Northern Virginia farmers market

Northern Virginia farmers markets

Farmers markets help you know where your food comes from

Second in a 4-part series on Virginia farmers markets
By Kristin Henderson, chief veggie conversationalist:

(Part 1: Virginia Beach farmers markets)
(Part 3: Fredericksburg farmers markets)
(Part 4: Richmond farmers markets)

Do you know where your food comes from? It’s hard to figure out the backstory of anything you buy in a grocery store — even organic items from eggs to milk to produce aren’t always what they seem. The only way to know for sure is to get to know the farmers and food artisans who make your food.

Get to know your farmers & food artisans

Local farmers markets and online farmers markets like Seasonal Roots can help you do that. Sam, the Farmer Connector for Seasonal Roots, gets to know each farmer and food artisan personally. He visits their farms and kitchens and knows the methods they use to grow or make their local food. He makes sure they all rely on sustainable, humane practices that are good for people, animals, and the environment. Thanks to Sam, it’s easy for Seasonal Roots members to get to know each farmer and food artisan, too — while they’re shopping at our online farmers market, they just click on the vendor info that’s next to every item in the market.

In-person farmers markets that are “producer only” farmers markets give you a similar opportunity. “Producer only” means every vendor grows or makes the things they sell. No re-selling is allowed. An example of re-selling is when a vendor buys produce at a wholesale market, then takes it to the farmers market to sell it there. That kind of produce is almost never local and it’s almost impossible to figure out how and where it was really grown.

When you go to a producer-only farmers market, it’s a safe bet that the person standing there next to a mound of gorgeous produce or tempting pies had something to do with growing or making it. They’re either the farmer or food artisan themselves, or they’re a family member or friend or employee. You can stop for a chat, find out where they farm and what kinds of farming methods they use. To ensure their produce has the most flavor and nutrients, how soon after harvest do they get their produce to market? Are they environmentally friendly — are they low- or no-spray and do they conserve water? Do they treat their animals humanely — are the animals raised in pastures and are antibiotics avoided?

Local producer-only farmers markets, whether they’re in-person or online, give you an old school connection to your food that’s impossible to get at a grocery store. They give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing and trusting the people you get your food from, even in a big, impersonal metropolitan area like Northern Virginia.

Northern Virginia farmers markets

The Spotsylvania Farmers Market is the largest local farmers market in the region. They say that more than 60 vendors are out there every Saturday selling locally produced goods.

Another large local farmers market that proudly declares itself producer-only is the Dale City Farmers Market. Nearly 50 vendors set up for business on Sundays.

The veteran-owned, family-owned Long Sunday Market (formerly known as the North Stafford Farmers Market) is also open on Sundays and everything is locally produced. They’re also now hosting a smaller Wednesday market, so check it out!

The historic Fredericksburg Farmers Market offers three locations that feature family farms — one open on Saturdays, the others on Thursdays.

The Reston Farmers Market, open on Saturdays, has a history of focusing on nutritious eating and says it’s also producer-only.

The Herndon Farmers Market and Annandale Farmers Market are both open on Thursdays. Like the other farmers markets in this list that are sponsored by Fairfax County, they are strictly producer-only. Their farmers and producers all come from within a 125-mile radius of Fairfax County. They even encourage their food artisans to use local ingredients in the creation of their products as much as possible.

One final note: Most of these Northern Virginia farmers markets do not allow pets within the market area. Sad as it is, please leave furry family members who aren’t service animals at home — especially during the summer months when it’s just too hot to safely leave them in the car.

So if you want your food to match your values (and if you want to make sure you get what you pay for!), get to know your local family farmers and food artisans and buy local. Like we say here at Seasonal Roots: It’s all about food that’s good for you and good for the planet… from people you know!

 

ABOUT SEASONAL ROOTS

Since 2011, Seasonal Roots’ online farmers market has connected Virginia families with local family farmers who use sustainable, humane practices. Our veggie fairies – mostly moms who believe in living better through scrumptious, healthy eating, being kind to animals, protecting the environment, and spreading joy – home-deliver freshly harvested produce, pastured eggs, grassfed dairy and meat, plus artisan fare. We empower our members to eat better and live better with more nutritious, flavorful food that’s good for us and good for the planet. More info at seasonalroots.com.

Virginia Beach farmers markets

Virginia Beach farmers markets

Farmers markets bring communities together

First in a 4-part series on Virginia farmers markets
By Kristin Henderson, chief veggie conversationalist:

(Part 2: Northern Virginia farmers markets)
(Part 3: Fredericksburg farmers markets)
(Part 4: Richmond farmers markets)

Here at Seasonal Roots online farmers market, we love in-person farmers markets. They’re our inspiration! In this series we’ll explore in-person farmers markets in Richmond, Fredericksburg, Northern Virginia, and the Hampton Roads/Virginia Beach area — communities that are lucky enough to have a local farmers market or two… or more! No need to Google “farmers markets near me”. We’ve got ’em right here. In this post, we’ll start with Hampton Roads.

Hampton Roads/Virginia Beach farmers markets

When you have the time, you can make a day of it at a larger market like the Virginia Beach Farmers Market. Over the course of 25 years, it has grown to include local and regional produce, a butcher shop, dairy store, bakery, organic grocery, wild bird store, seafood, florist, candy maker, specialty garden shops — even a restaurant.

“Next door” in the Virginia Beach/Hampton Roads area, the Newport News City Center Farmers Market offers a nice break from the workday. During the summer it’s open Thursday’s from 10-2.

The historic setting and live music at the Williamsburg Farmers Market make for a memorable all-day Saturday outing.

Same for the Portsmouth Olde Towne Farmers Market, which even sneaks in some educational and cultural opportunities by partnering with local museums and concerts.

The key to enjoying these local farmers markets, of course, is TIME. Getting in the car on the Saturday or Thursday the market is open, driving, parking, wandering the market, comparing what’s on offer, detouring to check out a kid-friendly vendor, stopping to chat with a farmer or neighbor or enjoy the live music… it’s fun but not exactly convenient.

Upsides, downsides & building community

Healthy eating has got to be convenient to make it a regular part of busy lives, and we’re all busy, right? For that, you’ve got Seasonal Roots, with farmers market online shopping and farmers market home delivery. Saves you tons of time and makes it easy to eat nutritious, delicious local food every day.

In-person farmers markets are time-consuming for the farmers, too. Markets like the one in Williamsburg require the vendors to make or grow the stuff they sell. The upside is, you know you’re buying real local food direct from the farmer, not mystery produce some guy bought at a wholesale market and hauled over to the farmers market.

The downside is, the farmer has to spend a whole day at the market. That’s a day they’re not plowing, planting, weeding, feeding, harvesting, or the thousand-and-one other things that farmers have to do. An online farmers market like Seasonal Roots is a much easier and more efficient way for local farmers to connect with local families.

Still, whether a farmers market is in-person or online, there’s nothing like it for bringing a community together. So join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. And when you have time, we’ll see you at the local farmers market!

 

ABOUT SEASONAL ROOTS

Since 2011, Seasonal Roots’ online farmers market has connected Virginia families with local family farmers who use sustainable, humane practices. Our veggie fairies – mostly moms who believe in living better through scrumptious, healthy eating, being kind to animals, protecting the environment, and spreading joy – home-deliver freshly harvested produce, pastured eggs, grassfed dairy and meat, plus artisan fare. We empower our members to eat better and live better with more nutritious, flavorful food that’s good for us and good for the planet. More info at seasonalroots.com.

local produce

New & improved baskets of fresh local produce

New & improved baskets of fresh local produce

By the Seasonal Roots Veggie Fairy Team:

When our online farmers market opens this weekend, our new updated basket options will make their debut. It’s part of our never-ending effort to better support local farmers while helping local families eat better, live better!

The first thing you’ll notice are new names for the baskets. The new names make it easier to figure out which one is the best fit for the way you eat. As Goldilocks would say, one of them will be juuuuust right.

EASY BASKET: This is the smallest basket, offering 5 choices for $24.00. It’s an easy choice if you don’t want to commit to too much food. It’s easy to complete only five choices, and easy to use them up if you’re a household of one or two people or don’t cook much.

FAMILY BASKET: This is the middle-sized basket, offering 8 choices for $34 just like the old medium basket. It’s perfect for a family of four that eats at home several nights a week. It’s also a good option for smaller vegetarian households.

VEGGIE LOVER BASKET: The biggest basket offers 11 choices for $40.00. This is the one for you if your family is bigger, or eats in all the time, or if you just love your veggies – like the name says!

So why make these changes? Like we said, we’re always working to better support local farmers while we help local families eat better. The new baskets are designed to help us all eat more fresh local produce. That’s better for farmers because vegetables and fruits are the foundation of family farming. They’re also the foundation of a healthy diet. So it’s good for our farmers AND good for us — especially since our local fruits and veggies are super fresh and sustainably grown, making them more nutritious and delicious.

As always, you can still pick a different basket size each week, customize what’s in your basket, and order Extras as well. Or you can leave it on automatic default, sit back, and watch the veggies roll in.

To make the update easy on you, your current basket will automatically update to a new basket. The current Small Basket will become an EASY BASKET. The Medium Basket will become a FAMILY BASKET. And the Large Basket will become a VEGGIE LOVER BASKET. If you’re happy with your default, you don’t have to do a thing.

If you want to change you default basket, you an still change it just like before. Here’s how to do it:
1. Log into your account at SeasonalRoots.com.
2. You’ll see a purple icon in the upper righthand corner. Hover over the icon and select “Delivery Preferences”.
3. At the top, click on the “Delivery Preferences” tab and then make your selection.

One thing won’t change at all: Every basket will still be filled with the freshest, most nutritious and flavorful local produce you can buy!

ABOUT SEASONAL ROOTS

Since 2011, Seasonal Roots’ online farmers market has connected Virginia families with local family farmers who use sustainable, humane practices. Our veggie fairies – mostly moms who believe in living better through scrumptious, healthy eating, being kind to animals, protecting the environment, and spreading joy – home-deliver freshly harvested produce, eggs, grassfed dairy and meat, plus artisan fare. We empower our members to eat better and live better with more nutritious, flavorful food that’s good for us and good for the planet. More info at seasonalroots.com.

Grassfed and sustainable Thornebook Farms

Grassfed: Why these “ka-razy” local farmers made the switch

Grassfed: Why these “ka-razy” local farmers made the switch


By Kristin Henderson, chief veggie conversationalist:

When Brooks and Jil Davis decided to switch from conventional farming and go grassfed and sustainable, they were pretty much alone. Many of their fellow farmers didn’t like the idea. The couple’s decision cost them one friendship and affected their farm networking. They were labeled, “Ka-razy!”

So why make the switch? Research. Like everything else with their farm, Jil and Brooks did the research and went where the facts led them.

In our last post, we explored organic vs sustainable vs local, and explained why the best way to ensure your food is nutritious and eco-friendly is to know the farmer. So in this post we’d like you to get to know one of our newest farmer partners.

Starting out


Jil and Brooks built ThorneBrook Farms from the ground up. They’re first generation farmers. They didn’t inherit their farm. Jil grew up on a small hobby farm with horses, goats, and chickens that, along with the dogs, were pets, not food. Brooks didn’t grow up on a farm at all.

Still, he had the farming bug. He studied agricultural business at Virginia Tech, while Jil studied accounting and business at a local college. In 2006, they got married and started planning their cattle, sheep, and chicken farm.

“We researched, researched, researched,” Jil recalls. They bought some land near Goochland, Va., prepared it, saved money, and got their financial ducks in a row for the initial herd purchase. They bought their first herd in 2007.

At the time, they were conventional farmers and called themselves “grass-based”. That means they raised their cattle on pasture but still used medicines, vaccines, conventional feeds, and hay grown with fertilizers and sprays. “We were far from organic and definitely not sustainable,” according to Jil.

They were also working really long hours and running a landscaping business on the side. They wanted to do more than just break even financially. They needed their farm to be self-sufficient and were eager to find ways to streamline their operation and reduce their costs.

Their research turned up a sustainable farming practice called intensive and rotational grazing where the animals are moved from pasture to pasture. They were intrigued by both the business end of things and the science that showed how this model supported the health of the land and animals, while also improving the meat quality. Studies show that a truly grassfed process results in more nutritional and tasty meat.

They’d done their research and they had their answer. Sustainable farming practices, including rotational grazing, were the way to go.

Making the switch


In 2009, they shifted their business model 180 degrees: They switched from conventional practices to a sustainable, natural approach. Grass-based herd management not only fit their lifestyle and goals, it had the potential to maximize their profits — the natural grassfed movement was gaining momentum and they were ready to meet the demand.

Today, their sustainable practices extend throughout their farm operation. They even rely on solar power for the water and electric fencing in their pastures. Watch how well it works!

At first, after they went sustainable, they continued to sell through wholesalers and middlemen. But it wasn’t long before they saw that selling direct to local consumers was a great opportunity. Their sustainable practices were making their farm more financially sustainable, too.

Jil and Brooks sacrificed the comfortable old conventional way of doing things. But by going sustainable, Jil explains, “Our business increased and our foundation grew stronger. We also grew as a couple and business partners. I can say that we are 100% at peace with our model and the quality it produces.”

Here at Seasonal Roots, we love supporting local, sustainable farmers like Jil and Brooks of ThorneBrook Farms! Our members are helping ensure they have an economically viable way to feed us all delicious, nutritious food. We’re excited to make their grassfed lamb sausage the first item we offer to our members. There’s more to come from this farming couple whom we’re getting to know so well!

ABOUT SEASONAL ROOTS


Since 2011, Seasonal Roots’ online farmers market has connected Virginia families with local family farmers who use sustainable, humane practices. Our veggie fairies – mostly moms who believe in living better through scrumptious, healthy eating, being kind to animals, protecting the environment, and spreading joy – home-deliver freshly harvested produce, eggs, grassfed dairy and meat, plus artisan fare. We empower our members to eat better and live better with more nutritious, flavorful food that’s good for us and good for the planet. More info at seasonalroots.com.

Do this to save fresh local produce for a year!

Third in a 3-part series on storing fresh local produce
– By Kristin Henderson, chief veggie conversationalist:

(Part 1: You won’t believe how much nutritional value is lost)
(Part 2: 4 easy ways to max out your produce’s nutritional value)

In the last two posts, we got into some of the ways Seasonal Roots’ small family farmers are bucking the trends that are killing the nutritional value of modern-day produce… and four easy ways you can max out the nutritional value of the nutritious, delicious produce our local farmers grow. But what do you do if you find yourself with too much of it on hand?

To save fresh local produce from going to waste, freeze it. It will keep in the freezer for 8-12 months! Or can it. Where refrigeration just slows down that ticking clock of deterioration, freezing and canning both stop it cold. The remaining nutrients and flavor stay put until you’re good and ready to eat it.

Freezing requires no special gear, and it’s quick and easy. I’m all for quick and easy, so let’s focus on freezing.

1. To save fresh local produce, start with produce that’s as fresh as possible and in good condition.
2. Clean it thoroughly.
3. Boil water and either drop the produce directly into the water or steam it. Whether boiling or steaming, do this for 2-5 minutes until they’re just done.
4. From there, drop the produce into ice water. This process, called “blanching”, stops the enzyme activity that destroys nutrients and changes texture.
5. Let the produce cool, then put it into plastic freezer bags, squeezing out the air as you seal it up. Or, to keep all that produce from freezing into one big solid unwieldy block, pat it dry, spread it out in a single layer on a cookie sheet, and place the cookie sheet in the freezer. Once the individual pieces are frozen, pop them into bags. When you’re ready to use them, you can pull out a handful if that’s all you need.

Heat does cause nutrient loss, and both freezing and canning expose the produce to heat. But in most cases, you don’t lose any more than you would from cooking. And if you freeze it right away before those nutrients have a chance to slip away, you’ll generally lose less than you would if you let it sit in the fridge for a couple weeks, even if you ate it uncooked at that point.

So freezing makes it possible for you to enjoy delicious, nutritious meals made from fresh, local produce… in the off-season. Bonus!

For a deeper dive, here’s an article from the University of California at Davis, that compares how much nutritional value is lost during refrigerated storage and cooking versus freezing and canning.

Here’s a more detailed how-to on freezing from Mother Earth News.

And to REALLY get down in the weeds, the National Center for Home Food Preservation lets you look up how to freeze almost anything.

Photo from Dreamstime/Mother Earth News

4 easy ways to max out your produce’s nutritional value

Second in a 3-part series on storing fresh local produce
– By Kristin Henderson, chief veggie conversationalist:

(Part 1: You won’t believe how much nutritional value is lost)
(Part 3: Do this to save fresh local produce for a year!)

In the last post, we got to know the three biggest enemies that are killing the nutritional value of modern-day produce. But Seasonal Roots’ fearless family farmers are fighting to grow more nutritional produce by working with nature to enrich the soil on their land. They’re also growing old-fashioned heirloom varieties that haven’t been bred for nothing but shelf life.

Plus, there are things YOU control that will boost your food’s nutritional value, too. Here are 4 easy ways to max out the nutrients in the produce you eat. Bonus: in most cases, you’ll be maxing the flavor, too.

1. BUY LOCAL. As soon as produce is picked, the clock starts ticking as the produce starts losing nutrients. The sooner you get your hands on it after harvest, the more nutritional value it still has. Most grocery store produce comes from all over the world and is at least a week old. By then, green beans have lost 77% of their vitamin C. Seasonal Roots local produce doesn’t have to travel far, so it arrives at your door within a couple days of leaving the field.

2. EMBRACE THE DIRT. You should definitely wash your produce to make sure it’s safe to eat. But wait to wash until right before you eat it or cook it. Until then, leave it in its original state and handle it as gently and as little as possible. Excess moisture, bruising, pre-chopping and peeling (we’re looking at you, ready-to-eat bag o’ salad) all accelerate decay and nutrient loss. In the case of pre-processed produce, the problem is that vitamins A, C, and E are antioxidants, so when produce gets cut or damaged, oxygen gets inside and the antioxidants are not happy to meet it. That’s another advantage of buying local — after the farmer harvests your produce, it gets handled once by Seasonal Roots veggie fairies, who gently handpack your order. Grocery store produce, well, it has to endure a lot of long, hard travel and repeated rough handling by lots of middlemen along the way.

3. REFRIGERATE RIGHT AWAY. For most fruits and veggies, a cold, dark place slows down the loss of nutrients, because it inhibits destructive enzymes and the loss of vitamin C. B vitamins are particularly sensitive to heat and light. There are exceptions — namely potatoes, onions, and tomatoes (this is why tomatoes lose their flavor in the fridge). Here’s a helpful infographic that shows each fruit and veggie’s happy place.

4. EAT FAST. The longer your produce sits in your fridge or pantry, the more nutrients slowly disappear. But what if you can’t eat it all right away? No worries. There’s still a way you can hang onto most of that nutritional value. In the next post, I’ll explain how.

You won’t believe how much nutritional value is lost

First in a 3-part series on storing fresh local produce
– By Kristin Henderson, chief veggie conversationalist:

(Part 2: 4 easy ways to max out your produce’s nutritional value)
(Part 3: Do this to save fresh local produce for a year!)

The fruits and vegetables your grandmother grew up eating were much richer in vitamins and minerals than the varieties most of us get today. 1950’s broccoli, for example, had 130 mg of calcium, but only 48 mg today, based on USDA data.

When it comes to the loss of so much nutritional value, soil depletion is Public Enemy #1, according to Scientific American. The modern corporate food industry uses highly intensive agricultural methods that strip nutrients from the soil, and they strip it over and over again: “Sadly, each successive generation of fast-growing, pest-resistant carrot is truly less good for you than the one before.”

Public Enemy #2: Big Corporate Agriculture has been focused on developing produce that can travel from California or even New Zealand for days or weeks and still arrive at the supermarket looking good – as if shelf life and good looks are all that matter. In the process of selecting for looks and shelf life, Big Ag sacrificed yet more nutrients and flavor.

Public Enemy #3: The very act of transporting, packing, and storing produce over long distances for long periods of time makes the problem worse. Most of the produce in grocery stores is at least a week old. But just look at the graphic of what happens to the vitamin C in broccoli in that amount of time. Even when it’s refrigerated, after 3 days a steady drop in nutritional value begins — it’s even worse for tender produce like spinach and green beans. It drops even more when produce is handled roughly by machines, or when things like broccoli, carrots, and celery are pre-cut for those ready-to-eat salad bags.

Seasonal Roots is working to change all that by partnering with small local farmers who use sustainable farming practices to keep their soil nutrient-rich. Then, after they harvest the produce grown in that rich soil, it doesn’t have to travel far. So, working fast, our veggie fairies gently hand-pack your produce and deliver it to you within 48 hours. We know that as soon as it’s picked, the clock starts ticking.

Plus there are things YOU can do to make sure get you more nutritional bang for your produce buck. Next week we’ll lay out some of the ways you can stop the lost-nutrients clock… or at least slow it down!

Cooking with kids – PS

PS: CLEAN UP & CELEBRATE!

The wrap up of our 4-part series on cooking with kids
By Jamila T, chief area manager & veggie fairy godmother:

(TIP 1: Start with projects)
(TIP 2: Let them do hard things)
(TIP 3: Set kitchen ground rules)
(TIP 4: Use common sense)

Involve the kids in clean up and celebrate the accomplishment! Good kitchen habits extend beyond preparing food. When you’re cooking with kids, clean up is important too! Enlist your children’s help in washing pots and wiping counters. Quick clean-up will make you more inclined to do another kitchen project in the future.

Lastly… celebrate! You made it. Gobble up a muffin with a big glob of strawberry jam and pat your kid on the back. Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back because you taught your child something today…. and you survived the lesson!

THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE
Encourage the kids to show off what they learned!

THIS WEEK’S RECIPE

SAUSAGE STRATA

Ingredients:
1 lb sausage or ham
6 slices of bread, cubed
2 c cheddar cheese, shredded
6 eggs
2 c milk
1 t salt
1 t ground dry mustard
optional: chopped broccoli or other veggies

Directions (Watch the video!):
1. Place sausage in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain and set aside.
2. Lightly grease a 7×11-inch baking dish. In the dish, layer bread cubes, sausage, and cheddar cheese.
3. In a bowl, beat together eggs, milk, salt, and mustard. Pour the egg mixture over the bread cube mixture.
4. Cover the filled baking dish and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
5. Remove the dish from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking and uncover it. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
6. Bake 50 to 60 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
7. Optional: Top with mushrooms and onions — we’ve got a yummy how-to in this week’s newsletter!

Success?
Celebrate some more by posting a picture on our Facebook page!

Cooking with kids – Tip #4

USE COMMON SENSE

Fourth in a 4-part series on cooking with kids
By Jamila T, chief area manager & veggie fairy godmother:

(TIP 1: Start with projects)
(TIP 2: Let them do hard things)
(TIP 3: Set kitchen ground rules)
(PS: Clean up & celebrate!)

Common sense is key when you’re cooking with kids. While it’s important to give children challenging, meaningful tasks, it’s equally important to make sure those tasks are appropriate for their ability. Appropriate tasks build confidence and character, and will ultimately be a rewarding experience for everyone. Not to mention, your little ones will actually help you… not just “help” you.

So… cooking with a three-year-old? Leave the chef knife in the butcher block and opt for one with a small blade. Better yet, select a recipe that calls for tearing rather than cutting!

THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE
Tearing and baking. If you have tiny helpers, let them try their hand at tearing kale leaves from the stems. Older kids? Put them on oven duty!

THIS WEEK’S RECIPE

KALE CHIPS

Ingredients:
kale
olive oil
salt
optional seasonings: roasted sesame seeds, finely grated Parmesan, paprika, chili powder, flax seeds, nutritional yeast, brown sugar, taco seasoning, lemon or lime zest

Directions (watch the video!):
1. Tear kale from stems.
2. Wash and dry torn kale.
3. In a large bowl, toss kale with oil and salt.
4. Arrange in single layer on baking sheet and sprinkle on seasonings if desired.
5. Bake 20 minutes at 300 degrees F.

Success?
Celebrate by posting a picture on our Facebook page!

Want to try another recipe project? It’s in the PS post, and here’s what you’ll need:
Add sweet potatoes, Bella Vita sourdough bread, Trickling Springs Creamery whole milk, Saddle Ridge Farm eggs, and maple breakfast sausage to your basket when the Seasonal Roots online farmers market menu opens on Friday.

Cooking with kids – Tip #3

SET KITCHEN GROUND RULES

Third in a 4-part series on cooking with kids
By Jamila T, chief area manager & veggie fairy godmother:

(TIP 1: Start with projects)
(TIP 2: Let them do hard things)
(TIP 4: Use common sense)
(PS: Clean up & celebrate!)

Kids love to taste things and will often gobble ingredients without considering food safety. Before getting started on any cooking project when you’re cooking with kids, set some kitchen ground rules.

  • Discuss ways to keep themselves safe around hot elements and sharp tools.
  • Also request that they ask before tasting ingredients.
  • Designate a bowl that is specifically for samples and drop something in there from time to time. A “tasting bowl” gives kids an opportunity to explore without worry.
  • THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE
    Dicing! Watch this video and learn to dice like a pro!

    THIS WEEK’S RECIPE
    ROOT VEGETABLE CANDY
    Use a variety of Seasonal Roots root veggies for a local, fresh, kid-pleasing dish!

    Ingredients:
    4-6 c root vegetables such as celery root, parsnips, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
    olive oil for drizzling
    salt and pepper to taste
    Tasty Tip: Not beet fans? Use golden beets which blend beautifully with carrots and sweet potatoes.

    Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    2. Throw diced vegetables on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss with your hands, then arrange in a flat layer on the baking sheet.
    3. Roast 30-40 minutes or until vegetables are golden brown.
    4. Allow to cool to room temperature and eat as a snack, or serve them as a side dish with pork chops, roasted chicken, etc.

    Success?
    Celebrate by posting a picture on our Facebook page!