This Week’s Challenge

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  • 11/27/14 – Weekend Food Challenge: Snap Peas

    snap peas

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    A perfect snap pea is plump and bright green, and it gives a sharp “snap” when folded in half. Snap peas were developed back in the 17th century by crossing a regular garden pea with a flat snow pea, but they did not become common in the U.S. until the 1970s. Now California is a huge snap pea producer. Guess what food has more protein than a whole egg or one tablespoon of peanut butter?  That’s right—just a little over a cup of snap peas wins the competition! Snap peas are also rich in iron and vitamin C, which are both good for your immune system. Peas also contain lutein, which helps eye health, reducing the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. In addition, fresh pea pods are an excellent source of folic acid. Snap peas grow on vines, which must be supported since they reach 4-feet high. When the pods are ripe, they are nearly 3 inches long. For best flavor, you’ll want full-size pods, but be careful to not let them over-mature or start to dry out. You can even eat the snap pea blossoms and tender plant tips! When purchasing snap peas at the grocery store, look for firm pods with a slightly velvet surface. They should look almost like they are bursting. Avoid limp pods.

    Tiny fibrous “strings” line the edge of a snap pea. When the peas are young, it’s fine to ignore these strings and simply eat the peas, string and all. More mature peas usually require “de-stringing” to remove the tough fiber before eating. Watch your cooking time with snap peas—simmer only 2-3 minutes. Any longer, and the pods will become mushy and flavorless.

    Watch this video and learn how to remove snap pea strings!

    Sauteed Snap Peas
    Snap Peas Nutrition Label
     

3/27/15 – Weekend Food Challenge: Broccoli

3/27/15 – Weekend Food Challenge: Broccoli

Upload your recipe & photo and JOIN THE CHALLENGE What veggie looks just like tiny trees? Broccoli! Named from the Italian brocco, which means arm or branch, broccoli is part of the cabbage family. You are actually eating the flowers of this tree-shaped vegetable. Broccoli came to the U.S. by Italian immigrants but did not really […]   Continue Reading
  March 26, 2015   No comments
3/20/15 – Weekend Food Challenge: Sesame Seeds

3/20/15 – Weekend Food Challenge: Sesame Seeds

Upload your recipe & photo and JOIN THE CHALLENGE Have you ever counted the number of sesame seeds on a hamburger bun? The average number on a Big Mac bun is 180! In fact, McDonald’s purchases one-third of Mexico’s sesame crop each year just for all of their sesame seed buns. Worldwide, sesame seeds are […]   Continue Reading
  March 19, 2015   No comments
3/13/15 – Weekend Food Challenge: Okra

3/13/15 – Weekend Food Challenge: Okra

Upload your recipe & photo and JOIN THE CHALLENGE       Okra is often called “Lady’s Fingers” outside of the United States due to its slender, tapered pods, shaped just like fingers. Okra is a misunderstood vegetable by many who are unfamiliar with it … how do you eat it? is it really slimy? […]   Continue Reading
  March 12, 2015   No comments
3/6/15 – Weekend Food Challenge: Greek Yogurt

3/6/15 – Weekend Food Challenge: Greek Yogurt

Upload your recipe & photo and JOIN THE CHALLENGE Did you know that many people believe that yogurt was discovered on accident by Prehistoric herders who carried pouches of milk for long distances in the heat? The heat soured the milk and it turned into yogurt. Can’t decide which yogurt is best for you? The only […]   Continue Reading
  March 5, 2015   No comments
2/27/15 – Weekend Food Challenge: Brussels Sprouts

2/27/15 – Weekend Food Challenge: Brussels Sprouts

Upload your recipe & photo and JOIN THE CHALLENGE Your first question may be about spelling: is there supposed to be an “s” at the end of Brussels? Technically, yes, although “Brussels sprouts” is also commonly used. Second question: should Brussels be capitalized? Again, yes, since this vegetable originated in Brussels, Belgium, as early as […]   Continue Reading
  February 26, 2015   No comments
2/13/15 – Weekend Food Challenge: Barley

2/13/15 – Weekend Food Challenge: Barley

Upload your recipe & photo and JOIN THE CHALLENGE Although Barley is often eaten in soups, as a side dish, desert or main dish, and could sit in the healthful food hall of fame, we eat less than one-half of all crop produced in the United States!  Most of the barley produced is used for […]   Continue Reading
  February 12, 2015   No comments
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