Monday, November 2, 2015

Get Youth in the Kitchen

Usually, when I write a post, it's a basic, quick and easy recipe. It is not my intention to give you overcomplicated recipes that take all afternoon and all your pots and pans to cook. And, yes, I do believe there is a time and place for those recipes.

I also develop recipes for our local foods program. Those recipes also follow the same basic, quick, and easy method.

This year something extra exciting has happened. The interest in youth and cooking has grown exponentially. My Facebook posting on youth and food, received over 150 hits, more than any other posting. I thought 'I am on to something here'. More and more people are realizing the value of teaching children to cook. Learning to cook is a life skill. It builds confidence. Just watch a child smile when you tell them how good their dish tastes. Learning to cook builds reading and math skills.

Even very young children can perform tasks in the kitchen. Check out this reference from Clemson University on age appropriate food preparation tasks for children.

This is a recipe from our latest local foods brochure.  It is for orange and honey roasted carrots. You can use baby or regular carrots. If using regular carrots, your child may need help with peeling and cutting.

Orange and Honey Roasted Carrots

Serves 4.

1½ pounds carrots
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 orange, zest and juice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 to 2 Tablespoons honey

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Wash and peel carrots. Slice diagonally into about 1-inch pieces.
3. Arrange carrots in single layer on rimmed baking sheet. Coat with olive oil.
4. Remove about 1 teaspoon of zest from the orange. Cut orange in half and remove the juice. Combine zest, juice, salt and pepper. Pour over carrots. Stir to combine. Cover tightly with foil.
5. Roast until crisp-tender, about 10 minutes.
6. Remove foil and increase oven temperature to 450°F.
7. Roast, uncovered until carrots are tender and browned in spots, about 10 minutes longer.
8. Drizzle honey over carrots. Stir to coat the carrots.

Note: Citrus zest may be slightly bitter. If desired, the zest can be omitted.