Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Plant Part Crackers

Last week Kindergarten students had a blast playing with their food.  After learning about the value and function of plant parts, students made plant part crackers.  Students combined carrots (roots), celery (stems), sprouts (leaves), broccoli (flowers), tomatoes (fruits), and pumpkin seeds on top of whole wheat crackers spread with cream cheese.  The students had a lovely time making creative faces and savored eating their creations.

Eating a Healthy Breakfast

This winter the Kindergarten and 5th grade classes studied the value of a healthy breakfast.   Eating a breakfast before school will not only provide Bay View students with the energy they need to be good students, but will also help them perform better on tests and quizzes.  In 5th grades, Bay View students participated in an engaging relay that helped visualize the benefits of breakfast.  After, the 5th graders made scrumptious fruit and granola bowls.  Kindergartners made tasty strawberry smoothies.  Below are my favorite smoothie and granola recipes. 

Banana Berry Smoothie

Kindergarten student helping prepare a banana berry smoothie.
*1⁄2    banana, peeled and sliced
*1   cup unsweetened frozen berries (strawberries, blueberries and/or blackberries)
*1⁄2   cup 1% lowfat or nonfat milk
*1⁄2    cup frozen orange juice concentrate

1.    Place all ingredients in a blender container. Put lid on tightly.
2.    Blend until smooth. If mixture is too thick, add 1⁄2 cup cold water and blend again.
3.    Pour into 2 glasses and serve.

Makes 2 servings. One serving equals 11/3 cups. Preparation time: 5 minutes
From Champions of Change:

Hearty Cranberry Orange Granola

5th grade fruit and granola cups.

Ingredients *5 cups rolled oats
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 Tablespoon cinnamon
*1 cup brown sugar
*1/4 cup water
*1/2 cup canola oil
*1/2 cup powdered nonfat milk
*zest of one orange
*1 teaspoon vanilla
*1 cup chopped nuts
*1 cup dried cranberries
*1 cup diced strawberries
*1 cup blueberries
*1 sliced banana

Preheat oven to 300°. In saucepot combine salt, cinnamon, brown sugar, water, oil, powdered milk, orange zest, and vanilla. Heat until well blended. Pour over oats and nuts in large mixing bowl, stirring to combine. Spread on large greased cookie sheet. Bake for 40-45 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes. Cool.

Top with strawberries, blueberries and bananas.


Winter Garden

Despite the cool temperatures and limited sunlight, the Bay View garden is thriving.  The Bay View garden staff and interns have been busy preparing the winter garden and even getting things ready for  spring.  We trimmed back the fruit trees, planted the cover crop and planted carrots, beets and lettuce.  The latest warm spell brought blooms to our  big plum tree and we saw our first blooms on the stock flowers and bachelor buttons.  Last week we sowed over 40 sweet pea plants and are eagerly awaiting their first flowers and wonderful fragrance.

Calendula in the sun.

The last sunflower.

One of our new beds of strawberries.  Thanks to Fogline Farm for their generous donation!

Garlic planted by 5th graders.

The garlic is growing fast!  I hope we can harvest and braid the garlic before the end of the school year!
Our first head of cabbage!

Baby radishes.

Close look at the ravenous radishes.
Our first stock flower with climbing sweet peas in the background.

Jacob's Farm visits Bay View

This January the 4th and 5th grades received a visit from Emily Freed with Jacob's Farm.  Emily brought bundles of Jacob's farm's culinary herbs for student's to see.  Students compared and contrasted basil, oregano and rosemary.  Each student got their very own bundle of basil to bring home and enjoy.  Use the pesto recipe below to incorporate basil into your kitchen at home.

A student investigating rosemary.

Every student received basil to take home.
Pesto Recipe

  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, coarsely grated (2/3 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups loosely packed fresh basil
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

With food processor running, drop in garlic and finely chop. Stop motor and add nuts, cheese, salt, pepper, and basil, then process until finely chopped. With motor running, add oil, blending until incorporated.

Potato Kale Soup

This January students at Bay View received boxes brimming with local chard and kale.  Chard and kale are nutritious greens found locally year round in Santa Cruz.  These greens are best eaten when cooked.  In nutrition, students added the kale to potatoes to make a savory soup.  Use the recipe below to share with the whole family!

Potato Kale Soup
*1 bunch of kale, tough stems removed                       
*1 large onion chopped
*1tbsp. of butter                                                           
*4 cloves of garlic minced
*4 large potatoes                                                           
*5 cups of vegetable stock
*1 cup grated cheddar cheese                                      
*salt and pepper to taste

  1. Sauté onion and garlic in the butter until onion is clear and soft (do not allow garlic to brown).
  2. Add 5 cups stock and the potatoes. Simmer, covered, until potatoes are fork tender.
  3. Wash kale and chop; steam kale separately.
  4.  When potatoes are well done, puree half of them with remaining water. 
  5. Melt in cheese and season to taste.  Enjoy.  

5th graders harvesting potatoes from the garden!

Students chopping kale.

Stirring up the soup.
Students enjoyed the soup with fresh sourdough bread.