Thursday, February 7, 2008

Orange You Glad You Know How to Cook

We're quite proud to announce that Purple Asparagus has added a second Healthy Snacks Workshop to the Chicago Public Schools. Late in February, I met with 15 elementary school kids and their parents at Ogden Elementary School to explore the world of citrus. I started out with the lamest of knock knock jokes: Knock knock. Who's there? Banana. Knock knock. Who's there? Banana. Knock knock. Who's there? Orange you glad I didn't say banana? Stupid yes. Bungled by my inability to tell jokes, correct. Neverless, received well by a group of 6-9 year olds. We started by tasting a variety of citrus fruits, starting with the garden-variety navels, going to the spicy pink new navel varietal Cara Cara, blood oranges, pink grapefruits, pomelos, tangelos, clementines, Meyer lemons and, the unassociated kumquats. Given our ability to find the more common citrus fruits at all times, it was great to reiterate the seasonality of citrus. While I miss berries and stone fruits in the Winter months, I also look forward to the bright acid days of blood oranges and Meyer lemons. Our tasting portion of the program was a trip. I had two kids tell me that they had tried an orange, not even a navel, and another tell me that his favorite was kumquats. The dichotomy was amazing. But the best part was that by the end, the kids tried everyone (even the kumquats!)

After our tasting, we made the following recipes.

Rosy Sunrise

A recipe that I created when I was kid. I'm going to date myself, but I always wanted to submit it to the original Zoom series on PBS.

Serves 1

1 orange
¼ cup frozen strawberries

METHODS: Juice the orange over a blender with a hand juicer. Add frozen strawberries. Blend and serve.

Blood Orange Slushies
Serves 8

4 cups freshly squeezed blood orange juice

METHOD: In a small shallow pan, pour the blood orange juice. Put the pan in the freezer for 3 hours. Remove from the fridge and break up with fork. Return to the freezer and freeze for an additional 2 hours. Break it up again and serve in small bowls.

Tangerine-Mint Salad Over Vanilla Yogurt
Serves 1

Tangerine-Mint Salad1 tangerine, peeled and segmented
½ teaspoon honey
1 ½ teaspoons orange juice
½ teaspoon finely chopped mint
Vanilla Yogurt
2 tablespoons plain lowfat yogurt
½ teaspoon honey
1 drop vanilla extract

Tangerine-Mint Salad: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.
Vanilla Yogurt: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.
Serving: Top vanilla yogurt with tangerine-mint salad.