Grow Your Own: Garden Fresh Finds

Grow Your Own: Garden Fresh Finds

Fri 15 Jun 2012

Story by Jennifer Tyler Lee

Teaching kids to grow their own vegetables is one of the best ways to get our kids eating healthy. Whether it’s a small urban planter garden or acres of carefully tended fields, gardens provide a wonderful opportunity for kids to get outside and enjoy the rewards of growing, preparing, and eating their own fresh vegetables. Inspired by this month’s release of American Grown, The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America, we decided to take our new food adventure out to the gardens in our community to grow a healthy meal.

With vegetable gardens in full bloom and markets brimming over with farm fresh produce, we were met with a bounty of delicious and nutritious dishes we could prepare straight from the garden this month. The best part of this adventure was the journey: picking fresh vegetables from the vine, gathering tips and advice from farmers and friends, and discovering the simple pleasures of enjoying a meal grown straight from the garden.

Garden Fresh Cauliflower

A school garden is a true treasure. At its best, it is a wonderfully integrated classroom where children experience the full life cycle of our food, planting-growing-harvesting-cooking-eating-composting-planting. For our family, the school garden has an additional benefit – an opportunity to try new foods. This month we learned how to prepare cauliflower.

Steamed Artichokes

Standing at attention, peaks pointing to the sun, a beautiful bounty of artichokes lined the tables of our local farmers’ market. “How do you eat those spike-y leaves?” pondered my five year old. Whispering, I replied, “Hidden inside is a delicious, secret treasure. Would you like to find it?” With that, we were off to learn how to cook artichokes!

Healthy Lettuce Wraps

When it comes to our garden I always pick easy to grow, hearty plants that can tolerate a beginner like me. Mint is one of my best friends in this regard. Early this spring, we planted a small pot of mint and within a few weeks it was brimming over the pot, literally crawling it’s way into our kitchen. It became a feature in our new food of the week: Healthy Chicken Lettuce Wraps.

Simple Cherry Compote

It is impossible for me to resist a summer roadside stand calling out, “Fresh, local cherries!” Faced with an overflowing basket of beautiful, bright red gems, we had ample opportunity to experiment with this simple summer fruit and even learned a fun trick for how to pit cherries without a pitter. Our favorite of all the recipes we tried: simple cherry compote.

What’s Growing in Your Garden?

What are you cooking up from your garden or farmers’ market this season? Post your favorite recipes, and photos of your delicious creations, on the Food Revolution Facebook page and tag @crunchacolor. You may be featured in our next 52 New Foods Recipe Roundup!

Craving more new recipes to try? Tune into the Crunch a Color™ New Food Challenge each week for more tasty, fun and easy recipes from fellow Food Revolutionaries and get the exclusive recipe roundups each month right here on Jamie’s Food Revolution.

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color™ -- the award-winning nutrition game that makes healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. Watch her picky eaters tell the story of how they turned into healthy eaters playing the game. Follow Crunch a Color™ on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for more of Jennifer’s tips and kid-friendly, easy recipes.


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