Cooking Magic for Kids

Kid Chef Broccoli Soup

Kids can make this rich with flavor and nutrition soup in 40 minutes. Kids with an organic garden can harvest broccoli in the fall and winter. The broccoli stems are as nutritious as the florets, both rich in Vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber, with protein, minerals, and Vitamins A, B, and K, and other phytonutrients.

In a medium size pot, kids can pour 2 ½ cups of pure water. Kids can wash the veggies, but not peal them, as the skins of organic veggies are rich in nutrition. Chop 1 large stem and flowers (about 2 cups) of organic broccoli, 1 organic red potato, 1 organic carrot, 1 organic celery stick, ¼ cup organic red onion, and 1 garlic clove. Mince 2 sprig parsley, 1 sprig rosemary, 1 sage leaf, 1 sprig oregano, 1 sprig thyme, and 3 basil leaves fresh from the garden. Add the veggies and herbs to the pot, sprinkle with sea salt, and bring it to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Spoon ⅓ cup of broccoli flowers into a measuring cup. Pour the rest of the veggies and broth into the blender and blend until smooth. Add ¼ tsp sea salt and 1 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil and blend. Pour into bowls and serve with a spoonful of broccoli flowers on top.

Kids Freeze Veggie Soup

A homemade bowl of soup is comforting and soothing anytime of day, especially when it is filled with fresh organic veggies from the garden. Kids can grow local organic food right in their backyard that is of exceptional flavor and quality that can improve their family’s health, as the nutrients in organic fruits, herbs, and veggies are the best medicine. Kids can grow a raised bed garden that is abundantly productive, cost effective, and accessible to all ages and create a beautiful edible garden for the whole family to enjoy.

In the fall, the abundant harvest of the various veggies can be made into various types of soups that kids can freeze. Soups lend themselves to batch cooking. Kids can store their freshly made and cooled soups in sealable glass containers in single and family portion sizes. Then a quick and sustainable meal is always ready to be heated up when kids crave soup. 

Soups can be made light or hardy, rustic or elegant, warming or refreshing. Kids can make soups with recipes from around the world, with flavorful herbs and spices and tangy citrus. For flavor and nutrition, it is well worth the time for kids to make their own broth. Kids can make different basic vegetable stocks with Asian, Indian, or Italian flavors, and freeze the broths to form the basis of a fresh soup whenever needed. 

Kids Elderberry Flu Remedy

The elderberry bush is a large bush, growing between 6 and 16 feet, that produces bunches of bluish black berries in full or partial sun and rich, well drained soil. For thousands of years, people have used elderberries to boost immune systems and help fight infection. Now Big Pharma sells elderberry inspired remedies.

Kids can pick elderberries in the fall, filling a bucket with 4 pounds of elderberries. Wash and put them in a pan and just cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer 30 minutes until soft. Strain through a fine wire sieve and press the pulp to get all the juice and set the pulp aside. For every 2 cups of juice add 1 cup of organic sugar to the pan. Add the juice of 1 organic lemon, 5 cloves, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 lump of ginger, 1 star anise, and 1 cardamom pod to the pan and simmer for 20 minutes. Cover the pan and let sit overnight. The next day, kids can strain the mixture again, pour into glass containers and pop in the freezer, leaving a space at the top for the liquid to expand. The remedy can be taken out and used as needed. Kids like it poured over oatmeal or over fruit or frozen desserts when they have the flu. 

Kid Chef Chickpea Kale Stew

Kids can make this powerhouse meal, inspired by a Spanish stew, which is flavored with punches of garlic, cumin seed, and tomatoes. Kids can cook ½ cup of dried organic chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and ½ cup of organic brown Basmati rice in separate pots. Together, chickpeas and rice contain all the essential amino acids for a complete protein. Kale is a superfood, rich in antioxidants, fiber, and heart healthy nutrients. 

In the bottom of a large pot, pour 1 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil and ½ cup organic red onion and cook 3 minutes, add 2 minced organic garlic cloves and 1 tsp cumin seeds, and cook 3 more minutes. Add a 14.5 oz can of organic diced fired roasted tomatoes and 2 cups of chopped organic kale and simmer 7 minutes. Stir in the cooked chickpeas and rice. Add fresh sprigs of chopped rosemary, thyme, and parsley, 1 tsp harissa, ½ tsp sea salt, and a dash of cayenne and simmer 5 minutes. This tasty hearty  stew is a family favorite, as well as organic, gluten free, and vegan.

Kids like Chickpeas

Chickpeas have been a staple in Mideastern cooking for thousands of years. In the west, they mainly have been used in salad bars and are called garbanzo beans. Recently, they have become popular as they are the main ingredient in hummus, a tasty dip for veggies, chips, and sandwiches. Kids like them roasted, mashed, and in soups and salads, as their nutty taste pairs well with many foods.

Kids can easily cook the organic dry beans or use canned beans, both of which are inexpensive and can be used in many recipes, including veggie burgers and tacos. Chickpea flour, also know as gram flour, is gluten free and can be used to make flatbread, the Mid Eastern falafel, or as a breading for fried foods, like the Indian pakora. 

Chickpeas are packed with nutrients, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein. The fiber and protein in chickpeas makes them filling, helps appetite control, and makes them a welcome addition to a plant based diet. Chickpeas are low in calories and support a healthy blood sugar control. Chickpeas increase the number of healthy bacteria in the stomach to provide for good digestion. Properties in chickpeas can help prevent heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. 

Kids Store Veggies

Kids can store the harvest of organic veggies from their backyard raised bed garden in a way that extends their freshness. Kids should store tomatoes at room temperature; with an abundant harvest, kids can roast or cook them and make tomato sauce and salsa to can or freeze. After harvesting garlic and onions, kids can let them dry out for a couple of weeks and then store in a cool, dark, ventilated place. Potatoes and sweet potatoes can be stored in a paper bag or box in a cool, dry place and scrubbed just before they are used. Kids can store cabbage as it is in the refrigerator for several weeks; don’t wash it, just remove the outer leaves. 

Plastic containers contain phthalates, man-made, endocrine-disrupting chemicals that mimic the body’s natural hormones; these chemicals leak into the food. Glass, stainless steel, bamboo, and other eco friendly containers can be safely used and reused to hold veggies and keep them fresh. Broccoli, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, and leeks can be stored in a reusable container in the refrigerator and washed before using. The leaves and green tops of root veggies can be washed and stored separate from the roots. The roots which will keep for up to 2 months in reusable container in the refrigerator and should be washed before using. Leafy veggies, like kale, lettuces, Swiss chard, and collards, can be washed, removing any withered leaves, dried, and stored in a reusable container in the produce drawer of the refrigerator. Place fresh herbs in jars of water in the refrigerator or on the counter. 

Gardening is the best way to get fresh, organic, in season food with outstanding heirloom flavors and varieties. Kids can also get fresh harvested veggies at the Farmers’ Market; in a community supported agriculture, CSA, program that provides weekly harvest shares; and at local organic farm stands. These veggies taste so good, kids enjoy eating them. 

Kid Chef Roasted Eggplant

Kids can make a succulent organic eggplant dish with the abundant eggplants they can harvest from their backyard garden. The more eggplants kids harvest, the more the plant produces. Kids can make this roasted eggplant on a bed of organic rice and chickpeas (garbanzo beans) for a dish that offers a complete protein, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Preheat the oven to 450°. Kids can cook 1 cup of organic brown basmati rice with 2 ½  cups water on the stove for 50 minutes. In a large bowl, put 1 pound of organic eggplant, cut into 1 inch pieces. Drizzle with 3 tbsp of organic extra virgin olive oil, 1 ½ tbsp organic balsamic  vinegar, 1 tbsp organic maple syrup, ½ tsp sea salt, and ½ tsp red pepper flakes. Stir to coat the eggplant and let marinate for 10 minutes. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the eggplant evenly in one layer. Roast for 15 minutes and turn the pan; then roast another 15 minutes until the eggplant is golden brown. 

Mix ½ cup of canned organic chickpeas into the rice with 1 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil, ½ tsp sea salt and ½ tsp curry powder. Serve the eggplant on top of the rice. Kids love the leftovers heated up and wrapped in an organic whole wheat tortilla.