swiss chard slaw

Posted by on Jul 22, 2015 in after school, cooking classes, cooking with kids, families, healthy food, local food, nutrition, raising children, Recipes, summer camp | 0 comments

IMG_1462With so much summer produce growing at this time of year, Butter Beans campers have been busy transforming produce into spectacular dishes.

One dish that we wanted to highlight was our swiss chard slaw that was a big hit!

We recently received a glowing review of our camp experience from the viewpoint of a parent that we just had to share, “Lulu had a pretty good repertoire to begin with, but this class has definitely taught her to enjoy more foods outside her comfort zone, and this past weekend she made pesto and pasta almost on her own!”

IMG_8543Our campers summer cooking & gardening experiences show us all that children can adapt their palates to fresh and nutritious foods as long as they have the right ingredients: supportive and enthusiastic educators, a safe environment, experiential learning opportunities, encouraging parents, and a fun atmosphere all shared amongst their peers.

We highly recommend trying this recipe with your children at home. Put on some good music, aprons and have fun together cooking and trying new foods!

Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves 8


  • 1 bunch swiss chard, leaves
  • 1 small head red cabbage, or ½ head large cabbage
  • 2 pears
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small orange, juiced
  • ¼ c olive oil
  • salt + pepper to taste
1. Slice swiss chard leaves into short, thin strips. Thinly slice cabbage and cut pear into short, thin matchstick pieces.
2. Combine chard, cabbage, carrot, and pear in large mixing bowl.
3. Mix orange juice with garlic, and olive oil. Season with salt + pepper, adjusted to your taste preference.
4. Toss dressing with veggies. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate.
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campfire stories: eat like a rainbow

Posted by on Jul 21, 2015 in Thanksgiving, cranberries, recipes | 0 comments

Creating a colorful plate at mealtime for our children helps set the stage for an adventurous palate and an appreciation for the nutritional benefits of our food. As Stephen Ritz of the Green Bronx Machine so aptly puts it, when kids “eat the rainbow” it should not come in the form of a plastic package of colorful sugar drops – and it certainly does not at Butter Beans Food & Garden Summer Camp.


Our campers instead IMG_2373embrace the motto set forth by singer-songwriter Jay Mankita – eat like a rainbow. Our rainbow is one made up of the delicious and nutritious fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and seasonal foods that comprise a nourishing diet. Whether we’re shopping at the Greenmarkets, preparing our homemade lunches, or learning about new fruits and veggies, we always have color on the brain (probably because our campers have such active minds from all of those blue and purple foods).


When we sit down together to enjoy a meal so lovingly prepared, we pause to appreciate the bounty of colors on our plate – from red beets and orange sweet potatoes, to green cabbage and purple rice. Not only does a colorful plate mean a diverse array of nutrients, it also brings beauty to each and every meal!


Here are some fun tips about rainbow foods to share with your family at home:

Red foods keep our hearts healthy and often have antioxidants that help prevent cancer and other chronic illnesses.

Orange foods have Vitamin C that helps boost our immune system and keep us from getting sick. They can also help us see better!

Yellow foods, like red foods, also help our hearts and contain antioxidants that can fight free radicals that might harm our bodies.

Green foods build strong bones, nails, and teeth!

Blue and Purple foods boosts memory and have phytonutrients that help fight off disease.

Check back each week for a recap of camp adventures in our annual Campfire Stories blog series – coming to you this year from our two camp locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan. To see pictures, videos, and more of the camp experience, visit us on facebook and check us out on twitter!

Written by Kelly McGlinchey, Director of Food Education

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campfire stories: unlocking the superpowers of real food

Posted by on Jul 3, 2015 in Thanksgiving, cranberries, recipes | 0 comments

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… a superfood!

Superheroes can come in many shapes and sizes. For many children, the word superhero evokes images of a cape-adorned cartoon flying through the sky on a mission to save the world. Or perhaps a clandestine, masked figure scaling a wall in cover of dark to catch the bad guy.

Well, we’d like to add another candidate to the mix – superfoods.

From blueberries and bananas to ginger and garlic, healthy foods have the potential to help all of us discover our inner superpowers. Though certain foods like acai and goji berries have garnered a lot of media attention over the years, virtually all plant-based foods can be considered a superfood – each offering their own unique nutritional boost for our bodies and minds.

This week at Butter Beans Food & Garden Summer Camp our campers went on a superhero mission of their own to uncover the secret world of these special fruits and veggies.

IMG_2304Campers began their journey at the Union Square Greenmarket, as they do each week, in pursuit of some nutrient-dense seasonal superfoods. They were rewarded with spectacularly colorful stands piled high with carrots, berries, peaches, kale, collards, and more. After stocking up on their bounty for the week, the campers headed back to camp armed with the tools they’d need to cook up super-nutritious lunches.

The next day they ventured to The Meadow, an artisanal salt shop in the heart of Manhattan, where campers discovered that salt has superpowers of its own – and it takes form in more colors and aromas than imaginable. Check out the Meadow’s guide to salt types for a taste of what our campers uncovered in this elegant West Village shop.

Their quest to uncover the hidden powers of NYC’s superfoods continued with a visit to our friends at Rosemary’s restaurant. After a tour of their beautiful rooftop garden, campers enjoyed a delicious housemade focaccia with sauce featuring another superfood – the tomato!

Satiated, energized and ready for the next phase of their journey, campers IMG_2363headed through the Village to another camp friend and partner – Raffetto’s Pasta Shop. Rafetto’s has been around for over 100 years and after seeing the magic of their pasta-making at work, Sarah Raffetto returned to camp headquarters to share her family’s talent and passion for the craft of pasta with a tasty pasta cooking class.

With visions of salt crystals, whole grains, and rosemary dancing in their heads, Butter Beans campers celebrated the final day of session one with a campfire tradition – super s’mores! With sunflower butter, flaxseeds, cinnamon, fresh berries, and antioxidant-rich dark chocolate, these s’mores were anything but ordinary.  


Gathered around the “campfire,” campers gave thanks for the superfoods that gave them their superpowers that week, and the friends who helped us along the way!

Celebrate superfoods at home with Super Sprowtz (if you haven’t watched their audition reel you’re in for a treat) and recipes from the Butter Beans cooking classroom. Eat nourishing foods to discover your superpowers!

Check back each week for a recap of camp adventures in our annual Campfire Stories blog series – coming to you this year from our two camp locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan. To see pictures, videos, and more of the camp experience, visit us on facebook and check us out on twitter!

Written by Kelly McGlinchey, Director of Food Education

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