by Marygrace Taylor—
I always say that once the holidays end, I’d be more than happy to fast forward through the rest of winter and move straight on to spring. Cold weather and short days aside, for local-minded eaters, January through March offers little culinary variety. Even down here in Austin, the farmers markets are still open, but all that’s really available are leafy greens and root vegetables. Oh, and cauliflower. If there’s one good thing about the dead of winter, roasted cauliflower is probably it. It has a mild, slightly sweet flavor that’s often more appealing to kids (and many adults) than the raw stuff. And when seasoned with a zesty, curry-based dressing, the white winter veggie will warm your family up without weighing them down.
Warm Curried Cauliflower with Chickpeas and Cashews
This recipe only calls for a tablespoon of curry powder, which will help introduce kids to the flavor without overwhelming them. If you regularly cook with the spice mixture, feel free to add up to 2 tablespoons.
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
1 medium head cauliflower, chopped into florets
½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons safflower oil
¼ cup coconut oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder (or more, if desired)
2 teaspoons brown sugar
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1 cup cooked chickpeas (canned are fine)
1/3 cup cashews, toasted and coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
2. On a baking sheet, toss the cauliflower and onion with the safflower oil and a big pinch of salt. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, tossing once or twice, until the edges of the cauliflower are golden brown.
3. In a small skillet, warm the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, curry powder, sugar, turmeric, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is fragrant and the garlic begins to brown, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and set aside.
4. Place the roasted cauliflower and onion in a large bowl and add the chickpeas and cashews. Drizzle the spiced coconut oil over top and toss until well mixed. Taste for seasoning and serve warm.
Per serving: calories 326, fat 22 g, protein 8 g, carbohydrates 30 g, dietary fiber 7 g
by Marygrace Taylor—
When I was a kid, fall meant apple picking. On a crisp, sunny weekend afternoon, my family (along with what seemed like every other family in a 20-mile radius) would pile into the car and drive out to Johnson’s Farm in Medford, New Jersey. As soon as the car was parked in the dirt lot, my siblings and I would run straight to the winding line of families waiting to hop on the next hay ride that went out to the apple orchard, leaving our parents behind to take care of buying the tickets. Once it was finally our turn, we’d ride the straw-filled truck to the rows of apple trees and fill our baskets with as many as we could carry. And when we got back to the farm, the best part of all awaited us: hot apple cider and fresh apple cider donuts.
To this day, it doesn’t totally feel like fall until I’ve gone apple picking. But I live in Austin now, and central Texas isn’t exactly known for its apple orchards (or autumn weather. The temperature still hasn’t dropped below 90 here!) So I took matters into my own hands and brought the flavors of fall into my kitchen with this yummy spiced applesauce, which KIWI published in our latest edition of KIWI Cooks, our sustainable cooking e-newsletter. It tastes just like apple pie filling—but is healthy enough to enjoy swirled into your family’s morning oatmeal, dolloped onto pancakes, or eaten on its own as an afternoon snack. Try it!
The warm cinnamon and ginger in this kid-pleasing applesauce are enhanced by Ginger Gold apples, a green variety with a slightly spicy flavor. If Ginger Golds aren’t available, any variety of yellow or green apple, such as Golden Delicious, will work; their firm flesh and tart skin are ideal for cooking.
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes
• 3 pounds Ginger Gold apples, peeled, cored, and diced
• ½ cup water
• ¼ cup brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• ½ teaspoon ground ginger
• Juice of ½ lemon
• Pinch salt
1. In a large stockpot, add the apples, water, sugar, spices, lemon, and salt. Cover and bring to a boil.
2. Once the mixture begins to boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cook for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples have completely softened.
3. Use a wooden spoon or potato masher to mash the apples into a sauce (mash less if you like your applesauce on the chunky side, mash more if you like your applesauce smoother). Serve warm, or transfer to a glass container and refrigerate for up to a week.
Per serving: calories 160, fat 0 g, protein 0 g, dietary fiber 6 g, carbohydrates 45 g
by MaryGrace Taylor—
Despite whether your kids have already gone back to school or are still gearing up for the first day, the weather and farmers market offerings still say summer. Your family can beat the heat and make the most of late-August peaches with these fruity, easy-to-make pops—you can stick the molds in the freezer in the morning and have a cool, creamy snack ready by afternoon. And if your family has a dog, feel free to feed her one of these icy treats, too (sans stick, of course!).
Peach Maple Yogurt pops
Prep time: 5 minutes
Freeze time: 6 hours
1 cup plain, low fat yogurt
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 large peaches
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
8 3-ounce ice pop molds or 8 paper cups and 8 craft sticks
1. On a cutting board, cut the peaches into thick slices and let your child remove the pit. (Be sure to keep the skins on the peaches: They’ll leave pretty pink flecks throughout the pops.) Add the peaches to a blender.
2. Have your child measure the yogurt and maple syrup and add to the blender. Add the ginger and salt and blend until completely smooth.
3. Help your child pour the pop mixture evenly into the molds or paper cups and freeze for at least 6 hours. (If using paper cups, insert the craft sticks after the cups have been in the freezer for 30 minutes.) Remove the pops from the molds or peel off the paper cups and serve.
Makes 8 pops
Per pop: Calories 71, fat 1 g, protein 2 g, carbohydrates 16 g, fiber 1 g
By Marygrace Taylor—
Berries have a lot going for them: They’re loaded with fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, and so are super good for you. They also score points for being incredibly versatile—eat berries out of hand for a snack, toss them into a savory salad, or turn them into dessert. Best of all—maybe because the finger food size is more fun for little hands—you don’t have to work very hard to get your kids to gobble them up.
One of my family’s favorite ways to eat peak-season berries (like the ones overflowing at farmers markets right now) is in pie, but the whole process making the dough, rolling it out, and trying to keep it ice cold the entire time is pretty unappealing when it’s 90 degrees outside. Even when the temperature is cooler, notoriously tricky piecrust can be tough for children to work with, and so isn’t the best choice for parents who want to get their kids into the kitchen.
So instead, we get our fix with strawberry shortcake, which has all the delicious components of pie—buttery crust, saucy fruit, and even some sweetened cream to match the obligatory scoop of ice cream—in a package that requires less work and is simpler for kids to make.
Be sure to taste the strawberry mixture to adjust for sugar and lemon. Depending on your berries, you may need to adjust the sweetness and acidity.
Active time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Whipped Cream Ingredients
1. In a bowl, have your child combine the strawberries with the sugar and lemon juice, then taste to see whether she thinks the berries need more sweetness or sourness. Set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
3. Have your child measure the flours, oats, sugar, baking powder, ginger, and salt and add to a bowl. After mixing with a fork, she can add in the butter pieces and use her fingers to crumble the butter into the flour mixture until pea-sized clumps form. Add the buttermilk and vanilla then fold in the crystallized ginger.
4. Help your child place the shortcake dough on a lightly floured surface and shape it into a disk, about ½-inch thick. Divide the disk into eight small wedges, transfer to the baking sheet, and bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
5. When the shortcakes are cool, make the whipped cream. Have your child measure the whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla and add to a bowl or stand mixer. Whip the cream until stiff peaks form, being careful not to over mix.
6. Slice the shortcakes in half horizontally. Have your child spoon the strawberry mixture over each bottom half of the shortcake, followed by a dollop of whipped cream and the top half of the shortcake. Serve.
Makes 8 shortcakes
Marygrace Taylor is the staff writer and recipe developer for KIWI Magazine. She lives and cooks in Austin, Texas, with her husband and dog, Charlie.