to go with the Party Bean Salsa.