Meet Brooklyn’s Newest Food Bloggers

Posted by on Jul 23, 2016 in cooking with kids, Food for thought, local food, news and happenings, Recipes, summer camp | 0 comments

Much like this abundance of summer sun and sweet produce, Butter Bean’s Food and Garden Camp has been full of sweet shining campers.

One of my favorite parts about working with our campers for an extended period of time is witnessing the individual characters and creative learning styles that each camper exhibits. Much like myself, most of our campers love hands on learning, like playing with worms to teach vermicomposting, or riding a bike to churn homemade ice cream that was made with only 6 ingredients! These were two of many inspiring field trips that our campers had the chance to experience. It was on these field trips that two of our older seasoned campers took it upon themselves to become food bloggers.

image4Every summer journals are given out for the campers to write their thoughts, recipes, questions, impressions, or pictures in.  Two of our Brooklyn campers, Aiden and Chloe, decided that they would also use their journals for food blogging. They have since been recording information at each and every field trip, asking the specialists questions while quickly jotting down notes. They also decided it was important to interview their peers and gather opinions on the food we tasted, noting favorites vs least favorites.

Not only was this dedication and focus impressive (and contagious with the other campers), but the next day after each field trip, our aspiring food bloggers brought in typed up reports of their research.

What we hope to provide here at Butterbeans camp is inspiration and knowledge about food and where it comes from. What I am continuously amazed by is how the campers use that inspiration and take action on learning even more!

FullSizeRender (7)I can’t say for certain, but look out for Aiden and Chloe, two inseparable friends who are always hungry for both good food and knowledge. They may just become New York’s youngest food writers.

This post was written by Annie Duffy, Butter Beans Food & Garden Summer Camp Counselor & Food Educator

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roasted fiddlehead ferns

Posted by on May 10, 2016 in healthy food, local food, nutrition, Recipes, seasonal | 0 comments

IMG_1747Fiddlehead ferns may not be on your top list of things to eat this spring since they look somewhat prehistoric, but we suggest that you give them a try!

For those of you who are new to these funny looking vegetables, they are the edible fronds of young ostrich ferns, which grow wild in the Northeast.

These spring delicacies are high in iron, helping to build red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body.

A delicious way to eat these fabulous fronds are to roast them. They come out tasting crispy, umami and quite addicting!

Here’s how:

Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 15-20 minutes

Serves 2-4

Ingredients: 

  • 4 oz. fiddlehead ferns
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions: 

1. Prep: Preheat your oven to 450F. Clean fiddleheads well. Place in a colander, and rinse under cold water thoroughly. In a large bowl, toss together the ingredients.

2. Cook: Place them on a sheet tray in a single layer and cook for 10-15 minutes, until crispy and tender.

This post was written by Flora McKay, Director of Community & Nutrition

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spring green potato celery soup

Posted by on Mar 24, 2016 in cooking with kids, healthy food, healthy lifestyle, local food, nutrition, seasonal, sustainability | 0 comments

4904477507_bbe492a693_oEver wondered what a wildlife biologist eats to stay healthy, happy, and strong after a day of adventuring outdoors?

Well, wonder no more! Here at Butter Beans we love learning about (and sharing!) the different foods & recipes that fuel our communities. We linked up with Audubon Society’s Long Island Bird Conservation Manager Amanda Pachomski to discover her favorite healthy recipe to cook at home.

As a wildlife biologist, Amanda spends her days helping protect the Earth’s natural spaces and the many amazing creatures who live there. Ask any of the Butter Beans Food & Garden Summer Campers and they’ll tell you how important it is to care for our planet’s precious resources in order to grow and eat nourishing foods. A healthy planet means a healthy you and me!

We fell head over heals for this simple, vibrant soup and we know you will too. Its bright green color alone has us running for the kitchen. Happy cooking!

Ingredients:

1 small yellow onion

1 large bunch celery

3 large potatoes

2-3 tsp turmeric

2 cubes vegetable bullion

1 quart water

olive oil

powdered garlic

salt & pepper

Topping, opt.

½ avocado, thinly sliced

coconut oil popcorn*

Directions: Chop onion, celery, and potatoes. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in pot over medium heat. Sauté onion until softened. Add two cubes of veggie bullion. Add celery and potatoes. Sauté for additional 5-7 minutes. Add turmeric, salt, fresh black pepper, powdered garlic, and optional pinch of chili pepper. Mix well and sauté for 2-3 more minutes. Add enough water to cover veggies, bring to a boil, and cook until veggies are soft (~20 minutes). Transfer soup to food processor or use immersion blender to blend. Pour back into soup pot to hold warm. Serve soup. Top with avocado slices, coconut oil popcorn, and a sprinkling of turmeric for a decorative and delicious garnish.

*make-your-own popcorn with our recipe for stove top popcorn. Drizzle with coconut oil once popped and mix well. Voila!

 

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kabocha ginger lime soup

Posted by on Feb 17, 2016 in healthy food, local food, nutrition, Recipes, seasonal | 0 comments

IMG_8716There is nothing like the distinctive taste and texture of kabocha squash!

Steam, then blend it up with some tasty ingredients, and voila! you have yourself a nourishing soup.

Make this nutritious recipe on a chilly winter day to warm up your belly, and make you smile.

Are you a fan of the humble kabocha? Check out our other kabocha recipes:

Serves 4

Prep Time: 6 minutes Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 medium kabocha squash
  • 3-4 C water (depending on your desired soup consistency)
  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger root
  • juice of 1 lime
  • cilantro, for garnish
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions: 

1. Prep: Rinse your kabocha. Cut in half, remove seeds (set aside to roast later) and chop off the step pieces on the top and bottom of the squash. Cut into cubes, leaving the peel on. Peel ginger, cut lime in half, rinse then thinly slice cilantro leaves.

2. Cook: Add kabocha cubes to a pot with 3-4 cups water. You will use this nutrient dense water as your soup base, so add as much or as little as you like. The more you add, the soupier it will be :) Bring the water to a boil then let the squash steam for 10 minutes, until soft. Add kabocha, water, ginger and fresh lime juice into a food processor. Blend until smooth.

3. Assemble: Pour soup into big soup bowls. Garnish with cilantro, salt and pepper to your liking.

Enjoy!

This post was written by Flora McKay, Director of Community & Nutrition 

 

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Trending Towards Healthy – The Year in Food

Posted by on Jan 28, 2016 in families, fast food, featured articles, Food for thought, food politics, healthy food, healthy lifestyle, local food, news and happenings, nutrition, raising children, school food, sustainability | 0 comments

Looking back at the year in food, we feel more strongly than ever that we are part of a larger movement towards healthier eating. As this article from NPR points out, evidence of these trends can be seen in the biggest producers. Reacting to consumer demands, even McDonald’s has taken steps to use healthier, more sustainably produced ingredients. This shows that clearly we are part of a larger movement changing how everyone eats, not just those already shopping at Whole Foods.

We at Butter Beans are often told that we are just providing good food to a small niche. This article proves that change we are part of is now reaching all parts of the food system and our “niche” is only growing. Sales of foods marketed towards health and sustainability conscious consumers surged in 2015, indicating that a much larger trend is only beginning. As the health benefits of nutritious eating become more and more apparent (especially for young kids in schools), all kinds of consumers are acting to create a change.

If you believe in critical tipping points that propel major changes, this past year hinted that one such shift may lie near on the horizon. Often the best way to measure the success of a movement is to follow the actions of the largest and most influential actors in the industry. The fact that big, highly profit-driven companies such as Kraft are seeking to include more natural ingredients in their products makes us hopeful for the future. Healthy foods are no longer just for yoga-moms and crunchy-foodies; now all kinds of Americans are showing concern for the kinds of foods carried by even large chain supermarkets and fast-food joints. This is how a paradigm shift occurs. At Butter Beans, we see everyday how we can shape the next generation of healthy, food-educated consumers to demand that America becomes a nation that embraces nutritious food.

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Employee Spotlight – Tania Lopez

Posted by on Jan 22, 2016 in cooking classes, cooking with kids, families, featured articles, Food for thought, food politics, giving, healthy food, healthy lifestyle, local food, news and happenings, nutrition, raising children, wellness | 0 comments


This week we highlight the incredible work of Tania Lopez, our school lunch supervisor at Nord Anglia International School. Outside of her work at Butter Beans, Tania founded an organization called Coqui the Chef which works to promote healthy eating in her home community of the South Bronx.

Check out this video, “Kids Cooking for a Brighter Future,” to catch a glimpse of Tania’s interactive and educational classes and hear her talk about why she finds this work so important in food deserts like the South Bronx.

In her series of fun, interactive, and informative cooking videos for children, Tania hopes to directly combat the current trends of childhood obesity. For Tania, this national epidemic can be felt strongest closest to home where a walk around any block will reveal a plethora of fast food joints, but very little in the way of fresh produce. Tania believes that this makes nutritional education all the more essential in these communities. Tania is using powerful community-based and culturally relevant education to build a healthier South Bronx from within, resisting the profit making forces of corporate fast food and the industrial global food system.

Tania says that working at Butter Beans has given her valuable perspective on how kids eat. While engaging at lunchtime with kids of different communities and backgrounds from her own, Tania has been able learn a lot learn how to best educate all kinds of children about healthy eating. For Tania, there is little more inspiring than seeing all sorts of communities come together over good food.

We’re so proud of Tania for taking the passion we all have for healthy eating education back to her own community. She is currently working hard to secure funding and hopes to expand her web episodes to a full television series. In this format, Tania hopes to reach a wider audience and connect communities across the city that also exist in food deserts.

Watch a trailer and full episode of her show below!

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