Inside the Culinary Arts World...

It is my privilege to be able to be among those who will contribute to our school blog!

It is a wonderful opportunity for family members to find out what your scholars are experiencing in class. This quarter, our K-4th and 9th grades are participating in nutrition classes aimed at their age level. The focus is very practical, biblical nutrition; targeting certain foods or nutrients at breakfast, lunch and snacks. Together we learned that God, in the garden, had given all types of fruits, vegetables, plants and seeds for us to enjoy, among other things. This is foundational for them as they can see God’s care and provision for His children, as well as seeing the specialness and beauty of creation.

So we started from that point in making a variety of smoothies. Our creative 9th graders blended some of our school-garden spinach with frozen raspberries, strawberries and cranberry juice for an invigorating, tart-sweet snack. It went over so well, I made it for the 4th grade classes! So many of your children told me about the smoothies you make for breakfast or snack. They love to share their favorites from home and our food conversations are lively and filled with stories.

Another lesson built from the same foundation involved breakfast cereals. Each child mixed their cereal to suit their tastes from a selection of single-ingredient cereals, fresh and dried fruits, nuts, sweeteners, and different milk choices. In some classes, we compared our list of ingredients alongside the list on a popular breakfast cereal, which turned out to have 5 different kinds of sugar and four different artificial colors. The children enjoyed the challenge of assembling their own breakfast and it seemed to taste special because it was unique.

Children are developing their tastes for things as they grow, especially the youngest ones. They are learning they can train their senses to what is good or different. Although they might not prefer a food the first time around, they do all taste what we make. So many of them surprise themselves and I hear, ‘Wow! This is pretty good!’ or ‘I like this’, more often than not.

Many of you have stopped to talk to me or send me an email with questions, recipe requests or encouraging stories. This is always welcome. My email is kromaniello@oneschool.net.

NOTE regarding food sensitivities and allergies: I rely on the information your family has provided to the school regarding your child. Provisions are made in every class for scholars who need them, so that they can enjoy the activity with the class. This is reflected in the recipes we put together in class.

SMOOTHIES* 2 cups fresh and frozen fruit ½ cup fruit juice or coconut water ½ cup coconut, almond, or regular milk ½ cup yogurt or kefir (protein powder can be added with water instead)
Blend until smooth. *This is for a 5-6 cup blender. The frozen fruit makes it thick and cool, which was preferred. The juices had no added sugar, just fresh o. j. or cranberry-pomegranate juice. All of these can be adjusted by adding more protein ingredients, or using only juice. These can also be frozen in popsicle molds for a cold snack or dessert on a warm day.

Red Raspberry Smoothie: 1 cup frozen raspberries, 1 cup frozen strawberries, ½ cup fresh spinach leaves, cleaned, 1 cup cranberry-raspberry juice

Strawberry-Orange-Banana: We used frozen berries, and fresh oranges and 1 banana with orange juice and coconut milk Raspberry or Strawberry Almond: 1 cup frozen raspberries or strawberries with cut up melon and almond milk Milk and Honey: 2 cups milk, unsweetened of any kind, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 2 Tbs. honey, 1 cup ice Tropical Smoothie: 2 cups frozen pineapple and mango, ½ cup orange juice, ½ to 1 cup coconut milk

BEAUTIFUL BREAKFAST CEREAL Cereal base choices: ½-1 cup (depending on the choice) shredded wheat, rolled oats, puffed rice, Uncle Sam’s flakes Top with your choices of: Fresh fruit: blueberries, strawberries, bananas, raspberries Dried Fruit: cranberries, raisins, apple, shredded unsweetened coconut Nuts: crushed pecans, almonds or walnuts Sweetener: real maple syrup or honey, (drizzle over the top) cinnamon, vanilla, or almond extract in tiny amounts can be added as well. Top with milk of choice Notes: Many mixtures can be served warm. Some children mentioned pumpkin or chia seeds as a favorite in their cereal as well.

Mrs. Kerry Romaniello, Culinary Arts Director