Cooking Magic for Kids

Kid Chef Sweet & Spicy Butternut Squash Soup

Kids love butternut squash because it is bright orange, creamy, and sweet. Butternut squash is a winter squash that needs to ripen completely and has a hard skin. It is rich in beta carotene which is good for skin, lungs, heart, and eyes.

Kids can steam 2 cups of pealed and rough chopped organic butternut squash, 1 medium chopped organic sweet potato, 1 large chopped organic carrot, ¼ cup chopped organic onion, and 1 small organic deseeded chili. Pour half of the steamed veggies in the blender with 1 cup of steam water and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and repeat with the other half of steamed veggies and another cup of steam water. Kids can also use 2 cups of their homemade veggie broth. 

Add 1 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp organic maple syrup, ½ tsp sea salt, and ⅛ tsp cinnamon and mix well. Serve with fresh chopped chives from the garden. Kids can freeze this soup for up to 6 months and defrost it overnight in the refrigerator. 

Kids cook with Veggie Broth

The better the broth the better the soup! A blend of spices, aromatics, and various veggies can contribute to the aroma and flavor. When kids grow their own organic raised bed veggie garden, they can harvest an abundance of veggies. Kids can make a big batch of broth and freeze pint and quart size glass jars of broth. When kids want to make soup, they can defrost the broth in the refrigerator overnight.  When the broth is started from scratch, with all organic ingredients, there is no worries about BPA-lined cans, strange preservatives, poisons, or too much salt, fat, or sugar.

When kids steam a rainbow of organic veggies to create a dish, they can save the steam water to use as a quick broth for soup. Every culture has a different recipe for broth, such as, cooking 3 large onions, 2 large parsnips, 2 large carrots, 8 oz white mushrooms, 6 large garlic cloves, 2 sticks of celery, 2 sprigs of parsley, thyme, and 2 bay leaves in 4 quarts of water and simmer 45 minutes. Kids can then strain the broth through a muslin-lined mesh strainer into a medium pot and discard the solids.

Kids can also add various organic herbs and spices to the veggies, such as, 1 tsp peppercorns, 8 thyme sprigs, bunch of flat leaf parsley, 2 fresh bay leaves, 1 cinnamon stick, fresh ginger, or cloves to add depth of flavor and richness to the broth. Some broth recipes also include fresh lemon juice, organic tomato paste, or soy sauce for extra flavor.

Kids love the wonderful aroma of soup cooking in winter, creating a cozy, warm feeling in the home. The whole house smells good as the broth bubbles away creating a deep, rich flavor for sauces and soups.

Kids grow Graffiti Cauliflower

When kids grow veggies in their backyard, they can choose unusual varieties and help preserve heirloom seeds. Cauliflower comes in many colors: snowy white, orange, green, and purple. Graffiti cauliflower is a variety of deep purple cauliflower that turns mauve after cooking. It has a mild taste with a nutty, slightly sweet flavor. It looks spectacular and tastes great in a raw veggie platter with a dip.

Graffiti cauliflower has abundant health benefits in its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, fiber, vitamin C, manganese, and potassium. The beautiful purple color is due to the antioxidant anthocyanin, which contributes to eye and blood heath and helps prevent cancer and arthritis.

In Southern California, kids can plant this gourmet treat in the fall and winter as it tastes better after a light frost. Kids can plant Graffiti Cauliflower seeds in a raised bed filled with rich organic soil and compost and cover with a floating row cover, a light weight fabric that allows sunlight and water to pass through to protect the newly planted seeds and seedlings. Graffiti cauliflower intensify their shade of violet with exposure to the sun and need less wrapper protection than the white varieties. When the head is 6 – 8 inches in diameter, kids can harvest it by cutting the head just below the first set of leaves with a sharp knife. Kids can interplant their cauliflower with other crops and native flowers to attract beneficial bugs  to control pests and create a balanced ecosystem.

Kid Chef Thai Carrot Soup

Kids like to grow carrots in their organic raised bed veggie garden and harvest the young carrots from the ground, often barely getting them washed before eating the sweet treat. Heirloom carrots come in rainbow colors, such as white, purple, red, yellow, green, and orange. Carrots are an excellent source of antioxidants, containing beta carotene and lutein, to boost the immune system and support heart and vision health. This soup is organic, vegan, and gluten free.

Kids can scrub and chop 4 medium organic carrots (½ pound) and 1 sweet potato (½ pound) and not peal them as organic veggies have not been grown with poisons that need to be peeled away and an abundance of nutrients are located in the skin. Steam the carrots, sweet potato, 1 chopped organic orange bell pepper, 1 chopped sweet onion, and 2 chopped garlic cloves. 

Pour 1 cup of the steam water into the blender with the cooked veggies and 1” piece of peeled chopped fresh organic ginger and blend until smooth. Kids can pour the mixture back into the pan and stir in a 13.5 oz can organic coconut milk, 1 tsp organic agave nectar, 2 tbsp fresh lime juice, 2 tsp curry powder, and ½ tsp sea salt. Heat to taste and serve topped with fresh parsley.

Kids Cold and Flu Remedies

At school, kids catch colds and flu easily. Many parents give their kids a vitamin C supplement to build their immunity. Nutritional deficiency, stress, and too much sugar are the most common causes of depressed immunity. Kids can eat lots of organic fruits and vegetables, which are nutrient dense, jam packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, healthy fats, and phytonutrients, to keep well. Kids need to wash their hands several times a day to prevent the spread of colds and flu at school and at home. 

Kids with colds need to drink plenty of water and lots of fluids. At the first sign of a cold, kids can drink a cup of goldenseal and echinacea tea. After the symptoms appear, the top fluids to battle colds and flu are water and Organic Traditional Medicinal Wellness Teas, such as Gypsy Cold Care, Breathe Easy and Throat Coat. Green tea, echinacea, elderberry, slippery elm, peppermint, and chamomile with ginger, lemon, or honey added to help with the cough are soothing drinks to help kids feel better quickly. A tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with a teaspoon of honey can kill the bacteria that causes sore throats. 

To battle the sickness, kids can stay home from school, dress warm, gargle, take a hot bath, and get plenty of sleep. Kids can use a neti pot, which flushes the mucus and debris from the nose and sinuses with a saline solution to reduce germs and congestion. 

Kids can eat tasty fruit smoothies that are rich with antioxidants and organic apples with the skin, which has antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Kids can enjoy a soothing organic soup with 2 cups mushroom broth, 2 cloves garlic, ¼ red bell pepper, ½ cup kale, and ¼ cup whole wheat penne pasta. Fresh organic salsa with cayenne pepper acts as an expectorate and is yummy as a dip for a sliced organic raw fruit and veggie platter.

When kids go back to school, they need to have tissues to cover their coughs or sneezes and prevent the germs from spreading to their friends. They can drink lots of water to ward off germs from other sick friends, and get plenty of fresh air and exercise.

Reasons for Kids Organic Gardens

When we use our consumer power and buy organic, we can change the world. Organic farming is necessary for the planet, because kids need healthy lands, breathable air, protected species, and drinkable water. Small organic farms are improving the food quality, as well as the air, the soil, and the water in their environment. Organic food tastes better, with a superior texture, quality, and depth of flavor, that kids like to eat. Organic food is nutrient dense, jam packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, healthy fats, and phytonutrients.

Conventional farming allows the use of synthetically created chemical pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, irradiation, and sewage sludge to grow food. This has resulted in residues of DDT, DDE, and TDE in the American diet and has polluted the soil, the drinking water, and the air. Today, the average baby is born with over 200 toxins and carcinogens in its body. The pesticides are killing the bees, butterflies, and other pollinators needed to produce crops and poisoning the workers in the field. Conventional farming also uses GMO seeds, some with added pesticide in their DNA, which give rise to new allergens and toxins. Then the food is shipped to processing plants and enhanced with too much fat, sugar, salt, plus additives, fillers, and dyes. Transportation of food averages 1500 miles from farm to table and adds to the greenhouse gases.

Kids can grow a sustainable organic garden in the backyard, patio, or community garden for little cost and have access to fresh organic food that heals the body, turning the tide on the alarming rise in diabetes, cancer, and obesity. Food is medicine. Eating fresh, local, seasonal, organic fruits and veggies saves time and money at the doctors office and on prescriptions. Kids enjoy organic gardening; it is excellent for stress reduction with anti-depressant microorganisms in the soil and is a great exercise. Kids can choose organic, grow a garden, be healthy, and save the planet.

Kid Chef Banana Chip Minis

Kids love bananas which are a great snack and can replace essential nutrients quickly after exercise. Bananas are loaded with essential vitamins, like Vitamin C and Vitamin B6, and minerals, like potassium and magnesium, and rich in fiber. Kids can make mini banana cupcakes to share with friends after a hike, swim, game, or other activity.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Kids can place mini paper baking cup liners in a mini muffin baking pan. In a large bowl whisk 1¾ cup organic whole wheat pastry flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp arrowroot starch, ½ tsp sea salt, and ½ tsp cinnamon. In a small bowl, kids can mash 2 ripe bananas and add ¼ cup organic brown sugar, ¼ cup organic cane sugar, ¼ cup organic coconut yogurt, 5 tbsp organic vegan butter, 1 tbsp maple syrup, and 1 tsp vanilla.  Kids can pour the wet ingredients into the large bowl, add 3 organic medjool dates, cut in chip size pieces, and ⅓ cup organic chocolate chips and mix well. Pour the batter into the mini muffin liners and bake 12 minutes. Remove the minis from the pan and let cool. This recipe makes 32 mini cupcakes.