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Vegan Zucchini Bread

22 Aug

Zucchini BreadAs our food + garden summer camp comes to a close, our campers are creating their last recipes to add to their Butter Beans cookbooks.

Hands down, one of their favorite foods they’ve made at camp was the vegan zucchini bread. They ranted and raved about this quick bread, so we thought we’d share the delicious recipe with you!

Makes 2 loaf pans, recipe adapted from hell yeah it’s vegan!

Ingredients:

  • 6 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 cups turbinado or light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-2.5 cups grated zucchini (~3 medium sized ones)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips or raisins, optional

Directions: 

Grease 2 loaf pans, preheat the oven to 350F. Mix together flax seeds with warm water, then add sugar, oil, applesauce, vanilla and beat well. Add grated zucchini, and stir until combined. In a separate bowl, sift together remaining dry ingredients. Add dry mixture to wet ingredients and stir until combined. Pour batter into pans and bake for 50-55 minutes.

Thank you to all of the wonderful families and campers we have met along the way this summer! We hope that your children leave inspired to cook creatively, grow edible gardens, compost food scraps, support local farmers, preserve foods, make their own ice cream, and set good examples for those around them.

If you are interested in signing up for the adventures yet to come during summer camp 2013, shoot us an email at camp@butterbeanskitchen.com, we have some early bird discounts that you won’t want to miss!

Photo courtesy of lydiajoy1

what makes a balanced plate?

1 Aug

frame_sports1Summer holds countless possibilities.

This summer we have had the pleasure of teaching nutrition and wellness classes to the Park Slope Sports Academy, soccer camp. It has been a blast connecting with their soccers champs so far!

We taught a few lessons on why it’s important to feed ourselves with healthy snacks through out the day, ending the class with a tasting of a super healthy Butter Beans snack like strawberry, banana and kale smoothies, and our hemp and sunflower seed granola bars.

Yesterday, we gave a dynamic class on what constitutes a balanced plate, and why it’s important for us to eat a variety of foods, in moderation. Our class was filled with yoga poses, nutrition facts, a scavenger hunt, an interactive balanced plate activity, and a handout to bring home!

Our handout was comprised of a balanced plate with the 4 components (vegetables, grains, proteins, fruits) with the option of dairy + the 2 other components (water + exercise) left blank. We had our students write down their favorite meal, and dissect the ingredients in that meal. Then they plugged in their ingredients into the balanced plate. For those campers that used “mac n cheese” and “pizza” and “cheese burgers” as their favorite meals, we discussed ways they could make those foods more balanced, and came up with ingredients that would make for delicious additions.

It was inspiring to see the students think critically about their favorite foods, and organize their ingredients into the components of the balanced plate. Besides the obvious favorite meals, we did get some interesting ones like lamb curry, sushi and roasted chicken with potatoes!

A big thanks goes out to our friends at the Sports Academy for having us as your wellness + nutrition experts! Looking forward to continuing our collaboration, and spending the rest of summer with you.

Photo courtesy of Park Slope Day Camp

what’s at the farmers market?

30 Jul

At the Union Square Farmer’s Market this morning, our food & garden summer campers picked out a handful of ripe tomatoes.

When we came back to home base, we discussed how we wanted to transform them into something delectable.

Some of the ideas they had were to eat them raw, and add some basil and olive oil, some of them wanted to roast them with salt and pepper, others wanted to sauté them to make a fresh tomato sauce.

We took a vote and the consensus was, fresh tomato sauce!

The tomatoes sautéed with the companionship of some fresh zucchini, garlic, basil and onion. After taking turns sautéing, we added the sauce to our freshly cooked pasta, and mixed it all up. We then topped it off with fresh parmesan, and sang our song to thank the farmers and the soil for our meal.

And then we dug in!

intuitive cooking

25 Jul

8161030847_e62134378cCooking by intuition is quite a different experience than cooking straight from a recipe. Recipes allow for some leeway and creative additions however, cooking without a recipe, rather an idea, vision, or craving, inspires room for experimentation and unique creations, ultimately resulting in a big question mark.

Some of us like the safety of recipes, and are more drawn to them, while others enjoy cooking without a plan, and guide their meals with what is present in their fridge and pantry. Some of us like a hybrid; using a recipe as a guide, and adding our own unique spin to those recipes.

At Butter Beans, we use tried and true recipes for our school lunches and breakfast items, however, there is a lot of vibrant experimentation that goes on behind the scenes in order for us to come up with recipes that our students have come to love and expect from our program.

During our after-school cooking classes, we cook from a recipe, but provide our students with room to improvise, by adding a little bit more garlic, or a bit more spice, as they taste their food and season it to their liking. We like to provide our students with a guide to their short but sweet lesson, so that they can learn about the unique flavors and textures of different cuisines. Our students end up eating foods that their parents, and themselves would have never thought imaginable!

During our food & garden summer camp we cook mostly from intuition, but still use a few recipes here and there as our guide. After brainstorming collectively on what kind of meal we want to cook at lunch, we write up a shopping list.

Our campers then get to visit the farmers market and pick out their ingredients. Seeing them take ownership of their recipes is inspiring, as they get excited to pick out the most unique looking peppers, or strangely formed carrots. Once their creation is made, they end up loving every bite of their meal, and enjoy the chatter and friendships that bud from sharing food.

What is your cooking style like? Do you like cooking from recipes or from your own inspirations?

Photo courtesy of Sunbeam Free Photos Art & Fun

Apple chai ice pops

20 Jul

A creative way to stay cool in summer, apple chai ice pops! Our campers are still raving about them!

Here’s how to make 10 pops

Ingredients:

  • 1 gallon of apple juice
  • 3 chai tea bags
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • cinnamon to taste

Directions:

Heat up the apple juice in a pot on the stove. Add honey and cinnamon, then steep the chai tea bags for double the amount of time written on the package. Mix with a spatula, then let cool. Carefully pour the mixture into ice pop molds, then place into the freezer until frozen.

Photo courtesy of thebittenword.com