Today is Whole Grain Sampling Day--a date devoted to celebrating and tasting healthy whole grains! Second graders at Bowe Elementary got to participate in a special taste test to help us gather feedback about 88 Acres new kid-friendly grain and seed bar. After a brief review of whole grains (They give us energy to GO!) students were given samples of 88 Acres original dark chocolate and sea salt bar, along with samples of the new chocolate chip grain bar that contains oats, quinoa, millet, and buckwheat. Students used their senses to draw comparisons between the two bars and created a Venn diagram to jot down similarities and differences. For example, they found the original bar to be more moist, and the new bar to have a stronger cinnamon smell and flavor. Then students got down to the important work of tasting! Both bars received good reviews, but a blind vote revealed that the original bar beat out the new bar in popularity by several votes. After placing their votes, students practiced writing in full sentences and using descriptive words to explain which bar they preferred and why. We plan on sharing these results with 88 Acres and are thrilled to be able to participate in the product testing phase with our students!
Carrot Cake Smoothies
By Molly Burke, FoodCorps service member
This month, the Mass Farm to School harvest of the month is dairy. As dedicated plant lovers, Kelly and I did not let this get in the way of serving kids fresh veggies. Time and again in lessons and taste tests, our students have proven smoothies to be the perfect vessel for getting in the all-important 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day--they’ll drink spinach spinach, beets, or a combination of the two so long as they’re blended into liquid form. Following that logic, we decided to test out a carrot-infused smoothie for the March taste tests. As much an homage to the cute fuzzy cows at McCray’s Farm in South Hadley where we source our local milk, this cheery, bright orange beverage is a nutrient-filled toast to the oncoming spring season. Lachanophobes rejoice: the warm spices and creamy yogurt in this recipe make the smoothie taste less like vegetable juice and more like a frozen bakery treat. The resounding cafeteria chorus of “this is good!” from Bowe kids last Wednesday is as good a testament as any to how effective smoothies are at converting veggie skeptics.
This recipe also uses high-protein yogurt and anti-inflammatory cinnamon. It’s as good for snacks as it is for a healthy breakfast. You can make it vegan by using non-dairy milk and omitting the yogurt or substituting vegan yogurt or nut butter. Try it at home!
Carrot Cake Smoothies
Add all ingredients to a blender and mix until smooth. Add more milk to thin as needed.
The ChicopeeFRESH team is a group of creative individuals who are working to feed Chicopee students healthy, local and FRESH foods each day.